Meta Quest 3 vs. Apple Vision Pro: Which One to Buy?

XR Bootcamp
October 5, 2023

Apple Vision Pro vs Meta Quest 3: Which Device to Buy and Why?

When it comes to immersive experiences, should you pledge allegiance to Meta's Quest 3 or Apple's Vision Pro? 

The battle between Meta Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro isn't just about devices; it's a face-off between two tech philosophies and as we all already know by now - we can’t make a decision about either of the two devices, but we can look at what they represent for the XR field right now. 

The fact is, the two headsets are vastly different from each other, and they serve different purposes. 

Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) have become increasingly popular in recent years, and with the release of new devices, such as the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3, the future of XR is looking bright. The spotlight is definitely brighter on the Apple Vision Pro - the device introduced at WWDC 2023 in June. A launch is set for early 2024, which means January to late April.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of each device, covering aspects such as design, features, performance, and price. Whether you're a tech enthusiast, a gamer, or a professional in the augmented and virtual reality industry, this article offers valuable insights and practical guidance to help you make an informed decision.

Of course, we’ll have to wait until devices are released to the public for thorough testing and we have to keep in mind that this is Apple’s first entrance into the XR world and there’s a lot we don’t know about their strategy.


The design of a VR headset is crucial for both comfort and functionality. And let’s be completely honest here - we expect Apple to take the W on this one just based on their company’s philosophy for designing outstanding products. 

Apple Vision Pro Headset

Source: Bloomberg

But let's take a closer look at the design and features of the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3.

Apple Vision Pro design and core features

The Apple Vision Pro is a mixed-reality headset that boasts a sleek and modern design It features a high-resolution OLED display, which provides a clear and immersive viewing experience. The device also comes with built-in speakers and microphones, allowing for seamless communication with other users. The Apple Vision Pro is also compatible with the Apple Arcade game controller, making it an excellent choice for gamers.

Here are the key details about the design features of the Apple Vision Pro:

  • Form Factor: It has a sleek ski goggles-like form factor made of lightweight aluminum alloy.
  • Adjustability: The headband and temples use magnets for a flexible and adjustable fit. It can be customized for different head sizes.
  • Face Seal: It has a magnetic light seal around the face to block out external light for an immersive experience.
  • Display Housing: The micro-OLED displays are housed in a thin, balanced central housing unit.
  • Optics: It uses advanced pancake lenses and precise optical systems for a clear viewing experience.
  • Sensors: It has over a dozen cameras and sensors placed around the housing and a light seal for eye tracking, hand tracking, passthrough AR, etc.
  • Controls: It relies on eye tracking and hand gestures for controls without external controllers. It has a digital crown and a camera button.
  • Ventilation: The lightweight aluminum alloy material allows for ventilation and thermal management for comfort during long use.
  • Ports: It charges via a braided cable attached to the lightweight and adjustable head strap.

Apple Vision Pro (as expected) has a premium yet balanced and adjustable design focused on comfort, light blocking, sensory inputs, and ventilation for all-day use.

Meta Quest 3 design and core features

The Meta Quest 3 is a standalone VR headset that is designed for portability and ease of use. It features a lightweight and comfortable design, making it ideal for extended use.

Meta Quest 3 MR Headset

Meta Quest 3 is an update of a previous Quest version but with a slimmer, more balanced, and more comfortable form factor through upgrades like its cameras, panels, and adjustable fabric-based head strap.

The device also comes with built-in speakers and microphones, allowing for easy communication with other users. Additionally, the Meta Quest 3 has a wide field of view, which provides a more immersive experience.

Here are the key details about the design features of the Meta Quest 3:

  • Form Factor: It has an updated headset form factor that is slimmer and lighter than the Quest 2.
  • Display Housing: The displays and lenses are housed in a compact central unit compared to the Quest 2.
  • Lenses: It uses new pancake lenses for a smaller profile and better optical performance.
  • Adjustability: The head strap and facial interface are adjustable for better custom fit and comfort.
  • Cameras: There are sensors/cameras on the front for passthrough AR, room mapping, and controls.
  • Controls: It has the updated "Touch Plus" controllers with improved ergonomics and haptics.
  • Materials: The exterior is made of lightweight aluminum alloy and flexible fabrics.
  • Ventilation: Slimmed-down design allows for better airflow and thermal performance.
  • Connectivity: It has WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 for high-speed wireless PCVR and pairing.
  • Ports: It charges via a USB-C port on the improved head strap rather than the headset.

Comparison of design and features

When it comes to design and features, both the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3 have their strengths and weaknesses but they both seem to be polished products.

The Apple Vision Pro is more advanced in terms of display quality and compatibility with their family of Apple devices. The Apple Vision Pro's sleek design and high-resolution display are definite pros, but it may not be as comfortable for extended use as the Meta Quest 3. Quest engineers have learned a lot from previous versions of the device and have learned about the UX of the hardware.

The Meta Quest 3's lightweight design (slimmer than Meta Quest 2) and wide field of view are definite pros, but it may not be as advanced in terms of display quality and backward compatibility. The Quest 3 is (supposed) to be more portable and comfortable for extended use.


The features of an XR headset are what make it stand out from the competition. Apple’s philosophy has always been on how their devices are integrated into their ecosystem but let's take a closer look at the features and capabilities between the two as of what we know right now.

Apple Vision Pro features and capabilities

The Apple Vision Pro comes with a range of features and capabilities that make it an excellent choice for what looks like professional use - the $3,499 price tag already signals that this isn’t a device for an average consumer.

XR VR AR MR A man wearing Apple Vision Pro MR headset

Source: NBC News

It features a high-resolution OLED display, built-in speakers and microphones, and compatibility with the Apple Arcade 3rd party game controller. Additionally, the device comes with a range of sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer, which provide accurate tracking and movement.

But that’s just looking at the plain device. Vision Pro is going to 

  • Connect with your Mac to open up a Mac Virtual Display to create an additional space anywhere in your room 
  • Connect with your Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad to expand your workspace
  • Pulling 3D Objects from apps in front of your for deeper observation

Meta Quest 3 features and capabilities

The Meta Quest 3 also comes with a range of features and capabilities that make it a popular choice among VR enthusiasts. It features a standalone design, built-in speakers and microphones, and a wide field of view. Additionally, the device comes with a range of sensors, including an accelerometer and gyroscope, which provide accurate tracking and movement.

Comparison of features and capabilities

When it comes to features and capabilities, both the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3 have their strengths and weaknesses. The Apple Vision Pro is more advanced in terms of display quality and compatibility with gaming controllers. 

With Apple’s 64 times the pixel density of the iPhone Meta Quest 3 can even compare. However, it’s more portable and has a wider field of view.

On the other hand, the Meta Quest 3's wide field of view and standalone design are definite pros, but it may not be as advanced in terms of display quality and compatibility with gaming controllers.


Apple’s main SDK in use for XR until today was ARKit. Until recently Apple devices were fairly limited for creating XR apps and games, mainly because you needed strong graphic processing capabilities which Apple devices weren’t made for. 

With Apple Vision Pro, which Apple calls a “Spatial Computer” these will change. 

The good part?

You’ll be able to use the ARKit with the visionOS - the Vision Pro’s platform that controls the device. 

ARKit in visionOS is expanded in a way to support the functionality of the Vision Pro headset. 

These new capabilities include:

  • Plane detection - for detecting surfaces in a person’s surroundings and using them to anchor content.
  • World tracking - for determining the position and orientation of Apple Vision Pro relative to its surroundings and adding world anchors to place content.
  • Image tracking - for identifying known images in the person’s surroundings and using them as anchor points for custom content.
  • Scene reconstruction - For building a mesh of the person’s physical surroundings and incorporating it into your immersive spaces to support interactions.
  • Hand tracking - for using the person’s hand and finger positions as input for custom gestures and interactivity.

Most of these APIs are still in the beta phase, so they might not be perfect. You can access the developer's documentation here

But designing for Vision Pro goes beyond ARKit. As for other Apple devices, you’ll use  Xcode, SwiftUI, and RealityKit, as well as support for Unity and the new 3D-content preparation app Reality Composer Pro. 

Everything you need to create next-generation spatial experiences.

In-Depth Look at the Platforms

Apple Vision Pro’s visionOS

Apple wouldn't be Apple if it weren’t focused on design supremacy with its hardware and the power of its platform as well. With Vision Pro, XR developers will get access to their native platform - visionOS.
Apple Vision Pro VR headset

Apple shared some of the key tips for designing engaging apps and games for the Apple Vision Pro and its operating system, visionOS:

  • Leverage the unlimited 3D space for immersive experiences that can transport users.
  • Allow fluid transitions between different immersion levels from shared windows to full-screen worlds.
  • Integrate live passthrough views to blend virtual and real environments seamlessly.
  • Utilize spatial audio to create realistic soundscapes that respond to the user's location.
  • Focus on gaze and hand gestures as primary inputs over controllers.
  • Automatically position content relative to the user's head for visual comfort.
  • Use standard windows for UI-centric tasks and full immersion judiciously for impactful moments.
  • Prioritize ergonomics with content that considers field of view, indirect gestures, and minimal motion.
  • Support accessibility features like VoiceOver, Switch Control, etc. out of the box.
  • Provide shared experiences using Spatial Personas with Apple's SharePlay framework.
  • The key is leveraging Vision Pro's unique capabilities while maintaining usability, comfort, and accessibility as top priorities in your visionOS app or game design.

XR Creators already have access to the documentation about creating your first visionOS. 

It’s clear that Apple aims to take full advantage of its most powerful features of visionOS and the sheet performance horsepower of the Vision Pro headset. 

Meta’s Presence Platform

Meta’s solution for creating experiences for XR is the Presence Platform. The company introduced the platform as the bundle of new developer tools for Meta Quest Pro back in October 2022. 

Although the company didn’t say whether the Quest 3 will also support the SDKs for the Presence Platform, the features of the upcoming Quest are telling us that this is to be expected. 

The platform aims to provide developers with the tools, frameworks, and design principles to build innovative and engaging VR/MR applications that take advantage of Quest devices' capabilities in terms of mixed reality, natural interactions, and social connectivity.

Presence Platform

Mixed Reality Tools: Passthrough, Scene, and Spatial Anchors allow the blending of physical and virtual worlds. Passthrough provides live 3D views of the physical environment. Scene captures the user's space and creates a Scene Model for building room-scale MR experiences. Spatial Anchors persistently anchor virtual objects.
Mixed Reality Passthrough

Learn more about passthrough and how you can customize it, using the official Meta’s documentation.

Interactions: Interaction SDK enables natural interactions like grabbing and poking. Hand Tracking tracks hands. Voice SDK integrates voice recognition through Tracked Keyboard renders a VR representation of a physical keyboard. Audio SDK provides spatialized sound.

Apple Pro MR Headset
  • Voice SDK.: Met’s Voice SDK allows you to customize voice experiences in your app or game. It integrates voice recognition through Tracked Keyboard renders a VR representation of a physical keyboard while Audio SDK provides spatialized sound.

More on how to use Voice SDK here.

  • Physical keywords are still a more efficient way to interact with the VR environment. Presence Platform will allow the use of Tracked Keyboard which  renders a VR representation of a physical keyboard while Audio SDK provides spatialized sound.

More on Tracked Keyboard SDK here.

Social Presence: Movement SDK enhances social experiences by tracking body, facial expressions, and eye movements to represent users. This brings a sense of realism to interactions.

In summary, the combination of advanced tracking, graphics, controls, and interfaces work together to create seamless immersion while the social features enable voice chat and shared experiences to connect users.

Meta has offered extensive documentation on how to use these SDKs on their development resources pages or keep an eye out on XR bootcamp resources page.


Immersive experiences are power-hungry. And there’s a huge contrast between Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro. 

Apple Vision Pro performance and specs

The Apple Vision Pro comes with two chips: the M2 and R1 processor. Both are designed by Apple and boast impressive performance and specifications, including a high-resolution OLED display, built-in speakers and microphones, and a range of sensors for accurate tracking and movement.

Apple Pro MR Headset

The M2 processor handles the hardware portion of the premium ski goggle-like headset, while the second chip, the R1, works alongside M2 to process data from Vision Pro’s sensors and cameras.

Additionally, the Apple device has a battery life of up to 2 hours which doesn’t seem much. Apple says it’s better to use it plugged into a wall which doesn't make it as “standalone”-friendly as the Quest 3 but it does come with an external battery pack that should fit into your pocket.

Meta Quest 3 performance and specifications

The Meta Quest 3 also has impressive performance and specifications comparing to the previous models. The new Quest has a wide field of view, built-in speakers and microphones, and a range of sensors for accurate tracking and movement.

quest 3 vision pro

Source: NewAtlas

Additionally, the device has a battery life of up to 3 hours (yet to be confirmed), making it suitable for shorter VR experiences.

Comparison of performance and specifications

The Apple Vision Pro comes with unrelenting horsepower and clear intention to serve the power users. 

However, the Meta Quest 3 has a wider field of view, could be more portable and serves as a perfect introduction to AR/VR for beginners.

In all fairness to the Quest 3 (and even Quest Pro for that matter), it was at a disadvantage from the start. Meta is dedicated to using Qualcomm's mobile processors, which are unable to match the power of computer-designed chipsets. 

While these mobile chipsets offer certain benefits such as power efficiency, they cannot rival the pure performance of the Vision Pro's combination of M2 and R1 chipset.


The price of a VR headset is an important consideration for many users. Let's take a closer look at the price and value of the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3.

Apple Vision Pro price and value

The Apple Vision Pro is priced at $3,499, making it one of the more expensive devices on the market but its aim is to create a new environment and serve different audiences. 

While the price is steep, we’ll have to wait and see what kind of environment that is. For now we can just admire its range of advanced features and capabilities, making it a worthwhile investment for professional use.

Meta Quest 3 price and value

The Meta Quest 3 is priced at $499, making it a more affordable option for VR enthusiasts. It comes with a range of features and capabilities, making it an excellent choice for personal use.

Comparison of price and value

When it comes to price and value, the Apple Vision Pro is more expensive but comes with more advanced features and capabilities. The Meta Quest 3 is more affordable but may not have as many advanced features as the Apple Vision Pro.

The fact is, these devices have different target markets, and different aims and goals which makes them difficult to compare. 

In case of what’s more valuable, we can’t say. At this moment the Quest 3 feels like a safer choice - it’s already known device with a track record of success and performance. 

Apple on the other hand is creating a new category of spatial computing with the headset and is undoubtedly aiming to engage with Apple device fans. As we all know… the Mac users lucked out on most XR experiences and there’s a clear hole in the market in terms of immersive experiences catered to Apple’s users.

Apple Vision Pro

Apple is promising the apps you’ve already familiar with - Messages, Notes, Keynote, and Photos for example. And as you might expect - it’s synced between all your Apple devices via iCloud.

With the new XR device, Apple did a unique thing - it doesn’t call an Apple Vision Pro a “VR” or “MR headset” - it’s calling it a Spatial computer hence rendering this comparison rather strange. But we have to compare it to what we know so far. 

Apple’s headset is run (and we never thought it’s going to be any other way) by their own operating system called visionOS.

Apple promises a suite of apps catered towards productivity gurus who are already used to Apple devices.

Some of those are:

  • 3D Modeling/CAD apps - Taking advantage of hand tracking and high-fidelity graphics for product design, engineering, etc.
  • Video/Photo Editing - Immersive multi-screen environment for editing videos/photos in 3D space.
  • Virtual Workspaces - Replicating multiple huge displays virtually via retina-level screens.
  • Virtual Meetings - High-quality mixed-reality meetings where virtual avatars are seen in full color passthrough AR.
  • Diagnostic Tools - Complex 3D scanning and visualization apps for healthcare, repair, and inspection industries.
  • Gaming - Ultra-realistic graphics and spatial audio for VR games optimized for new processors/screens.
  • Virtual Galleries - Walking through hi-res artistic renderings and environments in VR.
  • Remote Collaboration - Share and manipulate virtual content with remote users via avatar communication.
  • VR Cinema - Watching movies and videos with theater-scale virtual screens.
  • Simulation Training - Immersive training for fields like aviation, automotive, and marine via photorealistic sims.

We don’t know yet how rich the content will be at the release date (early 2024), but we know from Apple's history that they take their product launches seriously. 

By the looks of it, Apple may get into the entertainment space as well which should be exciting for the whole industry.

quest 3 vision pro XR VR AR MR

Source: Apple

Meta Quest 3

The Quest 3 aims to be an intro device for gamers and the device doesn’t hide that. One of the main Meta focuses with the new Quest is also backward compatibility.

This means that the Quest 3 is fully compatible with the Quest 2 catalog, which includes over 500 VR games, apps, and experiences. 

But saying that, the new VR and MR titles for Quest 3 have been announced as well. 

quest 3 vision pro XR VR AR MR

Meta’s third generation Quest was announced only a week before Summer Game Fest and the other video game showcases that have replaced E3’s prior dominance over the June game news cycle. 

As such, we can expect to hear more about the games coming to the platform in the next week. However, the company did hold its Meta Quest Gaming Showcase event right after announcing the headset.

The show gave us a look at 25 games that will be coming to the Quest 3. 

Some of the highlights included Asgard’s Wrath 2, Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR, Stranger Things VR, Silent Slayer: Vault of the Vampire, and Vampire: The Masquerade — Justice

In summary, the way we see it, both platforms will be teeming with new content at the launch stage. The difference will be the aim of the content - Quest 3 serves a younger demographic with gaming-focused content while Apple at this time is showing the intention of going forward for productivity power users.

Comparison Table



Apple Vision Pro





Meta Quest OS



Updated Touch controllers

Controller-free with Eye Tracking, Hand gestures


LCD, 2064x2208 per eye

Dual 4k micro-OLED displays


Snapdragon XRGen 2

Apple silicon chip M2

Form Factor

Refreshed Quest form factor, which is 40% lighter and slimmer than Quest 2

Premium lightweight ski-google design


Front cameras for AR and tracking

Over dozen cameras for advanced AR, iris scanning, etc.


Onboard speakers, 3.5mm jack

Advanced spatial audio, high fidelity speakers

IPD Adjustment

Physical adjustment dial

Lenses adjust automatically


Controllers and some hand-tracking

Full body motion capture via cameras


Starts at 128GB, 512GB rumored

No word on storage capacities yet

Networking Framework

Some built-in support, but mostly third party plugins are used, like Photon, Normcore or Mirror

Built-in support out of the box is very good and battle tested in games as Fortnite

Passthrough Camera

Full-color passthrough

Incredibly high resolution passthrough

Battery Life

2 - 2.5 hours (unconfirmed)

up to 2 hours

Release Date

Fall 2023

Early 2024


Focus on games/apps and backwards compatibility built of Quest Store

High-end productivity, 3d viewing, mixed reality integration and compatibility with iPhone/iPad


In conclusion, the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3 are both looking to be excellent VR headsets, each with their strengths and weaknesses. 

But at this point, we’d be comparing apples (pun unintended but let’s use it) and oranges. 

Vision Pro is positioned as a premium and more powerful “headset” compared to Meta VR headsets, optimized for Apple devices. It doesn’t really want to compete in the “headset” category but rather create its own - spatial computing one. 

But for the sake of comparison, Vision Pro aims to outperform in display quality, computing power, and AR capabilities for professional and advanced consumer use cases especially when it comes to high-level productivity and synchronization across their devices.

But it may not be as portable or affordable as the Meta Quest 3 and there’s the price issue as well. 

Also, we’re yet to see what kind of apps and partnerships Apple is going to pull with the new headset release. 

The Meta Quest 3 is more affordable and portable, but it looks like it’s an iteration from the previous model - it’s essentially the people’s VR headset that serves as an affordable entry point for AR/VR enthusiasts to start their XR journey as a developer or a gamer. 

The new Quest promises upgrades in processing power, resolution, and design while maintaining compatibility with Meta's growing VR/XR ecosystem. It aims to take virtual and mixed reality to the next level in an accessible all-in-one package.

The goal of the Quest is to create a platform for Oculus Store and become an entry-level device for apps/games and developers.

It may not have as many advanced features as the Apple Vision Pro but it serves a different purpose as well. 

Ultimately, the choice between the two devices will depend on your personal preferences and intended use. 

If you're a professional in the XR industry, then ask your employer to buy the Apple Vision Pro for thorough testing. 

But If you're an XR enthusiast looking for an affordable and portable device that has enough documentation and support, partnerships and tutorials from companies like Unity, and a huge developer community for support, the Meta Quest 3 is a good (and safe) choice for now.

The real battle might be between Meta’s flagship product - Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 3.

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