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Oculus Go Headset Review: Specs and Honest Verdict

The Oculus Go is the best purchase I’ve made all year.

I’ve used it dozens of hours in the month that I’ve had it. I’ve blasted zombies, watched Netflix, and even watched a Cirque du Soleil show, all in my headset. I freaking love the thing!

The Go solves the issues with wires holding you down as well as needing a powerful PC for VR. It needs neither. I want to take the time today why I love the device so much, and why you should consider it for your next headset.

Things to Consider When Buying a VR Headset

Virtual reality is immersive and mesmerizing. It can transport you nearly anywhere that you can imagine. Simply put: VR is the future. It allows users to visit places they’d never get to visit and do things that they’d never have the chance to.

VR headsets are cool but are held back by a few things. Most VR headsets need a powerful gaming PC to run the games. These headsets often have cables, which can cause tangles and are a real pain in the booty. I’ve had a few times when my PlayStation VR tripped me!

Who is the Ideal VR Consumer?

The ideal consumer for virtual reality is changing. In the past, I’d say that the ideal customer is somebody that’s tech-savvy and has deep pockets. Now, I say that anyone can be an ideal consumer for VR. Headsets like the Go make that possible, giving anyone who wants it access to the technology.

You should buy a VR headset if you want to consume media or play games. Media consumption can be done on mobile VR headsets or high-end sets. Gaming is traditionally reserved for higher-end hardware. Headsets like the Oculus Go are a happy medium. They support both media and basic gaming for a fraction of the price of high-end headsets.

Potential VR headset buyers need to consider the following:

  • Goals - What are your goals with VR? Do you mainly want to consume media, or do you want to play games also? The ideal headset is dependent on what your goals are.
  • Motion sickness - VR isn’t for everyone. The technology makes some people queasy, but not everyone. If you’re prone to motion sickness, you’ll want to consider whether or not VR is a good option.
  • PC or no PC? - PC VR is the best experience you can get, but it is expensive. If you have a powerful rig, then a high-end PC provides great gaming. If you don’t have a PC or just want media consumption, a lower end setup works just fine.

Presenting the Oculus Go

Oculus Go Standalone Virtual Reality Headset - 64GB
  • Personal Viewing: The littlest, big screen. Crystal clear optics and state-of-the-art 3D graphics make your headset feel more like a personal theater
  • Viewing with Friends: Watch with friends. Meet up in VR with friends and fans from around the world to catch live sports, concerts, or just your favorite TV show

Last update on 2019-09-20 /  Source: Amazon Affiliates

The Oculus Go is the company’s first true attempt at wireless VR. The Go launched in 2018 and has great features. I bought one of these not too long ago and have been blown away at the build quality and functionality.

Unlike the Rift or HTC Vive, there are no wires to be found here, nor do you need a PC to power the headset. This is the first truly wireless VR headset that doesn’t feel like a toy.

With the Go, you’re getting a capable device that brings a social aspect along with games and media. It is an all-in-one device that gets the job done.

Pros
  • Excellent high-resolution screen
  • Good software
  • Excellent 3D audio included
  • Well balanced, not too heavy
Cons
  • Poor battery life
  • Lack of a USB C port
  • Light leaks in from the bottom

Features and Benefits

Video

The Oculus Go packs in a 5.5 inch LCD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. The resolution has 538 pixels per inch, and Oculus has worked in some tricks to increase performance.

The end result is a stunning display that has almost zero screen door effect. Compared to the likes of the Rift, the Go is sharper and feels nicer.

Audio

The Go has built-in 3D headphones that are included in the headband. This means that you can use the headset without traditional headphones. I’m impressed with how good these sound, and there’s a lot of depth for certain experiences. A downside of using these is that others can hear your VR content.

If you don’t want to use the standard sound, a headphone jack is included.

Design

I’m in love with the Go’s design. It fits comfortably on my face and the head straps hug you without being too tight. The weight is also balanced well, which let me use the Go for long periods of time without getting sore.

There are two small gripes I have, though.

The first is that Oculus put a USB micro slot in for charging, rather than USB C. This is more delicate and just not as fast as a C connection.

The other gripe is that some light leaks in from the bottom occasionally. For those with smaller noses, this won’t be an issue, but if you have a big schnoz like me, you’ll see it.

Battery

The battery life for the Oculus Go is horrible. For some reason, the Oculus team put in a smaller than expected battery in the headset, and it doesn’t last long at all. Watching movies, I could squeeze about two hours out before I needed to connect a charger.

Playing games, the battery life fell to about an hour and a half. This is too short. The only way to alleviate the issue is to plug in, which makes to Go wired. That stinks.

Controller

The Oculus Go comes with an included pointer controller. The device functions as a 3D mouse, and it’s capable. Running on AA batteries, the Go controller does last for upwards of 20 hours before it needs to be changed.

If you’re going to be doing serious gaming on the Go, a third party controller is something I recommend. You can use any Bluetooth controller to connect to the Go, but I recommend the Xbox One S controller. It feels great and works like a dream in VR. It must be stated that you need to use the One S controller though, as the traditional Xbox One controller isn’t Bluetooth compatible.

Which Xbox model has Bluetooth?
On Bluetooth-supported controllers, the plastic around the Xbox button is part of the face of the controller. On controllers without Bluetooth, the plastic around the Xbox button is part of the top, where the bumpers are.

Software

The Oculus software is the best in VR. The platform as a whole is stable and is snappy. This carries on with the Go, as players have access to a great menu system. From the home screen, I was able to find events going on, launch my favorite apps, and navigate to anywhere I want. Oculus even lets you set your background, which includes canyons, cities, and a Zen retreat.

Oculus has video and picture platforms included, as are some third party trialware. I am fond of Oculus TV, which serves as a launcher and lets you watch streaming TV and movies. There’s also Oculus Rooms, which let you invite your friends over to hang out in VR.

A store is built in as well, which lets you purchase and download third-party software to your device. There are a lot of great VR apps on the Go, with Bigscreen VR, Catan, and End Space being some of my favorites. Oculus has a lot of sales on their store, so keep an eye out for a deal.

What Others Are Saying About the Oculus Go

I’m always curious as to whether or not people feel the same way about tech as me. Since the Go has been out a while, I took a look around the internet to see what others have to say about the headset. Here’s what I found:

Also, here’s a video I found that I just thought was hilarious!

Alternatives to the Oculus Go

The Oculus Go isn’t for everybody. There are some people that will want a higher-end experience and others that will want something less expensive. There is no shortage of options when it comes to VR headsets, and below are some good alternatives to the Oculus Go.

Samsung Gear VR

Sale
Samsung Gear VR w/Controller (2017) SM-R325NZVAXAR (US Version w/Warranty)
  • Be transported to amazing new worlds, in games, video and images. 360° experience. Weight 0.76lbs
  • Use the intuitive controller that comes in the box to drop, point, select and Drag with a Wave of your wrist

Last update on 2019-09-20 /  Source: Amazon Affiliates

The Gear VR is a collaboration between Samsung and Oculus. The headset is a precursor to the Go, and it works well. The headset isn’t as nice as the Go, but it works well for media consumption.

Of course, the device requires you to have a compatible Samsung phone to be able to use it. If you would like to know more about this headset, please read our Samsung Gear VR headset review.

Similarities
  • Runs Oculus software
  • Doesn’t have wires
  • Uses same style controller
Differences
  • Requires a Samsung phone to use
  • Doesn’t run as many games
  • Isn’t as “nice” as the Go

Oculus Quest

Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset - 128GB
  • All-in-one VR: No PC. No wires. No limits. Oculus Quest is an all-in-one gaming system built for virtual reality. Now you can play almost anywhere with just a VR headset and controllers.
  • Oculus Touch Controllers: Arm yourself with the award-winning Oculus Touch controllers. Your slashes, throws and grabs appear in VR with intuitive, realistic precision, transporting your hands and gestures right into the game

Last update on 2019-09-20 /  Source: Amazon Affiliates

The Quest is the newest wireless VR headset from Oculus. It is a hybrid of the Go and the Rift, as it brings higher quality games without any wires. Featuring six degrees of freedom, the Quest has no base stations or anything of that nature. It’s true wireless VR goodness.

I got some time in with a demo Quest a few weeks ago, and I fell in love. Of course, I’ll still have a place for my Go, but the Quest is a must buy.

Similarities
  • Both are wireless
  • Features the same operating system
  • Both are immersive experiences
Differences
  • Quest has six degrees of freedom. Go has three degrees of freedom
  • Quest includes better controllers
  • Battery life is better on the Quest

Google Daydream View

Google Daydream View - VR Headset (Slate)
  • Don't just see the world, experience it. With daydream view, you can teleport from virtually anywhere to Pretty much everywhere.;Handy Storage
  • Browse from an ever-growing Collection of apps and games in the daydream app - a home for all of your virtual reality experiences.

Last update on 2019-09-20 /  Source: Amazon Affiliates

The Google Daydream View VR headset is a lot like the Gear VR. It requires you to put a phone into the headset to use it. Unlike the Gear though, you can use any Android phone, rather than needing a Samsung.

The quality of the device is good, and there is decent app support. I don’t like this as much though, as I prefer the Oculus OS. If you don’t want to break the bank and don’t mind using your phone, the Daydream View is a decent alternative.

Similarities
  • Both are comfortable
  • Similar style controllers
  • Both can support Android apps
Differences
  • Requires a phone
  • Mediocre VR support
  • Fabric look on Daydream

Conclusion

I think the Oculus Go is one of the best VR headsets available. The device is my favorite purchase this year, beating out my MacBook Pro. The product is well-designed and the software is great. I’ve had great social experiences and played great games as well.

This is such a great product that I cannot see myself without it. If you’re interested in checking out the Go, you can do so at the link below.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

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