The Quest 3 is powered by a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor (with an Adreno GPU) from Qualcomm, boasting a claimed 2.5 times performance increase over the Quest 2’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1. Notably, the Quest 3 surpasses the Quest Pro in technical prowess, as the latter employs the Snapdragon XR2+ based on the Gen 1 platform.
With 8GB of RAM, the Quest 3 exceeds the Quest 2’s 6GB but falls short of the Quest Pro’s 12GB. It is offered in storage capacities of 128GB ($499) and 512GB ($649).
Visually, the Quest 3 outperforms both the Quest 2 and the Quest Pro. It showcases a resolution of 2,064 by 2,208 pixels per eye, surpassing the Quest 2’s 1,832 by 1,920 and the Quest Pro’s 1,920 by 1,800.
Video Quality: Sharpness Counts
Water beads and rolls off as soon as it touches the fabric. However, it’s worth noting that it’s not waterproof. Your stuff will stay dry for a short time under light showers but not for long exposure under torrential rain. You might want to check out waterproof alternatives like Canway Sports Gym Bag, Thule Chasm Duffel, and King Kong Heavy Duty Duffel. Or, you might as well opt for a waterproof backpack.
The stitching seems durable. There are rare complaints about the seams coming off, but we haven’t had that issue. Undeniable 4.0’s zippers feel flimsy, so you might need extra caution when using them. The 2-way zipper at the main compartment also allows you to carry your sports bag from either shoulder.
Overall, this gym bag from Under Armour offers a decent build. Besides, you can choose from various designs and pick one that speaks out for your personality.
Another Trip to the Metaverse
When I previously tested Meta Horizon Worlds while reviewing the Meta Quest Pro last year, I encountered minimal online activity. Even with the Quest 3, after loading the same software, there wasn’t a significant increase in user engagement. The user numbers for the featured experiences remained quite low, often not surpassing double digits.
During the Halloween season, I explored NBCUniversal’s Halloween Horror Nights, an extension of the popular Universal Studios event, only to find it completely empty. There was no content available, and the lone other user I encountered (possibly a six-year-old based on their voice) mentioned that the experience wasn’t prepared—a mere two weeks before Halloween. In Action Island, a first-person shooter with 18 users, I unexpectedly found myself listening to a middle-aged man discussing frustrations with his health coverage.
In stark contrast, VRChat boasted multiple trending worlds teeming with hundreds or even thousands of users. The influx of people necessitated numerous instances, each accommodating approximately 20 to 80 users. I ventured into a screening room world where individuals gathered to watch YouTube videos, and the virtual theater was bustling with participants.
Games: Rhythm and Doom
The Meta Quest software library has expanded significantly, offering a diverse range of immersive games, fitness programs, and productivity software. Moreover, users have the option to access SteamVR games by utilizing the optional $79.99 Link Cable for a tethered connection to their PC. While testing several native games on the Quest 3, I was impressed by the performance delivered by the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor.
One of the standout titles, Amid Evil, developed by New Blood Interactive, falls under the category of “boomer shooters,” reminiscent of early 3D first-person shooters. It pays homage to the fantasy-horror setting of Heretic, casting players as a warrior-wizard on a mission to save surreal worlds from demons. The VR adaptation mirrors the non-VR version, offering a lengthy campaign involving exploration and combat in a nostalgically blocky environment. Gameplay with the touch controllers delivers a comfortable experience similar to playing an FPS with a gamepad, although it may not be as ideal for precise aiming as using a mouse and keyboard.
Another notable title, Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission VR, takes inspiration from an even earlier game, the 1987 original. It retains the rail-shooter style but updates the controls and graphics for a more modern experience. In contrast to Amid Evil, Operation Wolf Returns requires players to physically aim their weapons by manipulating the motion controllers. One controller acts as the trigger hand, while the other assists in stabilizing and adjusting aim. It presents an engaging and challenging shooting experience, keeping players alert as enemies can attack from any direction, not just from the front.
The Best VR Headset
Priced at $499, the Meta Quest 3 emerges as a remarkable standalone VR headset, securing our Editors’ Choice accolade. Despite being nearly twice the cost of the Quest 2, its inclusion of color pass-through cameras, enhanced resolution, faster processor, and sleeker design make its price point justifiable. It outshines the $999 Meta Quest Pro in almost every aspect except for the less widespread implementation of eye-tracking technology, which doesn’t substantiate the higher price tag.
For those hesitant about investing $500 in VR, the Quest 2 remains an outstanding choice at $299, albeit with slightly less defined monochrome cameras. Alternatively, PlayStation 5 owners seeking eye-tracking technology can explore the $549 PlayStation VR2, which is half the cost of the Quest Pro. However, when it comes to standalone AR and VR experiences, the Meta Quest 3 stands as the leading headset in the market.