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Pico 4 or Quest 2: Meta Quest 2's First Competitor

The new Pico 4 headset challenges Meta's throne of 2 years. Pico 4 has advantages in some areas, but you may want to wait until the Meta Quest 3 comes out. 

Mini-golf, table tennis, putting together a 3D puzzle and shooting zombies with a bow and arrow are some of the activities you can indulge in when using the Quest 2, although this time you may consider trying the Pico 4 VR headset provided by ByteDance. 

Display / design: A Quest 2 upgrade 


The slimmed-down Pico 4 headset design, which uses a new type of pancake lens, shrinks down the front of the headset. The Pico 4 still feels like VR goggles, but it's notably more compact on the face. Unfortunately, like the Quest 2, the foam-covered headset eyepiece doesn't quite fit over extra-wide glasses. 

There is a battery on the back of the adjustable head strap balances the weight out more, letting the headset rest lighter on the head. While The Quest 2 in comparison, comes with an elastic head strap that feels less comfy but more compact. There are also optional add-on head straps for the Quest 2, including Meta's Elite Strap, that are closer to the Pico design. The headset slides on and off easily, with the front angling up a bit so it feels like you’re able to dip into VR much faster than on the Quest 2. 


The headset's LCD displays have a 2,160 x 2,160-pixel resolution per eye, which is better than the Quest 2's 1,832x1,920-pixel displays. The refresh rate can go up to 90Hz if you enable it in the settings, but it won't allow 120Hz yet like the Quest 2 can. The field of view in the headset is wider than the Quest 2 with 105 degrees, so panoramas in games may feel a little less like you're peering through a scuba mask. 

The passthrough cameras, which show your surroundings on the headset display are also more precise compared with the Quest 2's grainier black and white. While you could look around an office with the headset on and see greater detail, there are drawbacks, for example: While the Pico 4 has a similar draw-your-play-area boundary setup that can be used with the headset on, there aren't any popular VR applications we could find that use it. The Fruit Ninja game on the Pico app store has a passthrough-enabled mode, but the VR aspects didn't line up with the real world, as they were just layered on top.  

Battery Life 

The Pico 4 charges via USB-C, just like the Quest 2, and battery life is expected to be around two to three hours. So far, it's lasted about that long. 

Controllers: Familiar feel 

The included controllers have a similar button layout to the Quest 2, including two raised buttons, two flat buttons, an analogue stick, and two grip triggers. A raised plastic ring above the controller enables tracking with the headset's built-in cameras, but the position of the ring is different, arcing down instead of up in a loop.  

The controllers use two AA batteries each and so far, have had good battery life. Pico 4’s Vibrating haptics in the controllers sometimes feel a bit punchier than the Quest 2, but not as detailed or realistic as on the upcoming Quest Pro and PlayStation VR 2. 

App library and software extras: Mixed bag 

The Pico app system seems like a smaller version of what Meta's Quest app store offers, which is one of the biggest downsides to the headset. A lot of familiar favourites are here, including Walkabout Mini Golf, Demeo, Eleven Table Tennis, Red Matter and plenty of other games. But there are plenty of missing games, such as Meta-owned titles like Beat Saber and Population One, but also Resident Evil 4, Moss, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge and many other games. The Quest 2 wins on game selection, since the Pico 4 offers no true exclusives of its own to make up for the losses. 

The Pico 4 can connect to a PC and be a PC VR headset, much like the Quest 2, but the Pico lacks the phone-connected extras, like phone notifications and even Meta's Facebook hook-ins. So far, we aren’t sure what Pico's counter-solutions will be. 

As far as fitness, there are some apps like LesMills Body Combat and OhShape, but Beat Saber and the popular subscription app Supernatural aren't here. Body tracker accessories are promised next year by Pico, which sound like they may allow extra full-body fitness options that the Quest 2 currently lacks, but it's hard to tell how good they'll be when or if they arrive, or what apps they'll work with.