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Is it worth the upgrade?

  • Meta Quest 3

    The best of the best

    The Quest 3 improves on its predecessor in just about every way. When you add the possibility of amazing MR experiences into the mix, it only gets more tempting.

    Pros

    • Better graphics and displays
    • Great pass-through and MR
    • Slimmed down design

  • metaquest2(1)

    Meta Quest 2

    Great value

    $250 $300 Save $50

    The Meta Quest 2 is an affordable and capable standalone VR headset that’s proven highly popular. It offers the widest variety of games and some of the best software available today.

    Pros

    • Now available for less money
    • Same great library of games
    • Expansive accessory ecosystem

Key Takeaways

  • Quest 3 costs $499 for 128GB, which is higher than Quest 2’s $299 launch price, making it pricier.
  • Quest 3 has better specs, design improvements, like slimness, and an IPD adjustment wheel.
  • Quest 3 offers dual LCD panels, pancake lenses, and 40% louder near-field speakers for a superior experience.


The VR revolution is in full effect and shows no sign of slowing down. After two successful headset launches, we’ve hit the third iteration of Meta’s VR headset aptly named the Meta Quest 3. As you would expect from the newest version of any piece of hardware, the Quest 3 has the most powerful hardware running under the hood, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.


Depending on what you intend to use VR for, such as work or gaming, there’s a lot to consider when investing in something like a VR headset. Factors like design, price, and even the ability to easily obtain one should all be considered. If you’re ready to dive headfirst into the Metaverse but aren’t quite sure which headset should be the one to take you there, I’ve pitted the Meta Quest 2 and 3 against one another to determine which comes out on top.

Related

Best VR accessories and games: 13 must-haves for VR (and AR) fans

You can buy a headset and be done with it, but if you’re interested in VR and AR, buying the right accessories and games can make a difference.

Price, specs, and availability

The price of admission

Meta Quest 3 13-1

One of the most appealing things about the Quest 2 when it launched was its price tag. The Quest 2 debuted at just $299, making it highly appealing as a standalone VR device that was also PC-tetherable for PCVR experiences.


Since then, Meta actually raised the starting price of the Quest 2 to $399 in 2022 before lowering it back down to the original asking price. In any case, it has always remained reasonable, especially compared to the high-end VR headsets on the market.

With the Quest 3 being Meta’s most powerful headset yet, it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that it costs even more. The Quest 3 starts at $499/£479.99 for the 128GB model or $649.99/£619.99 for the 512GB model. However, there are several factors that justify the price increase.

  • Meta Quest 3 Meta Quest 2
    Resolution (per eye) 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye 1,832 by 1,920 per eye
    Display Type Dual LCD, Pancake lenses Single LCD, Fresnel lenses
    Storage 128GB / 512GB 128GB / 256GB
    Connectivity Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
    Battery Life 2.4 hours gaming 2-3 hours 3640 mAh battery
    Audio Improved near-field speakers Near-field speakers
    Weight 515g 503g
    Refresh rate 120Hz 120Hz
    Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1
    RAM 8GB 6GB RAM


Design

Which is more comfortable?

Meta Quest 3 (8)

The most noticeable external change with the Quest 3 is its three pill-shaped panels on the front of the headset. These house the new pass-through cameras, as well as a depth sensor for enabling mixed reality experiences. The Quest 2 features a low-resolution monochrome pass-through camera that’s designed to help you set up your guardian system but isn’t meant for VR gameplay.

The Quest 3 is also significantly slimmer, about 40 percent according to Meta. This design keeps the weight closer to your face, which makes it feel more balanced and less prone to wobbling. The strap on the Quest 3 has been redesigned as well. It now features a more secure Y-shape, as opposed to the T-shaped strap of the Quest 2.


An Elite strap is available as an optional upgrade for both headsets, but the Quest 3 version includes an auxiliary battery pack for extended playtime, while the Quest 2 Elite strap is simply a strap. The Quest 3 is also compatible with a charging dock and features pogo-pin contacts on the base to accommodate this.

The Quest 3 includes an IPD adjustment wheel to dial in the lenses to match the distance between your eyes and can adjust its depth without any accessories. So, if you wear glasses, you can simply slide the facial interface out to accommodate them. In contrast, the Quest 2 only offers three preset IPD options, and you need to use a spacer to wear glasses with the headset.

Meta Quest 3 (5)


The touch controllers for the Quest 3 eliminate the tracking rings, resulting in a sleeker look and reduced overall weight. The primary advantage is that you’re less likely to accidentally knock the controllers together while playing. In use, they feel quite similar to the older controllers, and the button layout remains unchanged.

Related

How to install and play Minecraft on your Meta Quest 3

Minecraft’s popularity hasn’t led to official VR versions of the game for Quest 2 or 3, but you can still play both the Java and Bedrock Editions.

Display and speakers

A/V in VR

Samsung and Stanford are working on a 10,000PPI display photo 1
Pocket-lint

Quest 3 sports dual LCD panels with a resolution of 2604×2208 per eye and a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. Quest 2 has a resolution of 1832×1920 per eye, and both are rendered on the same panel. However, it’s also capable of gaming at 120Hz.

Another advantage of Quest 3 is its use of pancake lenses, which are very similar to those we saw on Quest Pro. These are both 40 percent slimmer than the Fresnel lenses of Quest 2 and increase sharpness by around 25 percent; you’ll also notice far fewer god rays and light artifacts.


It’s not just the visuals that have been upgraded, though. Meta has also put some work into the near-field speakers. These are supposedly 40 percent louder and have increased bass response. If you’re serious about sound quality, though, you might want to use a decent gaming headset, and both models have 3.5mm headphone sockets to accommodate this.

Related

Meta Quest 3 tips and tricks: Get more from your new VR headset

If you’ve invested in a Quest 3 headset or recently received one as a gift, you’ll want to give these tips and tricks a try.

Hardware and performance

Raw power

Meta Quest 3 (25)

Meta

The Quest 3 is the first product to hit the market with Qualcomm’s new XR2 Gen 2 processor onboard. This new chip boasts 2.5 times the GPU performance and a 50 percent efficiency increase over the Gen 1 chip used in the Quest 2. In more practical terms, the Quest 3 can run games at a higher resolution, with better image fidelity, at higher frame rates.


This applies to new titles, as you’d expect, but it also applies to existing games, too. Meta says that your entire library will look better and run smoother on the Quest 3.

The biggest advantage of the Quest 3 isn’t its VR gaming capabilities; it’s the fact that it’s capable of MR gaming. Meta has shown off a few upcoming titles that fully take advantage of this, and we hope there are lots more to come, as it’s an excellent experience. We assume that these titles will require the Quest 3 to run, but there’s a chance they’ll work with the Quest Pro. Quest 2 support seems highly unlikely, given its rudimentary camera.

Elsewhere, you get 8GB of RAM, compared to 6GB on the Quest 2. This should also aid in performance. There’s also a larger storage option available in the 512GB model, whereas the Quest 2 tops out at 256GB. The base model is 128GB for either headset.


Conclusion

The takeaway

Meta Quest 3 (4)

The Quest 3 is clearly the superior headset. It’s upgraded in just about every conceivable way and unlocks a whole new world of MR experiences. Whether you’re trying out VR for the first time or you’re a seasoned player looking for the next big thing, we’d say it’s the way to go.

Meta Quest 3

However, the Quest 3 is also significantly more expensive. We think it’s worth the extra cash, but it might not be a feasible option for everyone. The Quest 2 is already a great deal, and we can only imagine it getting cheaper now that the Quest 3 has arrived. If you’re seeking the best bang for your buck, the Quest 2 is still very much worth considering.

metaquest2(1)

Meta Quest 2

$250 $300 Save $50

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