Pico 4 Vs Meta Quest 2: How Do They Compare?
| Tony Mowbray
Meta Quest 2 is currently the best selling standalone VR headset on the market but this could be set to change with the arrival of the Pico 4. Pico is a Chinese based company known for their range of Pico VR headsets and was recently acquired by ByteDance, the company behind the social media sensation TikTok.
Let’s start by comparing the visuals. The Pico features two LCD displays, one for each eye capable of 2160 by 2160 resolution. In contrast, the Quest has a single, 1832 by 1920 resolution LCD display. Not only does the Pico win in the resolution stakes, but the dual displays allow for more precise, granular IPD adjustment ranging between 62-72 mm.
The Pico display has a top refresh rate of 90Hz but the Quest is capable of running some select games at 120Hz, although most titles on the Quest run at 72Hz or 90Hz. The field of view (FOV) is slightly wider on the Pico, with 105-degree FOV when compared to the Quest’s 89-degree FOV. The lenses are also different between the two devices, which affects both the visuals and size of the headset.
The Pico will feature pancake lenses whilst the Quest has Fresnel lenses. Fresnel lenses are made up of concentric rings whereas pancake lenses are not, which reduces glare and God rays; they can also be moved much closer to the displays than Fresnel lenses, allowing the Pico to have slimmer design with better weight distribution.
Weight and comfort
On the topic of weight distribution, the Quest is well known for being a front heavy device which can put uncomfortable pressure on the face. This is partly due to the internal battery being located at the front of the headset. The Pico tries to solve this by placing the battery at the back of the head strap, so that it effectively acts as a counterweight. The Pico is also around 100 grams lighter than a Quest fitted with the official Meta elite strap.
The headstrap is another key difference between the headsets, with the Quest opting for a soft headstrap whilst Pico has gone with a rigid plastic ratchet design, similar to the official Meta elite strap. The Meta elite headstrap is known for being much more comfortable than the Quest soft strap, meaning the Pico headstrap is likely to be more comfortable too.
Both devices contain a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset and can be purchased with either 128GB or 256GB of SSD storage. The Pico also includes 8GB of RAM, a full 2GB extra than the Quest’s 6GB offering.
Comparing batteries, the Pico has a larger 5,300mAh battery compared to the Quest’s 3,640mAh battery. Despite the difference, both batteries provide around 3 hours of playtime for each headset.
There are also four inside-out tracking cameras in both headsets, but unlike the Quest, the Pico also includes a 16 megapixel colour camera to enable full-colour passthrough. The Quest is capable of passthrough too, but only in low quality, grainy black and white.
Just like the Quest, the Pico includes dual microphones and a set of inbuilt speakers for spatial 3D audio. However, there is no audio jack on the Pico, meaning additional audio devices will need to be paired via Bluetooth. The Quest does not officially support pairing of Bluetooth speakers but does come with an inbuilt audio jack.
The Pico trumps the Quest in most areas except the library of available games. The Pico will come with around 160 titles at launch which includes popular games such as Demeo, After The Fall and Walkabout Minigolf. However, the Quest currently has over 200 titles and counting, including exclusives like Beatsaber and Population One which will not be released on the Pico.
Despite this, we are likely to see the library of Pico games grow quite quickly as developers aim to port their titles over to the platform for additional sales. Both headsets can also play PCVR content which adds hundreds more potential titles to each platform. However, the Quest is able to connect to a PC through both wireless and wired means, whilst the Pico is only capable of a wireless connection.
The headsets retail for a similar price, with the Quest 2 retailing for $400 USD for the 128GB version and $500 for the $256GB model. In contrast, the Pico 4 starts at €429 (~$420 USD) for the 128GB version and goes to €499 (~$490 USD) for the 256GB version. Unfortunately, the Pico Neo 4 will be sold in Europe and some Asian regions but there are currently no plans to launch in the US.
The Pico 4 just about beats the Quest 2 in most areas except for the games library. However, I believe the Pico library will expand rapidly upon launch and eventually even the playing field in that area too. So on the face of it, the Pico seems like the better choice for now, but you may want to hold off buying one just yet as it is rumoured that a Meta Quest 3 is set to be released sometime next year.
A Recent leak suggests the Meta Quest 3 could have a more powerful chipset, double the RAM and double the SSD storage when compared to the Pico 4. You can learn more about the speculation surrounding the Meta Quest 3 in our recent article on the Meta Quest 3 leak here.
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