Android Central Verdict
Quest Pro represents a compelling vision of a work-from-anywhere future but largely remains a conceptual device at launch. The high price tag makes it difficult to recommend to any consumer, and the few business applications available at launch mean it's a niche device for the time being. Still, the hardware design is impeccable and there's an unbelievable amount of promise here if Meta and its partners can deliver on the experience in short order.
Gorgeous new display
Next-gen haptics and controller
Improved color passthrough
Excellent performance and thermals
Can be used standalone or tethered effortlessly
Battery life needs to be better
Limited Pro software selection at launch
Full light blocker not included in the box
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Update 10/26: Added in foveated rendering impressions and a video of Red Matter 2 now that the game has been updated with eye-tracked foveated rendering support. Check it out under the "Headset design and specs" section.
Few would deny that the Meta Quest Pro is an impressive piece of hardware. Meta nailed the design, most of the specs, and even the company's marketing seems to have learned a thing or two over the past few years of Quest hardware. But it's not perfect and, as Meta has told me time and time again, it's likely not a headset that's designed with you — the consumer — in mind.
In many ways, the launch of the Meta Quest Pro mirrors the Oculus Quest 2 launch. New, powerful hardware that's chock full of features and ideas but very few compelling software cases to actually choose one over its "predecessor." Worse, because of the price, it's impossible to recommend as an upgrade for all but the hardest of hardcore if we're still talking to the consumer segment. But, of course, we aren't and neither is Meta.
That doesn't mean the Quest Pro doesn't have a purpose, and it doesn't mean no one should buy it. Meta has delivered some interesting premises under which this headset can make sense. While many of them feel inordinately futurist rather than the realist idea that "VR is best experienced via gaming at the present moment in time," I have little doubt that we will feel differently about the headset 2 years from now.
The first day
We've officially got our review unit for the Meta Quest Pro in-house and I wanted to share my impressions after working with it for the first 24 hours. This includes the initial impressions, getting it set up, and seeing if it lives up to the hype even after getting to try it for a few hours at the hands-on event a few weeks ago.
Late in the afternoon, after my wife and son heated up a bag of popcorn, I knew I was going to need my own. My back was already tired of sitting at the kitchen table and I was ready to move to the couch to finish my day. I stood up, grabbed my laptop, water, and the Quest Pro controllers, and walked over to the couch. After setting them down, I walked over to the pantry, grabbed a bag of popcorn, popped it in the microwave, and took it back to the couch to continue writing this initial review piece.
I did all of this while wearing the headset. Yes, even making the popcorn and drinking out of my giant gallon-sized water bottle.
Using an app like Immersed to work on my laptop in VR without being at my desk is a thing of beauty, and it works so darn well for two main reasons: full-color passthrough, and the speed of operations on the Quest Pro.
During that entire popcorn-making sequence above, the screen never flickered, faltered, or did anything weird. I just stood up, my virtual monitor went away as I got a full view of the room I was in, and then went back to me being at my virtual desk the moment I sat down. It worked exactly as I expected, and that's precisely what it's going to take to get people to start converting to this kind of workflow. No friction.
With that said, the initial setup process was a bit long like any device usually is. You'll need to unpack the headset and controllers and dock them in the included dock for the initial charge, plus I had an update waiting for the headset as soon as I connected it to my Wi-Fi. Connecting it to the Meta Quest app was stupid easy — literally two clicks once I had the app open — and it even asked me to install the last 15 apps/games I had previously used on my Quest 2 to make things easier.
The first thing I noticed when going straight from the Quest 2 was the improved FoV. While it's only technically 10% wider than the Quest 2's FoV, there are two things that more greatly affect the feeling: the lenses, and the periphery view. Pancake lenses on the Quest Pro don't have the stupidly small "sweet spot" of the old Fresnel-style lenses on the Quest 2, which improves the overall area you can see clearly.
Secondly, having my side and bottom peripheral view open actually widens my perceived field of view by making my brain think it's seeing more of the virtual world than it really is. It's pretty cool even if it'll only work for mixed-reality applications like working on a PC with a headset on. You'll definitely get sick if you try to play VR this way.
Working on the headset is surprisingly good, too. I had a lot of high hopes that this would finally be the virtual replacement for my giant 43-inch monitor/TV in my office when I'm not sitting there and, so far, it feels superb to work in this environment.
The text is super clear and easy to read — even if I can tell I'm still staring at a display panel that doesn't achieve "retina" level of pixel density — and there's no obvious fringing or chromatic aberration happening with white text on dark backgrounds. I did see this happening from time to time but it simply meant that I needed to adjust the headset a little bit higher on my head, as the edges of the lenses do fringe white text a bit.
The latency between my computer and the headset wirelessly is almost nonexistent. Every time I checked it was in the single digits and the only time I noticed any real delay in mouse movements was when my PC entered a low battery state. Having a giant monitor in front of my face while I'm sitting on the couch wasn't just nice. It also meant that my neck wasn't killing me by the end of the day.
That's also a testament to Meta's ability to perfectly balance the weight on this headset. It might be heavier than a Quest 2 but you'd never know it. It's just so well-balanced and feels light on my head, even after hours of using it for work.
And it's hard not to sing the praises of full-color passthrough. That doesn't mean it's perfect by any means. Windows are still blown out when sunlight is streaming in, colors are still muted compared to real life, and the frame rate is closer to a cinematic 24fps than anything representing real life. But those things didn't seem like a big deal while wearing the headset or talking to my wife and son throughout the day. I could see them just fine without taking the headset off and it didn't interrupt my work. That's a win in my book.
Lastly, is battery life. Thus far, the headset lasted about 2 hours on a single charge while I was working completely wirelessly from my laptop. This was also while the headset was downloading and installing a bunch of apps in the background during that time, so I expect battery life to be a bit better going forward.
Still, it's clear you're going to want to tether the headset if you're planning on just sitting at a desk all day. The wire clip on the side of the strap (pictured above) makes it easy to do that and keeps the cable out of the way.
So far, it seems like the headset does what it advertises and it does it quite well. I'll be bringing my longer-term review for the headset in a week or two when I've felt like I put it through its full paces. For now, I've left my detailed impressions from the hands-on session below and included additional language based on my extended time with the headset.
Price, availability, and what's in the box
The Meta Quest Pro retails for $1,499 and is readily available on store shelves since October 25, 2022. You can even try it yourself at a local Best Buy, assuming they have a storefront unit. Meta is offering up one SKU with 256GB of storage.
Meta includes a bevy of accessories and other pack-ins with the Meta Quest Pro headset, including:
- Meta Quest Pro headset (head strap preinstalled)
- Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers (wrist straps preinstalled)
- Charging dock
- Protective cover for headset
- Partial light blockers
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Controller charging cable (for charge and play)
- 45W wall outlet plug
- Cleaning cloth
- Stylus tips
A full light blocker can be separately purchased for full immersion in VR content, as well as a number of other great Quest Pro accessories.
The Quest Pro is more of a mixed-reality headset than a virtual-reality one. This largely means that most Quest Pro apps will encourage users to interact with the physical world around them as well as the virtual one, making it a much more palatable experience for many of the headset's use-case scenarios.
Given the $1,500 price tag, you might wonder "who in the world is this headset made for?" Primarily, Meta intends this to be a work-heavy headset with a focus on selling it to professional and enterprise customers. That includes the ability to enroll the device in Quest for Business, Meta's own MDM platform for device management.
But Quest Pro isn't meant for stuffy cubicles. Not necessarily, anyway. If anything, Quest Pro aims to give users a tangible way to recreate the office experience anywhere they are, whether that means working at home or working from a hotel room. Your office is the one you take with you, and for Quest Pro users, that means up to five virtual monitors with apps like Immersed, and a bevy of productivity tools that'll nearly theoretically recreate the "collaborative" office experience CEOs have been harping on about for the past year as people resist returning to the office.
Further than that, Quest Pro is also designed for professionals or enthusiasts who want to do more without needing all the expensive equipment that some professions require. While you obviously won't be replacing a real hammer with a virtual one, Meta offered up several compelling examples of what this could look like.
For one, Autodesk will soon be providing some of its professional apps to Quest Pro users, which could make CAD modeling, 3D modeling, and other professional creative endeavors more appealing to make than with a mouse and keyboard. Other software, like Arkio, allows architects to stand in a physical room and quite literally change the entire structure of the room virtually. Add a window, slap in a door, and even decorate with furniture — the whole nine yards.
Tribe XR is a DJing app that only costs $30 but lets you play around with legit versions of $3,000 soundboards, can actually be used to live DJ events, and even record and upload your creations to your SoundCloud and make money off of it.
Another app, Painting VR, is a measly $20 and gives users the ability to paint on canvases to their hearts' content. It even has a built-in Chromium browser so you can watch episodes of Bob Ross and finally paint those happy trees as you've always wanted to. Afterward, you can print them on canvas and bring your digital paintings to real life or hang them up in your virtual gallery in the app.
Meta separates these apps out in a separate Quest Pro section on the Oculus store, so it's easy to find the apps that were made with Quest Pro in mind.
Both TribeXR and Painting VR are also available on Quest 2. Still, with Quest Pro's color pass through mixed reality vision, these kinds of experiences come to life in ways that feel palpably different than just standing in a virtual room in a VR headset and having no idea what's happening around your real person.
It's this sense of what's happening both outside and inside the headset at the same time that makes Quest Pro so unique and, ultimately, what sets it apart from the Quest 2 and other VR headsets.
Headset design and specs
As we've seen from the countless leaks and teasers over the months, Quest Pro is a substantially sleeker, lighter headset than the Quest or Quest 2. Since the Quest Pro is designed to be worn all day while working, I'd like to begin by talking about how significantly improved the overall comfort of the headset is.
While headsets like the Quest 2 ship with cloth straps that are basically intended to be replaced by third-party alternatives, the Quest Pro is built as a true all-in-one solution that's not designed to have any of its components replaced or added to.
The head strap itself looks and acts a lot like a traditional halo strap — think PSVR or the Oculus Rift S — and doesn't have a top strap at all. It features two main adjustment wheels — one for the forehead pad distance from the lenses and another to tighten the head strap to your cranium — which makes regularly taking it off and putting it back on a simple affair.
The adjustment wheel up front changes the distance of the lenses from your face, so it's an ideal fit for users who wear glasses. That means no more annoying glasses spacer!
But this isn't just any old halo strap. It's actually a two-part strap that features rigid plastic around the outside and a flexible strap on the inside, helping to better hold it to your head in a soft way. That, combined with the reduced overall weight and the fact that the curved cell battery is in the back of the strap, makes it actually comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
In a nutshell, Meta took me from "there's no way I'd wear a VR headset all day" to "I can't wait to wear this thing on a daily basis." It really is that comfortable.
The strange thing here is that Meta opted for a non-removable battery and head strap design despite the fact that the Quest Pro is designed to be used standalone most of the time. 2 hours of battery life isn't enough for much of anything, let alone a full work day.
I'm actually surprised Meta didn't take cues from my favorite Quest 2 battery head strap and make the battery modular and magnetic. Things would be immediately better if I could just snap in a new battery every few hours without having to take my headset off!
The built-in speakers are an immediately noticeable upgrade from the Quest 2. I’m talking full range of sound, palpable bass, the whole nine yards. If desired, you can still use a pair of headphones by plugging them into one of the two 3.5mm audio jacks on the underside of either head strap’s temple portion. The company says two jacks help keep long wires from interfering with the experience.
Meta is selling a pair of aftermarket earbuds designed for Quest Pro, for note.
The lenses, too, are substantially better than what’s on most other VR headsets, much less the Quest 2. These are pancake-style lenses, which means they effectively bend light in a way that allows Meta to put the physical display closer to the lenses themselves, shrinking the depth of the headset.
The FoV is 10% wider than the Quest 2 and none of the annoying circular lines or god rays from the Fresnel lens days are present. There’s also no tiny sweet spot that causes you to constantly have to adjust the headset, which is probably one of the best long-term comfort features on the headset.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Meta Quest Pro|
|Display||2x QLED panels, 1800 x 1920 pixels per eye, 500 individual LED dimming zones, 72/90Hz|
|Lenses||Pancake, adjustable between 55mm-75mm IPD, 106-degree horizontal, 96-degree vertical|
|Headset dimensions/weight||265mm (with strap) x 127mm x 196mm, 722g|
|Battery and Charging||Up to 2 hour battery life, 2 hour maximum charging time|
|Memory and Storage||12GB RAM, 256 GB UFS 3.1 storage|
|Processors||Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 1|
|Headset tracking||Inside-out for room scale, 5 cameras|
|Controller tracking||Self-tracked with 3 cameras per controller|
|Eye tracking||Yes, 3 cameras|
|Face tracking||Yes, 2 cameras|
|Sensors||Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Magnetometer, Barometer|
|Buttons and Ports||USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2, Power button, Volume controls|
|Media & Audio||Integrated stereo speakers, microphone, dual 3.5mm jacks, spatial audio support|
|Connectivity||WiFi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2|
These lenses also provide access to a wider range of IPD values than Quest 2 — from 55mm to 75mm — and smooth slides in sub-mm increments. That makes IPD adjustment more like the original Quest, albeit you'll be grabbing the lenses themselves as on the Quest 2. So long as you don't have any light blocker attached, you can easily do this while wearing the headset.
By default, no light blockers are installed on the Quest Pro. In the box is a partial light blocker that magnetically snaps on and blocks the left and right periphery, leaving the bottom portion still exposed. The full light blocker attachment works more like a Quest 2's, although these are fully rubberized blockers, not the dense foam or silicon varieties like you'll find on the Quest 2. If you've used a PSVR before, that's probably the closest example I can think of.
Behind the lenses is a brand-new QLED display with local dimming — 500 individual zones, specifically — which offers an immediate black-level upgrade from the Quest 2. It's still not as good as an OLED display but offers crisper imagery thanks to an RGB stripe sub-pixel configuration. Meta says it also displays 1.3x larger color gamut than the Quest 2's LCD display. In conjunction with the new display, the pancake lenses also allow for 37% more pixels per inch than Quest 2, making the text even easier to read.
In short, it looks really, really good.
That, of course, is vital for a “work headset” since you’ll need to read text on a display as if it were a laptop. I can corroborate the improvements to the display clarity, as using a laptop along with Quest Pro felt essentially identical to looking at three physical monitors. It was very, very impressive.
Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 1, a new AR/VR processor from Qualcomm that builds upon the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 in the Quest 2. Meta touts the new processor offers a 50% performance jump over the Quest 2.
The XR2+ might be built upon the same manufacturing process as the XR2 in the Quest 2, but Meta and Qualcomm have worked together to re-engineer the design for the XR2, placing memory and processing blocks side-by-side instead of stacking them vertically. This makes the processor physically larger but helps deliver increased airflow and heat dissipation as a result.
Part of the 50% performance improvement also comes from the new eye-tracking tech, which allows Meta to employ proper foveated rendering. As a refresher, that means the center of your vision is rendered in the highest resolution possible while the periphery is rendered in significantly lower resolution.
Three cameras are located inside the headset above the lenses to track the eyes. Eye-tracking is impressively accurate and works exactly as you would imagine. Foveated rendering isn’t enabled for everything by default, though, and will need to be implemented by developers on a per-app basis.
Developers can choose from the current fixed foveated rendering solution that's shipped with Quest headsets for years, or can opt-in for dynamic foveated rendering using eye-tracking. With this mode, the Quest Pro will only render the center of your vision in the highest resolution, with your peripheral vision being rendered in substantially lower resolution.
This helps performance in a major way — up to a 70% performance increase — and doesn't affect quality since the user can't physically see the lower-resolution parts. Red Matter 2 was the first title to get updated with this feature and it now enjoys a 30% resolution bump because of foveated rendering.
While playing. I would occasionally notice some shimmering on the edges of my periphery, but it normally only occurred with high-contrast objects. For example, in the video below at around 1:15, when I look away from the red space suit I can see slight shimmering. That's because it's rendered at a much lower resolution and the red contrasts highly against the blue/gray background.
Developers will need to implement the tech as they see fit, but, in effect, you shouldn’t notice any real difference in usage between apps or games that do or do not use it. Foveated rendering exists solely to provide the extra horsepower for rendering, so the task might not always be required.
Developers can create an app or game specifically targeting Quest Pro if need be, although, given the price, it’s not likely that we’ll see this happen for any games. Most likely, it’ll be for productivity apps that are business-focused and or mixed-reality heavy.
All Quest and Quest 2 games work on Quest Pro automatically and don't need to be rebuilt or tweaked in any way. Some will even get an automatic resolution boost, depending on how the developer designed the title. And, yes, you can even sideload games and apps on the Quest Pro from stores like SideQuest, just as you can on the Quest and Quest 2.
An additional set of two internal cameras are located between the lenses and point down toward the nose and mouth, offering proper facial tracking for nose, cheeks, and mouth expressions.
One of the demos I got to use, Aura, showed off these eye and face-tracking features, which I'll cover in detail in the mixed reality section below. You can see an example of that demo in the GIF below.
Meta made it a point to highlight that all processing of imagery for eye and face tracking is done on the device and is deleted after the end of every user section. The data is never uploaded to a server or saved long-term, and both eye and face tracking options are disabled by default, meaning you’ll need to opt into the feature in order to use it.
That level of privacy is incredibly important for a company like Meta — which still continues to have privacy woes associated with it after years of abuse on the Facebook platform — to push and strive for.
Brand new controllers
Meta's new Quest Touch Pro controllers once again change the paradigm for what's expected for controller tracking. Instead of rings of LED lights in front of or around the controller, these new controllers feature three cameras and are both individually self-tracked. Yes, let that sink in for a moment. It's really quite amazing.
One camera faces upward, while two cameras are situated in the front, similar to the configuration of human eyes. These controllers are fully backward compatible with the Quest 2 and can be separately purchased for $299 if you're looking to upgrade your Quest 2 controllers.
Why would you want to do this, though? Simple: Quest Touch Pro controllers have no dead zones since they are fully tracked on their own accord. There's even a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor inside each one, enabling local SLAM — that's Simultaneous Localization and Mapping — processing without needing to send data back to the headset to be processed first.
That also means that they can more accurately track themselves throughout 3D space in the real world, so you won't have those weird issues slicing blocks in Expert+ mode in Beat Saber. No dead zones also mean that reaching behind your back for an arrow or another inventory item will no longer feel janky and broken, as it can tend to on inside-out tracked headsets like the Quest 2.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Quest Touch Pro controller specs|
|Dimensions||130mm x 70mm x 62mm|
|Weight||153g (per controller)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 662|
|Controller tracking||SLAM with 3 camera sensors per controller|
|Batteries||Built-in rechargeable, compatible with included charging dock|
These cameras also enable index finger tracking, so you can realistically point in VR, and your virtual finger will follow your real finger’s movements 1:1. That part was actually a bit weird to get adjusted to after years of training myself to touch and press buttons instead of just using my fingers normally.
Likewise, the controllers are also millimeter accurate in their movements, and new pressure points on the controller allow for “precision pinch movement,” as Meta calls it. In one demo, I was grabbing objects and squeezing them as I would expect to in real life. While it’s still not quite 1:1 with an actual hand — a controller is still in your hand, of course — it felt a lot more precise and natural than existing solutions.
In fact, I didn’t even realize that my thumb was pressing against a pressure point on the top inside of the controller when I was first grabbing these objects. I had to look down at my hand to realize what I was doing. Now that’s natural.
Part in parcel to the more “natural” experience is the presence of substantially upgraded haptic motors — called TruTouch Haptics — throughout the controller. Every UI element popped like never before, and grabbing objects felt more realistic because they could emit some sort of tactile response to virtual grabbing or touching.
These haptics work incredibly well when writing with the new stylus tips on the bottom of the controllers, too. These tips can be added or removed by just snapping them in, and in apps like Horizon Workrooms, your controller in the app turns into a pencil or marker the second you flip the controller around to start writing.
Adding enhanced haptics into the equation means that writing on a virtual whiteboard or painting on a virtual canvas feels more like putting pressure against a physical object. The effect is still probably best if you augment virtual reality with a wall or physical canvas, but adding in these small elements really helps bring the whole thing together in a way like never before.
Both controllers have built-in rechargeable batteries and are rated to last up to 8 hours on a single charge. The controllers can be used while charging with the included charge-and-play cables, but playing with cables attached to your controllers is extremely limiting, to say the least. Best keep this kind of use-case to the desk where movement isn't happening much.
The mixed reality experience
While virtual reality is a way to replace your surroundings with something entirely different, mixed reality can be used to add virtual objects to your existing surroundings. This isn't a new concept by any means, but Quest Pro aims to enhance the concept of mixed reality in two main ways: color passthrough and peripheral vision.
Among the many hardware upgrades on the Quest Pro is a set of cameras that provide 4x the number of pixels of the Quest 2's cameras for passthrough. Passthrough is the idea that you're seeing "through" the headset into the real world by using the cameras on the headset to feed video of the real world to your eyes. Got it? Good.
Passthrough is nothing new, but Quest Pro does it better than other headsets I've had to chance to use for several reasons. For one, I didn't notice any obvious stitching that can be seen on current-gen headsets like the Quest 2. On those headsets, you can see obvious slight distortion lines where one camera's feed intersects with that of another in order to make your view feel cohesive instead of looking at different camera feeds on different monitors.
Additionally, Quest Pro's passthrough is in full color, not black and white like the Quest 2. This benefit is quite obvious, as colorful virtual objects no longer feel completely out of place as they do on Quest 2's passthrough mode.
The overall image quality of the color passthrough mode was impressive, but it's not perfect. There's still some fringing happening around the edges where lots of contrast exists, and while the colors weren't always 100% accurate to what my eyes perceived in the real world, it's substantially better than what I've used on many other headsets. It also doesn't have the vomit-inducing fisheye effect from headsets like the Pico 4.