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Oculus Go on the go

We wear Facebook's $199 standalone VR headset on our face.

Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott Stein
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
SarahTewHS2012urbanSuare01.jpg
SarahTewHS2012urbanSuare01.jpg
Sarah Tew Senior Editor / Photography
I'm a visual storyteller, working primarily in the medium of photography and photoshop. I listen to more podcasts than I can keep up with and enjoy gardening, cooking, reading, and am striving for a sustainable lifestyle. A big-picture thinker, I am always trying to put the pieces together, and though things are scary these days, I believe humanity will pull through.
Scott Stein
Sarah Tew
Oculus Go
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Oculus Go is a $199, fully standalone VR headset. It's the first of its kind.

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A headset, and a controller. That's everything you need, no phone or PC required.

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The Go does pair with a phone (Android or iPhone), but only to help set it up and make adjusting settings easier. You can also look at photos from your phone in VR.

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There are PC-connected tethered VR headsets (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift on the left) and ones that work with smartphones (Google Daydream View, Samsung Gear VR, right). Oculus Go is in the middle: It has a similar headset design to Rift, but the function of Gear VR.

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Of course, I tried wearing it outdoors.

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Which you can do. But people will stare.

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Go isn't really a "wear on the go" device. But you could set it up and stand anywhere, and experience VR just fine.

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But you need to be standing still, or turning. Go lacks full motion-tracking for walking or leaning.

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The headset feels great: the foam padding is comfy and the lenses have been redesigned.

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The Go comes with a spacer for eyeglass-wearers to add a little more room inside.

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Side straps and a top strap, but the top strap is removable if you wish.

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The goggles press in on your face, but it's cozy and didn't fog up my glasses like some headsets.

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Oculus Go doesn't support Bluetooth headsets, but there's a headphone jack. Or, you could use the very good built-in speakers.

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Browsing apps on the phone app. Many are similar to what's been on Samsung Gear VR for years.

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The included controller has a trigger, a clickable touchpad and two top buttons.. but no volume control (that's on the headset). It has motion controls for pointing and twisting the controller, like Apple TV or a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con.

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The visuals look good: The LCD display is crisp and doesn't look as fuzzy as some headsets.

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There isn't a focus-adjustment dial like Gear VR, but I didn't need one.

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The Oculus app also helps alert you of upcoming events and flags those you're interested in or might be interested in.

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The remote uses an AA battery, no recharging needed.

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The headset recharges via Micro USB. A power adapter's included.

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The speaker holes are cleverly embedded in the stiff side straps, and pipe spatial audio near each ear. It's like wearing 3D headphones.

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A power button and volume buttons live on the headset.

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You won't look cool with this on.

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I connected with west coast colleague Sean Hollister in Oculus Rooms, a social meeting zone with a TV for viewing Facebook videos and a game table. The chat sounds good with the included speakers and microphones.

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There are already hundreds of apps, so plenty of options. But I'm not sure there are many killer apps that would make you rethink VR.

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And that's the one problem: Oculus Go isn't a whole new VR revolution.

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But its price, at $199, is the best for an all-in experience.

(That $199 roughly converts to £150 or AU$255.)

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If you have a VR-ready smartphone, you don't need Oculus Go. But it's the best way to try stationary VR and 360-degree videos in a compact package.

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And you don't need to stick your phone in a headset.

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The Oculus app controls headset settings. It's helpful.

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My max time I can wear VR is about an hour.

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I need an eye break afterward.

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More phone app pics.

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One warning: Be careful using a VR headset in bright sun. Don't expose your headset's lenses to sunlight.

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I did by accident, and damaged the display. This happens with VR headsets.

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Don't do this, ever.

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