Even though we can’t give an exact date yet, the Pimax Crystal is about to ship worldwide to everyone. The first 15 users have already received their headset, albeit without 42 PPD lenses and some software features. These testers are recruited to test out the Crystal, and report on what is working well and what needs to be tweaked or downright fixed.
15 of these testers are in China, which is a convenient test group as it’s closer in physical distance and the same timezone as the engineers working on both the hardware & software. (15 test users outside of China will get their Crystal really soon as well.)
Let’s see what they think.
There are some Crystal unboxing pictures & videos from the test group.
Some great photos there. Some of the previously posted through the lens photos felt oversaturated but these HLA photos look really good. The Crystal definitely beats the Varjo there which has a quite bleak image.
In the design department, the Aero obviously beats the Crystal, no competition there neither, it’s smaller and oozes quality, the Crystal looks not impressive at all and way too big. But luckily this is not THAT important. I do feel smaller size is better (less inertia/wobble) but other than that, I’d take better colors over better design any day.
And other than that we really have to wait for the impressions from the 15 western users. Honestly I don’t think too much of a bunch of cherrypicked quotes from Chinese users. Obviously that doesn’t tell the whole story.
There are a few details that I noticed from those photos:
The Crystals they got should be the final shipping units. Because the 42PPD lens were there.
There is no little connection box any more. The 3-in-1 cable goes directly to the headset. It makes a lot more sense for PC VR users. Someone in Pimax finally realized that since the mobile functions are not ready, why ship them with a connection box for mobile? Though I have to point out that the cabling is wrong. It shouldn’t have gone inside the padding circle.
From the fourth picture I see some plastic rings are in the plastic bags with 42PPD lens. This is great news for us myopic/nearsighted people. Adding those rings should in theory extend the focus point further back, allowing you to watch the picture clearly without glasses, at a cost of little less FOV and slight distortion. And I think that distortion can be easily compensated by software. So Crystal indeed lives up to its own name. I should have a Crystal clear picture without wearing my eyeglasses. This is one of the benefits of having a removable lens system.
Also if you need to wear a pair of glasses, Crystal’s foam padding has extra openings specified for that. You can see it in the third picture.
I assume the black box on the right lower corner in the second picture is the battery charging box? How much is the battery draining while connected to a PC? Do I need to swap the battery every 2 hours, or more?
I prefer the design of Crystal over Aero. That Crystal look is “meaner” and like what a warrior will wear for a battle. Varjo Aero looks more “professional” but too soft for me.
Yeah, I hope Pimax will provide soft leather padding for a headset selling at $1599. At the same time I know foam is more durable and easy to wash, but still, I want that premium look from Varjo.
Seems Crystal is using better lens coating than Varjo Aero. The metal rings around Aeor’s lens are not really useful, maybe just to make the lens look bigger.
The sensors near the nose actually seems to be proximity sensors, as someone else pointed out in another thread. I am a little disappointed. They should be mouth trackers for social interactions.
When will the WiGig mode be ready, what is the cost, and where will it plug in to?
When will the WiFi mode be ready?
Will it be possible to run the unit with off of the WiFi 6 band, or is WiFi 6E band a HARD requirement? (As I think the PICO 4 is able to utilize the WIFI 6 hand, albeit at likely a lower grade of performance)
When will the Tobii Eye Tracking functionality be ready?
What is the actual confirmed FoV for 35PPD as well as 42PPD lenses? (As there’s been some uncertainty on these forums of an accurate/reliable calculation)
When will the Lighthouse cover be available and what is the price?
When will the MR cover be available, what is its price, and is PIMAX still considering making one that is LH compatible?
When will pre-orders start being honored and how long does the consumer have to use that pre-order to purchase a production-ready unit?
What is the progress with the GPU (AMD in particular) compatibility checking? You guys made one video and mentioned you’d keep us updated… That was a long while ago…
They aren’t, Pimax and the testers have confirmed this. I believe the units are very very close to it, and from what I understand the testers can keep the unit they have or swap it for a full retail one (within 6 months apparently, that comes from a Chinese tester directly).
It would do the opposite. You’d need to move the lenses closer to get a higher diopter. For example, when the roadshow originally started people noticed that the lenses appeared to already have a mild prescription on the already, estimated like -1.0. To resolve this the solution was to move the lenses further from the panels so that they would have no prescription effect whatsoever.
No, that would be the benefit of an adjustable diopter lens setup (currently we have only seen that with pancake lenses with the middle element adjusting, there has never been a headset released with adjustable diopter for any other type of lens. The benefit here would be that you could get perscription lenses, so even adjusting for things other than myopia such as astigmatism, while not adding an thickness to the lens array (allowing you to get close to get the maximum FOV). Adjustable diopter is obviously idea but this setup is fantastic also. I personally love it, I have prescription lenses on my pico 4 which are great but I do notice the added bulk.
Good observation, and very nice touch from Pimax. Hopefully no light leaker like the Pico 4 implementation (none that I could see when I tried crystal anyway, so I think all’s good.
The goal is to have it not drain at all, I believe they said this would be the case at launch. Actually, haven’t heard any Chinese testers talk about it so I would wager that they already have that working (as they would likely mention battery life if it was an issue still).
Completely agreed. I’m lucky enough to have a bunch of different PU leather facial foams from over the years so I will be immediately changing it, before even putting the headset on tbh. Pimax have sold the PU leather replacements before, so I’m guessing they will do the same now.
I could be wrong but I thought the IR leds for eye tracking were in that ring. Crystal has like a reflective ET setup so you don’t see them from the outside.
That was me, and I agree. They originally did announce it with face tracking but it got quietly removed. I wonder why? I would guess either cost or it’s so far from ready that they want to leave it until the 12k. I would imagine it’s the former though, just cost (and considering the price drop, I guess that’s fair).
Wait… what ? There are 2 sets of 35PPD lens ? Oh, you probably just explained a big mystery of discrepancy in final FOV. Maybe one set of 35PPD can provide 125° HFOV, but with obvious distortions, and the other 115° ?
Yeah, those are good questions Pimax should have been prepared for.
(edited) You are absolutely right. So I need to reduce the thickness of the ring instead of increasing it. Basic diopter 101, but only now I realize.
They didn’t mention it, probably it’s because the drain is slow, and the testers didn’t wear it for hours. But we still need to know IF there is a drain, and how long the battery can last.
I don’t really want to change the battery while watching a 3D movie.
Yeah, that’s you ! Well, if it helps Crystal to lower the price, I am OK with it. People who want to do mouth tracker can continue use their own tracking gadgets.
It’s just a waste opportunity for Pimax anyway. Many people here love VR Chat. Mouth tracking is a good selling point for them.
Except no tester has reported anything close to 115, let alone 125. If it was the case that one set of lenses is capable of that then I’m sure Pimax would have already said something by now. The silence on the FOV issue makes me believe the numbers from testers are the reality, but thankfully everyone that has tried the headset so far (myself included) has been happy with the experience. Hopefully the spec sheet gets updated to accurately reflect the numbers but it seems like it’s still a great experience regardless.
Possibly, or just the cable now provides enough power to maintain the battery level. Quest 2, for example, I can use indefinitely with a usb cable as power.
Yeah, I think there’s a usb C port on the bottom of the headset still, so people could use a vive facial tracker if they wanted.
No one has mentioned an NDA, and I think that it’s always fine to mention one. So I really don’t think there’s any NDA going on here, at least for the usual basic features (they may have an NDA for advanced preview software but I doubt they are getting that tbh)
Personally I don’t like the design choice that the Crystal can’t work without a battery at all. What this guy now experiences, not even being able to turn the device on because of a battery problem, is exactly what I was afraid for. That and the extra weight which I’d rather not have neither.
I definitely agree that it should work without one, although I would never remove it personally as I always have to put a counterweight on headsets anyway, even the Pico 4.
But yeah, if it literally requires the battery as a PCVR headset then that’s not great, hopefully it’s just due to this being one of the CES prototypes. Must be super frustrating for those lads on that channel.
But no one reported these problems from CES. And why would Pimax send a duff unit to a Youtuber? What are the chances two batteries are duffers? Personally I think the batteries are not charged at all its the charge dock thats the problem. That my guess anyway.