Read Our Updated Oculus Quest 2 vs HTC Vive Comparison Article.
If you’re thinking about getting a Virtual Reality headset for you or someone else, you’re gonna want to get the best possible one, and that’s why you’re here, to do what any smart buyer would do: Their due research.
Let’s start with a very basic but important fact: The HTC Vive is an older product, having been released way back in 2016 (which, in the VR world is a long time). The Quest, however, was launched back in May, 2019. Logically, an older device is bound to be obsolete to some extent, but HTC has put forth some effort to remedy this.
But first, let’s take a good look at some of the most important specs of these two devices:
- Android OS
- 64/128 GB of storage
- OLED Display
- 1440×1600 resolution per eye
- SteamVR (Runs on Windows)
- Depends on your computer for storage
- Dual AMOLED display
- 1080×1200 per eye
A device’s design can make or break the user experience – which is why we think it’s so important.
With a black matte finish, a smooth plain surface on which you can barely notice the cameras, the Quest positions itself on the top most fashionable VR headsets ever. It looks very nice – and it’s very easy to wear. It has no cables, and the head straps are comfortable.
It’s wireless, so the whole thing is quite hassle-free. It is so well designed that at times you can even forget you’re wearing the damn thing!
HTC Vive Headset:
The HTC Vive design goes for another aesthetic entirely. It’s not made to be minimalistic or sophisticated – but it goes more for a cool-looking, over-the-top in a good way kind of design. And it really works: Just looking at it makes you want to put it on.
The one bad thing about the Vive is that it isn’t wireless. A bunch of wires run over your head and then out. It makes you feel like you’re connected to The Matrix (although put that way, it sounds kind of cool).
These controllers have actually won a couple of awards for their design. The implementation of functions that make them incredibly precise combined with an easy, natural grip and ease of use make them easily the best type of V controllers out there.
HTC Vive controllers:
While these controllers might not be award-winning, they’ve got a really cool design that we feel might seem much cooler to some users. However, they aren’t as precise as the Oculus Touch ones and do require of a third sensor for them to work in conjunction with the headset, so, a touch inferior to the Oculus controllers.
It is relevant to say that the Vive controllers are infamous for their consistent problems. It seems that as a fault of their design, or maybe manufacturing, these controllers end up breaking down after constant use – usually in under the first year of use. This has made many Vive users switch to other systems – it’s that bad. However, the failure rate is not 100%. It’s not guaranteed to happen to you, too.
Both how much each device costs and what are you getting for that money is very important – let’s see each product side by side so we get a good sense of what we’re paying for.
|Oculus Quest||HTC Vive|
|Price||500$||Around 1000$, more for the Pro system and others|
|Controllers||2 controllers||2 controllers|
|Sensors||Built in, 4 cameras||1 built-in camera, two separate sensors|
|Wireless||yes||No, but there’s a wireless adapter|
When it comes to price, we think that the Oculus Quest is a much better choice. Compared to the HTC Vive, it offers much better specs for half the price. While there are Vive upgrades that do provide better functions than the Quest -like a much higher refresh rate-, they are in turn much more expensive, with an average of 1500$.
So it’s quite safe to say that, when it comes to how much you get for your money, the Oculus Quest gives you the best deal out of the two.
Here’s where it gets a little trickier. The Quest is a standalone system: Inside the headset, it’s got its own storage, processor, etc. That means it’s got a very specific set of components, all geared toward optimal performance for the Oculus Quest in particular.
With the HTC Vive, we have another scene: The HTC relies on a computer to run – pretty much any computer. So, your computer will provide both your storage and your processing power. As long as you’ve got a good computer, your device will perform at optimal conditions – always check your wireless-less VR device’s requirements before purchasing to make sure you can actually run it with your current computer.
The tables are turned when it comes to serious gaming: The HTC is much more friendly with serious gaming, having a much higher refresh rate (90 Hz) and being able to link to a computer – which means a potentially much more powerful processor than the Oculus Quest.
With the Oculus Quest, what you get is what comes with it: There aren’t really any ways to make your device run faster or smoother – the good thing is, you really won’t need to. The Oculus Quest’s already designed for peak performance.
If you’re looking for a VR set strictly for gaming, then the HTC is your choice. While 2D gaming doesn’t constitute a whole VR experience, the Vive performs very well when it comes to fast-paced, demanding games.
We mentioned before that one of the main advantages the Oculus Quest had on the HTC Vive was that, while the Vive needed to be wired to your PC to work, the Oculus Quest doesn’t.
But that’s only part of the truth. The Oculus Quest, more than just a “wireless device” is a Standalone VR system, which means that it works on its own – much like what a mobile phone would. You can play with apps, watch things, etc, but your experience is limited by internet availability. But as long as you have internet, you can play with your Oculus Quest wherever you want : That’s the beauty of it.
The HTC Vive lacks greatly in this aspect. We did mention that HTC launched a powerful wireless adapter, which connects the VR Headset to your computer without the need for cables. And while this is a big plus, you’re still being anchored to wherever your computer is. In most cases, you won’t be able to take your HTC outside of your own house.
This kind of function is usually advertised and presented in a much more important light than it should. Sure, a standalone system is great: But it shouldn’t be the only reason that you buy your VR device. After all, most people that already own a VR use it mainly to play in their own house – so a standalone would be convenient, but not all that practical.
Pick one of these depending on whether you actually need it or not: While the Oculus Quest is definitely superior in this aspect, don’t let yourself be blinded by this factor only.
It might be bad manners to say it outright, but we think that the Oculus Quest is, in almost every aspect, better than the HTC Vive.
Let’s look at some things side by side, to recap and analyze:
- Oculus Quest is Standalone, wireless – HTC is not
- Oculus Quest has a higher resolution
- Design-wise, the Oculus Quest is better looking
- Oculus Quest is much cheaper
As we said before, it is important that you don’t get swayed by just one fact (or the overall superiority of the Quest) – if you’re, for example, a PC gamer and already own a super powerful computer, the most obvious choice for someone like that would be the HTC Vive.
But if you’re more of a casual gamer, the HTC’s full capabilities would be lost on you. Maybe you would even need to invest in a better computer along with the HTC! That could double your budget easily.
If you’re more inclined toward buying a Quest, then you have to ask yourself whether you want to experience VR in its full capabilities, or if you want a gaming-capable VR: About half the VR users expect their VR to be little more than just a cool screen, and that’s really not how it works. In many cases, you can’t just play any game you want on your device: It all depends on what your device supports.
Either way, we strongly recommend the Oculus Quest as a high-quality product, which surpasses its HTC competitor even at a much lower price. Still, be sure to thoroughly check out HTC’s offers – since the initial release of the Vive, they’ve put out variations (Vive Cosmos, Vive Pro, etc.) that could be a more ideal option for you if you’re still not sold on the Oculus Quest.