Meta Quest 3 is officially here and it’s available to buy now. The headset builds on the popular Meta Quest 2 and adds full-color video streaming and mixed reality capabilities. It’s also the best VR headset out there. Read our full Quest 3 review now to see how it holds up in our early tests. Spoiler alert: so far, we’re pretty impressed.
While the Quest 3 costs $200 more than the Quest 2, it comes with quite a few upgrades. The new headset features a 40% thinner visor and a new Snapdragon chipset to power virtual reality and mixed reality experiences. While Meta plans to keep Quest 2 around for a while, it’s clear that Quest 3 is arguably the flagship of its lineup.
Read on for everything we know so far about Meta Quest 3.
Editor’s note: Check out our Meta Connect 2023 live blog for a summary of all the latest news from the company’s major events, including Quest 3, new AI botsa new pair Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses (which we went hands-on with) and more!
Meta Quest 3 is officially available for purchase!
Right now, if you buy the 128GB model, you’ll get Asgard’s Wrath 2 for free. If you upgrade and buy the 512GB model, you’ll also get a six-month Meta Quest Plus subscription in addition to the free game. This pre-order offer ends on January 27, 2024.
You can pre-order Quest 3 from the Meta Store in 23 countries or from selected retailers. In the US, you can pre-order from Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart. UK customers can pre-order from Amazon, Curry’s and Argos.
A place you right now can not buy Meta Quest 3 is China, but that seems to be changing. According to The Wall Street Journal, Meta is returning to China and it’s bringing the Quest 3 with it. But the expectation is that this version of the Quest 3 will be cheaper – tentatively called “Quest 3 Lite” by some analysts.
In the US, the Meta Quest 3 starts at $499 for a model with 128GB of storage, which is $100 more than the Quest 2 and its $299 price tag. There’s also a model with a larger storage size — 512GB — available for $649.
In the UK, the launch price is £479 for the 128GB model and £619 for the larger 512GB model. In the EU, the launch price is €549 for the 128GB model and €699 for the 512GB model. In Australia, the launch price for the base 128GB model is AU$799.
|Award||$499.00 (128GB), $649 (512GB)|
|Launch day||September 27|
|Issue date||October 10|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2|
|Storage||128 GB, 512 GB|
|Show||4K+ Infinite Display (2 LCD screens with 2064 x 2208 pixels per eye)|
|Full color implementation||Two RGB cameras (18 PPD)|
|Update frequency||90Hz (native), 120Hz (experimental)|
|Field of view||110 degrees horizontally, 96 degrees vertically|
|Measure||184mm x 160mm x 98mm|
|Battery life||up to 2.9 hours (rated)|
|Charging time||2 hours (graded)|
|Connection possibilities||Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2|
The Meta Quest 3 comes in two storage sizes: 128GB and 512BG. This is a bit disappointing as 256GB feels like the ideal storage size, but at least there is an option for those who need lots of space.
But more importantly, Quest 3 gets a new control circuit. The headset is powered by the all-new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2. Meta says this gives the Quest 3 twice the graphics processing power of the Quest 2. The Quest 3 also gets a RAM upgrade, with 8GB of RAM instead of the Quest 2’s 6GB. Unfortunately, this falls short of the 12GB of RAM you get with the Meta Quest Pro.
Meta Quest 3 also gets an upgraded screen. Meta calls the new screens 4K+ Infinite Display, which are two LCD screens that use pancake optics to achieve 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye resolution. Meta says this improves the Quest 3’s resolution by nearly 30% over the Meta Quest 2. Additional resolution specs include 25 pixels per degree (PPD) in virtual reality and 1,218 pixels per inch (PPI).
When using the headset’s full-color video passthrough, the resolution drops slightly. In mixed reality, the resolution is 18 PPD powered by two RGB cameras instead of 25 PPD. This is still an upgrade though, as Meta says this is “over 10x more pixels in Passthrough compared to Quest 2 and 3x more pixels compared to Quest Pro.”
In terms of refresh rate, the Quest 3 has a native 90Hz refresh rate with an experimental 120Hz refresh rate. Hopefully the Quest 3 will eventually push 144Hz thanks to any post-launch updates, but for now it’s stuck at 120Hz.
One aspect of the Quest 3 that doesn’t get an upgrade is battery life. The Quest 3 has the same battery life numbers as the Quest 2, which according to Meta is usually around 2.2 hours but can push 2.9 hours when just consuming media. The headset charges back up to full from 0% in two hours with the included 18W charger, which is also roughly on par with the Quest 2.
Meta Quest 3 has been completely redone from the “inside out” according to Meta. While the headset has the same overall aesthetic as the Quest 2, its optical profile is now 40% slimmer, thanks in part to pancake lenses. It also has a bold trio of two pill-shaped RGB cameras and a depth projector on the front of the headset to facilitate the review of full-color video.
There’s also a new Lens Distance Adjustment Wheel that allows for more precise fine-tuning of interpupillary distance (IPD). The headset supports an IPD of 53mm to 75mm. The built-in glasses and depth adjustment eliminate the need for the glasses distance insert that you needed with the Quest 2.
The speakers also get a boost in the Quest 3. Meta says the sound range of the Quest 3 is 40% higher than the Quest 2, and that the Quest 3 produces spatial 3D sound with improved clarity and bass. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack if you want to plug in your own headphones for more immersive sound.
As for the strap, the Quest 3 gets a soft strap included with an optional hard Elite strap available for purchase for $69. This is similar to the Quest 2, although the strap design is slightly altered for a more secure fit.
One downside to all these design changes? The impressive components will be difficult to replace. In a teardown of the new Quest 3, iFixit found the Quest 3’s repairability to be poor, giving it a 4 out of 10 repairability score. This is largely due to the difficulty of getting to the headset’s components, but also to the lack of spare parts available to consumers should something break.
As for the controls, Meta has redesigned the Quest 3’s Touch Plus controls to be more ergonomic — not easy to tell from the quick video, but we noticed a big improvement in our hands-on time with the headset.
The Touch Plus controllers also feature TruTouch haptics, giving the Quest 3 controllers a feature we love in PSVR 2. This should give users a more realistic and immersive experience.
Unfortunately, the Touch Plus controllers – frustratingly – rely on disposable AA batteries. However, the headset has a Meta Quest Charging Dock available for an additional $129. Wireless charging for the headset is facilitated by contact pads on the underside of the headset and includes lithium-ion batteries for the controls.
The headline feature of the Quest 3 is of course the mixed reality capabilities facilitated by the headset’s full-color video implementation. This allows you to go back and forth between immersive VR content and passthrough facilitated AR experiences with holographic overlays with a simple double tap on the side of the headset to switch. Check out our guide to the new Meta Quest 3 mixed reality features, including five you can try out as soon as you get the headset.
Quest 3 will also gain access to Quest 2’s entire content library, including all the best Meta Quest 2 games. Plus, over 100 new Quest 3 apps and upgraded Quest 2 apps are coming to Meta Quest 3 by the end of the year, meaning you’ll have no shortage of experiences and games to try. Be sure to check out our roundup of the Meta Quest 3 games we know are coming so far.
Quest 3 also gains Quest 2’s PC VR compatibility with Windows PCs thanks to Quest Link and Air Link. That means access to almost all the best VR games. And, just like Quest 2, it will gain access to Meta Quest Plus. Quest Plus is Meta’s VR game subscription service that offers two curated games a month to subscribers for just $7.99 a month.
A feature that should be a big improvement? Thanks to Quest 3’s six advanced camera sensors, the Quest boundary feature can now automatically scan your playing surface to determine your playing surface’s boundary. Quest 3 can automatically scan your room in 3D and understand where walls, floors, furniture and other surfaces are located, which is a huge boost to ensure mixed reality experiences work properly.
Unfortunately, while the Quest 3 gets Direct Touch hand tracking, it won’t have eye tracking. This means that the Quest 3 is not released in any way – a feature you get on more expensive headsets with more powerful hardware.
Just because Meta has a new flagship headset doesn’t mean it’s forgetting about the popular Meta Quest 2. In fact, the Quest 3 announcement made it seem like Quest 2 will now serve as the entry point to the metaverse for the near future, with Quest 3 that provides the ultimate Meta Quest experience. Check out our full Meta Quest 3 vs. Meta Quest 2 face-off to see all the biggest differences between the two headsets.
If you don’t want to pay for Quest 3, don’t feel you have to. Thanks to Meta’s price drop and its commitment to expanding the Quest product line, there’s never been a better time to buy the Quest 2. Check out our three reasons why you should buy the Meta Quest 2 right now.
Meta isn’t the only company out there with a new headset. Apple has announced the Apple Vision Pro – the company’s first ever headset. And while both headsets show off their mixed reality capabilities, the two headsets are truly different. And it’s not just about the price tag and specs, both headsets tackle the issue of experiencing mixed reality in very different ways. Check out our Apple Vision Pro vs. Meta Quest 3 face-off for the full breakdown.
Overall, it looks like Meta added a lot of meaningful upgrades to the Quest 3. A thinner design, improved displays, a more powerful processor, and improved controls are just some of the improvements Meta has made. And it lets you experience mixed reality without having to spend $999 for the Meta Quest Pro, which is a welcome development.
But at $200 more than the Quest 2, the Quest 3 will have to prove that its performance is noticeably superior and that mixed reality is worth the extra money. It has largely proven the former, but mixed reality is still not quite there. We still think Quest is a big enough improvement overall that it’s worth getting over Quest 2, just don’t expect a mixed reality marvel just yet. Hopefully it will improve as more developers release Quest 3 apps.
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