philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Oculus Go review: should you buy it?



The Oculus Go features next-generation Fresnel lenses, 110° (diagonal) FOV and a fast-switch 2,560 × 1,440 LCD display. The refresh rate is 60Hz, but some apps can run in 72Hz mode. Technical stuff apart, the graphical quality appears as “good enough”.


I just want to point out one thing: the Oculus Go is a device with limited functionalities: I mean, it is just an improved version of the Gear VR, it offers a 3 DOF headset with a 3 DOF controller. It has no positional tracking, no mixed reality possibilities, no hands tracking, nothing. It offers the bare minimum functionalities for a VR headset to be enjoyable.

Anyway, they offer few functionalities but offer them very well: for instance, there are facilities to record video, stream them to Facebook, connect with your VR friends, etc…

User interface

The internal interface is almost identical to the one of Gear VR. I think that we have still to design proper UX for virtual reality and the current ones are far from perfect… but anyway, the Go internal interface is usable and does its job pretty well. There are various tabs on the lower part of the VR space that let you select various functionalities of the device: explore and run the apps (on the store or in your library), manage your VR friends and meet them, record or stream videos and set the various settings. In front of you, you can see the content relative to the tab you chose.

I found the UI very neat and I immediately learned how to use it. I guess that a first-time VR user would need some time to get used to VR selection process, but in the end, he/she could understand that easily anyway.


Buy the Go if:

  • You offer consultancies in VR, like me: for companies that want to make a showcase of their products in VR during exhibitions, the Go is fantastic. The customer has to pay only $300 for VR station, while with Gear VR it would have been $800 for a station, considering also the price of the phone. So you must have this device to be able to offer these solutions. In any case, if you are a professional, you should own at least a Go to show your customers;
  • You want to start developing for VR, but don’t have the money to buy other more expensive devices. In this case, I would tell you to consider the Go or Windows Mixed Reality tethered headsets, that are often discounted at ridiculous prices (like $200 for Lenovo or Acer headsets). Consider that WMR have the advantage that you can develop on a PC, that is much easier than developing for a standalone;
  • You believe in the Oculus Store platform and so want to target the Go with your products;
  • You are intrigued by VR and want a device that lets you try what it is without hassles;
  • You want to try VR, but you have very little technical knowledge;
  • You had this idea of buying a Gear VR: in that case, buy a Go: it is much better and most probably will substitute it on the long run;
  • You want just to immerse in VR once in a while and spend your time with casual gaming, social experiences, and 360 videos.

Don’t buy the Go, instead, if for you the more features the better.

See the full review here:

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