Entrance to the Metaverse: A Brief Review of Meta Quest Pro

I impulsively ordered the Quest Pro and had it directly shipped from the US for $1723.35, including taxes. It was shipped on October 26th and arrived on November 4th (in Shanghai). After several days of intense use, I’d like to share my thoughts:

TL;DR (Conclusion)

  1. Overall, the Quest Pro is a comprehensive upgrade from the Quest 2. It excels in terms of display quality, audio, tracking, and comfort compared to both the Q2 and Pico 4. However, with a price tag of $1500, it lacks cost-effectiveness.
  2. Features like Color Passthrough and Eye Tracking, highlighted during the product launch, lack sufficient application support at the moment, promising potential in the future.
  3. The new Touch controllers, a significant experiential upgrade, will also be supported by Q2 in a later update from Meta (expected in December), although the separate purchase cost of around $300 can be steep.

Note: The screen comparisons in this post are captured using an iPhone 14 Pro against the screens, which may not accurately represent the visual differences. Enjoy viewing with a grain of salt.

I. Display Quality
The Quest Pro’s panel physical resolution (per eye: 1800×1920) is slightly lower than the Quest 2 (per eye: 1832×1920) – although the Q2’s single-panel display actually compromises on effective resolution (about 1720×1890 usable). Nevertheless, the Quest Pro’s actual display quality is notably better than the Q2. This improvement is mainly evident in:

  1. Text display, which is extremely sharp and clear. To describe it metaphorically, Q2 is like having TAA on, while QPro feels like turning off anti-aliasing.
  2. The screen-door effect on QPro and Q2 is similar. Some content creators on platforms like Bilibili have mentioned that the screen-door effect is worse, but I believe they are confusing screen-door with pixel matrix patterns. The smaller display area of QPro’s screen and higher PPI make the screen-door effect even less pronounced.
  3. QPro excels in brightness, color, and contrast (especially in dark scenes) over the Q2. After taking screenshots and returning to Q2, I realized how lackluster Q2’s LCD appears in comparison.
  4. The optical module’s design is of superior quality. QPro’s open-face design prevents reflections from normal indoor light sources like sunlight and room lighting, ensuring zero disruption to the immersive experience.
Comparison Images: Pro vs Q2

Comparing to Pico 4:
Pico 4 still has better clarity but the difference is minor.
QPro’s main disadvantage is that the pixel arrangement is more visible, but there’s no discernible difference in the screen-door effect. However, QPro’s brightness, color, and contrast performance overshadow Pico 4’s dimmer, yellowish screen.
Taking into consideration that both QPro and Pico 4 have pancake optics, QPro’s superior brightness and color accuracy at this level is impressive, though it indeed comes at a price of $1500.

II. FOV and Sweet Spot

The FOV of QPro is similar to Pico 4 but is greatly influenced by IPD settings:

  1. With the IPD set to the maximum (71mm), the FOV is a maximum of 106° horizontally and 96° vertically without wearing glasses (with a slightly larger lower FOV).
  2. With the minimum IPD (59mm), the FOV narrows to 98° horizontally without any change vertically.
  3. Wearing glasses reduces the aforementioned FOVs by about 2°.
  4. IPD also affects the range of inner peripheral vision. With the maximum IPD setting, there’s a loss of about 6° in inner peripheral FOV (32° at 71mm and 38° at 59mm).

For comparison, Q2 and Pico 4 FOVs are as follows:
Q2: FOV is 86° horizontally and 94° vertically with an IPD of 70mm.
Pico 4: FOV is 104° both horizontally and vertically with an IPD of 70mm.

QPro, however, boasts a significant sweet spot range and nearly 90% of the visual field remains clear with minimal chromatic aberration.
Testing with my IPD of 70, even adjusting IPD to the minimum 59 does not result in a noticeable loss of image clarity or focus. This is why the physical IPD adjustment on QPro ranges from 59mm to 71mm, while it supports IPD between 55mm and 75mm.

III. Comfort
In terms of comfort, QPro offers a substantial improvement over the original Q2 and a modest one over Pico 4. The open-face design is cooler and more convenient, especially for those who wear glasses.

However, it’s not without its imperfections. The weight of the device is still an issue; the pressure on the forehead is noticeable, and after an hour, visible red marks appear.
Additionally, due to my relatively large head size, wearing QPro for more than half an hour results in a feeling of confinement, similar to PSVR1. During physical activity, when the heart rate increases, there’s a sensation of tightness that even affects the image, causing slight trembling. In a way, it’s quite cyberpunk.

IV. New Touch Controllers

This is undoubtedly the most significant upgrade of all:

  1. The tactile experience is akin to the Xbox Elite controller.
  2. The vibration feedback is outstanding, with three vibration motors (trigger, side buttons, grip) offering nuanced feedback, though currently only Meta’s demo applications use it.
  3. The tracking capability is impressive, supporting 360° tracking from the inside to the outside. Check out the video for the tracking test.

V. Color Passthrough or AR Applications

Despite being prepared for it from various review videos, the poor quality of the color passthrough effect was still surprising when I tried it myself.

In text, the best way to describe it is Q2’s clarity with washed-out color and a higher frame rate. Nevertheless, color passthrough has some advantages:

  1. It’s 3D and accurately represents external space, object sizes, distances, etc.
  2. The open-face design ensures a seamless transition between the AR image and the real world.

So, with QPro, I can freely move around my home, drink water, use the restroom, clean the litter box, grab takeout, and even throw clothes into the washing machine while wearing it. In comparison, Pico 4’s color passthrough, despite its better clarity and color, made me dizzy after walking a few steps.

In retrospect, even though color passthrough was underwhelming as expected, its use is currently limited by application support. Its potential lies in the integration of 3D and real-world continuity.

VI. Eye and Face Tracking

This is another feature to anticipate in the future: Meta’s Horizon World social app is only available in the US and not accessible in China.
Few other apps support eye and face tracking. Currently, Meta’s own Workroom meeting room and Woorld (a Google Earth multiplayer) are among the supported apps.
One interesting app is Red Matter 2, utilizing eye tracking for high-precision rendering, achieving

high-quality graphics comparable to PCVR games.

On the PC side, Oculus’ streaming (Link, Airlink) Beta already supports the transmission of eye and face tracking data to the PC, but practical game use is yet to be observed.

In short, we look forward to more developer support for these features.

VII. Battery Life

In terms of battery life, the headset lasts around 2-2.5 hours on maximum brightness for VR usage, while the controllers last between 8-9 hours. This surpasses initial expectations. Charging is convenient thanks to the charging dock.

VIII. Purchase Recommendations

Although the Quest Pro is currently the best all-in-one VR headset on the market, its $1500 price tag is far from cost-effective.
Therefore, I recommend current Quest 2 users to stick with their devices, those new to VR could opt for the Pico 4, or wait for Quest 3 to be released.

For those who still want purchasing advice, I believe Quest Pro is suitable for individuals who:

  1. Are fully invested in the Meta ecosystem and have purchased numerous games on the Quest platform.
  2. Want to experience the best VR all-in-one device immediately.
  3. Prefer wireless PCVR and refuse to return to wired experiences.
  4. Have extra funds and don’t mind spending around $1300 USD.

PS: Screenshots for comparison of Quest Pro, Pico 4, and Quest 2 streaming to PC.