Meta Quest 2 vs Pico 4 – which is better?

Here's the rundown of the Meta Quest 2 vs the Pico 4

Meta Quest 2 vs Pico 4 - which is better? Image shows the text "Meta Quest 2 vs Pico 4 - which is better?" with the Quest 2 and Pico 4 headsets and a red VS sign, on a blue gradient background.

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Let’s weigh up the Meta Quest 2 vs Pico 4.

Since its release in 2020, the Meta Quest 2 has been the go-to choice for virtual reality enthusiasts. With its wireless design, extensive app store, and affordable price, it revolutionized the VR industry and made it more accessible. However, ByteDance, the creator of the infamous social media app TikTok, has recently entered the VR market with its first consumer-focused wireless VR headset, the Pico 4. Both devices are reasonably priced yet are full-featured. But when they go head-to-head, which device comes out on top?

In this article, we’ll be comparing the Pico 4 and the Meta Quest 2 in terms of their specs, design, display, hardware, tracking, and software. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of which virtual reality headset is the better option for you.

Meta Quest 2 vs Pico 4 – specifications comparison

SpecificationsPico 4Quest 2
Screen TypeLCDLED
Resolution2160 x 2160 per eye1832×1920 per eye
Refresh Rate90Hz75Hz, 90Hz
Field of View105 degrees96 degrees
RAM8GB6GB
ProcessorSnapdragon XR2 Gen 1Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1
SensorsAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Vibration SensorAccelerometer, Gyroscope
Tracking4 Cameras, 6DOF Inside out tracking4 Cameras, 6DOF Inside out tracking
Weight586g503g
AudioIntegrated 360 surrounding stereo speakers, supporting 3D spatial sound, Dual MicrophoneBuilt-in Microphone, Stereo Headphone Jack
Controllers2 x 6DoF broadband haptic motion controllersQuest 2 controllers

Design and Comfort

In terms of design, the Pico 4 seems to have drawn inspiration from the Meta Quest 2, previously known as the Oculus Quest, but has made it a bit more sleek. Both headsets have a similar light-colored aesthetic, and their controllers and head straps share a similar shape. However, the Pico 4 appears less bulky compared to the Meta Quest 2, thanks to its next-generation lens technology that allows for closer placement of the display and lenses. 

Additionally, the Pico 4 features a battery located on the strap, while the Meta Quest 2 has all the hardware components in the front box. This gives the Pico Neo 4 an overall better weight distribution, providing a feeling of comfort and balance compared to the Quest, which has the weight mostly at the front of the headset and can be a bit cumbersome to wear for long periods. Due to this downfall, the Quest 2 has many comfort modifications available, including the Elite Strap from Meta as well as third-party accessories. However, these come at a cost, whereas you could describe the Pico as essentially coming with an Elite head strap included, giving it an advantage in terms of comfort to price ratio.

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Display Quality

The display quality is a crucial aspect of any VR headset, as it directly affects the immersion and visual experience. The Pico 4 outshines the Meta Quest 2 in terms of display specifications. It features a higher resolution of 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye, compared to the Meta Quest 2’s 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye. This higher resolution translates to sharper and more detailed visuals in virtual reality environments.

Additionally, the pancake lenses in the Pico are a big upgrade to the fresnel lenses featured in the Quest 2, and are part of the reason the Pico is so much more streamlined and lightweight compared to the Quest. However, that’s not all there is. As well as excelling in display quality, it reigns superior in display adjustment with its adjustable IPD (inter-pupillary distance): this is a high-end feature not even present in the Quest Pro, allowing users precise granular eye adjustment for premium experiences with the device.

In terms of passthrough, the Pico once again has the upper hand with its 16 megapixels and full RGB high-quality color passthrough as opposed to the Quest’s black and white. However, Pico 4’s passthrough cameras aren’t yet depth-correct, which the Meta Quest has achieved. Neither headset has eye-tracking or mixed reality features, but that’s expected as those high-end features tend to come at high-end price points.

Hardware and RAM

Both the Pico 4 and the Meta Quest 2 are powered by the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 processor, which was considered a cutting-edge mobile processor at the time of their release. However, the Pico 4 edges ahead in terms of RAM, with 8GB compared to the Meta Quest 2’s 6GB. This additional RAM storage allows for smoother gameplay and more complex VR experiences on the Pico 4.

Overall, these figures pale in comparison to the 12GB RAM of the Meta Quest Pro. We’ve got the rundown of the Meta Quest Pro vs the Pico 4 here to see how the Pico goes up against the high-end competition.

Tracking

When it comes to tracking, both headsets utilize four built-in cameras for 6DOF inside-out tracking. This tracking system enables precise and accurate movement detection when using the controllers, providing an immersive VR experience. The Pico 4 has made a slight modification to its controller design, moving the LED “ring” to improve usability and prevent collisions between the controllers. Both VR controllers are powered by two AA batteries.

In terms of hand tracking, the Quest takes the cake. When using the Quest, you can navigate the interface and in-game menus without the need for a controller, just using your fingers to point then pinching to select. At the time of writing, the Pico 4 doesn’t support hand tracking.

Software and Content

While the Pico 4 excels in hardware specifications, the Meta Quest 2 still holds a significant advantage when it comes to software and content. Meta, the company behind the Meta Quest 2, has invested heavily in developing a diverse range of VR games and experiences for their headset. The Meta Quest 2’s app store is filled with hundreds of games, videos, and other applications, including popular titles like Bonelab, Beat Saber, Vader Immortal, and Resident Evil.

On the other hand, the Pico 4’s app store is relatively limited in comparison, although it does have some exclusive titles, such as Just Dance VR. It may take time for the Pico 4’s library to catch up to Meta’s extensive collection. Currently, the Meta Quest 2 remains the go-to choice for those seeking a wide variety of VR experiences.

Conclusion – Meta Quest 2 vs Pico 4

The Pico 4 and the Meta Quest 2 are both excellent wireless VR headsets, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The Pico 4 shines in terms of hardware specifications, offering a pancake lens, higher resolution, a wider field of view, and even more RAM. The Meta Quest 2, on the other hand, surpasses the Pico 4 in terms of software and content availability, with a vast library of popular VR games and experiences. For those looking for an affordable introduction to virtual reality, we’ve got you covered with our picks of the best cheap VR headset in 2023. However, with the Meta Quest 3 soon to come onto the market, the Quest 2 did receive a price reduction to boost sales of the device.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.