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“PICO 4” hardware review USB-C that is generally connected, usable color pass-through, etc. 40,000 yen range is unbelievable perfection | PANORA

The price of the model with 128GB storage is 49,000 yen. Currently, the price of Quest2 is 59,400 yen, a standalone VR headset that can be said to be a strategic price.PICO 4”. Let’s try using the aircraft borrowed for media, following the first impression, let’s dig deeper.

As a review, I summarized the points of the first impression.

・Weight including strap (measured)
PICO 4: 585g
Quest 2: 504g (626g with Elite strap)

PICO 4: Color
Quest 2: Monochrome

・IPD settings
PICO 4: Set in 0.5mm increments between 62 and 72mm.motor drive
Quest 2: 3 levels of 58mm, 63mm and 68mm.manual set

・Controller weight (one side, actual measurement)
PICO 4: 178g (2 batteries)
Quest 2: 152g (1 dry battery)

The Quest 2’s three-step IPD setting makes the sweet spot too narrow. For an astigmatic writer who felt that way, PICO 4 became a VR headset to buy at this point.

Check the usability of the PICO 4 main unit

PICO 4 has excellent weight balance by having the battery built into the back of the strap. Just lightly tighten the strap belt for a secure fit. It’s okay to keep the pressure down. The previous model “PICO Neo 3 Link” was also made suitable for action games, but PICO 4 seems to be able to enjoy VR action games comfortably.

The width of the face cover is slightly narrower than that of the Quest 2. However, since the opening is wide and deep, it is easy to wear while wearing glasses. Even the Wellington frame of JINS MEME, which is caught in Quest 2, fits without difficulty.

VR dedicated glasses VRsatile that can be used with Quest 2, HTC VIVE Pro2, and Valve Index can also be used without modification. In addition, JINS plans to provide lens attachments, so spectacle lovers can rest assured.

As far as I can confirm, the strap/body battery could not be removed. I hope this is a misunderstanding on my part, but I announced that the weight without the strap is 295g even though the strap cannot be removed (the weight information has been deleted from the spec list on the official website at the time of writing the article). I have a hard time understanding what happened.

Left and right straps are made of resin. Because of this strap, the position of the rear pad is perfectly determined. It seems that it can be used for a long time while standing or sitting, but I have the impression that it is not recommended for VR sleep where the load is applied from an unexpected angle.

Sound input/output using USB Type-C

Did it match the movement of smartphones in recent years? The port is USB Type-C only. There is no earphone terminal. I can feel the enthusiasm for cost reduction.

However, an earphone microphone with USB Type-C connection can be used (here is what I used in the test). The Quest 2 couldn’t handle external microphones on both the earphone terminal and USB Type-C terminal, but the PICO 4 is cool. This is an advantage for some users who want to bring good quality sound into VR.

A USB audio interface compatible with Android can also be used. It will make you wonder what is stand-alone, but you can also bring the sound of musical instruments into the VR space.

Similarly, an Android compatible gaming amplifier could also be used.

If you don’t want to use a stationary device, use an ultra-compact, cable-type DAC that has a built-in DAC chip and is advertised as capable of talking. Note that I couldn’t use a normal USB Type-C audio conversion adapter/cable that extracts an analog audio signal from the USB port.

Elecom’s MPA-C35PDBK and others could use earphone microphones and headsets while charging. As for the microphone, I was also able to use the Sennheiser XS LAV USB-C, a lavalier (pin) microphone with a USB Type-C connection.

You can hear the sound when connecting with Bluetooth earphones. But this voice seems to be picked up by the PICO 4’s built-in microphone.

One more report. The DACs and amplifiers that I have introduced so far did not recognize when I used my USB Type-C hub.

The sound quality of the built-in speaker is sharp

Let’s also touch on the built-in speakers. The sound at maximum volume is louder than the Quest 2. It is powerful. However, high frequencies stand out. It can’t be helped that it’s difficult for the bass to reach your ears due to its structure, but it seems that the tuning is crisp and high-pitched so that the sound is crisp and clear.

Good to hear your voice. However, when it comes to listening to music, many people seem to be dissatisfied.

Built-in microphone with high gain and distorted sound

By the way, how is the quality of the mic? I tried it with Rec Room, which has been released for both PICO 4 and Quest 2. In order, I recorded with the Quest 2’s built-in mic, the PICO 4’s built-in mic, and an external DAC + gaming headset.

Please turn down the speaker volume when playing!

Because the PICO 4 has a loud microphone. The gain is high enough to pick up even whispers. That’s why the sound cracked when using Rec Room, where you can’t adjust the gain on the app side. for your information.

Wider field of view than Quest 2 but distorted at the edges

The PICO 4 has a viewing angle of 105 degrees diagonally. On the other hand, Quest 2 has not been officially released. In the test with glasses on, and subjective, I felt that the PICO 4 had a slightly wider field of view when viewed from the same place on the PC version of VRChat.

However, the field of view that you actually feel with your eyes is a curve that is rounded on the left and right. At the edges of the field of view, I felt barrel distortion, similar to images seen with a wide-angle lens.

I also checked with Rec Room and PC VR Rez Infinite, but the trend is the same. The Quest 2 looks like you’re looking through square underwater goggles, while the PICO 4 looks like binoculars. PICO 4 seems to be sold at major mass retailers, so if you are interested, we recommend checking it out at the store.

I didn’t feel that the image quality is better than the Quest 2. The resolution per eye is 2160 x 2160 pixels. Although it has higher pixels than the Quest 2’s 1832 x 1920 pixels, I had the impression that it was used with a slightly wider field of view. The same is true for brightness.

The quality of the color pass-through far exceeded my expectations

Passthrough is very good. Since the single-lens camera shows 3D images, if you quickly lower your head, the shape of nearby objects will be distorted. Also, the distance feels closer than when viewed with the naked eye.

Even so, the resolution is high enough to read the characters on the PC monitor in a bright room, and the ability to walk in dark places as well as with the naked eye is impressive.

By the way, how about the fan noise of the main unit?

Let’s touch on the fan noise as the last point of the main body review. The PICO 4 has a fan for cooling the SoC called Snapdragon XR2. While using some apps, I removed PICO 4 and checked the fan noise, but personally the volume is acceptable. However, since it is subjective, please keep it as a reference only. It may be different when you continue to use high-load apps.

Please refer to the social VR experience version for the usability including the controller

So far, we have checked the functions, performance, and quality of the main body of PICO 4. As for the controller, I connected it to a Windows PC and tried it with the PC version of VR Chat. I will touch on it in the next report, so please look forward to it.

However, I was a little moved by the fact that a stand-alone VR headset that costs less than 50,000 yen is equipped with a color pass-through function that can be used regardless of the situation. I was talking with a friend on Twitter, and I’m looking forward to the AR/MR app for PICO 4. The only thing that bothers me is the area around the microphone (that can also be addressed with a firmware/OS update), so I can recommend it to those who want an inexpensive VR headset.

(TEXT by Ryota Musha)

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Tags: PICO hardware review USBC generally connected usable color passthrough yen range unbelievable perfection PANORA

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