VR developer focused on creating immersive storytelling experiences. Follow me on Twitter: @VRHeavenNews
September 27th, 2023

The Meta Quest 3 is open for pre-orders on September 27 at Meta Connect 2023 and starts shipping October 10. This leads many people wondering: Should I upgrade my Quest 2 to Quest 3? Is the Quest 3 worth it? Let’s find out…

Quest 2 vs. Quest 3: Specs Comparison

  Meta Quest 2 Meta Quest 3 Meta Quest Pro
Price $299 (128 GB) $499 (128 GB) $999
Resolution (per eye) 1832 x 1920 pixels 2064 x 2208 1800×1920 pixels
Storage 128 GB, 256 GB 128 GB, 512 GB 256 GB
RAM 6 GB 8 GB 12 GB
Battery Life 2-3 hours Under 2 hours 2 hours
Size 7.5 x 4 x 5.2 inches TBA (40% slimmer) 5.1 x 2.7 x 2.4 inches
Weight 1.1 lbs TBA Column 4 Value 7
Mixed Reality Passthrough Limited black and white passthrough Full color passthrough Colorized Greyscale, Medium Res
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 Snapdragon XR2+
Lenses Fresnel Lenses Pancake Lenses Pancake Lenses
FOV 95 degrees 110 degrees 106 degrees

Overall, the specs for the Quest 3 are significantly better than the Quest 2, but the cost is also $200 more.

Is the Quest 3 worth the extra $200 cost? Let’s find out:

Meta Quest 2 vs. Quest 3: Resolution

The Quest 3 (2064 x 2208 pixels per eye) has a 30% higher resolution than the Quest 2 (1832 x 1920 pixels per eye).

In total, the Quest 3 has 9,114,624 pixels whilst the Quest 2 has 7,034,880 pixels. Both use LCD displays.

How big of a difference is this? The 30% higher resolution will certainly be noticeable – images will be sharper and higher clarity, and you’ll get better immersion with the Quest 3, however, it won’t be a mindblowing difference and the resolution alone isn’t worth the $200 extra cost. However, there’s more:

Meta Quest 2 vs. Meta Quest 3: Lenses

The Quest 2 uses Fresnel lenses whilst the Quest 3 uses Pancake lenses.

Many people overlook this detail, but it’s one of the most important differences between the Quest 2 and Quest 3. Fresnel lenses have a very small “sweet spot” meaning only the center of the screen will be sharp whilst the peripherals will be blurry. You also can’t move your eyes around for this reason.

Pancake lenses on the other hand offer a sharp image for almost the entire screen. Your peripherals will be as clear as the center and you can move your eyes around.

Pancake lenses offer a huge difference in terms of visual quality and is one of the biggest reasons to get a Quest 3 over the Quest 2.

Meta Quest 2 vs. Meta Quest 3: Size and Weight

Comfort is one of the most important aspects of a VR headset and size and weight play a factor into this. The Quest 3 is reported to be 40% slimmer than the Quest 2:

Meta Quest 2 vs Meta Quest 3

Due to it’s slimmer design and lighter weight, there should be a slight comfort increase from the Quest 2 to Quest 3. However, the rest will be determined by the quality of the straps – something we’ll try out when it gets released.

Quest 2 vs. Quest 3 Controllers

Jaroslav Beck, founder of Beat Saber said “it’s good, don’t worry” about Quest 3 controllers. Beat Saber is one of the most tracking reliant games, so hearing this from him is very reassuring.

Overall, both the Quest 2 and Quest 3 have one of the best tracking for a standalone VR headset, so both deserve an A+ here.

The main difference between the Quest 2 and Quest 3 controllers are that the tracking rings are removed in the Quest 3. This means they won’t get in the way of your playing.

Quest 2 vs. Quest 3: Performance

The Snapdragon XR2 gen 2 allows the Quest 3 to deliver twice the graphical performance as the previous generation Snapdragon GPU in the Quest 2. Games can be rendered at a much higher resolution. Future games will come out where the Quest 3 can run, but the Quest 2 can’t.

Here’s a video demonstrating the difference:

Hubris Is Getting A Massive Visual Update For Quest 3!
byu/elliotttate invirtualreality

If you’re planning on using the Quest for PCVR (connecting to your PC), this extra performance won’t make a difference. The higher performance is applicable for standalone usage.

Meta Quest 2 vs. Meta Quest 3: Battery Life

The Quest 3 has the same battery life as the Quest 2 if you’re playing games without a high processing load like Beat Saber. However, since the Quest 3 renders at a higher resolution, it’ll deplete the battery faster than the Quest 2. Furthermore, games with mixed reality drain the battery faster.

The battery varies between 1:15 and 2 hours. Read more about Quest 3 battery life.

Meta Quest 2 vs. Meta Quest 3: Games

The Quest 3 will be backwards compatible with Quest 2 games. Furthermore, since the Quest 3 is a more powerful device, it will be capable of running new games in the future that aren’t supported on the Quest 2.

No such games have been announced yet, but expect it to happen in the future. For now, both devices can run the same games and apps.

Quest 2 vs. Quest 3: FOV (Field of View)

Field of view is ultra important for immersion, and the great news is the Quest 3 has an increased FOV of 110 degrees vs. the Quest 2’s 95 degrees. This is even larger than the Quest Pro!

Is the difference in FOV noticeable? Absolutely! Although it’s not as mindblowing as the Pimax 8K, it’ll certainly make your games more immersive.

Mixed Reality Passthrough

The Quest 3 offers color passthrough, whilst the Quest 2 only offers black and white passthrough.

This means you can see your room in color whilst wearing your Quest 3 headset. The Quest 3’s passthrough cameras also have 10 times the pixels of the Quest 2 cameras.

According to Meta, you can navigate around your house and do everyday tasks whilst wearing the headset. You can even read a book whilst wearing the headset. This isn’t possible on a Quest 2 where the passthrough is quite limited.

Furthermore, many people will be excited for the possibility of mixed reality – imagine being able to see your friend’s avatar in your own room. Or playing a first person shooter in your house. The potential of mixed reality can’t be overlooked.

Meta Quest 2 vs. Meta Quest 3: Price and Release Date

Quest 3 will be available for pre-orders on September 27 2023, and will begin shipping on October 10. It costs $499 (128 GB version) and $649 (512 GB version). Meanwhile the Quest 2 costs $299 for 128 GB and $399 for 256 GB version.

Meta Quest 2 vs. Meta Quest 3: Which is Better?

The verdict: The Meta Quest 3 is worth it for the pancake lenses alone, which leads to a sharper image in the center of the screen, and no more blurriness in the peripherals. On top of that, the Quest 3 offers higher resolution, extra comfort, higher performance, and mixed reality color passthrough, all for an extra $200 cost which is exceptional value.

Current Deal: Order the Quest 3 and receive Asgard’s Wrath 2 for free. Asgard’s Wrath 1 is one of the best RPGs in VR and I highly recommend this deal.

Whilst the Quest 2 is still a good headset and will continue to receive updates and support, we certainly recommend getting a Meta Quest 3 over the Quest 2 if you can afford it.

However, if you don’t care about pancake lenses, color passthrough and the slight extra comfort, getting a Quest 2 is still a viable idea.

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