Meta Quest 3 vs. Apple Vision Pro in 2024

Is the Apple Vision Pro better than the Meta Quest 3? Maybe.

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Video transcript:

It’s 2024, and now that Apple Vision Pro is out and I’ve gotten to spend a few weeks with it, I want to answer the question a lot of people have on their minds: How does it compare to the Meta Quest 3?

The number one advantage of the Quest 3 over the Vision Pro, to me, is weight and comfort. The Quest 3 weighs 515 g, whereas the Apple Vision Pro weighs anywhere from 600 to 650 g, depending on the light seal and headband configuration. And while that doesn’t actually sound like much, when I wear both of these headsets for more than, let’s say, 20 minutes or so, I definitely notice a difference. The longer I wear these headsets, the worse the Vision Pro feels compared to the Quest 3.

The Quest 3’s facial interface design is also less complicated than the Vision Pro’s. Apple designed, like, 20 plus light seals for the Apple Vision Pro, compared to the Quest 3 just having one standard one. Now, in theory, Apple’s approach would actually be better because you have a light seal that conforms to your unique face shape. The problem with this approach is the way Apple is measuring people’s faces to fit the correct light seal. That doesn’t seem to be working for everyone. With a Vision Pro, you need to scan your face with a device that has Face ID to get the correct size, but myself and other users I’ve seen on Reddit seem to agree Apple’s fit process doesn’t seem to be as accurate after people get a chance to try out different light seals in-store.

Coming in at the number two advantage of the Quest 3 is controllers. The Quest 3 controllers come with the headset and allow you to play all types of immersive games. Plus, it’s a much more precise input mechanism than using the hand tracking on the Quest. With the Vision Pro, Apple uses eye tracking for selection, which takes some getting used to. I do like the idea Meta has of hand tracking not always forcing you to have to look at everything you want to select, though I found theirs is not as accurate as the Apple Vision Pro’s hand tracking. Now, for gaming, the Apple Vision Pro does support wireless controllers like the PS5 controller, but you can’t necessarily play all the games you’d want to with that controller. You can’t really play big title console games yet without some sort of third-party workaround or doing cloud gaming via Safari.

Moving on to the number three advantage of the Quest 3: immersive gaming. Because Quest as a platform has been out way longer than Apple’s Vision Pro, it has a larger gaming library and even more mixed reality games so far. But I’d argue the bigger advantage for the Quest 3 in gaming is how games are actually designed for it. The games are generally just more immersive. They’re not just normal 2D games being shown to you on a giant virtual screen and sometimes with virtual things built around it, like a lot of Vision Pro games are today. Meta Quest games make you feel like you’re inside the video game, which is what VR gaming typically has been all about and why you would want to strap on one of these headsets versus just play a game on a PC or console. Now, Vision Pro does have some spatial games like “What the Golf” and “Fruit Ninja” that take advantage of its spatial computing capabilities and make things more immersive, but you are still limited to using your eyes and the hand tracking for playing these games. Now, the Vision Pro can bring a virtual Mac window into your environment so you could run a game on your Mac and bring it into a giant virtual display while wearing the Vision Pro, but given its ergonomic constraints, this isn’t something you’d necessarily want to do for a long gaming session.

And this brings me to the number four advantage of the Quest 3, which is its more open operating system. You can download software onto your Quest outside of Meta’s App Store, unlike with the Vision Pro and Apple’s App Store. With Quest 3, you can sideload apps onto it using software like SideQuest and download apps onto it like PlayStation Remote Play and Microsoft Remote Desktop.

The number five advantage of the Quest is its better field of view (FOV) and less reflective lenses compared to Apple Vision Pro. And this was a bit of a surprise to me. When watching content on a dark screen in the Vision Pro, you’ll likely notice reflections and glare at the bottom half of the lenses. Now, that’s not to say the Quest 3’s lenses don’t have any reflections or glare; it’s just not nearly as pronounced as it is with the Vision Pro.

The sixth advantage of the Quest 3: you can wear your glasses with it. Just press the button on each side of the facial interface device to slide it back so you can accommodate wearing glasses. Apple Vision Pro requires you to buy optical inserts from Zeiss with your specific prescription, which costs around an extra $100 to $200 depending on the prescription needed.

The seventh advantage of the Quest 3 over the Vision Pro is multiple profiles. You can actually add up to three additional Meta accounts to the device, unlike with a Vision Pro, whose design doesn’t allow for multi-user support right now. And even if the OS did, you’d still need to get different light seals for different users, and each light seal costs $200.

The Quest 3 is also just easier to give to someone to try out. They can just put it on and adjust the lens distance. They don’t have to set up eye tracking like you need to do on the Vision Pro, which takes more time. Though I do like how Apple Vision Pro automatically adjusts its lens spacing for each individual user.

The eighth advantage Quest 3 has over Apple Vision Pro is the battery is integrated into the headset itself, making it less cumbersome to do VR gaming and moving around.

Alright, and the last advantage the Quest 3 has over Apple Vision Pro is, of course, price. Apple Vision Pro starts at a staggering $3,500 US, whereas the Meta Quest 3 starts at $499. And Quest 3 can be configured up to 512 GB, whereas the Vision Pro tops out at 1 TB of storage for $3,899.

So, that’s the Meta Quest 3 and its advantages. Now, let’s take a look at Apple Vision Pro. The number one advantage Vision Pro has to be its excellent high-resolution micro-LED displays. They’re the size of a postage stamp and contain almost as many pixels as a 4K television. The displays are key for so many things that make using the Vision Pro nicer than using the Quest 3, like overall graphics. Everything looks sharp and crisp on the Vision Pro. It’s like the Quest 3 is at 720 resolution and the Vision Pro is 4K. You definitely notice the difference, especially for movies and immersive videos. Now, while yes, you can technically watch movies and immersive videos on Quest, because of its screen door effect where you can see the pixels of the Quest display, that experience just doesn’t feel better than watching something on my 4K TV. And the depth effect and camera angles Meta is using for their immersive videos, it just doesn’t sell the illusion that you’re actually there watching whatever the immersive video is about in the way that Apple’s does. I could totally see somebody actually wanting and being able to watch a movie on this thing that will be comparable to watching it in a theater or on your television, though the ergonomics are a bit of a downside with that experience and some people will not be able to tolerate it. I still haven’t been able to get accustomed to the weight for long use and get a light seal that fits well, though I do have another one on order. These displays also make other experiences like the virtual environments feel so real and make all of the panoramas you took really come to life, and it gives you a similar perspective to what it looked like when you took the panorama. Also, the performance overall on the Vision Pro is much better and more stable. I run into no stuttering, whereas with the Quest 3, sometimes apps do that and it can make you a bit queasy and motion sick if you’re not careful. So Apple definitely gets a point in the category of performance.

The second advantage Vision Pro has over the Quest 3 is the Apple ecosystem and the Vision OS operating system. Your iCloud photos just show up on the headset, your iMessages are all there, things like that. It’s easier to bring a Mac window into the headset versus the Quest, which can actually do multiple Mac windows, though it’s a more involved process and it’s been a bit more glitchy in my experience. And because of Apple’s better screens, text looks crisp, and I could actually use this Mac window to work on if I wanted to, though I do need to say at no point have I found myself actually wanting to strap either of these two devices to my face in order to get productivity tasks done, outside of just the general novelty of being able to do so. Sure, it looks cool being able to drag multiple windows around in the videos you’ve likely seen on social about these headsets, but practically, because you’re strapping something that weighs at least 500 g to your face, unless there’s a specific application you need to use it for that can take advantage of its 3D and spatial abilities like 3D modeling, I think most people will stick with the computers and displays they already have. Other Apple ecosystem advantages with this headset are things like AirDrop, so it’s easy to move files back and forth to the Vision Pro without having to go through a specific app like on Quest. Plus, you have regular access to tons of regular 2D iPad apps, you can have continuity for things like the keyboard and mouse paired with your Mac, and apps can run in the background, which isn’t really something you can do on the Quest 3. Often, if you have an app open or want to launch a game or something, you’ll need to close the app you have opened before proceeding.

Coming in at the number three advantage of Apple Vision Pro is hand tracking. While yes, the Quest can do similar hand tracking to what you can do with the Vision Pro, Apple’s is much better and more precise. Plus, Vision OS does give you more flexibility where you can drag windows and how many windows you have open in your environment.

Coming in at number four is sound. Now, while the Quest 3 sound isn’t terrible, the Vision Pro’s is noticeably better, especially with its spatial surround sound.

The number five Apple Vision Pro advantage is better pass-through. Now, when Apple Vision Pro first came out and people got to put it on and see what things looked like in low light, they were like, “Wait, this doesn’t look like real life. I can see camera sensor noise.” But to anyone else who’s seen what pass-through looks like on the Quest 3 or even the Quest 2, the Vision Pro blows them away.

Alright, number six: spatial photos and videos. Apple Vision Pro isn’t just a spatial computer you can look at stuff in; it also doubles as probably the first true 3D camera Apple’s ever put out there. Now, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max can also take spatial videos, but so far in my testing, I found the perspective and depth effect to be slightly better with the footage taken on the Vision Pro. The only downside, of course, with taking photos and videos with the Vision Pro being you have to wear it while doing that, which may look unsettling to some. Like, do you really want to be the person at the Holiday Gathering wearing one of these things? I don’t know. Now, while the Quest 3 can’t take spatial photos and videos, if you have an iPhone that can, Meta did announce support for Apple’s format, so you’ll be able to view spatial videos on your Quest. Though I found the depth effect to be even more underwhelming when viewing them on the Quest.

The number seven advantage of the Vision Pro is Optic ID. This technology allows Apple to actually scan your iris in your eye, which is unique to every person, and this unlocking tech is just as convenient as Face ID is on an iPhone or iPad. The Quest uses passcode unlock, but compared to Vision Pro, it’s pretty inconvenient. Every time I put on my Quest, so much so that I’ve just turned it off on the Quest, since I’m the only one who uses it anyways.

And coming in at the number eight advantage for Apple Vision Pro is improved aesthetics and build quality. Even diehard Quest fans are going to have a hard time arguing the Quest 3 looks better than Apple Vision Pro. Apple’s industrial design team did a good job making the Vision Pro look futuristic with its metal, glass, and fabric materials. The Quest 3, in comparison, looks a bit more like a toy, and the three camera cutouts on the front make it look a bit alien. Though to be fair, you’re not really going to look good wearing either one. Also, the build quality of the Quest 3, while I appreciate its better weight compared to the Vision Pro, it’s a bit more finicky for things like adjusting the facial interface to make room for glasses or removing the facial interface from the device altogether compared to the Vision Pro’s light seal, which magnetically attaches and is easier to take off.

So, those are the advantages I found so far with Apple Vision Pro. But is it truly better than the Meta Quest 3, and should I even be comparing these two headsets to begin with, given the cost difference between them is so much? And I know some of you are going to say no, you absolutely shouldn’t be. But even Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, is comparing these two products, and of course, he found the Vision Pro was better. Now, of course, I’m kidding. He said the Quest 3 was better. He argues the Quest 3 isn’t just a better value, but it’s the better product. Does he have a point? He might actually. Now, before you rage-cancel me in the comments, Apple fans, let me explain why. Because you’re strapping these devices to your face and they weigh a bit, you’re only going to want to do that for things you can’t do on other devices you own. While Vision Pro’s graphics and displays are better, minus the limited spatial experiences and immersive videos, everything else with it – the Mac window, watching TV shows and movies, using iPad apps, and having multiple windows open – I can already do all of that on an Apple device I already own. Now, for the things that I would actually need one of these headset devices for, like immersive gaming and fitness experiences, even though, yes, the Apple Vision Pro is technologically superior and their immersive videos are better, the immersive videos are just too limited right now for this to even be a draw to it over the Quest 3 for immersive gaming and fitness. That’s where the Quest 3 really outshines the Vision Pro, and why for most people, I think the Quest 3 is the better product right now. And I plan to do an update of this video as time goes on and Apple and Meta further develop their ecosystems and those ecosystems mature. Now, if you want to see more content I’ve already done on the Quest 3 and the Vision Pro, you can see those videos here. And if you want to see my full 6 months later reviews of each of these two headsets, plus my upcoming review of the Meta smart glasses, which I think are super interesting and a form factor people could definitely get used to easier over either of these two headsets, make sure you subscribe to the channel. For 6 months later, I’m Josh Teder. Thanks for watching.

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