It’s been more than two years since the Oculus—er, Meta—Quest 2 debuted. Since then, a lot has happened; a lot of things have changed.
Above image: Created with Painting VR
Case in point: the Oculus Quest 2 is now the Meta Quest 2. The base model now comes with 128GB of internal storage—twice as much as the original.
The Quest 2's original foam facial covering, which turned out to be a potential skin irritant to a small percentage of users, was replaced with a hypoallergenic silicone cover.
And then there are the software updates.
A week before its second birthday, the Quest 2 received its 46th new software build. These weren’t all small updates, either. Many of the new builds dramatically enhanced the Quest 2’s functionality and performance, so much so that compared to the day-one headset, you’re basically looking at a brand-new device.
Yet, despite its shifting sobriquet and (seemingly) never-ending stream of software updates, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the Quest 2’s overall ranking. It is, by whatever name you want to call it, still the best VR headset in the world.
Meta Quest 2: Design
Before the Meta Quest 2, most VR headsets were on the bulkier side of the design spectrum. Even the Quest 2’s revolutionary predecessor, the original Oculus Quest, had a bit of heft to it. The Quest 2 changed all of that.
Not only is the Quest 2 headset 10 percent lighter than its predecessor, but it also weighs dramatically less than rival headsets like the Vive Focus 3 and Pico 4. That reduced weight, combined with a totally wireless and unencumbered footprint, the soft silicone face cover, and a soft, adjustable head strap make the Meta Quest 2 very comfortable to wear.
In addition to being more comfortable, the Meta Quest 2 is also more aesthetically pleasing. Gone is the all-black, space-military chic color tone. In its place is a uniform light gray body with a black foam mask that’s nicer to look at. The hand controllers, too, are also now light gray.
The new color palette goes well with the Quest 2’s sleek, minimalist design, which is further complemented by its sparse button and port layout. You’ll find a power button and volume rocker on the right side of the headset and a USB-C port and headphone jack on the left—that's all.
You can adjust the spacing of the Meta Quest 2's lenses with three different viewing settings by pinching them or spreading them out manually right within the inside of the headset, eliminating the need for the switch that sat at the bottom of the original Quest.
If you need to adjust the spacing of the lenses, you can do so manually by pinching the lenses or spreading them out within the inside of the headset. The manual operation replaces the adjustment switch that was on the original Oculus Quest.
Meta Quest 2: Hardware & Specs
Compared to its predecessor, the Meta Quest 2 features significantly improved hardware. Its screen resolution, for example, is now 1832 x 1920 per eye, which is up from the original’s 1440 x 1600 offering. The improved resolution definitely has a noticeable effect on in-game graininess, as well as the overall picture quality.
Along with the improved screen resolution, the Meta Quest 2’s refresh rate is also dramatically better. Originally, the Quest 2 shipped with the same moderate 72 Hz refresh rate as its predecessor. However, in the two years since its release, multiple firmware updates have boosted the Quest 2’s refresh rate up to 120 Hz for some games and apps, and 90 Hz for most others.
One of the most interesting things about the Oculus Quest 2’s hardware is its new chipset. Whereas the original Oculus Quest does just fine with its general-use Snapdragon 835 processor, the Oculus Quest 2 comes with its own VR-specific chip, the Snapdragon XR2 from Qualcomm.
According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon XR2 doubles CPU and GPU performance of the Snapdragon 835. It facilitates AI processing that’s 11x as fast and supports 6x the video resolution. Combined with the upgraded 6GB of RAM, the Quest 2 offers a noticeable performance boost over its predecessor. Everything runs a lot smoother and UX response was, on the whole, much snappier.
Meta Quest 2: Games & Apps
Although a lot of attention gets paid to VR games, the Meta Quest 2 is far more than just a gaming device. The Quest 2 catalogue features an incredibly deep and diverse collection of titles to choose from, including entertainment, fitness, productivity, and creativity apps.
Of course, the Quest 2's gaming collection is first-rate as well. AAA titles like Resident Evil 4 and the newly released Among Us VR showcase the Quest 2's ability to deliver incredibly immersive VR experiences. And thanks to a higher display resolution and superior processor than its predecessor, everything on the Meta Quest 2 looks and feels better. Graphics are smoother. There’s significantly less blurring, especially along the edges, and the response times, in general, just feel snappier.
In addition to its vast gaming library, the Meta Quest 2 also offers a large selection of entertainment and productivity apps. Stand atop Mount Everest in a 360-degree via YouTube VR video. Attend a virtual concert or ride a virtual rollercoaster in the Oculus TV app. There are even productivity apps like Spatial that provide an impressively robust virtual workspace for collaborating on documents and 3D models. Or you can use Virtual Deskt Desktop to literally port over your entire PC into an immersive VR environment.
Meta Quest 2: Verdict
When the Oculus Quest 2 first debuted, people were quick to crown it the king of VR. In the two years since its coronation, a lot has changed: the VR landscape has continued to evolve and expand at a blistering pace; VR competition has grown and become more sophisticated; and the Oculus brand, for all intents and purposes, is no more.
And yet, none of that seems to matter. At least, not in terms of challenging the Quest 2’s supremacy. Two years since it first hit the market and the Quest 2 still the best VR headset around.
True, the Oculus moniker is dead and buried, and with it goes the Oculus Quest 2. But the Meta Quest 2 is alive and doing quite well in its stead. The king of VR is dead, long live the king!
Share your thoughts or ask us any questions you have in the Comments section, below.