The Apple Vision Pro vs Meta Quest debate is already generating buzz online. Could Apple be the new king of the headset market? The Apple Vision Pro, announced on June 5, 2023, is Apple’s long-awaited introduction to the market. How does it compare to the current leader, Meta’s Quest line of headsets?
Apple Vision Pro vs Meta: Tech and Performance
Technology is at the heart of the Apple Vision Pro vs Meta competition. How well these headsets stack up against one another will depend heavily on the performance they deliver. How are the specs of these two headsets different?
Display and Battery
Meta already has a few different headsets on the market, while Apple only has one. So, for this comparison, we’ll focus mainly on Meta’s 2022 Quest Pro headset.
The display on the Apple Vision Pro is much sharper than the Quest Pro’s. Each eye on the Vision Pro is a 4K display, while the Quest Pro’s LCD display is a little over Full HD. The Vision Pro has 23 million pixels per eye, more than any other headset on the market. Both Apple and Meta support lens inserts for users with prescription glasses.
The battery life for the Apple Vision Pro vs Meta Quest Pro is approximately the same at about 2 hours. However, the battery design differs between the two. The Quest Pro has a built-in battery in the headset strap, while the Apple Vision Pro has a wired portable battery pack.
There are pros and cons to both designs. With the Quest Pro, you don’t have to worry about a battery cable. With the Vision Pro, the external battery means you can swap out battery packs or plug into a wall outlet if needed. Depending on how someone wants to use their MR headset, an external battery could be more versatile, while an internal battery could be less obtrusive.
Cameras, Microphones and Sensors
The cameras and sensors in the Apple Vision Pro are superior to those in the Meta Quest Pro across the board. The Vision Pro has twice as many microphones, twice as many cameras, and LiDAR and TrueDepth sensors, which the Quest Pro doesn’t have at all.
This particular area of the tech specs is a game changer when it comes to Apple Vision Pro vs Meta Quest Pro. Apple makes those extra cameras, microphones and sensors go a long way. For example, users can record 3D videos with the Vision Pro. The extra microphones allow the headset to record realistic audio that cuts out background noise. The cameras also allow the Vision Pro to use a unique Optical ID technology to lock and unlock the headset.
Eye Tracking and Controls
The controls are one of the most divisive parts of the Apple Vision Pro vs Meta Quest Pro debate. Apple chose not to sell the Vision Pro with controllers, a controversial choice for many consumers. Every other major MR and VR headset on the market today uses some type of handheld controllers, including the Quest Pro.
Some might be worried that the lack of controllers makes navigation on the Vision Pro frustrating. However, the Vision Pro resolves this concern using the market’s most precise eye and motion tracking technology. It is far more accurate than the tracking on the Quest Pro or any other headset to date. As a result, an external controller isn’t needed for most applications.
Apple does allow users to pair controllers, mice, keyboards and other accessories with the Vision Pro, though. You can use a game controller or type on a physical keyboard if you want. The Quest Pro requires using its handheld controllers for most applications, although you can use hand tracking for certain functions and apps.
As of 2023, the Meta Quest Pro has a noticeable edge regarding game and app availability purpose-made for headset use. Meta has had years to build up a large library of games, apps and tools on the Quest Store. As a result, the Quest Pro has access to over 1,000 different apps today.
Apple hasn’t announced how many apps will be available specifically for the Apple Vision Pro yet. However, now that it has been announced, many developers are likely already hard at work creating new apps made especially for the new visionOS.
In terms of overall app compatibility, the Vision Pro actually comes out on top. It can run many apps on the App Store, including apps for the iPhone, iPad and Mac platforms. These apps might not be full VR or made specifically for headset use, but they can run on the Vision Pro. Depending on how you want to use your MR headset, the Vision Pro could be more versatile in the long run.
Apple Vision Pro vs Meta Quest Pro: Pricing
The biggest drawback of the Apple Vision Pro is the price. Apple announced the headset will cost $3500 at launch, which is more than triple the $1000 price of Meta’s Quest Pro. Users who want to save even more money can get the Meta Quest 2 for a mere $300!
Of course, Apple packs a lot of cutting-edge tech into its hefty price tag. Polls show that over 50% of consumers say they would buy the Vision Pro even with its sky-high price.Nonetheless, the cost of the Vision Pro puts it out of reach for the average user. It is a first generation device, though, so future models will likely be much more affordable.
Apple Vision Pro vs Meta: Who Does MR Better?
The big question surrounding the Apple Vision Pro vs Meta Quest Pro debate is whether Meta can continue to compete with Apple now. Meta has a headstart in the headset market, but Apple has had years to learn from Meta’s mistakes and refine its own technology. Now they’re entering the market with a first generation device that’s already more powerful than Meta’s most premium headset.
What Meta Does Better
As of 2023, the Meta Quest Pro or even Quest 2 or 3 are better headsets for most users. They are simply more affordable and accessible right now. They are also better for gaming. Apple didn’t say or show much about what kind of gaming performance the Vision Pro will be able to deliver. In contrast, immersive gaming has always been a core part of Meta’s headsets.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the difference between Apple and Meta in a recent interview, explaining, “The companies are just focused on somewhat different things… Apple has always focused on building really kind of high-end things whereas… We have a more democratic ethos. We want to build things that are accessible to a wider number of people.”
What Apple Does Better
The Apple Vision Pro has wider functionality, a smoother operating system, a smarter design and greater user privacy. For those who can afford the high price, the Vision Pro is a much more powerful device than any of Meta’s headsets.
It can do everything Apple’s other devices can do and it’s compatible with all of them. In fact, Apple’s mixed reality headsets could one day replace the iPhone much like it replaced the iPod. It might even replace the Mac and iPad, as well.
The 3D renderings of users wearing the Vision Pro are far better than the infamous cartoon avatars users get on Meta’s headsets. A front-facing display also allows other people to see someone’s actual eyes and facial expressions when they are wearing the Vision Pro, something Meta does not offer.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Apple has a history of prioritizing user privacy in a way that directly combats Meta’s approach. The initial announcement details for the Vision Pro promise that Optic ID data never leaves the headset, individual apps won’t have access to users’ surroundings and eye tracking input is never shared, not even with Apple. This is in stark contrast with Meta, which uses eye tracking to sell targeted ads with users’ data.
Which One of These Headsets Should You Buy?
The Apple Vision Pro is a groundbreaking device. The long wait for its announcement clearly paid off since Apple’s mixed reality headset will be the most advanced ever released.
Users comparing the Apple Vision Pro vs Meta Quest Pro now have more to think about before buying their next headset. For users who can afford the high price of the Vision Pro, it’s definitely a more powerful device. However, for those looking to save some money or prioritizing VR gaming, a Meta headset remains a better choice.
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