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Oculus Quest 2: How the VR Headset Compares to the First Quest

The new $299 Quest 2 is better, less expensive, and we put it side by side with the original.

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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.
Scott Stein
Oculus Quest 2
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The Oculus Quest 2 is a rare gadget sequel: The self-contained Facebook VR headset-slash-game-console is less expensive ($299/£299/AU$479), faster, lighter, and better. But how different is it from the first Quest?

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The Quest 2 has the same apps and interface as the 2019 Quest. But its insides are all new.

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There are revamped controllers with better battery life, but they still use AA batteries.

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The Quest 2 has a far better Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, which allows better graphics and 90hz refresh rate for future games and apps.

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The same four tracking cameras scan rooms and allow free movement in space when playing, but the Quest 2 could evolve better hand tracking and room awareness down the road.

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The headset's lighter and smaller, and the head straps are different, too. They're elastic and floppy now, making them easier to pack down.

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The inner LCD display is higher-res, and visuals are far less pixelated. But black levels are less black.

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The controllers are almost a bit too big. Playing Beat Saber felt different.

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There's more resting space for fingers.

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The Quest 2 controllers are fantastic, though.

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The eye area is a little tight for my glasses, but Facebook sells separate sizing kits.

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The Quest 2 charges via USB-C, and there's a single headphone jack (but there's also audio pumped through mini speakers on the headstraps).

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Eye distance can be adjusted to one of three settings by pulling the eyepieces farther apart or pushing them together.

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Quest 2 apps also play on Quest, but the new headset could develop more advanced games.

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You also need a Facebook account to use the Quest 2. It's mandatory. While Oculus VR doesn't feel like normal Facebook, I wish there were a way to use it without logging into Facebook.

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USB-C cables connected to a PC can turn the Quest 2 into a capable PC VR headset, which is a nice bonus.

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Battery life lasts about 2 to 3 hours, and recharging takes a while (a couple of hours).

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The Oculus Quest 2 (left) compared to the original Quest (right). The original Quest had more rigid headstraps, which you can now buy separately.

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The Quest 2 controller (left) and the original Quest controller (right). Note that the original is actually smaller.

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The two headsets still look similar.

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The Quest 2 feels like an impressive revision of last year's headset, and at a lower price it's a shockingly good value. But that Facebook login is something you'll have to accept, or find another VR platform to use instead.

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