My review of Samsung Odyssey+ vs Oculus Rift S

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In the light of recent new Samsung headset leak, I wanted to write my review of Odyssey+ vs my current headset, Rift S and I want to tell you why I’m excited for the leak.

I’m one of the backers of Oculus Rift DK1 (or I just ordered when they put it on oculus.com, I don’t remember). It was a love of first sight. I knew it’s going to be big and I knew the limitations back then. So I’ve waited until I saw Half-Life: Alyx and Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. Than I decided to get Samsung Odyssey+ just before Black Friday when the price got down to 220$ and then Oculus Rift S on BF and decided which one to keep.

So here is the comparison:

COMFORT

Odyssey+ was uncomfortable for me. I have a bit large nose, in order to get clarity I had to push down the headset resulting hurting my nose. Also it leaves a huge mark on my forehead when I remove the headset all the time because of tight fit and the material. Rift S, still pressures my nose but it’s not overly uncomfortable and it doesn’t leave marks on my forehead. My eyes are in the range of Rift S IPD measurements, so I didn’t have a problem with it is being software adjustable.

AUDIO

Lack of proper earphones on Rift S really kills the mood. It’s weak and shallow, for example, you don’t get that power from Darth Vader voice when he leans towards you. That powerful moment is destroyed if you use Rift S’s own audio. Odyssey+ AKG earphones way better than Rift S audio solution. Thanks to its wider headband, I’m able to use Sennheiser GSP 500 with my Rift S but it’s bulky. I would prefer a mod people are doing for their Rift S’. I tried Valve Index too, I can easily say that their solution is the best.

CONTROLLERS

Rift S’ tracking is way better due to it’s 5 cameras. But even though the quality of Touch controllers feel a bit better, I hold Odyssey’s controllers a lot better. Especially Touch controller’s trigger button is hard to use because there is no other space to rest your finger to. So “grabbing” things is harder with Touch controllers. I also think Touch controllers finger detection thing is kind of a gimmick. It works here and there but not as good as Valve Index controllers full hand detection. Also tying the controllers to your hand is way better than just using a strap. So I ordered one of those covers but haven’t tested them yet. Odyssey’s controller tracking rings are a lot bigger than Touch’s which bothered me when I’m holding a gun with two hand or reloading the magazines. But comfort-wise they were better than Touch’s and they have more buttons.

SCREEN

  • Hertz

Odyssey is 90hz and Rift S is 80hz. Honestly, It didn’t matter to me. Both are smooth.

  • OLED VS LCD

Odyssey has a OLED screen and Rift S has LCD. In darker scenes it clearly shows the difference. I can’t even enjoy Oculus’ own game Vader Immortal because it’s mostly dark. I play Pavlov a lot and I do like Minecraft Zombies mode which has dark areas, Rift S just kills immersion.

  • CLARITY

Clarity was one of the main reasons why I went with Rift S. Odyssey’s lenses has a narrow sweet spot. Anywhere but the middle of the lens gets blurry. In order to read something you see, you have to look directly to it. Rift S lens is really good, the sweet spot is wider and it makes the whole image more clearer with the help of:

  • SDE

Odyssey+ has an SDE filter. It eliminates SDE almost completely but with one huge drawback. The image is blurry. What ever I did I couldn’t get a clearer image, which was tiring. My eyes hurt just because of trying to see clear image. Honestly, lack of SDE filter is not noticeable on Rift S. Yeah, you can see a bit of SDE when you look for it but when you are immersed you don’t notice it at all. SDE and lens sweet spot were the other reasons I returned Odyssey+ and kept my Rift S.

  • FOV

Now this is quite interesting… Redditors, I really want to read your opinions on this… Rift S is 90 degrees, Odyssey is wider (I guess it is 100 degrees) and this difference bothers me a lot! Novadays, I can’t stop thinking that I’m not immersed enough in Rift S! That “underwater glasses” feeling of Rift S bothering me a lot. With Odyssey+ I felt like I’m in there a lot more. Even though the sweet spot is small, that peripheral vision helps a lot in terms of immersion. For the recent days, I was thinking like buying a previous gen Odyssey (without SDE filter) just to get that FOV. Rift S doesn’t give me that “magical vr presence” that Odyssey+ gave me.

FINAL THOUGHTS

So both headsets are good but those advantages and disadvantages gives you “they are not there yet” feeling and make you think to get that other product. That is why I’m really excited with Samsung’s leaked headset. If they are able to fix those problems, I would definitely go with that one. I keep telling my friends “you can wait one more generation and you’ll have products that ticks a lot of boxes to choose from.”

I believe Samsung can make 300-350$, clear OLED screen with large sweet spotted lenses and large FOV headset. And that would be the prime headset on the market. And I also believe, although I kept my Rift S, Oculus is on the wrong way. After Luckey’s departure, the vision of making a good headset has vanished in Oculus. Rift S, for me was the first sign for that lack of that vision. Despite of Luckey’s now industry standard minimum 90 Hz vision, making their flagship headset 80hz, keeping FOV smaller than every other current headset on the market, distinct separation of Rift and Quest line, closing down Oculus store to themselves and Carmack’ leave don’t look good to me. Their next move will define their stance.

So which one to buy? Odyssey+ for 220$ is an amazing price. Best bang for the buck. Before that Samsung leak, I was saying, “you can get Rift S if you have more budget but I don’t know if it worth it. “ Because whether you get Odyssey+ or Rift S, you will want the features that the other one have. Like: You get OLED but you will want clarity and Vise Versa. Now I can say, get Odyssey+ and/or wait for the next gen Samsung headset

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