Observations on my Pimax 5k XR (OLED)




I’ve got my Pimax 5k XR and just want to leave some obversations. I cannot call it review, because I am not really able to review it, since it’s basically useless as delivered with a face pad which is way too thin. My eyelashes touch the lenses and I was even afraid, that my eyes would touch them, too. Beyond that there were heavy distortions without modifications.

I could fix these issues mostly by using the standard thin Vive face cushion on top of the Pimax face cushion. Still I don’t know if this is how the HMD is supposed to work and therefore no serious review is possible at this moment.

With that caveat, I can give now some thoughts. Generally it made me aware, what a fantastic headset the HTC Vive was or still is. It is outstanding in so many aspects (highest field of view of first gen, brightest display, best colours, best binocular overlap), that it’s extremely hard to top it in every way.

The good side of Pimax 5k XR

  • Very wide field of view
  • Lack of fresnel lens artifacts
  • Much higher resolution than HTC Vive
  • Screendoor is almost unnoticeable on dark green areas
  • Fantastic blacks (PiTool V1.0.1.109, the current Beta ruins this and I had to switch back)
  • No black crush (SweViver’s display must be defective), no white crush
  • Much lighter and more comfortable than HTC Vive
  • Standby button
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Production quality seems solid

The bad side

  • Small binocular overlap (leads to eye strain, lack of focus, limited 3D effect, lack of orientation and immersion)
  • The inner side of the lenses sometimes tend to reflect areas of the display
  • Not as bright as HTC Vive
  • Colours not as vibrant as HTC Vive (I had to crank up saturation in VorpX by 30% just to get an acceptable image quality)
  • Vertical field of view smaller than HTC Vive (I can see through the nose gap)
  • Screendoor effect noticeable on red / orange pixels
  • Black smear typical for OLED screens (but still it’s much better than the correction of the black smear, which just turns black into dark grey – it looks so horrible that I’d rather continue to use my HTC Vive instead)
  • Very sensitive regarding sweet spot (needs a lot of fiddeling around to get the perfect focus)
  • Small distortion of the virtual world, similar to normal corrective glasses which means, that it affects basically all you can see and more prominently the edges of the lenses (including of course where the overlapping area ends, which is the most annoying drawback)
  • Don’t know how to turn off the controllers
  • Display seems to always show an image while turned on and not used for VR
  • Privacy Policy (illegal in the EU)
  • PiTool is spyware (sends home your activities in VR)

All in all I think it’s a very good product and a decent replacement for my HTC Vive.
I am looking forward to

  1. better calibration of the displays
  2. correction of the Privacy Policy and termination of spying activities of PiTool
  3. better face foam pad
  4. other accessoires (headstrap, eye tracking module)

Kind regards,



I got my xr a few days ago and agree with most of that too. Except vertical view, although I can see out the bottom, the vertical area was much bigger. :slight_smile:

See the link in the second post on my thread below as IG88 gave me some good advice on fixing some of the eye issues I was having.

I need to try his suggestions out but previously found that a slight angling of the bottom of the headset made the side distortions line up better and become a lot less “predator vision” :wink:

Also, thicker foam seems to be a solution of helping with binocular overlap but I’m going to try the new software Ipd trick mentioned by IG88 first.


I have these now too,but the black smear us indeed terrible,its unusable.

If you are in skyrim at night and you move your head,the black smear is realy terrible and unplayable…

And with pitool 121 beta its a no go because everything is grey then instead off black(yes no black smear,but then watch the reason to get an oled)

Its a real pitty because pitch black adds alot to the immersion…



I’ve not seen the black smear yet as on latest pitool but makes me worry that its worse than the vive as that didnt bother me much.

Do you all think htc just had much better low persistence screens or hopefully some clever software tricks?


Today i sold my 5kxr,i couldnt stand the black smear,or the greys on the new pitool beta.

I hope they will fix it in the future…


Why would you sell the entire headset that just came out? :man_facepalming:

Obviously it’s just a matter of calibration of the display. The HTC Vive had a firmware upgrade that introduced the same black smear and it was fixed quickly.

As I said in my caveat, a serious review of the Pimax 5k XR is not possible yet!
The firmware and driver are not ready yet, among other issues.


Yes, the display should perform in the almost same way as the HTC Vive (Pro) or Samsung Odyssey (+), except with not the same brightness. But maybe even the brightness can be improved.


I hope so hyperion :slight_smile:

It’s good to know the vive had a issue for while. It ended up being that with the vive, I only noticed it when moving my head sideways and looking at the lighthouses. Hope we get the same! :slight_smile:


Good and (slightly) bad news:

  • My Pimax 5k XR looks very solid, no signs of cracks or weakness.


  • I’ve noticed a dead red sub-pixel in the center of the left display. Very hard to spot, so I don’t really bother.


For Elite Dangerous, I am perfectly happy with the official build firmware; It maps levels correctly, while the newer beta firmware does not (checked using calibration utilities). Given the impression of black smear varies by game and by person, the ideal solution will be for Pimax to create adjustment options so that people can set black and white levels as they see fit. Us asking for a bit of this and a bit of that is leading to the current beta firmware situation, which suits nobody.


Yeah, I am fine with the pure black version of the current official firmware. I got already used to the black smear. It’s only annoying in games which are too dark, but this is a separate issue.

They will implement a manual configuration the display (beyond the options of the current beta):