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- Powerful gaming performance
- High resolution displays
- Strong software support
- Great speakers
- No eye tracking
- Average battery life
The Meta Quest 3 is the latest in the premiere line of standalone VR headsets previously made by Oculus. Now, armed with upgraded hardware and newly improved mixed reality functionality, and a slightly higher price tag to boot, there’s a lot that this latest iteration gets right. Continue reading to see whether this model can be considered among the best VR headsets on the market. We also recommend checking out some of the best Meta Quest 3 games to play on the device.
Meta Quest 3
Meta Quest 3 review: Price and availability
The Meta Quest 3 is available now in the US and internationally from Amazon and all other major big box retailers. Prices start from $499.99 for the 128GB model and scale to $649.99 for the 512GB variant. This is an increase of around 25% depending on the capacity size from the Meta Quest 2, which started around the $400 mark for the base model.
These are the rates for the headset on its own, however, you may be able to ultimately get the best value for money by considering a Meta Quest 3 bundle. Depending on the availability, you may be able to get extra VR games included or add-ons such as the Elite Strap and battery pack or the Charging Dock, too.
Meta Quest 3 review: Design
The design of the Meta Quest 3 has been substantially improved upon from its predecessor with an all-in-one mixed reality headset that’s both thinner and lighter overall. It now measures in at just 515g meaning it’s unlikely to weigh on your head the way that a more enthusiast-grade PC VR headset would, and it’s made better by the newly redesigned head strap which is soft and easily adjustable for a better user experience versus the previous model.
|Specs||Meta Quest 3|
|Display resolution||2064 x 2208 pixels per eye|
|Field of view||110° horizontal, 96° vertical|
|Refresh rate||72Hz, 80Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2|
|Storage options||128GB / 512GB|
|Battery life||Up to two and a half hours|
|Price||$499.99 (128GB); $649.99 (512GB)|
Under the hood, the Meta Quest 3 boasts some truly impressive specs for an all-in-one VR gaming headset at the sub-$650 price range. At the heart is the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 which fuels not only significantly better gaming visuals, but also full-color and high resolution passthrough for the headset’s mixed / augmented reality functionality. This is further bolstered by the display resolution of 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye for what the company calls “4K+ Infinite Display” and a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz where supported. It’s combined with a 110 degree field of view and a lens adjustment between 53-75 mm, so most people are accommodated.
The Meta Quest 3 also features 8GB RAM which feels much faster and more responsive than the 6GB you could find inside of the Meta Quest 2. You’ll need that extra bump in horsepower too due to the integration of mixed reality here. There are two RGB cameras which deliver twice the resolution found on even the Meta Quest Pro which can help you accurately set up room space and interact with objects in your immediate environment without worry of constantly crashing into things.
It’s also an extra string to this headset’s bow as a double threat for traditional VR gaming and a more sincere advancement into AR as well. Adding to the immersion is 3D spatial audio, which is around 40% louder than the previous model with extra bass. It’s a small inclusion, but further adds to the immersion with surround sound on a more sophisticated scale.
All of this added power comes at the expense of battery life, however. Meta claims that its Quest 3 headset should be good for around a maximum of two and a half hours when gaming, but that this can vary depending on the task at hand. This isn’t the worst figure I’ve seen for a standalone VR headset of this power, but keep in mind you won’t be getting all-day performance here.
Meta Quest 3 review: Performance
Without question, the Meta Quest 3 is the best VR headset that I’ve ever had my hands on. After just a couple of hours of getting to grips with its interface and the new mixed reality functionality, I found myself adapting much quicker than with any other model I’ve tested or reviewed to date.
Meta has made the intelligent design to completely redesign the controllers that are now ringless, similar to the pointer as found with the older Oculus Go. This meant that the new controllers fit nicer in the hand and acted more as a barrierless extension of my own hands. Right away the hand tracking was seamless in every app and game that I tried on the service, and I didn’t have to worry about any disconnecting.
Gaming in the Meta Quest 3 is a thrilling experience for the most part, and this is bolstered by up excellent first and third party support available through the storefront. For the bulk of my testing I stuck to some of the free experiences, which included losing more hours than I want to admit on Hyper Dash and several roller coaster simulators. The former is an explosively paced team-based arena shooter which incorporates the teleporting functionality to alleviate motion sickness into its core gameplay with incredible results.
Within just a few minutes of besting the basic tutorial, I found myself confidently rail-grinding and blinking around like I was Corvo Attano from Dishonored, delivering dual-wielding death from above in freefall. It’s in fast-paced games like this that the 90Hz and more experimental 120Hz refresh rate come into the fold. With the latter, you’re sacrificing visual quality, but it meant for a smoother ride when scoring headshots from across the room. Crossing my arms to shoot two people running out from behind me never got old, and I even found myself closing an eye to aim with the longer range pistol’s scope.
The Meta Quest 3 helped me feel more immersed in a virtual setting than some of the bleeding-edge PC VR headsets I’ve used in some time. Whether this was due to a far heavier feel on the head or the string of cables attached to me in those instances, I didn’t have the same problem going wireless with the new headset from Meta. If you’re someone who wants the best first and third party support for VR gaming then this a no brainer, too. What’s more, this model is completely backwards compatible with all previous Quest games, so if you’re upgrading, you won’t lose out.
While I can vouch for the gaming performance of the Meta Quest 3, what was a more exciting prospect to me was how this headset handles mixed reality. The dual-camera setup for full-color high definition passthrough is a definite plus, something that was first ushered in with the far pricier Meta Quest Pro, however, things are greatly improved here. That’s thanks to the new depth sensor which does a good job of scoping out your room space space whether standing or sitting down.
It isn’t quite like looking through a viewfinder, though. Maybe this is down to how dark my house can get in these winter months, but getting too close to objects would result in a little fuzziness, and the harsh lighting above didn’t exactly help matters. It’s far from a deal breaker, as you’ll have things occupying the open space, but if you look for too long, you may notice some graininess here and there.
In terms of the mixed reality content I tried out, I’m happy to report that the likes of Netflix and YouTube being inserted into my view in a diegetic fashion is something which never got old. Within seconds, I was able to pull up a screen far larger than any of my TVs or monitors in my house, kick back on the sofa and watch content in IMAX-like environments. It’s something I did just to test it initially, before it slowly became a main reason for getting the headset on the go in the first place.
That’s thanks to just how stellar the 3D audio of the Meta Quest 3 is which was easily able to rival some of the best gaming headsets I’ve used in recent years. It should be said that this headset feels more evolutionary than revolutionary as a major step in the right direction towards creating stellar VR gaming and mixed reality for everyone. Without a doubt, this is the VR headset to get for both media playback and gaming at a price that’s hard to argue against, especially as the gaming performance rivals some PC-only models nearing double its MSRP.
Should you buy the Meta Quest 3?
The Meta Quest 3 offers an exceptional standalone VR gaming and mixed reality experience which should cater to most audiences. If you’re after the bleeding edge of what’s available from PC-first models then this one isn’t quite going to measure up, however, for plug and play functionality, impressive graphics, great controllers, and leading library support, you can’t do much better honestly.