Meta Quest 2 review: The affordable VR headset we’ve been waiting for

Our Verdict

The Meta Quest two brings high-powered specs and a host of refined features to a lighter headset at an affordable price.

For

  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight, comfortable fit
  • Crisp graphics with little to no blur
  • Expanded social and sharing capabilities

Against

  • Short battery life

Laptop Magazine Verdict

The Meta Quest 2 brings loftier-powered specs and a host of refined features to a lighter headset at an affordable price.

Pros

  • +

    Affordable cost

  • +

    Lightweight, comfy fit

  • +

    Crisp graphics with picayune to no blur

  • +

    Expanded social and sharing capabilities

I’m an avid fan of virtual reality and all its potential. Simply ever since VR started making its way into the mainstream, the question has been, when will it finally exist a true consumer product? This is the yr and Meta Quest two is the product. The latest version of the standalone VR headset refines or expands the things nosotros loved virtually the original. It’s lighter, has a college resolution brandish, a more powerful processor, more ergonomic controls and expanded social and sharing features, just to name a few.

But every bit great as all that is, the real kicker here is the price. The Quest 2 starts at $299, meaning Meta may have finally bridged VR’s biggest obstruction –– affordability. For the toll, you lot get a organization with few compromises that comes with over 200 games and a strong social presence. All that combined and this is definitely VR’s year.

Meta Quest 2 comes in two flavors: the $299 iteration with 64GB of storage and the $399 version, which bumps the storage up to 256GB. Both versions of the headset are equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 SoC, 6GB of RAM and a 3664 x 1920-pixel fast-switch LCD display (1832 ten 1920 per heart).

The Quest 2 will take a 72Hz display refresh rate at launch, but that volition bound to 90Hz in the near future.

The Quest two is different from anything we’ve seen from the make. For starters, information technology’s white. In fact, it’s the first white consumer headset we’ve seen from the company. And compared to the original Quest, everything has undergone some measure of refinement. For case, the indentations surrounding the quad of sensors on the Quest 2 are smaller and rounded compared to the elongated ovals found on the original.

Meta Quest 2 review

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The Quest 2’s body is made of light gray matte plastic. The ability button has moved onto the headset’s body, merely underneath the right stabilizing strap, while the audio jack and USB Type-C charging port sit beneath the left. The merely matter that relocated is the elongated volume push that resides just to the right of the faceguard. Speaking of the faceguard, the black matte plastic is the only not-gray piece on the headset. The detachable component is lined with thick foam making for a more comfy fit.

Instead of the slightly rigid system of soft-bear upon plastic bands and straps, the Quest 2 uses pliable light gray textile strips. The side straps tin be lengthened or shortened by repositioning a pair of gray plastic strap adjusters. The top band has velcro lining to aid achieve a secure fit.

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Inside the headset are the lenses covered in a protective picture show out of the box that direct the gaze into the fast-switch LCD display.

At 17.four ounces and 7.5 x 5.6 ten 4 (strap folded in) inches, the Quest 2 is ten% lighter than its predecessor, which weighs twenty.1 ounces and measures 8.7 x 7.6 10 4.1 inches.

In addition to the headset and the controllers, the Quest 2 as well ships with a glasses spacer and a USB Type-C charger. And for the purposes of my review, Meta also sent along the $49 Elite Strap, which replaces the soft fabric straps to the more rigid configuration found on the original Quest (more on that later).

Out of the box, the OG Quest was the more comfy headset with my butt-length pilus downwardly. But after adjusting the Quest two’southward soft straps a bit, I got a fit that was both comfortable and secure. Although the Quest 2’s heft lies in the front, the wide straps helped to comfortably distribute the weight effectually my head.

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For years, I’ve been complaining about how VR headsets are not made for folks like me who like to wear large pilus. Information technology seems Meta took my people’southward complaints to heart and that’s how we got the more flexible soft straps. I put the straps to the test every bit I placed my pilus into a rather sizable bun.

Pilus matters bated, in that location’due south the affair of actually seeing in VR. I’ve worn glasses since I was viii years one-time and while I typically article of clothing contacts, since the pandemic, I’ve gone back to wearing glasses full time. That’s where that handy glasses spacer comes in. Afterward popping out the faceguard, I simply popped the spacer into the headset and replaced the faceguard. And voila, I could wear my fancy Miu Miu frames in comfort.

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Meta Quest two review

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A major modify the Quest 2 introduces is how Meta handles IPD (interpupillary altitude). Instead of a clunky slider along the undercarriage of the headset, you merely shift the lenses left or right to get your ideal setting. The headset has three settings, the first of which positions the lenses at their shortest altitude, 58mm. The second setting has a more than key position (63mm) while the third has the uttermost distance (68mm).

From unboxing to setting up the Quest 2 then jumping into VR was about 40 minutes –– only because you lot need to get the Quest fully charged before you dive in. My headset came with a 51% charge and from there, it took nigh 30 minutes to get a total charge. In the concurrently, I made sure the gratuitous Oculus app (Android, iOS) was downloaded and updated and the controllers were ready to go.

Meta Quest 2 review

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Once the headset was charged, I popped it on and hit the power button. From there, I went through the steps of adjusting the lenses, connecting to Wi-Fi and updating the controllers and headset. And so the headset either pairs automatically or the app will prompt you lot to enter a five-digit code generated from the Quest 2. Next, you lot draw out the Guardian boundary (the demarcation line that keeps you from walking into a wall or furniture) and you’re gear up to go. But like the original Quest, the Quest 2 recommends a 6.5 x six.v anxiety, but I managed with a 5 ten half-dozen.v-pes area. Still, I really want Meta and every other VR company to start thinking well-nigh how to make room-calibration happen in even smaller spaces.

In one case the setup was complete, I was transported to what I wish was my existent home: a sublime luxury cavern carved into a ruby-red rock cliff face. The furnishings were rustic yet elegant and I immediately felt at habitation.

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Then allow’s address the elephant in the room. Meta, by way of Facebook, would like Quest users to merge their Oculus account into their Facebook equally Oculus accounts will be phased out on January ane, 2023. When I launched the app, ane of the beginning prompts I saw encouraged me to make the switch. I chose to pull the Rough-and-tumble off now rather than wait until later.  Having the Oculus login address merge with the Facebook account means one less independent platform to manage. It as well ways Meta will be taking on Facebook’s code of conduct, for meliorate or worse, to which the latter will add together a VR section.

If you choose not to merge accounts, you tin can still apply your headset after 2023. However, some of your games and apps might not piece of work.

“Y’all miss a 24-hour interval, you miss a lot, my high school math teacher Mrs. Daly used to say. It’s been a while since I’ve used an Meta headset and the interface has definitely gotten more refined. You lot still navigate using either the controllers or your hands (more on that later) with your selections floating on a blackboard like to Facebook’s dark mode.

Meta Quest 2 review

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Equally for the actual hardware, the Quest 2 offers 6DoF (degrees of liberty) which is a fancy way of maxim you take a complete range of motility. In terms of display, the Quest 2 has a 3664 x 1920-pixel fast-switch LCD display, which equates to 1832 x 1920 per center. It’s packing fifty% more pixels than the Quest (2880 x 1600 OLED panel, 1440 x 1600 per centre). For refresh rate, both headsets have a 72Hz refresh rate, simply the Quest ii volition be bumping information technology up to 90Hz in the future, which makes for smoother animation and a more immersive experience. For those who are a bit motility-sensitive, it could cutting downward on any nausea.

I retrieve the screen door might finally be closed. At least, it seemed that style to me when I strapped on the Quest two. Whether I was playing a newer championship similar Warhammer forty,000: Boxing Sister or something older like Infinite Pirate Trainer, information technology was hard to run across those telltale gaps between pixels that make it announced as if you lot’re looking through the titular screen door. I’thou not saying it’due south completely gone, but information technology’s pretty darn close.

Meta Quest 2 review

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I jumped into the deep finish and launched Robo Think Unplugged. And while it doesn’t have the graphic allegiance of the Rift version, the Quest version is equally as frenetic as the original. And I didn’t run into whatsoever stuttering or disorienting blur as I whipped effectually the city, dismantling rogue bots as I went.

For those moments, I was merely inches abroad from an unfortunate meeting with a wall; the Guardian organisation sprang into activity, throwing up the signature grid. Information technology’s an early alarm system letting y’all know yous’re most to have an blow. And if that’s not plenty to save you from disaster, Passthrough+ is back to let you see what you’re about to crash into. The cameras mounted on the faceplate provide a black-and-white view of the globe. It’s so sharp that I could read a text on my phone, provided I held the phone close enough to my face up.

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I fabricated two new friends concluding night …, well Meta virtual friends, but it was still absurd nonetheless. I loaded up the beta version of Venues, Meta’s platform for live events. And after making myself an avatar, I strolled into the lobby. Since it was 11 p.m., I didn’t expect to run across likewise many people, only to my surprise, there was a pocket-sized group congregating. I walked over and before I knew it was in a deep conversation near the country of VR with a machine salesman and a model. Nosotros remarked on how well the facial tracking worked and the different ways the lite shimmered off i of my new friend’s bald head.

Meta Quest 2 review

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Sure, none of the actual events were playing, but I spent 30 minutes getting to know these people. When it was time to get back to the business of reviewing, I asked if we could be friends. After they said aye, I raised my left wrist, hit the menu friends button, found their names, and sent them a friend request. From there, they accepted my request and I took my leave. If Facebook has its manner, this might be our future.

In practise, Venues, looks similar PlayStation Home and 2d Life had a loftier-def infant. While options for avatar creation are very limited (I’d honey to see more body types, hairstyles and colors), I created an avi that I’m comfy with. Interacting with other people i’southward pretty elementary:, just talk. But if you want to do a bit more, there are some very Facebook-esque emotes to work with. Giving a thumbs up will exist rewarded with a slight pop and a couple of thumbs- upwards emojis while raising your hands to a higher place your head triggers a brief confetti rain.

And as fun as making it pelting confetti is, the large affair here is the facial tracking. Despite one-half of our faces being obstructed past a headset, I was impressed by how well my new friends’ virtual mouths moved in sync with their words. And seeing them furrow a brow or burst into laughter really made me feel like I was continuing in the anteroom of an entertainment center with friends. With the pandemic still going on and social distancing rules still in place, this could be a great way to meet upward with friends and family in lieu of Zoom, Google Meet or whatever video chat you’ve been using.

But with any community, there’s ever going to be a few flies to spoil the ointment. If you’re a gamer or participate on a social media network, yous’re bound to run into trolls. It’due south an particularly worrying situation considering VR adds the potential of bear on, albeit virtual to the mix of exact harassment. Meta allows yous to protect your virtual space by muting, blocking and reporting ne’-er-do-wells. I’m not sure how effective these tools will exist in Venues and Horizons, Meta’southward upcoming virtual infinite where you tin can see up with friends and play, watch movies and create worlds, but I’grand hopeful it’ll work out.

Just because your friends and family doesn’t own a VR headset, it doesn’t mean that they can’t become on the fun. Meta has expanded its sharing capabilities, allowing Quest 2 owners to cast your content to devices running the Oculus app, although I’m hoping the company finds a style to permit u.s.a. ship our VR shenanigans to TVs sooner than later. You can likewise tape, capture a screenshot or livestream your encounters to VR. With the first ii options, the fruits of your labor areis saved on the headset, and from there, you can share it to your Facebook timeline, w. Which is also the case if yous’re looking to livestream.

Simply like the headset, the Touch controllers have gotten a scrap of a makeover and are more often than not made out of lite gray matte plastic. The top of devices, where the face up buttons and analog joystick reside, are colored dark gray. The rear and side-mounted trigger and shoulder buttons are made of glossy gray plastic.

Meta Quest 2 review

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Each controller has that large halo with a shiny “O” gracing the eye while the bottom of the controller has a light gray lanyard to proceed you from accidentally chucking one. Like its predecessor, the Quest 2 controllers are powered by a unmarried AA bombardment, H\nonetheless, the cardinal difference is how you admission them. The Quest 2 controllers’ bombardment compartments are secured with a few notches instead of magnetic tethers. It ensures the battery covers stay in place, instead of ending up in some obscure corner of your play space.

The new controllers counterbalance 4.4 ounces (without battery) and measure three.5 x 4.seven inches, which is a bit heavier than the Quest’s (3.seven-ounce, four.vii x four.3 x iii.five inches). Those larger dimensions make for a more comfortable tactile experience, particularly when interacting with the face buttons and analog sticks.

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Meta Quest ii review

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Instead of gingerly resting my pollex on the face buttons because it has nowhere to go, my weirdly long digits can reside along the side until it’south time for some activeness. Meta even went so far as to add a small circular surface area made of a slightly unlike texture so my thumbs can observe their style by muscle memory and feel.

Despite the larger size, I prefer the Quest 2’due south controllers. In add-on to giving my thumbs a resting pad, the large frame feels more than natural in my hands. The rear trigger just fits the natural curve of my index finger. My just existent complaint most the new Affect controllers is that the side button doesn’t provide enough feedback; it’s a bit mushy for my gustation.

Meta continues to print with its integrated sound. Whether I was nodding my head to the beat in Rez Infinite or listening for the thing that goes clank in the nighttime in 5 Nights at Freddy’s VR: Assist Wanted, the headset’southward integrated audio was loud and rich. And every bit an added bonus, it’s positional, meaning that when an explosive barrel on my left went kaboom, most of the weight came from that direction.

What I really appreciate is how well the headset picks up vocalism chat. Continuing in a circle of fellow VR enthusiasts, their voices came through loud and clear. And thanks to the integrated microphone, then did I. The spatial audio really enhanced the experience, and it really felt like I was continuing in a grouping of people chatting.

When I reviewed the Quest for my sister site, Tom’s Guide, Facebook (at present Meta) had over 50 titles. A little over a year later and the Quest-ready titles has been expanded to include over 200 with fifty-fifty more than apps on the way. And while I gravitated towards some games similar Warhammer twoscore,000: Battle Sister, I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had racing around the track on a magic broom in Little Witch Academia: VR Broom Racing. But the Oculus library is more than games. The catalog has expanded with apps, including productivity and collaboration software such every bit Spatial.

Pricing in the Oculus store continues to span a wide range starting at complimentary and topping out at $39.99 in most cases.

Meta is claiming the Quest two headset will terminal between 2-three hours. If you’re playing games, you’ll likely become two hours. But if y’all’re just watching movies, you could potentially squeak out 3 hours of battery life. That’s an accurate assessment as I squeezed 2 hours and 13 minutes out of the headset earlier I got the low battery indicator afterward playing several games.

I finished playing level 3 in Rez Infinite and checked to see that the headset had 14% left. I made information technology through two.v episodes of Umbrella University before I got the message it was time to recharge.

Meta has a slew of accessories to augment the Quest ii. The nearly important is by far the $79 Link cable. Yep, this 16.4-foot cord does tether you to a PC, merely the trade-off is a significant bump in graphics, which means you can likewise play games meant for the Rift or Rift S.

Meta Quest two review

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Another potential must-have is the Aristocracy Strap with battery and carrying case. For $129, you get the rigid stability of the Elite Strap with an integrated battery pack that will double the headset’southward battery life and a pocketbook to shop it in. If you just desire a more rigid fit, in that location’southward the $49 Elite Strap. You lot can besides purchase the carrying case separately for $49. Oh, and there’due south the $39 Fit Pack, which comes with two light blockers and a couple of face cushions designed for wider or narrower faces.

At that place’s too a slew of third-party gear, including the $100 over-ear Logitech K PRO Gaming Headset, Logitech G333 VR In-Ear Headphones ($50) and the VR Cover Facial Interface & Foam Replacement Set ($29).

Bottom line

At concluding year’south Oculus Connect, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, envisioned a globe where every household has a VR headset. The Meta Quest ii puts us leaps and bounds closer to that reality. This latest headset answers one of my major beefs with VR: affordability. Information technology starts at merely $299, which is what the PSVR started. But with the latter, you notwithstanding have to purchase the panel, which y’all’re then tethered to. Oh and so at that place’s the matter of the PS camera.

The Quest two is a standalone headset with a powerful processor, generous RAM and a high-resolution brandish with plenty of games. And the headset offers a surprising corporeality of customization from the head straps to the bodily configuration. Hell, you can use your hands instead of the controllers depending on the app. There are withal some things Meta needs to work on like the battery life and room-scale requirements. Just for the coin, the Meta Quest 2 is the administrator VR’s been waiting for.

Sherri Fifty. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she’s reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and sound junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.

Source: https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/oculus-quest-2