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Pico 4 Review : There Is A New Contender For The Throne Of Virtual Reality & It Comes Stomping | Tech Reviews

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Pico 4 Review : There Is A New Contender For The Throne Of Virtual Reality & It Comes Stomping | Tech Reviews

 

 

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When I tried theOculus Meta Quest 2 made it clear to me that the future of the most popular virtual reality was out there : affordable, well-built glasses, with good resolution and with connectivity to the PC to, if desired, play Steam titles. The Quest 2 have been, until now, one of the best options to start in virtual reality, but they are no longer alone. And not only are they not alone, but their most direct competition has come into the world like an elephant to a china shop.

We are talking, of course, about Bytedance (does it ring a bell? It will be because it is the parent company of TikTok ) and its new Pico 4 . The Pico 4 pick up the baton from the Quest 2 and improve practically all their points. They are, in short, a better virtual reality headset in almost everything. They have their negative points, of course, but Meta, it’s time to put your batteries together. Here is our experience with the Pico 4.

Technical sheet of the Pico 4

PICO 4
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT Visor: 163 x 80 x 35,8 mm

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With supports: 163 x 80 x 255-310 mm

Weight: 586 grams

PROCESSOR Snapdragon XR2

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Up to 2.84GHz

RAM MEMORY 8 GB
STORAGE 128 GB

256 GB

CONNECTIVITY WiFi 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax)

Dual Band 2×2 MIMO (2.4 GHz/5 GHz)

Bluetooth 5.1

SCREEN 2 x 2.56-inch LCD

resolution 2.160 x 2.160 pixels per eye

PPI: 1200

Refresh rate: 72 / 90 Hz

FOV: 105º

20.6 PPD (pixels per degree)

Electric interpupillary distance adjustment of 62-72 mm

Lent’s Pancake

AUDIO Dual stereo speakers

double microphone

echo cancellation 50 dB

BATTERY AND CHARGING 5300mAh battery

20W fast charge

Remotes – AA Batteries x 2

OPERATING SYSTEM Pico OS 5.0
PRICE 429 euros

 

Design and ergonomics: this is comfort

Pico 4 2

We started, how could it be otherwise, talking about design and ergonomics. The first thing that stands out is the finish, and that is that the Pico 4 feels, looks and feels like much more advanced glasses . They are smaller, enough, inside that they are still a big pot that we have to put on our heads. However, the use of Pancake lenses (more on them later) helps to make the visor itself, the front part, quite a bit smaller.

The glasses are made of plastic, but a plastic that feels quite good and robust. They have a soft and pleasant touch on all sides and both the back support, finished in a kind of leather-like material, and the face support, made of foam and fabric, are very well finished . They are incredibly nice to use.

Pico 4 19

The weight also helps that, one of the points that we liked the most about the Pico 4. Why? Because the weight is distributed between the rear and the front , so that it is very well balanced. Pico has placed the battery on the rear mount, allowing half the weight to be on one side and half on the other. That way, we don’t have the feeling that the visor is pulling our head down, something that can happen with Meta Quest 2.

Now, not everything is rosy. There will be users who prefer to use different head mounts, and with the Pico 4 that will not be possible. The support cannot be disassembled , but it is not that we have missed it either. The support seems very comfortable to us, being able to be adjusted by means of a strap for the upper part of the head and by means of a crown for the circumference.

Pico 4 1

In fact, the crown deserves its own mention, as it’s integrated into the battery holder itself. That, which may seem like a trifle, is interesting, especially if we are going to use the glasses to watch movies or, simply, we want to rest our head on the chair or on the sofa . As the crown is integrated, it improves ergonomics and the experience.

The truth is that, as far as design is concerned, we have no complaint of any kind beyond the fact that there is no 3.5 mm jack connector to use wired headphones. The glasses, yes, have speakers integrated into the side support. Its performance is correct, but the truth is that the sound is not its forte. Thus, the experience will gain integers using Bluetooth headphones.

Pico 4 10

Let’s talk now about the viewer itself. On the front there is a huge black plate where we find a camera. This camera is an RGB sensor for passthrough mode , which allows us to see our surroundings in color when necessary. It paints better on paper than in actual use, but we’ll come back to this system later.

In the upper and lower “corners” we have four cameras that will take care of the tracking of the controllers, which is really good. We have had no problems of any kind using the drivers. Also, we will see two grids, one above and one below. These are the air inlets and outlets of the cooling system, a system that, without being a panacea, helps keep the temperature at bay after a long session.

Pico 4 13

It is now time to talk about the accessories, and we must give Pico a mini point because everything that can be attached and detached works by means of magnets . That makes it very easy to remove and put on things like the face mount or the glasses mount very, very easy and simple.

For obvious reasons (I have glasses), I have been using the glasses mount for all this time. And no problem. If you have glasses, go ahead with it. In addition, Pico includes a kind of rubber band that is placed in the area where the nose will be and that serves, in short, to prevent light from entering that area . It works so well, is so transparent to the user, and changes the experience so much that we’re honestly surprised it doesn’t come standard. Personal recommendation: put it .

Pico 4 3

As regards the controls, we have also found them very comfortable. There are no big surprises in its design, beyond the orb that surrounds the controller itself and whose reason for existing is infrared tracking . It is not something new, but it is possible that it will catch the attention of some users.

Otherwise pretty standard controllers, with a familiar button layout, two joysticks and two triggers that strangely feel like the least premium part of the device . In fact, in our test unit you can even hear a subtle squeak when you press them (which will go completely unnoticed when using any game thanks to the volume). It should also be noted that they work with two AA batteries that are pre-installed from the factory.

Experience and performance: Pancake lenses for everyone, and how good they feel

Pico 4 27

In case anyone was wondering, yes, the front tends to fill with dust and fingerprints.

Seen from the outside, we are going to talk about experience and, first of all, we would like to stop for a second to talk about Pancake lenses . In the world of consumer virtual reality, the most common thing is to find Fresnel lenses. These types of lenses have been with us for many years (in fact, if you have a Quest 2, know that they have these lenses). These lenses have their advantages, but also their disadvantages.

Fresnel lenses work like a ring of crystalline prisms that reflect refracted light. Thanks to these lenses, it was possible to improve the aperture and shorten the focal length, at the cost of making larger and heavier scopes due to the necessary distance between the screen, the lens and the eyes. In addition, the glare effect and chromatic aberrations are inherent in its design. These problems have been the daily bread of the most popular VR glasses, until the advent of the Pancake lenses.

Pico 4 4

Pancake lenses are nothing new, but they’re finally coming to consumer VR units (the Meta Quest Pro have them, but they cost $1,800). Pancake lenses consist of a series of curved folded lenses. These lenses bounce light within the glass , thereby reducing the distance between your eyes and the screen, significantly reducing chromatic aberration and virtually eliminating glare . In the same way, thanks to these lenses, the headsets can be thinner and it is enough to look at the Pico 4 to realize that the front part, where the lenses and the screen are, is much thinner than the Meta Quest 2.

Pico 4 17

The thickness of the visor is quite a bit lower than the competition.

Problem with these lenses? Because yes, they sound like a panacea but they have their little things. The main one is that the brightness is reduced quite a bit , and that is something that is noticeable in the Pico 4. They have less brightness than the Quest 2, but it is something that we will appreciate only if we have had the opportunity to test both devices and I, personally, are something that I have not noticed excessively during this time. In any case, fans of virtual reality should be in luck because the Pancake lenses have arrived, and in what way.

Pico 4 12

On the other hand, it is interesting to talk about the control of the distance between pupils. The Pico 4 supports a range of between 62 and 72 millimeters. To manage it, the glasses use a small motor that we can control from the settings to see the live result. In addition, thanks to the fact that we have two screens (now we are going with that), when we move the lenses we also move the screens, thus preserving the field of vision (maximum 105º). In short, a piece of technology that, fortunately, works in a very transparent way for the user.

Ipd

Speaking of the screens, we have two LCD panels with a resolution of 2,160 x 2,160 pixels each. How much is that? More than Quest 2 and more than PS VR 2 . A more than decent resolution that, together with a faithful representation of color, a refresh rate of 90 Hz and Pancake lenses, make for a delicious experience. We cannot complain in terms of image quality, in a nutshell.

Inside we find a Snapdragon XR2 processor (the same as the Meta Quest 2), eight gigabytes of RAM and 128 or 256 GB of internal storage. It is also compatible with WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, something that we will use (if we want) to play PC games wirelessly, although it is best, and will be until further notice, to play via USB Type-C cable (there is no Native DisplayPort, unfortunately).

Games

The performance of games running locally is good, very good. If that is what you want, know that you can play wirelessly without any problem. Now, and putting aside the fact that the game catalog is not even close to that of the Oculus Store, I have to be frank and speak in a personal capacity: the Pico 4 really shine playing PC titles , and there is another reason to be Congratulations, as they are compatible with SteamVR and Virtual Desktop . For that matter, we have used the glasses connected to the PC via cable with SteamVR and the company’s software (downloadable from the Pico website).

The performance of the games will depend on the computer we have. In our case, we’re talking about an RTX 3060 and a Ryzen 5 3600 , so we haven’t had any problems running games at high quality. The 90 Hz helps the image look fluid and thus avoid the sensation of dizziness , something that some users may experience. It has not been our case. Now, the default glasses come in 72 Hz. The 90 Hz is an experimental function that has to be activated from the settings, so, in this aspect, they are a tad below the Quest 2.

90 Hz

The image looks sharp and well rendered, particularly in the sweet spot (the central zone), which is huge, although some image washout can be seen in the areas furthest from the center. The “evils” of the Pancake lenses are also noticeable, such as a slight lack of contrast and somewhat duller colors if we compare them with the Meta Quest 2. Be that as it may, we are left with a very good taste in our mouths.

Before going on to talk about the passtrough, a quick note. The Pico 4 “have” hand tracking, but it’s hidden in the menus and it doesn’t work too well either. The performance is, in short, sufficient, but without more.

Modo Passtrough

That being said, let’s talk about the passrough. In short, this mode allows us to get out of the virtual world to see what is around us in the real world. The Pico 4 takes this mode to the next level with a color front camera . When you see it for the first time, and if I may use the expression, you hallucinate in colors because the wow! if there. When you use it several times, the magic disappears for a simple reason: depth.

This mode drinks from a single camera placed in the center of the viewfinder and does not offer depth of any kind. In fact, it gives the feeling of watching in 2D . Having no sense of depth, it is difficult to orient yourself without removing your helmet. It is true that the image quality is sufficient and it even allows you to see a WhatsApp if you bring the mobile close enough to the helmet, but the reality is that between the lack of quality and depth, things are halfway.

Modo Passtrough 2

On the other hand, let’s talk about the sound. The Pico 4 have two speakers located in the moorings in the areas close to the ear. The performance is correct, but little else . We will get the best experience with headphones, something that in this case falls on Bluetooth technology for the simple reason that the Pico 4 does not have a headphone jack.

Finally, and in terms of battery, in standalone mode the 5,300 mAh offer us about two hours of autonomy . It is more or less the same figure as the Meta Quest 2. It should be noted that it has a 20W “fast” charge that fully charges the glasses in two hours.

Pico 4, Fadvices opinion

Pico 4 6

We have loved the Pico 4 . It is the summary that we can do after having tried and enjoyed the new Bytedance glasses during these days. The Pico 4 not only surpasses the Meta Quest 2, which are its main rivals, in practically everything, but it is also configured as the main gateway to virtual reality.

It is not a perfect device, far from it, but for 429 euros it is one of the best virtual reality viewers in terms of quality/price . Pancake lenses, with their pluses and minuses, are a safe bet and their performance is great. We have been left with a very pleasant taste in the mouth.

It is true that, despite being smaller than other alternatives, they are still a large device, something that may not be liked by everyone. But beyond that, Bytedance has done an excellent job with its new headset that is missing some native content and having software that matches Meta.

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Hocainehttps://fadvices.com
A full time tech enthusiast with a passion for writing. Religiously follow everything new happening in the tech world and share my two cents with my audience here.
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