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Meta announced in June last year that “VR is about to get even more real” with their Meta Quest 3 headset, released in October 2023, VR fans have been keen to see how the Quest 3 would shape up against the Apple Vision Pro, announced June 2023.
That particular week saw both Meta and Apple announcing their next-gen AR/VR headsets, many consumers were wondering how would compare against each other.
The third iteration of Meta’s VR headset finally arrived, with a release date of October 10, 2023. It’s specs proved that the Meta Quest 3 would be significantly more powerful than its predecessors, with Meta’s Connect event showcasing its powerful Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset and two RGB cameras with 18 PPD, for 10X the resolution of Quest 2. Furthermore, we’ve got all the information on where to buy the Meta Quest 3.
Meanwhile, Apple’s keynote presentation at WWDC 2023 made it clear that they were planning to make headways in virtual and augmented reality with the Vision Pro. Referring to their upcoming headset as a “spatial computer”, with a release date of February 2, 2024 (psst, that’s tomorrow) its main selling point is its ability to adjust its immersion level in your virtual environment. Compared to the Quest 3, and the best VR headsets currently on the market, it’s a step away from using VR headsets as a kind of escape.
Here we’ll be discussing what we’ve found out about both VR headsets, and how they compare regarding the specs, performance, design and price. We already know the positioning of the Meta Quest 3 vs the Meta Quest Pro, so let’s see how it shapes up against the Apple Vision Pro. Let’s jump to it.
Meta Quest 3 vs Apple Vision Pro – specs comparison
There’s a lot that we’re still waiting to experience in the upcoming VR headset from Apple, and as they say, the devil is in the detail. At the time of writing, our information about Apple Vision Pro is limited to those who have been hands-on with early access, and what Apple itself has revealed. So here’s what we know right now:
|Apple Vision Pro
|Meta Quest 3
|1 x M2 chip, 1 x R1 chip
|Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2
|4K (per eye)
|2064×2208 pixels (per eye)
|256GB, 512GB, 1TB
|2 hours (with external battery)
|2.2 hours of usage on average
|Size and weight
|around 1 pound
|515 grams, 40% slimmer than Quest 2
|Mixed reality passthrough
|Operates in mixed reality by default
|Full-color passthrough, two RGB cameras with 18 PPD
|110 degrees horizontal, 90 degrees vertical
|110 degrees horizontal, 96 degrees vertical
According to Meta, the Meta Quest 3 is 40% slimmer than its predecessor with a next-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset boasting 2x the graphics performance which sounds very promising. You can see the improvements that have been put into the Meta Quest 3 by taking a look at the comparison between the Quest 3 vs the Quest 2. The front of the device will feature a color video pass-through camera meaning you’re able to see the world around you in full color, which is a welcome new feature. You’ll also get a standard camera and a depth sensor which is a first for a Quest headset, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Yet in comparison, the Apple Vision Pro looks like it could be even lighter.
With the Quest 3 resolution slightly behind Apple’s at 2064×2208 pixels per eye, the Vision Pro has set a very high bar with 4K resolution per eye. That being said, the Quest 2 only just falls short of 4K resolution per eye, so we might expect the Vision Pro and Quest 3 to be on par.
Both headsets feature incredibly powerful chips. The Vision Pro will have the Apple M2 chip and R1 Apple Silicon chip. Together, we’re expecting a headset with remarkably low latency as it helps power the numerous cameras to track and sensor the user and their environment. The M1 chip will also help power the device’s impressive spatial audio feature.
Meanwhile, the Quest 3 features Qualcomm’s next-gen XR processor which is ser to compute up to three times faster than the previous chip generation. It’s also the same chip that will power the upcoming Pico 5, another VR headset. Overall, it’s hard to tell which chip comes out on top, though given the premium price point of the Vision Pro.
Meta Quest 3 vs Apple Vision Pro – performance
Both headsets raise some eyebrows in terms of performance. Meta is now onto their third generation headset, which promises considerable improvements from the previous generations. The combination of dual RGB color cameras and video passthrough offers a serious boost to the lifelike rendering of the real world.
But how might it compare to Apple’s VR headset? Well, Apple’s feature to have eye motion tracking will certainly give it an edge. Moreover, those who have already had a hands-on experience with the Apple Vision Pro, claim it is more intuitive. For example, Facetime calls can be completed in life-like 3D, users will be able to take advantage of Apple’s Shareplay to watch content together in VR, and the headset is set to completely support Bluetooth accessories. Moreover, the headset will be controlled via fingers, hand gestures, and voice commands.
Meta Quest 3 vs Apple Vision Pro – design
The Meta Quest 3 features a 40% slimmer design, and a stronger, more comfortable fabric strap compared to its predecessor. With the Quest 3’s weight weighing in at 515 grams, its lightness will be particularly welcome considering the complaints made about the Meta Quest 2’s front heaviness.
The Apple Vision Pro meanwhile looks more like a pair of premium ski goggles, with the aesthetic resembling other Apple products. The headset itself has a 3D display at the front that displays the eyes of the user which is a curious feature we haven’t seen in some of the other top VR headsets we’ve looked at. The Wall Street Journal’s review (outlined in The Guardian’s Review Roundup) pointed to the combination of glass and metal giving the headset a “weighty feel” that is noticeably heavy, at around 600-650 grams, but the two straps do a good job at reducing the pressure put on the face and back of the head. That being said, be prepared for the cushion-like seal around the goggles will be covered in makeup after use.
Another critical difference between the two is the placement of the battery. The Quest 3 has gone for a completely wireless experience with the battery integrated into the headset. Meanwhile, the Vision Pro has an external battery tethered to the headset as a wired connection. During use, the battery will dangle out and should be small enough to fit into a pocket. It was pointed out in a Tom’s Guide review that the battery is “heavier than an iPhone 15 Pro Max at about 12.4 ounces, and the lead can be tangled or pulled out quite easily.
Meta Quest 3 vs Apple Vision Pro – apps and games
The Meta Quest 3 has a stronger gaming focus than the Apple Vision Pro.
The Quest’s three improvements to their sensor and tracking systems, combined with the addition of haptic feedback on the new Touch Plus controllers will make the gaming experience pretty good. Meta has so far mentioned sixteen games including new titles and reimagined classics. Some of the games include Assassin’s Creed: Nexus VR and Asgard’s Wrath 2. These will be in addition to a fast growing VR games library of over 500 titles. Of course, if gaming is your priority, we recommend checking out our PSVR 2 review.
The Apple Vision Pro seems to have more of a productivity and communications focus. During their keynote, Apple barely mentioned gaming, though the headset will support existing Apple Arcade games. We did however see someone play the NBA 2K23 Arcade Edition while using a PlayStation 5 DualSense gamepad. Over 100 of its Arcade games are expected to be compatible with the headset by the time it launches in 2024, so Candy Crush Saga fans will have something to look forward to.
Meta Quest 3 vs Apple Vision Pro – price
The price of each headset is undoubtedly a massively significant factor separating these two headsets. The Meta Quest 3 price is releasing as a more consumer-friendly headset, retailing at $499. Meanwhile, the Apple Vision Pro will cost a staggering $3,499 on release.
With prices like this, we’d expect to see Apple’s VR headset dominate the upscale VR market, while the Meta Quest 3 remains competitively priced. It’s also worth adding that if both these headsets are outside your budget, but you’re keen to try VR, then the Meta Quest 2 could be a decent alternative. Since announcing Quest 3, Meta has lowered the MSRP of their previous-gen headset in an effort to make VR more accessible. You can check out the differences between the Quest 3 and Quest 2 here.
2023 was a busy year for Meta and Apple as they make huge strides in VR and AR. We’ll have our ears on the ground for the latest news on specs and design, so make sure you check back here soon.