The Future of Gaming: Meta Quest 3 VR Headset Review


  • More comfortable design than Quest 2
  • Vibrant LCD display
  • Excellent Touch Plus controllers
  • Impressive full-color passthrough


  • Mixed reality features lacking
  • Short battery life
  • Hand tracking isn’t quite useful yet
The greatest VR headset I've ever used is without a doubt the Meta Quest 3. That's the first, and most significant, lesson I learned from using it. Pancake optics allow for a significantly smaller headset that is notably more pleasant to use. The Quest 3 has a higher display resolution than any previous Quest headset thanks to its pancake optics. Though it's still not quite up to PC VR visuals, it's getting there. Without a doubt, the display is not to blame. The improvements don't end there, either. With a complete redesign, the Touch Plus controllers are incredibly comfortable in your palm. To put it concisely, the Quest 3 surpasses the Meta Quest 2 in nearly every aspect.

The issue lies in the fact that we were promised a mixed reality headgear. Although there are encouraging indications of progress, such as the remarkable full-color video passthrough, I still find myself spending the majority of my time in virtual environments. And while the Quest 3's hand-tracking skills aren't all that great, I'm delighted the controllers are great.

Meta Quest 3 Specifications

Meta Quest 3
Price $499
Chipset Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2
Resolution 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye
Storage 128GB
Battery life 2.2 hours (rated)
Size 7.2 x 6.2 x 3.8 inches
Weight 1.1 pounds

Meta Quest 3: Unveiling the Price and Availability

(Image credit: Future)

Depending on your location, you may buy the Meta Quest 3 from a few different stores, such as Best Buy in the United States, and Meta's online store worldwide.

Quest 3 comes in two models. The one I tested was the $499 / £479 / €549 / AU$799 variant with 128GB of storage. You'll have to pay extra for the 512GB variant, which retails for $649 / £619 / €699 / AU$949.

Meta Quest 3: A Closer Look at the Impressive Design

(Image credit: Future)
The Meta Quest 3 is notably more slender, particularly when compared to the Meta Quest 2. After using both, I can vouch for Meta's claim that the visor, or visual interface, is 40% thinner than it was.

As a result, wearing the Quest 3 is more ergonomically balanced. It's not like I totally forgot I had a headset on, but there was definitely a change from the top-heavy Quest 2.

For users like myself who use glasses, Meta was able to do away with the spacer because of the more streamlined design. Instead, two black buttons inside the headset allow you to simply modify the facial interface to offer you extra room as needed. A new IPD wheel is also included to change the separation between the lenses. For me, the default settings of the Quest 3 made it easy to use it with my spectacles, but I could simply alter them.

Display Technology

(Image credit: Future)
Pancake optics contribute to the Quest 3 visor's reduced thickness. These lenses, sometimes called pancake lenses, replicate pictures in a smaller area by stacking tiny lenses on top of one another. Additionally, the screens have a higher resolution than the Quest 2.

Because the two LCD screens on the Quest 3 combine to provide 4K resolution, Meta refers to the new displays as the 4K+ Infinite Display. With 25 pixels per degree (PPD) in virtual reality and 1,218 pixels per inch (PPI), each eye has a resolution of 2,064 x 2,208 pixels. The resolution of each eye on the Meta Quest 2 is 1832 x 1920.

Although Meta claims that developers may achieve an experimental refresh rate of 120Hz, the panels have a natural refresh rate of 90Hz.

These enhancements are apparent. The Quest 3 has more vivid colors than the Quest 2, and its visuals are respectable considering it is only powered by a mobile CPU. Although it still falls short of what a PC VR headset can provide, to be honest, I didn't find it to be that noticeable.

The video passthrough is one area where you will observe a decrease in graphical fidelity. PPD decreases from 25 to 18, and your hands and arms may appear rather judderous. But even in passthrough, the augmented reality holographic overlays keep their gorgeous visuals, so your game won't suffer if the quality of your surroundings drops.

First Encounters is a demo that you can discover under "Get started with Meta Quest" in your Explore page. It's a game where you have to capture small alien puffs that infiltrate your apartment in order to observe the difference for yourself. Even if the game's visuals won't look well in your space, they are nevertheless striking.


Next-Gen Controllers

(Image credit: Future)

The new Meta Quest 3 may have my favorite Touch Plus controllers to date. Apart from the tracking ring that is conspicuously absent from the Touch controllers of the Quest 2, they don't first appear to be that different. Rather, they embrace the Touch Pro's ringless design.

Still, they feel just right in your palm. It's also a clear improvement over the Quest 2, even though the Touch controllers weren't particularly ergonomic. I always find the design to be so amazing when I pick them up.

You may move freely around your playspace without any issues since the Touch Plus controllers maintain 6DoF tracking even in the absence of a tracking ring. For improved feedback and immersion, the Touch Plus controllers now have TruTouch Haptics, which allows you to feel resistance when using the controllers. Personally, I thought the feedback was a little more insightful and robust; I frequently forgot it was there. Still, it's a good addition.

You can utilize hand tracking in addition to the Touch Plus controllers to browse the displays of the Quest 3 and some games and applications. Double-tapping the sides of your controllers and putting them down allows you to switch to hand tracking.

Meta refers to this function Even a brief use of Direct Touch made me miss my Touch Plus controllers and haptic feedback. Although I think hand tracking is a cool concept, especially if I was simply using the headset to browse or watch videos, I never thought it would be worth giving up my controllers for the implementation.

Setup and First Impressions

(Image credit: Future)
The Meta Quest 3 is rather easy to set up. Simply take out the headset, turn it on, and it will walk you through the steps, which include connecting the Quest 3 to your phone's Meta Quest app. With the headset's full-color passthrough powered by two RGB cameras and a depth projector on the front of the visor, you can even connect it to your home Wi-Fi network using a QR code on your phone.

When arranging your play area, these cameras and the Quest 3's passthrough are very helpful. Roomscale and Stationary are your two virtual reality operating options. with the passthrough images of your room, Roomscale creates a recommended playspace that you may modify with your controllers. Stationary is best used when seated since it provides you with essentially a circle to work with when utilizing the Quest 3.

To be really honest, I always needed to utilize my controls to make minor adjustments when putting up the Roomscale limit. Additionally, I discovered that taking a few short strolls around the space you're creating for your activity assisted the automated border to be established at the appropriate distances.

By allowing players to experience mixed reality gameplay instead of virtual reality, the passthrough even goes one step further. You'll be required to use the controller to construct or highlight the walls in your space throughout the setup process for your first mixed reality encounter. Following that, you'll be prompted to gaze about the space so that the headset can detect any furniture.Your furniture will be covered with polygons or a virtual mesh. You're ready to start playing mixed reality after that.

Exceptional Performance

(Image credit: Future)
The new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 CPU, which powers the Meta Quest 3, is said by Meta to provide double the graphics processing capacity of the Quest 2. Additionally, you receive 8GB of RAM as opposed to the Quest 2's 6GB.

I have no benchmark testing to support Meta's assertion, but in practice, I thought the headset very responsive. The Quest 3 never slowed down for me whether I was playing Samba de Amigo, Pistol Whip, or First Encounters, a mixed reality game. This also happened when I had background app downloads going.

Although the visuals are still not ultra-realistic, they are unquestionably better than those in some of the previous Meta Quest 2 titles. The Quest 2 visuals gave me the impression of being in an outdated arcade game, but the NFL Pro Era app functioned flawlessly.

Meta Quest 3: Gaming Delight

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You can play a ton of games with Quest 3, including all 500+ Quest 2 games and applications in addition to brand-new Quest 3 titles. Additionally, it improves a few of the current Quest 2 games for those that may benefit from the better performance of the Quest 3.

I have played a fair number of titles in the Quest 3, even if I haven't had a chance to test them all. Old-school Quest 2 titles like NFL Pro Era and Superhot VR remain fun to play, and Quest 3's enhanced visuals help Pistol Whip perform better. Like Assassin's Creed Nexus, Native Quest 3 games are striking to look at.

The one item that I found unimpressive? Xtadium is Meta's VR app for watching sports events. Rather than seeing the feed from an HD or 4K 180-degree or 360-degree camera, it felt like a subpar non-HD video feed was being placed over a backdrop. Perhaps this is because I could only view highlights. I'm hoping that when this feature broadcasts live NBA games, it will appear better since right now, I wouldn't pick it over my TV, much less a live game.

Meta Quest 3: Beyond Reality

This brings me to my main complaint with Quest 3. As of right now, it doesn't feel like a mixed reality headset.

I seldom ever found myself experimenting with mixed reality throughout my tests. I did live in mixed reality, where you begin in a video passthrough that replicates your environment by default. While this was good for viewing movies or TV episodes, I wish there were more games that truly made use of the ability to interact with the environment. Even with the improvements, the majority of the games remain virtual reality games.

The limited time I spent playing mixed reality games was enjoyable. Destructible walls are a great way for First Encounters to include your surroundings into the action. Additionally, it was more pleasant to enjoy Lego Bricktales on a tabletop rather than in a virtual environment. Having played two in Bricktales and Demeo, I would contend that mixed reality enhances most tabletop experiences. It's good to be somewhat grounded when playing them because you don't have to completely escape reality to do so.

I'm hoping that as time goes on, more applications will be released that fully utilize the video passthrough feature of Quest 3, which impressed me when I was able to use it. But up until then, the mixed reality features of Quest 3 are a letdown.

Immersive Audio Unveiled

According to Meta, the Quest 3's audio range is 40% louder than the Quest 2's, and it generates 3D spatial music with more bass and clarity. I never needed to turn up the volume during my testing. As it was, it was rather loud.

If you were in the room with me, you could tell I was using it because it was so loud. Therefore, you may use the 3.5 mm headphone connection to attach a set of wired earphones if you want some privacy. Unfortunately, latency problems prevent most wireless earphones from connecting even with Bluetooth 5.2 compatibility. To guarantee that latency isn't a problem, you would need to use earphones like the Soundcore VR P10 wireless earbuds, which employ a USB-C adapter.

I was certainly aware of the spatial audio as well. It was highly useful in First Encounters and Dungeons of Eternity for figuring out where opponents were spawning or coming from. It also offers rich, full sound, which is excellent for rhythm games with music like Samba de Amigo and Pistol Whip. However, I found that the true benefit of this was in games where awareness of your surrounds is crucial.

Navigating the Battery Life

According to Meta, the Quest 3 and Quest 2 have "about the same" battery life. Although the overall battery life is rated for 2.2 hours of use on average, actual usage and device settings may affect that figure.

For my part, it took me 1 hour and 57 minutes to get the Quest from 100% battery life to nothing. I used the Pluto TV app to view around 30 minutes of District 9 and played a few Quest 3 and Quest 2 games during this time. The Quest 3 can be charged in around two hours after it dies.

Meta Quest 3 Review: The Verdict

(Image credit: Future)
Not only is the Meta Quest 3 a revolutionary mixed reality headset, but it is also a far superior Quest 2 replacement. Compared to the previous Quest 2, it is definitely an improvement—it is lighter, thinner, more pleasant to wear, and easier to operate. Also, there is a discernible improvement in the display resolution. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the Quest 3 offers rather amazing full-color video passthrough, there aren't many possibilities to utilize the mixed reality headgear that we were promised.

The Quest 3 is the VR headset that I would choose to purchase myself or suggest to someone else. There is no question about that. We didn't even cover the fact that, despite its independent appearance, you can use the optional Link connection or Air Bridge adapter to connect it to a PC and play almost all of the top VR games. This alone is reason alone to choose the Quest 3 over PC VR headsets or the PSVR 2. The issue is that, unlike the Quest 2, it doesn't inspire me to suggest VR headsets in general. And I have to take it down a notch for that.Nevertheless, the Quest 3 is the greatest VR headset currently available.

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