Zuckerberg: Quest 3 is a 'better product, period' than Vision Pro, hints at where Quest 4 will go

Mark Zuckerberg showing off the Meta Quest 3 headset
(Image credit: Mark Zuckerberg on Instagram)

What you need to know

  • On Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg announced that he'd tried the Apple Vision Pro and compared the experience unfavorably to the Meta Quest 3. 
  • He called out the Vision Pro's flaws, like lack of controllers, wired battery, motion blur when moving, and smaller game selection.
  • He also made fun of Apple fanboys while hinting that future Quest headsets will bring eye tracking back and could use a "neural interface."

Mark Zuckerberg did his best impression of a tech reviewer on Tuesday, posting on Instagram his thoughts on why his Meta Quest 3 is "better for the vast majority of things people use mixed reality for" than the Apple Vision Pro.

Despite the fact that people "assumed" the Vision Pro was better because of the $3,500 price tag — and despite "fanboys" who "get upset whenever anyone dares to question if Apple's going to be the leader in a new category" — Zuckerberg laid out a case for why the premium headset falls short. 

He filmed his criticism using a Quest 3's mixed-reality cameras while claiming it has "high-quality passthrough just like Vision Pro." Of course, Apple's cameras use 6.5 megapixels instead of 4MP, giving the Vision Pro the advantage.

In the 3.5-minute video, Zuckerberg claimed to be "surprised" at the "trade-offs" Apple had to make to the "comfort and ergonomics" to achieve its epic 3660 x 3200 pixels per eye. 

He noted that the Quest 3 weighs 120g less, ships without a wired battery pack, and doesn't struggle with "motion blur" when turning your head during passthrough, as the Vision Pro's micro-OLED display does. In each case, many independent Vision Pro reviews made the same complaints. 

Of course, the Quest 3's passthrough has its own issues, specifically warping around moving objects.

Comparing the Apple Vision Pro vs. Meta Quest 3, Zuckerberg did praise some of the "really nice" features of the rival headset, such as the higher resolution and eye tracking. He then casually mentioned that the Quest Pro had eye-tracking sensors first and that they intend to "bring them back in the future."

It's unclear whether he's referring to the Quest 4 or the Quest Pro 2 here, but he evidently sees this as an area where he needs to compete with Apple in the future, after cutting the feature for the Quest 3 to keep it affordable. 

At the same time, he followed up the faint praise by claiming that eye tracking is "not a perfect control system" and that you need a keyboard, controller, or "neural interface" for a better experience. 

Before you get futuristic visions of Neuralink-style VR controls, we've heard this expression before: in February 2023, The Verge posted a leaked Meta roadmap for future devices, including a "neural interfaces watch" that tracks your hand movements for more accurate gesture controls and virtual keyboard tracking. 

Essentially, Zuckerberg is saying that hand-tracked controls need more than just cameras to be accurate and convenient, making Apple's dependence on them premature. In theory, the Quest 4 would benefit from a wearable controller for better hand-tracking accuracy.

At the same time, he claims that the Quest 3's hand tracking is "a little more accurate" than the Vision Pro's already, which is hard to quantify.

Rounding out his combination Vision Pro roast and Quest 3 hype video, Zuckerberg noted how his headset has applications like fitness and VR gaming where the Vision Pro falls short, including YouTube VR and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Many high-profile apps like Netflix have snubbed the Apple Vision Pro, at least initially.

The VR wars have begun in earnest 

Shooting lighting from my hands while "wearing" an Apple Vision Pro headset

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

After decades of console wars between Nintendo vs. Sega, Microsoft vs. Sony, and so on, Apple vs. Meta is the newest battleground in the VR space. 

Mark Zuckerberg never felt the need to attack the Valve Index or PSVR 2, but the Apple Vision Pro and its "fanboys" struck a nerve. His video on Tuesday is full of cherry-picked data that ignores the Quest 3's own drawbacks — which triggered an infuriated response from our colleagues at iMore that plays right into Zuckerberg's stereotype.

The main takeaway is that Zuckerberg is challenging the Vision Pro directly, and that's wonderful news for both Quest fans and Vision Pro fans. 

We called the Meta Quest 3 the "best VR headset you can buy" in our review last year. Then, the Apple Vision Pro launched with a more powerful M2 chip, more cameras, better resolution, and thousands of App Store apps that Meta will never get for its headset. That doesn't necessarily make it the new "best" headset, however.

Zuckerberg is right that gaming and fitness are the two most popular applications for virtual reality and that having dedicated controllers is better than having to constantly keep your hands in view to control the UI. Apple's headset is painfully expensive, with a more narrow use case of streaming spatial videos or working in the headset with virtual displays. For the everyday person, the Quest 3 is the better headset.

That being said, if Tim Cook decided to take a page out of Zuckerberg's book and roast the Quest 3 for three minutes, he'd have plenty to criticize: The uncomfortable cloth strap that Meta makes you pay extra to replace, the lenses that fog up easily, the short battery life, the updates slowing down games, the defective accessories, the lack of an EyeSight equivalent for people in the room to know you're looking at them, and so on. 

Future Quest headsets will have to adapt to compete against Apple's strengths, and competition breeds improvement in the tech world. Meanwhile, Apple plans to launch cheaper mixed-reality headsets in the future to appeal to a wider audience, meaning it will have to focus more on gaming and fitness to succeed — challenging Meta where it's strongest.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.

  • d0x360
    Oculus... Meta ... Needs to get OLED panels in their too or instead of eye tracking.

    The reason is simple.. low persistence. OLED especially compared to LCD can essentially be in an instant state of on and off per pixel and can also essentially change pixel color instantly. This means things like blur (depending on panel quality and refresh rate of course) can effectively be eliminated along with light bloom and more importantly the inability of LCD to display black which means the vast majority of vr games are designed around LCD so they never go true dark

    I remember switching from the original rift to the rift s and I had started Vader immortal in between and when I went to play on the new rift s I couldn't see a damn thing because it's an extremely dark game and was designed originally around the rift. It became impossible to play on the S then for the quest version they changed the lighting enough so people could actually play it but at the same time that changes the games atmosphere and takes away from it.

    So 2 very simple but extremely beneficial reasons to change to OLED right there and that's not to mention the possibilities with better color and HDR but just the lower persistence alone eliminates the pixel blur VR games generally have. I haven't used the vision pro so I don't know why blur would be an issue but it could be software based because apple doesn't seem like they would use cheap panels .. hell psvr2 has good enough OLED panels that blur isn't an issue.

    To see what I mean on a monitor compare a 400hz OLED vs an LCD that's even significantly higher refresh rate and the OLED will be better because of the accuracy and ability to perceive that motion from the high refresh significantly better. I've seen people who said above 240hz they can't see a difference then they tested an OLED and at every refresh rate all the way from 30z and up they could tell it was higher and preferred 120hz OLED to 240hz LCD and as refresh went up the margin of improvement to OLED quality only increases while LCD is diminishing returns
  • WhatUSay
    Only issue with his comments about it being better is this is Apple's first attempt and Meta's 3rd. By the time the Vision Pro hits its 3rd version is will completely dominate anything Meta will have.