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The best virtual reality devices for all budgets

We have tested the best virtual reality (VR) devices, subjecting them to performance tests, ease of use and other important features to ensure that they are. And it is that virtual reality can have a long way and, although for now nothing beats the Oculus Quest, that does not mean that there are no solid alternatives, especially in different categories, such as mobile devices or consoles.

Oculus Quest

The best ever

best virtual reality devices oculus quest

Why should you buy it? It is an accessible and high quality virtual reality device.

Who is it for? For almost anyone. However, high-level PC players may want to look elsewhere.

Why do we choose the Oculus Quest? One of the biggest obstacles to the adoption of virtual reality is the ease of use. Oculus Quest solves almost all the problems we face for people to buy their own VR devices. It does not require any external sensor, it has the total freedom of movement of six degrees, motion controllers and – best of all – is that it does not need cables that tie you to a PC. Is almost perfect.

The Quest is also designed for easy setup. The "Guardin" boundary designation process is simple and intuitive, and almost immediately you get involved in joyful scenarios that involve removing ping pong balls and grabbing blocks to help new users plunge into the virtual world.

However, they are not perfect, since in some cases we consider that they are not as powerful as those headphones connected to the PC, and their exclusive use of tracking sensors (often called inside-out tracking) means that you can lose sight of your hands if you place them behind your back or get too close to something.

The Oculus Quest is also affordable. While you can get a first-generation Oculus Rift for the same cost with the full power of a modern PC behind it, you don't need to pay for a PC for games with Quest. That, combined with all its innovations, makes it the best VR device you can buy.

HTC Live

The best for PC

HTC Live | The best virtual reality devices

Why should you buy it?It is the best virtual reality device of the moment.

Who is it for? To those looking for a complete virtual reality experience at a good price.

Why do we choose HTC Live? Even with the Vive Pro available, the original device developed by HTC and Valve continues to deliver the most complete and accessible virtual reality experience. The HTC Vive is designed specifically for rooms and has a huge library of games. Most importantly: it is available at an affordable price.

The two OLED screens offer a combined resolution of 2,160 x 1,200 pixels, with a refresh rate of 90Hz and a 720p camera to track and detect obstacles. The device also includes a pair of motion controllers, two headlamp trackers and a pair of headphones.

The tracked space starts at 5 x 6.5 feet (1.5 x 2 meters) and reaches 16 x 16 feet (4.8 x 4.8 meters) with the two sensors. You can walk freely, and even bend over and lean in the corners to see closer. It is incredibly enveloping and avoids previous problems, such as dizziness. Vive motion controllers are intuitive, equipped with a few buttons and a powerful touch panel that allows precise movements and configurations.

The recently announced Oculus Rift S offers the greatest competition to the reign of Vive as one of the best virtual reality devices, but we will not know until we test it.

Oculus Go

The most economical virtual reality device

Oculus Go | The best virtual reality devices

Why should you buy it? It offers an entry level virtual reality experience at an excellent price.

Who is it for?New virtual reality users who don't want to be tied to anything.

Why do we choose the Oculus Go? Most mobile virtual reality viewers need some smart phone of a specific brand, type or size to act as a screen and processor, but that does not happen with the Oculus Go. It has everything incorporated and offers hours of virtual reality without ties, at a lower price than the main offers.

Its only limitation is the three degrees of freedom. What does this mean? That you cannot visualize moving forward and backward or up and down. But you can follow the inclination and orientation, making it ideal for seated virtual reality experiences. It has a comfortable and well designed fit. While there are better viewers, none offer their level of functionality at the same price.

Oculus Go may have limitations, but it gives users an optimized virtual reality experience, which becomes a great starting point for newcomers to the world of virtual reality.

Merge VR

The best for iPhone

best iphone virtual reality devices

Why should you buy it? It is a simple and affordable starting point for mobile virtual reality.

Who is it for? Smart phone users who want to get an economic idea of ​​how virtual reality is.

Why do we choose the Merge VR? Merge VR offers a device compatible with iPhone and Android devices, and supports anything that measures between 123 mm and 158 mm. If you're still not sure, you can check VRTestNinja to find out.

It comes with its own headband, inputs for the left and right buttons, an adjustable IPD for the integrated lenses and a field of view of 96 degrees. Made of a flexible and rubber material, Merge VR is also incredibly durable, water resistant and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.

You will find much better VR experiences with the other headphones in this guide, but if you want to take a quick look at the potential of VR, or like watching 360-degree videos, the Merge VR headset is a great place to start.

HTC Live Pro

The best for movies

HTC Live Pro | The best virtual reality devices

Why should you buy it? It has a powerful gaming computer and offers the highest quality experience.

Who is it for? Anyone who has a powerful VR computer, and who does not mind investing good dollars.

Why do we choose HTC Vive Pro? The Live Pro is the best device on the market, but also one of the most expensive. Your $ 800 dollars will go up to at least $ 1,100 dollars if you need controllers and sensors, which is likely to happen if you don't have an HTC Vive. What do you get in return? An exceptional virtual reality experience.

The Vive Pro surpasses the original Vive in almost everything: it is more comfortable, it is better balanced, but the most important thing is that it has two high resolution screens that provide unmatched details, with a “screen door effect” – when you can distinguish pixel lines – drastically reduced.

The original Vive has two screens of 1,080 1,200 pixels, one for each eye, to reach a maximum resolution of 2,160 1,200 pixels. The Vive Pro increases the total resolution to 2,880 1,600 pixels, or 1,400 1,600 pixels per eye. Like any video game, at higher resolution the graphics look more clean and clean. The increased resolution also amples the effective visual range of the devices.

Although the Vive Pro is at the top as one of the best virtual reality devices, its high price subtracts points because its new features do not compensate for the higher cost. The new options, such as the valve index, will give the Vive Pro a greater challenge to the crown of the best premium virtual reality devices.

You must wait?

If you still don't have a high-end gaming computer or PlayStation 4, the price is still quite high. You should think about spending around $ 1,000 or more. If that seems like a lot to you, there are a lot of Windows Mixed Reality devices that you can consider, but none has particularly impressed us. And if you're ready to take the plunge, there are enough games and experiences, as long as you choose one of the best virtual reality devices, such as Live, Rift, Oculus Go or PSVR. But if you have doubts about the future of this technology, it may not be a bad idea to wait.

How we test the devices

We begin by knowing everything we can about virtual reality devices, often before we test it. When we have it in our hands, we play as many titles as possible and push the hardware into awkward situations to see how it responds.

Then, we put it in as many hands of our coworkers as possible. We give them free rein on the device, allowing them to choose titles and use it as they please. The less instructions there are, the more likely they are to find hidden situations that reveal hardware skill or problems.

The most important thing is that we compare the best virtual reality devices with other offers on the market, including those we have used and products that are not yet available, to determine if each offer is a good alternative.

* Updated by Mara Teresa Lopes on July 1, 2019.

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