Overview and impressions of Pimax 8K. VR 2.0 is already here. The wide FOV wins in all categories! -By Century


A small review on 8K (comparison with Lenovo Explorer / Samsung Odyssey, including through the lens).

In general, I received today (or rather yesterday afternoon) the long-awaited Pimax 8K, the miracle finally happened (although after New Year’s Eve my faith in Pimax began to dry up a little, and in general the desire is a little cooled down because of such a long wait. But at the moment it’s an intense wait behind me, which I’m very happy about. And I understand that for Pimax it was necessary to polish the product to the best possible condition. And I’m just glad that they didn’t send the unfinished product before, but put maximum effort into perfection.)

I spent the rest of the day and all night testing 8K with meal breaks, putting aside all the things I had to do the next day (I couldn’t do anything about it, I was suddenly sucked into this lake of deep, magnificent FOV).

For the last six months I have been using Lenovo Explorer (this is the clearest headset in my opinion today, with the highest resolution, with which I was able to start driving to the car simulators and watching normal movies, although SDE, of course, is present, but tolerable. Pimax 4K doesn’t count because it doesn’t have tracking and controllers). That’s why all the comparisons will be mainly with Lenovo. Earlier I owned Pimax 4K, Oculus Rift CV1, Samsung Odyssey.

And now, let’s start from the beginning.

1. Unboxing.
Pimax 8K arrived in a standard postal package. I picked it up in person at EMS (I didn’t wait for delivery because I wanted to see it live as soon as possible). Inside the box was a branded Pimax box with the logo, slightly wrinkled on one side, but inside everything is fine.









2. Construction
When you get acquainted with the helmet, you will find some nuances. The plastic itself is quite thin at the junctions of the ribs, and it seems that in these places it can be squeezed by pressing on it. This isn’t very nice, but as far as I’m concerned, this small thickness of the plastic provides a signal to the helmet sensors (I hope it doesn’t crack like in some cases).Maybe I’ll stick a soft ribbon at the joints of the ribs and sharp edges on the housing just in case.) And so – 8K lies in the hands of quite nice and convenient…
Lenses – they are just gorgeous, I just want to drown in them (which I successfully did, and with great difficulty just came out of there to write a couple of lines).

All other elements of the questions do not cause: a nice soft finish between the lenses, the twist IPD (very important “thing”), headphone input, USB-C input, and so on.

Temperature: I measured with a pyrometer. The temperature reached 43 degrees Celsius in the very place where the wires were inserted (at high brightness). There is no heat inside the headset itself, and the face does not sweat. (In Lenovo, it was hotter, and the face sometimes sweats harder)

Just a little more photo unpacking:


3. Ergonomics.
Everything’s very good here. Standard straps for attaching to my head fit nicely, the helmet was sitting as if it were made for me. These straps are quite comfortable and quick to pull the helmet over my head. They can be adjusted quickly.
But there was a nuance… maybe I pulled the straps over, but after a while the headset would start to put pressure on my forehead, have to be corrected or removed to stop the pain.
I’ll still try to improve the mount with the old straps from my broken Pimax 4K. (I’ll also throw the P4K headphones over the P8K if I can)
The pillow for the face is quite interesting, soft and elastic, quite dense, but the face did not sweat, which is remarkable.
The weight of the questions does not cause, all is well, it is already known to all. It’s not hard, everything is fine, no problem, my head is not tearing off when turning :smiley:
(At the moment, the forehead pressure’s gone, hooray.)

4. Software.
I think it’s all right here. Pimax developers are good at this and continue to improve piTool constantly, adding more and more settings.
Installed PiTool, plugged in a helmet, one base station – everything works, yay!
I like to have a lot of settings, and there is something to spin for optimisation and customisation. piTool is a very convenient and easy to learn application.
The only thing is that you have to turn on/off parallel projections sometimes. In general, you don’t have to touch anything else by setting it up once (I’ve personally set PiTool 1.0, and I’m already adjusting SteamVR from the load).
In general, it would be nice to see some presets for different games (where the necessary FOV, PiTool SS, BrainWarp, etc. would be adjusted at once).
IPD: zero questions. I put up my native 65mm IPD, everything is fine. Interestingly, it can be adjusted in software in addition to the physical twist.

5. Clarity is good in my opinion. Although I expected the worst after some feedback. But everything is very good for me in this regard. At least compared to Lenovo Explorer, the deterioration wasn’t exactly noticed.
Readability at a high level. At least in the cockpit of the car I can read all the readings of the dashboard up to the smallest. (I have minus 3 vision, myopia. But I’m always in VR without glasses, I train so much vision, I don’t feel any problems in this respect).
Photo through a lens from Assetto Corsa, 8K vs Lenovo:













6. The colors are excellent, rather soft and warmer than Lenovo seems to be. Black has not yet appreciated to the end, but he does not cause any questions to me … Saturation, contrast – everything is present + there are adjustments for each eye in PiTool.

7. SDE, BrainWarp … SDE is the stumbling block in almost all current VR headsets. In 8K, SDE is still present. But this is better than any other helmet (I don’t take into account Odyssey+, because I haven’t tried it).
At first, when I turned on the first game (AssettoCorsa), I didn’t really like the picture in the helmet. One thing is that there was a small SDE on the horizon (but it was a little easier to forget about it than in Lenovo Explorer, the difference between them is really small in terms of SDE. Lenovo has a specific pixel pattern in the form of bricks, which sometimes torments my eyes. But 8K has quite a normal diagonal pattern, which is less noticeable, this is a plus for me).
It’s another thing that I didn’t have any smoothness. I compared it to Lenovo Explorer, everything was very smooth at 90Hz, the feeling of speed was felt right there. And it was like there were missing frames here. Then I realized that smart smoothing worked (or BrainWarp differently). I looked to the side when driving slowly on the track, and noticed that all the objects slightly double. But that’s how BrainWarp works, so there’s nothing you can do about it (although in other games it’s a good way to help, but not in games where speed is important).
When I turned off BrainWarp and tuned in the native 80 FPS, I finally felt the smoothness and sense of speed. At the same time the picture became much more pleasant, there were less stairs and jags, the game just changed. And what is the most important thing – it became obvious that SDE is really lower by 8K than Lenovo Explorer. (but initially it was difficult to understand the difference between them because of the poor quality of the picture, lack of smoothness.)
I definitely don’t recommend anybody to enable BrainWarp in autosimulators. (Although, of course, it’s playable with BrainWarp, but if the system can’t cope at all, you can still turn it on. But most of the feeling of speed, smoothness, unfortunately, disappears.)

Well and, actually, pictures through a lens Pimax 8K vs Lenovo Explorer and vs Samsung Odyssey in the game Bloody Zombies. (I do not have controllers, so for now in this game I could only compare).

Pimax 8K vs Lenovo Explorer:






Pimax 8K vs Samsung Odyssey (OG):





8. And the most important thing, for the sake of which we all waited so long for these helmets to be released – this, of course, is FOV (viewing angle).
Honestly, I have not had time to really feel the viewing angle. I will say that – it just feels very nice after the helmet with a small angle, the eyes open simply, you can mow them in different directions without turning your head, it is fcking awesome, and immediately gives an advantage in everything, in all games. The periphery begins to work, as in real life. (therefore, as a matter of fact, you don’t feel a special “wow” effect, but here it will be enough to compare it with any other helmet to understand what a wide FOV is. This is freedom for the eyes. Finally :blush: )
By the way, initially there was some sensation of the nasal septum, but you quickly forget about it. It seems like in real life there is a nose between the eyes, and you don’t pay attention to it, and here too.
“Normal FOV” is enough, it is already huge after ordinary helmets with standard FOV up to 100 grams.
Even “Small-FOV” is already so wide that it seems big after the LEnovo Explorer, and it is wider than all the other helmets anyway.
“Big FOV” is very, very pleasant, practical, limitless, but devouring resources … In any case, if I can, I will use it, it gives the greatest freedom to view: yes2: (although I like the normal FOV)

9. Sweetspot: a huge sweetspot, not even a comparison with Lenovo Explorer or Samsung Odyssey. There is a rather extensive sweet spot, which you can easily and naturally find once when you put on a helmet, and you don’t really worry about it anymore, it is more than enough.

10. Distortion.

At the edges I didn’t feel any distortion even with the “big FOV” (I just didn’t look for it and didn’t even notice it. Maybe it is, and then I’ll take a closer look).
But what’s interesting in SteamVR Home is that I notice some blueish edge of rendering as if with my right eye. And I don’t see that in games. And also in SteamVR Home objects from the right edge of the head turns as if arise out of nowhere (a little late rendering. Again, in games like this, nowhere noticed.)

(upd 1. There are still distortions on the edges of the edges, especially this one is noticeable on straight lines that are distorted from above and below at the edges, as if bent. It’s quite noticeable in SteamVR Home, but I can’t find it in games. In general, it doesn’t bother me, and it doesn’t bother me at all. )

A distortion when “the world moves with you”. Yes, I noticed this distortion when I turned my head a little bit in SteamVR Home. But it didn’t really distract me. And in games, it wasn’t even noticeable at all. It just didn’t seem to exist.

11. Delays, 80hz. I did not notice delays, everything is fine. I did not notice delays, everything is fine. And in general, I am glad that I do not need to pile on 90 FPS, but only 80) :slight_smile: With 80 native FPS without BrainWArp everything is smooth. (although at 90 Hz it may be a little bit smoother, but it is unlikely that anyone will notice. I could not, but I suspected a little that maybe 90 Hz would be smoother, but I could not prove it to myself, alas :roll_eyes:

12. Glare
Glare almost not seen. In the dark scenes of the film, which I tried, almost no glare was noticed. A little something on the edge sometimes zipped by, but it didn’t bother much. Lenovo Explorer with its muddy lenses here is far, far behind. There is horror. And here – almost imperceptibly. (although there is still little experience in this, I may note later – I will add).

13. Games
AssettoCorsa. After turning off BrainWarp, I seemed to have reached a new level of quality and smoothness. All perfectly.8K is better Lenovo Explorer in everything, both in SDE and FOV, clarity, and so on. (but, in fairness, I should note that the difference in SDE right here is not very significant, but it is there, but I’m not sure what it would be if the pixel pattern had the same direction in both headsets).

Hellblade. Senua. In this game, I had to use parallel projections, since twofold. Brainwarp was already a necessity here. And then he did not interfere, as in a car simulator.
SDE is almost imperceptible here, that is, you really don’t feel it and it’s cool. Just very, very nice graphics are immediately felt, the eye is happy :slight_smile: Lenovo was definitely worse in terms of SDE …

14. Video. Definitely, in 8K video it is more pleasant to watch than in Lenovo Explorer. The video looks smoother, but I would not say that it is clearer. But SDE is definitely less noticeable here than in the LEnovo Explorer. And it pleases, undoubtedly. And with the help of wide FOV, you can watch videos on impressive screen sizes. Pimax 8K is definitely good for watching videos too.

15. Tracking. No problem. One base station is quite enough for simulators and other sedentary games. I am waiting for the controllers and stations from Pimax, we will continue to look at the SteamVR tracking there. For me, this tracking is new; I never had a HTC Vive. As far as I know, this is the best tracking. eight-)

(upd2/ I notice a slight drift when I’m in the cockpit and sitting in one place without moving. The camera seems to be walking a little. It is not clear why this happens, maybe because the station is only one, I do not know. At any activity it basically imperceptibly and does not disturb. But it is not clear, why so… In SteamVR Home too a little walk, but less. Walks in circles somehow, that is does not leave at all. Something like fluctuations. Recorded video in AssettoCorsa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sPqOXyk68I )

16. Conclusion.
While this is only a first impression, and even on the sleepy head already. Moreover, the initial ones were not the most pleasant because of BrainWarp, which is simply not needed in races, it is better to do without it.
Then everything became pretty good. I saw that 8K is actually better than Lenovo Explorer, less noticeable SDE, the widest FOV that opens its eyes to the outside! Damn, after all, this is a great advantage in both immersion and functionality in games.
So, we have the widest FOV, which greatly increases immersion – this is a fact.
We have the smallest SDE (Odyssey + doesn’t count, since I have never used it), which is sometimes noticeable, but it’s pretty easy to forget about it (especially in video content and in beautiful graphics games like HellBlade. In racing SDE is sometimes noticeable still on the horizon … a little sad, but it’s better than Lenovo, and this is already very good :))

In general, 8K for me is an improvement in all parameters, and especially on FOV. And it is precisely because of this that, in my opinion, the Pimax 8K (like 5K +) can be perceived as the next-generation headset VR.

Should everyone buy 8K? Probably worth thinking about it any.
A wide FOV is still a big advantage for a VR headset. If there is a productive system for VR, then it is definitely worth taking. (although I would recommend Odyssey + to newcomers in VR today, which is now being sold again for only $ 300 for shares. Still, it is much cheaper. And this is a complete set for VR with tracking and controllers, without SDE, although clarity didn’t increase there, but at least one of the pressing VR problems was almost solved. And almost because it was not solved by high resolution, but only by a filter, but nevertheless. Well, or you can still wait for HP Reverb, there most likely it will be better and clearer, after all, a higher RGB 2160×2160 resolution by eye, and this is not a joke anymore. Valve The index is also interesting that it will be rolled out, but some kind of breakthroughs in the field of wide FOV do not seem to be expected, although now if the HP Reverb resolution were stuck at least in the Small FOV of new Pimax, it would be a bomb today. The small FOV of the Pimax 8K really impressed me too, and immediately came up with the thought of a higher resolution with at least such a FOV for an adequate price tag. Such a headset would have been a huge success, 100%).

Still, I need more time for further testing of the headset with a wide FOV. So far everything seems to be fine.
For me, the main question was in SDE. And I didn’t doubt the principle of wide FOV.
So if possible I will supplement.

By the way, I paid additionally on Kickstarter: “Fabric strap * 1” and “Pillow for the face * 1”. Pimax, for some reason, these little things did not put …:thinking:

In general, thanks in any case for giving us all the opportunity to participate in the creation of a second-generation VR headset. This wait was so painful, in fact. But now I finally have such a wonderful headset with a super-wide FOV. (Although this FOV should be a standard, because in real life all people have it).
I hope that soon the controllers and base stations will be ready and sent to all the Backers. (And please don’t forget my second belt and face pillow :wink:)

YES, and one more thing. I hope that it will not fall apart some day, and will not crack, as in some. Can I glue it with adhesive tape / tape around the edges and joints?

My system:


UPD1: about FOV
In general, Lenovo Explorer did not wear the whole day.
By the way, I was hit by the FOV in Lenovo right in the eye, it appeared there as a small hole after a large FOV 8K. This is such a horror … I did not even drive half a circle and pushed Lenovo back into the long drawer :laughing:
To hell with such a small FOV! Here I felt a very, very significant difference. It’s like day and night. In Lenovo, I seemed to be looking into a donut hole :grimacing:
There is definitely no return after wide FOV. So small FOV in an ordinary headset, as it turned out. It just shocked me. No, no, and once again there is no such FOV for me…!!
Damn, how glad I am now that I have 8K and I can enjoy the full view! (this is probably the same as breathing deeply in the open air after a bath or sauna)

I now have a conclusion.

I’ve been using it for a week now.

In general, I continue to enjoy my 8K :slightly_smiling_face: I am very glad that I took part in this Kickstarter, despite the long wait, it was still quite interesting and fun in places (although it was delayed)

In terms of clarity and readability in games, 8K suits me, there are no problems with this at all. But I want a higher resolution, of course (although this is still an improvement against all other helmets, but not a jump). With Lenovo, the difference is quite small in SDE in my opinion. It’s just that Lenovo has a specific template that is more noticeable.

At this stage, I was simply swallowed by a wide FOV :scream_cat:
I just go there and fall into the rabbit hole deeper and deeper. And this is incredibly fascinating. No other headset has ever given such an amazing feeling.

Now, if the resolution were even higher, then 8K – would be almost perfect for me in everything. That is, everything else suits me in it … And SDE and resolution in 8K today are still the best among all other helmets (until the new HP and Acer came out with 2160×2160). Maybe I’ll just buy one of them later, but I won’t be able to refuse a wide FOV, it’s 100% :sunglasses: Lenovo Explorer after 8K seemed to be a donut hole, I couldn’t look there, it’s not a joke … It is now on the shelf.

By the way, watching video in 8K is such a good fit for me, I even started watching the series there on the big screen in the cinema. (Why not? Not only to watch 3D blockbusters on a bigger screen, but it’s time to start watching the series in cinemas, we are modern people :smiley: All the more so because we have all the possibilities, especially with the new Pimax).
Here’s the 8K video really close to the Pimax 4K (although it’s hard to remember how it felt. But I remember that I couldn’t even understand what SDE was then. And here it feels about the same. Everything that is shown on different plans in movies/series can be seen quite well, except for very small objects, where you start to see some dots, but it is very rare.)

That is, in general, the resolution of 8К is so good that I can sit there and watch 2D-series for hours. (Hell, I’ve never done that with any other headset before)

And now I can quite seriously call the Pimax 8K the best headset I’ve ever tried. :slightly_smiling_face: Thank you, Pimax!

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