Skip to content

PICO 4 All-in-One VR Headset 128GB

The Pico 4 is a good price alternative for those looking for a good value VR headset. However, does it hold against the segment leader, the Meta Quest 2? This review answers that question.

Pros

  • Comfort
  • Immersive sound
  • Thinner screen than
  • Meta
  • The price

Cons

  • Not enough cable provided to play wired

If you want to buy a virtual reality headset that is not too expensive but still good quality, you do not have 100 solutions. The Meta Quest 2 is the way. Is it? No, since September, another headset has been released at almost the same price, and it is one: the Pico 4. The comparison is all the more relevant as both are headsets capable of being used on the move or connected to a PC to obtain finer graphics.

For information, Pico is owned by ByteDance, the group behind TikTok. So you can choose between the Chinese social network or Mark Zuckerberg’s social network regarding data sharing.

TECHNICAL DATA

Model
Pico 4
Display frequency
90 Hz
Field of view
105°
Position tracking in the room
Yes
Joystick compatibility
Yes
Weight
295 grams

DESIGN


The first difference between the Pico 4 and its counterpart is a better weight distribution. Indeed, while the Meta Quest 2 concentrates all its weight towards the front, the Pico 4 has chosen to move its battery towards the back of the helmet.

The result is a less bulky front part and much less heavy in the long run. The other advantage of this is that the helmet rests more on the top tab when it comes to exerting pressure on the skull. This avoids the need to tighten the helmet at the front or back to keep it stable, resulting in a more comfortable and durable fit.

Another significant advantage over its competitor is at the back of the head. If the Meta Quest 2 is delivered with a simple strap, adding an accessory, the Elite Strap, allows you to adjust the pressure exerted thanks to a wheel. This is a definite comfort gain, primarily if several people use the same helmet.

The last advantage, probably more marginal, is that the front camera, which allows you to see when you’re not in the VR world (and incidentally avoids you bumping into things), is in colour. It has a pretty good fisheye effect that makes it easy to calculate distances once you get used to it.

To manipulate the headset outside of its controllers, there are two places. A power button is located on the right side of the headset when it is worn. The volume buttons are located on the right-hand side of the headphones. Both locations work well, as they are easily found when blind. The only problem with the two volume buttons is that they are a bit blurred so that you can tell if you are turning the volume up or down without the help of the headset’s HUD. Nothing too serious, though.

Still, on the two arms, you will notice a thickness that forms a bit of a staircase. This hides the speakers, located right in front of the ears. I found the sound quite good, allowing me to immerse myself in the adventure without the slightest sizzle or balancing problem. One observation, though: on SteamVR, the maximum volume is too low, and one would like to add a few more decibels here and there.

At the front, your face is greeted by a semi-rigid foam that I don’t have much to say about as I found it wholly forgotten, which is a sign of a successful mission. Also, wearing glasses was never a problem. A much stiffer foam supports the back of the head with hard plastic underneath. There is nothing wrong with this choice either, and it works well.

The last point before tackling the controllers, a grill is located on the top of the front panel. This hides a noisy fan when it starts up, but the speakers broadly cover it. It is worth noting that it only blows sometimes.

Pico-4-1_2048x

DESIGN


The first difference between the Pico 4 and its counterpart is a better weight distribution. Indeed, while the Meta Quest 2 concentrates all its weight towards the front, the Pico 4 has chosen to move its battery towards the back of the helmet.

The result is a less bulky front part and much less heavy in the long run. The other advantage is that the helmet rests more on the top tab when it comes to exerting pressure on the skull. This avoids the need to tighten the helmet at the front or back to keep it stable, resulting in a more comfortable and durable fit.

Another significant advantage over its competitor is at the back of the head. If the Meta Quest 2 is delivered with a simple strap, adding an accessory, the Elite Strap, allows you to adjust the pressure exerted thanks to a wheel. This is a definite comfort gain, primarily if several people use the same helmet.

Trending
Corsair HS55 Wireless Gaming Headset

The last advantage, probably more marginal, is that the front camera, which allows you to see when you are not in the VR world (and incidentally avoids you bumping into things), is in colour. It has a good fisheye effect that makes it easy to calculate distances once you get used to it.

To manipulate the headset outside of its controllers, there are two places. A power button is located on the right side of the headset when it is worn. The volume buttons are located on the right-hand side of the headphones. Both locations work well, as they are easily found when blind. The only problem with the two volume buttons is that they are a bit blurred so that you can tell if you are turning the volume up or down without the help of the headset’s HUD. Nothing too serious, though.

Still, on the two arms, you will notice a thickness that forms a bit of a staircase. This hides the speakers, located right in front of the ears. I found the sound quite good, allowing me to immerse myself in the adventure without the slightest sizzle or balancing problem. One observation, though: on SteamVR, the maximum volume is too low, and one would like to add a few more decibels here and there.

At the front, your face is greeted by a semi-rigid foam that I don’t have much to say about as I found it wholly forgotten, which is a sign of a successful mission. Also, wearing glasses was never a problem. A much stiffer foam supports the back of the head with hard plastic underneath. There is nothing wrong with this choice either, and it works well.

The last point before tackling the controllers, a grill is located on the top of the front panel. This hides a noisy fan when it starts up, but the speakers broadly cover it. It is worth noting that it only blows sometimes.

pico 4 all in one vr headset 128gb white virtual reality glasses

HANDSETS


As you can see, the Pico cultivates its slight differences from the market leader, the Meta Quest 2, while taking much inspiration from it. The controllers follow this precept to the letter. The layout is the same as on the Meta, with the A and B buttons on the right and the X and Y buttons on the left next to a joystick on a relatively flat surface. The triggers are also arranged in the same way.

For the rest, there are quite a few differences. The main and most visible one is the arches that are used by the headset sensors to locate the joysticks in space. Instead of being a circle above the buttons, these are now oblong and hug the hand from top to bottom. On paper, this frees up the hand and allows for more natural use, avoiding the constant clashing of the two controllers. Let me tell you that, in practice, this is exactly what happens. Without any exaggeration, you totally forget the presence of these arches when you play, and their placement seems optimal. So this is a perfect additional point for this headset.

There is no longer one button to manage the system but two per controller. The bottom one performs the same action on both hands, i.e. opening a window to exit an app or accessing the shortcut bar. This is useful when you want to access settings with a single press. The second button takes screenshots with the right hand and serves as a secondary button with the left hand. It can be used to open the Steam VR interface, for example.

All in all, it’s a complete and well-thought-out piece of equipment that you can’t fault. The buttons and triggers may feel a little softer than those on the Meta Quest 2, but honestly, you get used to them just as well, and this is not a criterion that could turn you away from this headset.

PERFORMANCE AND DISPLAY


Let us take a quick look at the technical capabilities of the device. This one houses a Qualcomm XR2 platform equipped with a Kryo 585 processor (8 cores 64 bits, 2.84 GHz, 7 nm). This is the same chip as in the Meta Quest 2, and with its 8 GB of LPDDR4X (2133 MHz) RAM, it allows you to play games directly on the headset on the move. In other words, your headset has more or less the same power as a high-end smartphone of 2020 or 2021 and can therefore act as a portable console.

With such a configuration, however, do not expect the latest graphics. Especially with a display so close to the eyes, you will see the flaws, the smudgy textures and other graphical weaknesses all the more clearly. The Pico 4 will come into its own when plugged into a gaming PC, provided you have one.

Trending
ASUS ROG Delta S Wireless

As for the display, Pico’s LCD screen is thinner than the Meta Quest 2’s, with a resolution of 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye, compared to the 1834 x 1920 on the Meta headset. It has the same refresh rate, with the option of choosing between 72 Hz and 90 Hz.

The idea of graphic quality of titles running natively on the Pico 4An idea of the graphic quality of titles running natively on Pico 4. An idea of the graphic quality of titles running natively on the Pico 4
Even the resolution, which may seem very high, does not prevent the occasional glimpse of pixels at this distance. As for fluidity, I was not shocked at all, even at 72 Hz. The screen responds well to the finger and eye, and the refresh rate seems sufficient.

For a wireless connection, count on Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 support. The headset runs on Android 10, but the Android generation does not have much interest or impact on using the device. Rest assured.

pico-4-all-in-one-vr-headset-128gb-white-virtual-reality-glasses-1

FUNCTIONS


When you first turn on the headset, it guides you through a straightforward and well-done tutorial that allows you to set the lens spacing, create your account and connect to Wi-Fi. You’re also prompted to install the Pico companion app, which has minimal value outside of game purchases and some support functions.

Once installed, you are given access to your virtual environment, a big word for a relatively empty 360° virtual area, which certainly looks good when placed on the head of someone new to VR, but holds limited interest other than decorating your arrival. Your real interactions will all be through the shortcut bar at the bottom of the screen. It gives access to the shop, installed applications, profile and the shortcut tab, unlike an Android smartphone.

If you are wondering what the game area is, it is the physical space in which you see the graphics and interface. It can be fixed and take the shape of a circle, or you can draw the area you want on the ground. As you approach the edge, walls will appear on your screen representing the boundary, and if you stick your head out, you will see through the camera on the front of the helmet. If you walk away from this game area, you will be able to see where it is, as its design will remain visible on the ground. From one session to the next, the headset remembers the different play areas you have drawn at home. This is very useful if you want to have a session somewhere else but want to avoid reconfiguring everything each time.

BATTERY LIFE

The Pico 4 has a 5300 mAh battery. It can be used either entirely on battery power or on a cable, which allows it to recharge as the session progresses, thus reducing battery loss.

Pico promises 2.5 to 3 hours of active use. In wireless use, I could easily exceed two hours before I started to worry about the battery. With wired use, it’s after 3 hours of play that the battery life becomes a little worrying. Given the fatigue that VR gaming sessions can cause, this is more than enough.

CONCLUSION

The Pico 4, by taking up the strengths of the Meta Quest 2 at an even more competitive price, also allows itself to add a good number of minor innovations and advantages. We are thinking of better weight distribution, a finer definition, and joysticks that do not clash…

Unfortunately, this product is a bit weighed down by a shop that needs to be better stocked with games and applications. This does not prevent it from being an excellent entry-level headset, but we can’t recommend it enough to users interested in using SteamVR.

For this specific use, it is a perfect alternative. If you are more interested in mobile gaming, we recommend Meta’s headset, which is better equipped with applications.

★★★★★

PICO 4 All-in-One VR Headset 128GB, Pico (Oct 18, 2022)

BUY NOW
Amazon.co.uk
Wait For A Price Drop

Price History

Statistics

Current Price -
Highest Price £679.29 February 28, 2023
Lowest Price £259.00 November 26, 2023
Since February 28, 2023

Last price changes

£319.00 February 8, 2024
£389.99 February 7, 2024
£339.00 January 31, 2024
£299.00 November 30, 2023
£259.00 November 26, 2023
5/5 (1 Review)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share:

Share
Richard Garrett

Richard Garrett

As an expert on the latest techy stuff, the primary focus is PCs and laptops. Much of his time is split between smartphones, tablets and audio, focusing on the latest devices.
On Key

Recent Reviews