LOS ANGELES — Calling it “The Great VR Enabler,” Reality Lovers has released a hands-on look at the Oculus Go VR headset.
According to the studio, the makers of Oculus Go call it the most approachable VR product on the market and Reality Lovers believes this may be a fitting description.
“For many VR novices, even not-so-novices, this new kid on the block could be the perfect entry point into the ever-expanding world of virtual reality,” says a studio spokesperson. “Sporting a unique combination of features packed into one neat unit, with the agreeable price tag — it is bound to give the competition a run for their money.”
Tackling first impressions, Reality Lovers was on a mission to put this new toy through its paces by playing one of the studio’s newest videos in 4K (the highest resolution the Go supports).
“Perhaps the main difference we noticed immediately is that the Go has killed the smartphone!” exclaims the spokesperson. “In other devices, you would typically insert a mobile device into the front of the unit. The Go’s answer is to pack everything you need to run VR neatly into the headset itself. The Go’s brilliant smartphone-less design was only matched by its flawless Wi-Fi connectivity feature. We could not be happier!”
Noting the Go feels like a high-end product with quality packaging, the Reality Lovers team described the headset as being comfortable, with plenty of plush padding, reputed to be the result of cooperation with the garment industry.
“Although at first, it may seem like there is a slight weight distribution imbalance toward the front, don’t panic — in the event of an emergency, there is a sturdy strap down the middle to hold it in place,” the spokesperson adds. “If we wanted to be real nitpickers (guilty), we would comment that there was a bit of light seeping in through the bottom. But this didn’t bother us too much, as we were sucked into what was happening on the screen. Don’t be like us and you probably won’t even notice.”
One benefit the review team found is that Go allows users to quickly get their VR videos running.
“Setting up the Go was easy and simple and took only about five minutes of our eventful lives. And yes, we had to reach for our smartphone, but only once. See, the Go does require a phone, but only for this initiation ritual. Once the software is loaded, you can use it for other things, like texting people about your new toy,” the spokesperson explains. “You can cut out the middleman (mobile device). Instead, the device’s built-in Wi-Fi allowed us to stream or download content directly into its belly (or brains).”
Once a user is online, running (or downloading) actual VR content is a breeze.
“Just open the browser on your device, access the desired site (e.g. Reality Lovers), and log into your account,” adds the spokesperson. “After that make your selection and enjoy a one-of-a-kind VR experience.”
Taking a peek under the hood, Reality Lovers emphasized the benefit of Go being a standalone device, meaning it does not require a smartphone — or a PC, as was the case with the Oculus Rift. The immersive VR experience is delivered via a 5.5-inch, 538 ppi panel (2560 x 1440 resolution).
“We found the picture sharp. In fact, sharp enough to almost eliminate the notorious ‘screen-door’ effect, a growing pain suffered by many devices that came before it,” the spokesperson. “Even though the Go doesn’t include full-motion controllers or inside-out tracking technology, it still allows for the head movements to be accurately picked up by the tracking mechanism. As for sound, the Go comes with its own built-in speakers, enhancing its compact look and feel. And although the sound is less impressive than we expected, it was good enough for us — and should keep you sufficiently immersed. We promise.”
As for battery life, according to Oculus’s specs, it should cover around 2.5 hours of video viewing per charge. That, more or less, checks out with Reality Lovers’ experience, which would be enhanced with a better battery-to-charge-time ratio, although this was not a deal breaker for the team.
“Oculus Go is a serious contender hitting above its weight class. We especially applaud the maker for packing in all the key features and doing it with an affordable price tag. That said and being the VR perfectionists that we are, here is our wish list for the versions to come: quick charge, support for the 5K resolution and SIM card slot for mobile internet,” the spokesperson concludes. “Nevertheless, none of this can change our view that for our money, Oculus is a resounding Go.”
As of this writing, Oculus Go retails for $199 / £199 for the 32GB version and $249 / £249 for the 64 GB version. For comparison, the Oculus Rift costs $399 / £399. It’s available in 23 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
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