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What is it like to actually use the Oculus Go?

A lot of people got to go hands-on with the Oculus Go at GDC 2018 and I have been speaking to as many of them as I can (sadly I couldn’t make it myself.) and here is the feedback of the viewing experience… 

Most people who got to go hands-on with the Oculus Go said it was the optics that were the most impressive feature given its low price point. The FOV is slightly larger than both the Oculus Rift and the Vive, leaving a lot of people hoping for improved optics on a future update for both the Gear VR and the Rift. The clarity in the FOF (Field of Focus) is said to be the best in ANY current VR headset! In fact, a lot of people told me that it was “considerably clearer” than any other current VR headset on the market. It seems optics have come a long way since the very first Gear VR was launched.

Trying the Oculus Go
Trying the Oculus Go

The lens fringing effects (blur) are said to be only in the outer edges of the lenses thanks to the next generation optics in the Oculus Go. (with many people now wondering when/if they might be coming to the Rift). While at first glance you can see the concentric rings on the lenses almost no-one noticed any linen effect (god rays: rays of sunlight that appear to radiate from the point in the sky where the sun is located.) while using the headset. Whoever I did say almost no-one and at least 3 people I spoke to did see some ‘God Rays’ but said it was considerably reduced from it is on the Rift.

Listening to peoples feedback, some did tell me that you can see the edge of the single panel screen if you went looking for it, but that it shouldn’t distract from most peoples experience and it’s a small trade-off to have for the wider FOV.

Also, most people told me there is almost no screen-door effect (apart from some tiny dots) but otherwise the LCD panel was surprisingly bright and colourful.

As for the face padding, it is non-removable (a good opportunity for VR covers to jump into this) and very comfortable. With non-absorbent, air-flow covered soft foam making the whole headset considerably lighter than a Gear VR which is great news for long-term use. In fact, some people eve told me it was lighter than a Google Daydream View with a Pixel 2 inside of it! This also means you don’t have to wear the headset as tight as would normally, especially with a Gear VR.

Also as a side note here most people said they do wear glasses and it was OK to use the headset with them on.

When it comes to the head straps they are indeed removable with the top, over-the-head strap being velcro removable. The split in head strap at the back also made it very comfortable and very much like the Rift’s headset in terms of support and grip.

When it comes to the speakers it is not such good news. With no adjustable arms (>> as I thought in this post <<) the speakers are not all that loud, in fact, they are not all that private with other people around the user being more than able to hear the sound playing out, which is probably the reason they added a headphone jack. Putting in earphones automatically cuts out the built-in speakers which is nice.

Oculus Go Home Screen
Oculus Go Home Screen

The home screen is exactly the same as on the Gear VR. Using the controller to navigate around the good news is anyone who has been using a Rift of Gear VR before getting an Oculus Go will feel right at home here. Sadly not everything is the same and many people who own a Rift found it quite nauseating without the movement tracking. While this is to be expected it is still something to consider for anyone thinking of downgrading.

Wrapping this up everyone who used it said they were truly impressed with the Oculus Go, based on its price. While you could pick holes in the lack of motion tracking and other things, these little flaws are a worthy sacrifice to the headset being so affordable.