The most significant advancement of the Pimax branded headsets is the wide field of view (FOV) that it has compared to other VR headset. It is also the only consumer available wide FOV headset available as the other ones (XTAL and STARVR) are only available to enterprise purchase.
Read on to find out more on what we think of the wide FOV on the Pimax 5k+ that we recently tried. Also check the bottom of the page for a $30 promo link.
Field of view is how much we can see at each time normally presented as a horizontal angle as well as a vertical angle. For most VR headset, vertical FOV is not too far away from a healthy human vision but the horizontal FOV leaves much to be desired.
For those using other VR headsets, we are limited to a binocular like vision but using the Pimax feels like you are wearing a large ski goggles.
With a wider FOV, we can see more of the virtual world in our peripheral vision and feel more presence. For certain games or experience, it can make a significant improvement in the experience. For example in Audioshield and Space Pirate Trainer, you can now play the game and see the targets coming in at your peripheral vision without having to constantly look around while playing. Flight (DCS) and driving simulators (Project Cars 2) as well as open world adventure (Skyrim) games are also a joy to play with wider FOV.
However as there is more graphics to render, it is recommended to use the best graphics card like the RTX2080Ti if you want to enjoy the Pimax headset better at the largest FOV settings. If you have a less powerful graphic card, it is still possible to use this headset as Pimax offers different settings like reducing the FOV (large to normal or small FOV setting, it is bigger than the other VR headsets), reducing the framerate (90Hz to 72Hz or 64Hz), rendering scale (1 to less than 1), so that the GPU can run the game decently.
There is some slight image warping at the side of the display but if you just look straight at the centre of the lens, it should not bother you much.
Should you buy it?
Pimax does not sell the headset with the required base stations and controllers currently and you need purchase them separately from HTC yourself or already own a HTC Vive.
The headset does not come with integrated headphones and uses a velco type of headstrap but you can use a Vive Deluxe Audio Strap and some 3D printed adapted to attach to the Pimax 5k+ to get a better quality headstrap and integrated headphones. We have also read some reports about hardware failure and poor communication with the support team but we have not experienced it first hand yet.
Despite its large look, the Pimax is surprisingly lightweight and is quite comfortable to wear for long periods.
At USD 699, the Pimax 5K+ has created product that delivers on its promise to provide a wide, almost human-like FOV. However we feel it is not really for most consumers and more suitable for the early adopters and VR enthusiasts.
If you would like to get it, save more by grabbing the $30 promo that you can get by clicking the image below!