Standalone VR: Oculus vs Mirage Solo vs Vive Focus

Standalone VR systems can be divided into 2 categories: those supporting hands presence in VR and those which don’t. Lack of hands presence significantly reduces one’s ability to interact with a virtual world, so if you have gaming in mind you absolutely need it.

To go directly to the comparison tables click here.

Systems with hands presence in VR – for people interested in VR games:

  • Oculus Quest

Oculus Quest and Vive Focus Plus both feature position & orientation tracking for the headset and controllers. For that reason they are the only standalone VR systems capable to deliver the experience similar to VR on a PC.

Having said that, Vive Focus Plus is meant to be a solution for enterprise applications, so it is not clear how much push, if any, there will be to support gaming as well.


Oculus Quest standing out features:

  • reduced SDE
    Thanks to subpixels.
  • great Touch controllers (in terms of features & engagement identical to the Touch for PC)
    Still the best. Soon to be dethroned by the Valve Index controllers. Not by a wide margin though.

 

Oculus Quest weaknesses:

  • not much content
    There are only 50 games & apps confirmed for the launch, yet Oculus is committed to change it.
  • internal battery could live longer
    Buying a supplementary, external one may be a good idea, especially if you could attach it at the back of your head to balance the headset out.

 



System without hands presence in VR – for those who don’t care about VR games much, and are rather interested in media consumption on a large virtual screen:

  • Oculus Go
  • Mirage Solo
  • Vive Focus

If your IPD varies from the average 64-63 mm a lot, you won’t be happy with the first two because of the fixed distance between the lenses.

 

Pros of Oculus Go vs Mirage Solo and Vive Focus:

  • much bigger repository of games and apps
  • cheaper
  • less heavy: 468g instead of over 660
  • easier to travel with, and can be used while lying down in bed
    Straps are soft and can be easily folded. Mirage Solo and Vive Focus have a rigid band.


 

Cons of Oculus Go vs Mirage Solo and Vive Focus:

  • impossible to change the distance between the lenses to match a personal IPD
    Vive Focus has this feature.
  • no micro SD slot
    If present, it increases the storage capacity a lot.
  • using generic Android apps is problematic in comparison with Mirage Solo
    Sideloading them to the Oculus Go is a hassle.

 

If cons overweight the pros, you are better off with either Mirage Solo or Focus:

 

Pros of Mirage Solo vs Vive Focus:

  • more content
    Content for the Focus is very sparse.
  • cheaper
  • bigger internal data storage capacity: 64 GB vs 32
  • easy to use generic Android apps
    Simply install any of them using Google Play and have a go on a virtual screen.


 

Cons of Mirage Solo vs Vive Focus:

  • not possible to adjust to a personal IPD
  • controller has no trigger and no removable batteries
    When batteries die, you cannot swap them with some fresh ones, and have to charge the internal ones instead.
  • face padding cannot be detached
    It wears off and gets soaked with sweat. It’s good to be able to replace it.
  • less comfortable
  • supported micro SDs have smaller capacity: up to 256 GB instead of 2 TB for the Focus
  • no on-board speakers
    Speakers are useful only if you are on your own and can’t be bothered to deal with external headphones.

 


Comparison tables:

Use cases
Features Of Various Systems

Features of the headsets
Image quality of the headsets
Comfort of the headsets
Features of the controllers
Engagement mechanisms of the controllers



USE CASES OF STANDALONE VR SYSTEMS
Device:Oculus GoMirage SoloVive Focus
and Focus Plus
Oculus Quest
VR games & apps:All Samsung Gear VR gamesAll Daydream games & appsViveport games & apps for the Focus and/or Focus PlusGames made for it. Couldn't find any info about compatibility with Gear VR.
360 degrees videos and photos:Yes
Android apps & games on a virtual screen:Some (sideloading them is a hassle)All listed on Google Play (easy to install)It is possible to sideload them, there is no guarantee they will all work, and it's a hassleSome (sideloading them is a hassle)
2D videos on a virtual screen:Yes e.g. YouTube, NetflixYes
Steam & Steam VR:2D via Big Screen app, VR via Air Light VR or VRidge2D via Steam Link app, VR via Trinus VR or VRidge or Radeon ReLive 2D via Big Screen app, VR via Air Light VR or VRidge
Device:Oculus GoMirage SoloVive FocusVive Focus PlusOculus Quest
Limits of Steam VR on given platform:No positional tracking and high latencyLack of fully-fledged VR controllers and high latencyHigh latency (roughly 3x higher than PC VR via cable)
Compatible popular third party controllers:Xbox One S, PS4 DualShock 4, Switch ProXbox One, PS4 DualShock 4, Switch Pro, some keyboardsXbox One, PS4 DualShock 4, Switch Pro?
Pairing headset with wireless headphones:No??
Screen Casting:Yes, to smartphone, tablet or PCYes, via ChromecastYes, via MiracastChromecast
Can be used while lying in bed:YesNoYes
USE CASES OF VR FOR PC AND PS4

Use cases – comments:

Positional tracking feature of the Mirage Solo can be enabled for all Daydream games and apps, however in most cases it doesn’t add anything apart from the increased comfort (motion sickness less likely). Specifically there aren’t many games/experiences which would incorporate it as an essential feature.

Regarding the content: Samsung Gear VR repository is much bigger than Daydream, which in turn is bigger than Viveport for the Focus (very sparse). The repositories mentioned are not cross-compatible !!!

Another potential source of the content is Steam. You can stream 2D games into the headset or even have a go with some Steam VR.

In the first case (2D) you simply use a virtual screen in the headset instead of a monitor, and one of the compatible controllers (consult the table above).

Steam VR content is more tricky: there is a latency lag affecting the comfort and it makes sense only for systems which feature hands presence: Oculus Quest and Vive Focus Plus.

 



FEATURES OF STANDALONE VR HEADSETS
Device:Oculus GoMirage SoloVive Focus
and Focus Plus
Oculus Quest
Tracking:Orientation onlyPosition & orientation
Processor:Snapdragon 821Snapdragon 835
RAM (GB):34
Internal storage (GB):32 or 64643264 or 128
Ports:Micro USBUSB-C
Card Slot:NoMicro SD, up to 256 GBMicro SD, up to 2 TBNo
Connectivity:Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
On-board speakers:YesNoYes
On-board headphones:No
3.5 mm socket for external ones
No
2 x 3.5 mm sockets
Device:Oculus GoMirage SoloVive Focus
and Focus Plus
Oculus Quest
On-board microphone:Yes
Battery life (Hours):2-2.53.5-432-2.5
Charging time (Hours):31.3?2
Removable face padding:YesNoYes
Manual adjustment to IPD:NoYesYes
58–72 mm
Buttons:Power, Volume RockerPower, Volume, Visor Adjustment Button, Headband Adjustment DialPower, Volume, Headband Adjustment DialPower, Volumer Rocker, IPD slider
FEATURES OF VR HEADSETS FOR PC AND PS4

Features of the headsets – comments:

The processor of the Mirage Solo, Focus and Quest: Snapdragon 835 is ~27% faster and consumes ~40% less energy than the Snapdragon 821.

Oculus Go and Mirage Solo don’t have a manual IPD adjustment. It means that the distance between the lenses is fixed, so if your IPD differs much from the average 63-64 mm, you won’t be a happy bunny.

Another feature affecting the comfort is the way the headset is attached to the head. Each headset follows a different philosophy. The general principles are described elsewhere.

Oculus Go, Quest and Vive Focus have a pair of speakers, so you don’t need any headphones. If you choose not to disturb people around you, just plug your headphones into the 3.5 mm socket, and the speakers will be automatically turned off.

Finally, it’s worth to mention that Oculus advises against using the Go during charging. This advice is not applicable to the Oculus Quest, however having it tethered obviously violates its standalone nature. Using a couple of battery packs, which you can swap when low, would be a preferable solution for longer sessions.



FEATURES OF CONTROLLERS FOR STANDALONE VR SYSTEMS
Oculus GoMirage SoloVive FocusVive Focus PlusOculus Quest
Both hands involved:No, single controllerYes, 2 identical controllersYes, left & right controller
Tracking:Orientation onlyPosition & orientation
ultrasonic tracking performed by the headset
Position & orientation
tracking performed by 4 cameras installed in the headset
Powered by removable batteries:Yes, single AANoYes, two AAAYes, single AA per controller
Battery life (hours):?1230430-20
FEATURES OF VR CONTROLLERS FOR PC AND PS4


ENGAGEMENT MECHANISMS OF CONTROLLERS FOR STANDALONE VR SYSTEMS
Oculus GoMirage SoloVive FocusVive Focus PlusOculus Quest
Touchpad:YesNo
Thumb-stick:NoYes
on both controllers
Trigger:YesNoYesTwo triggers on both controllers
(index and middle fingers)
Grip button:No
Action Buttons:NoX and Y on the left controller, A and B on the right one
Other buttons:Back, homeBack, home, volumeApp button, home, volumeMenu & home buttons on each controllerMenu button on each controller
Touch SensorsNoYes
Haptic Feedback
(vibrations)
No?Yes
ENGAGEMENT MECHANISMS OF VR CONTROLLERS FOR PC AND PS4


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