Reviews

Is the Pico 4 worth it? An alternative to the Meta Quest 2

Picture of the Pico 4

The Pico 4 is a portable and high-quality virtual reality headset from the popular Pico series by AAXA Technologies. It has a compact and lightweight design, powerful performance, and wide compatibility with VR content. Some potential drawbacks of the Pico 4 include its limited battery life and software that lags behind its competitors.

Verdict

8
Resolution and Performance:
8
Tracking:
8
Game Library:
6
Comfort:
9
Value for money:
9
ProsCons
CheapShort battery life when playing in standalone mode
Light and comfortableSoftware and Game library lacking
Great specs
Fantastic if you plan on using it for PCVR

Pico 4 vs Meta Quest 2 Performance

In terms of performance, the Pico 4 has a 4320 x 2160 total resolution, offering 4K clarity for sharper images, with a wider FOV at 105 degrees. It also has a 90Hz refresh rate, which provides smooth and immersive visuals. On paper the Pico appears to be the clear winner. The Pico 4 also has color passthrough, which allows you to see your surroundings in detail without taking off the headset. However, the passthrough is not as sophisticated as what the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro can achieve.

SpecificationPico 4Meta Quest 2
Weight586 grams (balanced)503g (front loaded)
Resolution2160 x 2160 pixels per eye1832 x 1920 pixels per eye
Lens typePancake LensFast-Switch LCD Display
Refresh rate72 Hz, 90Hz60 Hz, 72 Hz, 90 Hz
Field of view105 degrees90 degrees
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon XR2Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
RAM8 GB LPDDR46GB
Storage128GB or 256GB128GB or 256GB
Battery life2.5 hours3 hours
Pico 4 vs Meta Quest 2

Design and comfort

The Pico 4 has a unique design that sets it apart from other VR headsets on the market. It looks like a pair of ski goggles, with a white and grey color scheme that is similar to the Meta Quest 2. The front of the headset is opaque black glass, giving it a futuristic appearance. The Pico 4 is also significantly thinner than the Meta Quest 2, with a smaller plastic casing at the front that reduces the pressure on your neck after extended periods of gaming.

This slim and lightweight design has been made possible by the internal pancake lens, which takes up less space than traditional lenses and allows manufacturers to shrink the size of the headset. The Pico 4 is 163mm wide and weighs 295g without the strap, making it one of the lightest VR headsets available.

The Pico 4 is also incredibly easy to put on and adjust. Simply adjust the dial at the back and you can loosen and tighten the headset to fit snugly around your skull. There is one velcro strap, but it rarely needs to be adjusted. The Pico 4 also has cameras on the front to track your movement and enable a color passthrough sight so you can see your surroundings without taking off the headset.

Controllers

Picture of pico 4 controllers
Pico 4 controllers

The Pico 4’s controllers are similar to those of the Meta Quest 2, allowing you to mimic real-life hand movements. However, they require AA batteries to function, whereas the Meta Quest 2’s controllers are rechargeable. The Pico 4’s controllers also have an extra button for your middle finger, which can be used for extra in-game control.

Pico 4 Game Library

One potential drawback of the Pico 4 is its limited game library. It includes some of the best Meta Quest 2 games, but it lacks some heavy hitters that are only available on Meta’s hardware. This means that the Pico 4 may not offer as much value in the long term as the Meta Quest 2. The Pico 4 is also not available everywhere, and is currently only sold in the UK, Europe, and parts of Asia. We’ve compiled a list of the Pico 4’s top games on offer right now.

How to connect the Pico 4 to a PC

The benefits of connecting the Pico 4 to your PC are that you can access a much larger game library than what is available on the standalone headset. You can play almost any VR game imaginable on your Pico 4 when it is connected to a PC. Take a look at some of the best PCVR games. You also get to chose if you would like to connect via USB or Wifi.

Using Streaming Assistant (Free)

  1. To connect the Pico 4 to your PC via USB, you will need a USB-C cable. We recommend using a high-quality cable, such as the 5m USB-C cable from Syntech, which is specifically designed for use with the Pico 4. If you chose the Wifi option you should connect you PC via ethernet cable directly to the router and your Pico 4 to the router via 5Ghz network.
  2. Once you have the cable, simply connect the type-A end to a USB 3.0 or higher port on your PC and the USB-C end to the headset. You may want to use the included velcro cable tidy to add strain relief and route the cable behind you. Skip this step if using wifi.
  3. Next, you’ll need to install Pico’s Streaming Assistant app on your PC. This can be downloaded from the brand’s website.
  4. Once installed, open the app and choose the USB or the wifi connection option. Click the settings cog at the top right and change the display mode to HD to ensure the best quality.
  5. Put on your Pico headset, go to your library, select apps, and open Streaming Assistant. Click the connect button next to your PC’s name on the right-hand side, and you should be ready to play.

Using Virtual Desktop (Paid)

For those that want better performance Virtual Desktop offers a range of configurable settings that can be adjusted to optimize the quality of the VR experience. This includes settings such as the bitrate, render resolution, and other visual and audio settings and can lead to an overall better experience when playing PCVR titles.

  1. Install the Virtual Desktop app on your Pico 4 headset. You can find it in the Pico store and it will cost around $20.
  2. Download and install the Virtual Desktop Streamer app on your PC. You can download it from the Virtual Desktop website.
  3. Open the Virtual Desktop Streamer app on your PC. You will be prompted to enter your Pico username. If you have multiple users, each user will need their own copy of Virtual Desktop.
  4. Open the Virtual Desktop app on your headset. You should see the name of your computer in the right-hand menu.
  5. Select your computer’s name and hit the “connect” button to establish a connection between the headset and the PC.
  6. Once connected, you can use the Virtual Desktop app to control your PC and access its content from the headset. You can also adjust the various settings in the app to optimize the quality of the VR experience.

Is the Pico 4 worth it?

Overall, the Pico 4 is a strong contender in the VR headset market. It has a compact and lightweight design, high-resolution display, and good performance. If you plan on mostly using it for PCVR sprinkled in with a small amount of stand alone gaming its definitely worth its, probably the best headset on the market for that use case. However, its limited game library and software issues may make it less appealing to some users and they would be better off with an Oculus Quest 2.