Apple presented the Apple Vision Pro last Monday. This new showpiece is impressive, but also extremely expensive. But how does it compare to Meta’s Quest 3? Here’s what we know so far.
First of all, we have to say that we are duly impressed with the Apple Vision Pro. With your hands, eyes and voice, you are in control of the VR/AR headset. Your apps are now accessible wherever you are, without the need for a screen nearby. You can view your content using spatial audio, giving you a completely new experience.
Apple Vision Pro is considerably more expensive than the Meta Quest 3
The first big difference between the two headsets is immediately obvious. Indeed, the Vision is seven times more expensive than the Quest 3. For the former you have to cough up $3,499 (so in the Netherlands probably 4,000 euros). The Quest 3 will cost 569.99 euros.
The Vision Pro fits perfectly with Apple’s existing designs. Its construction resembles a curved iPhone that you put on your face. In addition, it combines elements of the Apple Watch.
Apple’s device is equipped with a variety of cameras and sensors that not only enable the passthrough functionality for augmented reality, but also take it a step further with an external screen that shows the wearer’s eyes and expressions from the inside. This is something we have not seen before in previous VR and AR headsets, such as the Meta Quest 2, Pro and later this year the 3.
Meanwhile, the Quest 3 is claimed to be as much as 40 percent thinner than its predecessor, the Quest 2. Yet it still appears to be a somewhat larger, more robust chunk of plastic compared to the sleek metal-and-glass design of the Apple Vision Pro.
The Meta Quest 3. (Image: Meta)
The Quest 3 features external cameras and a depth sensor, allowing full augmented reality passthrough. Unfortunately, it lacks an external screen to show your face while wearing the headset. The Quest 2 has no passthrough at all anyway and is therefore unable to create mixed reality.
Extremely high resolution
The Apple Vision Pro’s dual internal displays have an image resolution that exceeds 4K for each eye. That’s absurdly sharp. While we don’t have official specs yet, Apple claims the displays collectively contain more than 23 million pixels. And that’s darn nice for your eyes, especially if VR makes you nauseous easily.
We don’t yet know how sharp the Quest 3’s displays will be, but Meta claims it will be sharper than the 1,832 x 1,920 pixel image offered by the Quest 2. The Quest 2 is nowhere near 4K resolution per eye anyway. A hands-on from Bloomberg states that the Quest 3 doesn’t seem very much sharper than the Quest 2 in practice.
Will the Meta Quest 3 win in terms of battery life?
The Vision Pro has no built-in battery and instead you get an external battery that Apple says offers about two hours of use. This fits in your pocket or can be placed next to you when you’re sitting. You can also use a plug so you can keep using the headset.
How long the Quest 3 will last is a mystery for now, but you can use the Quest 2 for three hours on a full charge. There is also a special Elite Strap available that doubles the duration with an extra battery. Meta has not yet released how the Quest 3 performs in that area.
Is the Apple Vision Pro or the Meta Quest 3 the biggest powerhouse?
The difference between the Apple Vision Pro and the Meta Quest 3 is largely a comparison of a powerful computer with a powerful smartphone. And this then determines how immersive apps and games will look.
Apple is using the M2 processor from recent Macs to power the Vision Pro. The company is combining this with the new R1 chip that handles data from cameras and sensors.
The Meta Quest 3 is rumored to have the Snapdragon Qualcomm XR2 chip, which is specifically designed for this type of device. However, it is based on smartphone chips. Meta says you get twice the graphics performance compared to the Quest 2, but it probably won’t be able to match the Vision Pro.
The Vision set with the battery. (Image: Apple)
Which headset is better for gamers?
The Apple Vision Pro is marketed primarily for productivity and as an entertainment device. Gaming, as it stands, is secondary. It will run Apple Arcade games, of course, and probably new VR and AR games are in development in the meantime. Which ones those will be remains to be seen.
The Meta Quest platform does already have a plethora of great VR games, such as Beat Saber, Resident Evil 4, Pistol Whip and Superhot VR. These games are therefore going to run even better on the Quest 3. Meta has additionally hinted at developing AR games.
All in all, these are two impressive headsets, but the difference in price is significant. We can therefore assume that the target market for the Vision next year will be particularly niche. As soon as we are able to test the two impressive VR/AR headsets, we will of course let you know.
And of course we were present at ‘dubdub’, check Mark’s report!