Officially released on 10 October after the Meta Connect 2023 developer conference, the Quest 3 headset has now been in the hands of reviewers and the public for over 6 weeks. So what’s the verdict? What do users and reviewers think? And how does it compare to the Quest 2 and Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro? The Meta Quest 3 has made a notable impact in the VR headset market since its launch, with various reviews highlighting its strengths and weaknesses, especially in regards to performance, Mixed Reality passthrough and display optics. Here’s a summary of what reviewers and the public think of the new headset, followed by a detailed table comparing the Quest 3, Quest 2, and the upcoming Apple Vision Pro.
Summary of Meta Quest 3 reviews
- Visual Quality and Performance: The Quest 3 is praised for its improved visual quality, performance, and design over the Quest 2. It boasts a slimmer design, sharper display, more powerful processor, and better controllers. Shacknews IGN
- Software Utilization: A common critique is that the software does not fully utilise the device’s new features. However, just like the Quest 2, software advances are likely to be made by Meta later to improve the performance and even expand its feature set. Over time, the Quest 2 became a significantly better device compared to when it was first launched. Hand tracking, performance improvements and interface redesigns are likely to be frequent and significant. Wired Shacknews
- Price: The price point is significantly higher than the Quest 2, which may deter some users from upgrading. Of course, the Quest 3 will seem cheap compared to the expected cost of the Apple VisionPro HMD at USD 3,500. Polygon
- Gaming and Mixed Reality: The headset is praised for its powerful gaming performance and the introduction of full-colour passthrough for mixed-reality gaming. Full colour passthrough offers the possibility of additional, enhanced experiences that make it more than just a heavy duty VR gaming device. BRG VideoGamer
- Chipset: Quest 3 is the first VR headset with a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset, enhancing graphics and overall performance. Performance is a massive jump from the Quest 2 and even the Quest Pro. Performance is likely to continue to improve as developers add support for the new chip and visuals, and as Meta optimises the core OS further. CNET
- Overall Reception: Reviewers generally regard the Quest 3 as a superior headset, suitable for both beginners and long-time VR fans, with its easy setup and vast library of games. Meta has the largest gaming and experience library of any headset and only grows over time. The opportunities for additional software improvements to passthrough, hand tracking, and display optics are numerous. UploadVR
Quest 2 vs Quest 3 vs Apple VisionPro
|Feature||Meta Quest 2||Meta Quest 3||Apple Vision Pro|
|Launch Year||Late 2020||Late 2023||Early 2024|
|Field of View||89-96°||110°||–|
|Lens Separation||58mm / 63mm / 68mm||58mm–70mm||–|
|Supported IPDs||56mm-70mm||53mm–75mm||Fully Automatic (visionOS)|
|Display Type||Single LCD||Dual LCD||Micro-OLED|
|Pixels Per Eye||~1680×1870||2064×2208||–|
|Angular Resolution||21 PPD||25 PPD||–|
|Max Refresh Rate||120Hz||120Hz||90/96 Hz|
|Chipset||Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 (7nm)||Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 (4nm)||Apple M2 (5nm)|
|Passthrough||Greyscale Low Res||True Color High Res||–|
|Battery Location||Visor||Visor||Tethered External|
|Additional Notes||–||–||HDR, Front Display, Authentication Pattern OpticID, No Tracked Controllers|
The Meta Quest 3 is widely regarded as a significant improvement over its predecessor in terms of hardware and performance. However, its software capabilities (the user interface in particular) and higher price point compared to its predecessor are areas of concern for some reviewers. Compared to the upcoming Apple Vision Pro, the Quest 3 holds up well in several aspects, despite the VisionPro’s higher-end features and hardware, especially if gaming is your primary use case.
Will Apple’s VisionPro beat the Quest 3 when it arrives?
It’s probably too early to make a judgement call on which headset will do better, given that the VisionPro still hasn’t been released yet. Both headsets have their own unique features and benefits. The Meta Quest 3 is a great all round VR contender available now at a reasonable cost, with a combined focus on gaming and Mixed Reality. Apple’s VisionPro though is expected to offer a more premium experience with a more restricted focus on productivity via Mixed Reality.
The Apple VisionPro has better 4K+ Infinite Display, while the Meta Quest 3 has a 4K resolution display per eye. The Apple VisionPro also has a more advanced tracking system with 12 cameras and 5 sensors, while the Meta Quest 3 has just 6 cameras and 2 MR sensors. The VisionPro will also feature eye tracking and face tracking, giving it the ability to have richer and possibly unique use cases Quest 3 won’t be able to replicate.
There are other important features that may give Apple’s headset the edge, including the ability to record and play back 3D video (which Apple for some reason calls “spatial video”) along with the ability to access the App Store’s 2D software. Developers can port apps that support the VisionPro to display in floating windows inside the headset. Adding real 3D features, however, will require extra developer work. Users also gain access to Apple’s other music, news and media services like Apple Plus.
The biggest barrier to widespread adoption of Apple’s headset is likely to be its high cost. Meta Quest 3 starts at $499, while the Apple VisionPro is expected to cost $3,500. If Apple can offer an experience that is 10 times better than Meta’s, or justify the cost in some other way, perhaps they can overcome this barrier. If not, the majority will have to wait for version 2 or 3. Either way, the future is bright for VR and AR.