We see greater differences in the displays. While the competitors from HTC and Oculus trust the expensive OLED technology, the Mixed Reality glasses use only the classical LCD technology. Even though you do not notice the disadvantages of the LCD in every situation, in the long run various weaknesses become obvious. For example, dark content appears more grayish, due to the worse black value. The contrast is also worse, causing a paler overall presentation.
Added to this is that the field of view appears much smaller than in the Vive and the Rift. Although the difference on paper is only 5°, there is a much stronger porthole effect which to some extent destroys the immersion. If the lenses are not adjusted ideally, there will also be blurriness. When focusing outside, the finer elements such as writing become blurry in general, so that you might want to forget about text processing or surfing the web in VR.
Even the higher resolution can only make up for this weakness to a limited extent. Instead of 1080x1200 pixels, it is 1440x1440 pixels for each eye. Unfortunately, you will be disappointed if you think that the pixel grid typical for VR glasses will disappear with this. You can also see a grid of horizontal and vertical lines in the Mixed Reality models, which also impacts the immersion. The same goes for the sub-pixels, which are visible. We also did not like the lack of built-in headphones. Since it is easy to forget external headsets, they are likely to drop on the floor when taking off the VR glasses, particularly since there are additional cables and more weight.
On the other hand, Microsoft deserves some praise for the internal tracking of the HMDs via cameras. While you need external sensors which track the movement in space for the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, Mixed Reality works without those boxes, which only take up space and make the transport of the whole VR system and its setup on location more difficult.
The solution for the tracking of the controllers is not as good and comfortable to hold as those for the HTC Vive and others. Since the controllers depend on the field of view of the HMD cameras, contact during expansive hand movements often gets lost. The problem is that the controllers are not always recognized reliably when they go back into the field of view and then remain hanging somewhere in the (virtual) air or wiggle around somewhere. Accordingly, you should be careful to avoid performing some acrobatic tricks during gaming.
Microsoft could also improve on the communications. Instead of transferring data directly from the VR glasses, the Mixed Reality solutions communicate with the computer via Bluetooth 4.0. While any reasonably current notebook supports Bluetooth 4.0, this technology is rare in tower PCs due to the missing communication module, so that you need additional hardware again. It is also annoying that you cannot charge the controller batteries via a USB cable. Even though the included AA batteries lasted for two days, this is not really environmentally friendly.
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