In recent years, VR has seen exponential growth, with various headsets battling for dominance in the market. From Oculus Quest to the HTC Vive, consumers have been presented with a ton of options promising immersive experiences and cutting-edge technology. However, amidst this landscape of innovation, a recent name stood out – Apple Vision Pro.

While other VR headsets have undoubtedly made significant strides in enhancing the user experience, the Apple Vision Pro sets itself apart with its unique blend of sleek design, advanced features, and seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem. With Apple’s reputation for pushing the boundaries of technology, expectations for the Vision Pro are sky-high, promising to revolutionize the way we interact with digital content.

But what exactly sets the Apple Vision Pro apart from its competitors? As we delve deeper into this review, we’ll explore its standout features, from its stunning display to its intuitive interface. We’ll also examine how it compares to other leading VR headsets on the market, evaluating its performance, comfort, and overall value proposition.

Build Quality

When you first lay your eyes on the Apple Vision Pro, the build quality is nothing short of extraordinary. From the choice of materials to the overall construction, it’s evident that Apple has raised the bar for VR headsets, especially in the United States.

Let’s talk about the materials. The aluminum frame gives the headset a substantial feel, akin to holding another premium Apple product. It’s solid, it’s sleek, and it exudes quality. However, this quality comes with a trade-off which is weight. The Vision Pro isn’t the lightest headset out there, thanks to the aluminum frame and the components packed inside. But hey, every VR headset faces this challenge, not just Apple’s.

Now, about the strap. The one you see in all the fancy product photos is the one that comes out of the box. It’s a single-loop design that wraps around the back of your head. It’s elegant, it’s effortless to use, but there’s a catch, it tightens around your head to keep the headset in place. It presses against your face, which isn’t the most comfortable thing, especially for extended wear.

But, there’s an alternative – the double-loop strap. Sure, it may not look as sleek and it might mess up your hair a bit, but it is comfortable. The weight of the headset is distributed across the top of your head, alleviating that uncomfortable pressure on your face. It’s a bit more of a hassle to adjust, but the comfort is worth it.

Now let’s talk screens, they are the best you can find in any VR headset available to consumers. The colors are vibrant, the blacks are deep – it’s like looking into another world. And external cameras do a phenomenal job of blending the virtual with the real, making you feel like you’re truly part of the experience.

Apple Apps, Other Apps, and Gaming

So, let’s talk about what you can do with the Apple Vision Pro right out of the box. At launch, Apple has lined up a bunch of apps for the Vision Pro, including some heavy hitters like Adobe Lightroom and Microsoft Office. These apps are specifically optimized to run smoothly on Apple’s new headset, offering users a seamless experience.

But that’s not all – Apple’s own suite of apps has been upgraded to take full advantage of the Vision Pro’s immersive capabilities. You’ve got your Calendar, Mail, Messages, and FaceTime, all redesigned to work seamlessly with the headset. And speaking of FaceTime, the virtual persona feature adds an extra layer of immersion, mimicking your facial expressions as you chat with friends and family.

And let’s not forget what many people are wondering about games. Apple may say the Vision Pro isn’t a VR headset, but who are they kidding? We all know what we are going to use it for. And let me tell you, the gaming experience is top-notch. Thanks to Apple’s environmental mapping, everything looks and feels incredibly lifelike. But the tracking or the lack thereof might be rough for many users. Without the same level of tracking fidelity as other headsets, certain games can be a bit of a challenge.

Apple Arcade is bringing hundreds of titles to the Vision Pro from day one, offering everything from mixed-reality Dungeons & Dragons adventures to music trivia games. And for those who love a good puzzle, there’s What the Golf? a quirky game that puts a new spin on the classic sport. So for slower-paced games and professional work, the Vision Pro is a dream come true. Just don’t expect it to replace your gaming PC anytime soon.

Now, when it comes to TV and movies, the Vision Pro has you covered. Apple is introducing a new format called Immersive Video, offering 180-degree 3D recordings with spatial audio. From Alicia Keys rehearsals to up-close encounters with wild creatures, there is something for everyone. And with support for 3D versions of movies from the Apple TV app and streaming apps like Disney+, you’ll never run out of things to watch.

But it’s not just about entertainment – the Vision Pro is also a productivity powerhouse. With apps like Microsoft Teams, Webex, and Zoom, you can stay connected and productive wherever you are. And with updates coming soon to add features like real-world pinning and 3D object sharing, the possibilities are endless.

Using Apple Vision Pro

So, let’s talk about actually using the Apple Vision Pro.

First off, when I first powered it up and the screen lit up, it was like magic, leagues above all other VR headsets. The resolution is out of this world – nearly 4K per eye. That’s three times the pixel count of the Meta Quest 3. And there’s no pesky screen door effect to ruin the immersion.

Now, those 12 cameras on the front and bottom are not just for show. They create a live, three-dimensional view of the world around you that puts Mr. Zuckerberg’s efforts to shame. And it’s all thanks to Apple’s own R1 silicon, which handles everything from video stitching to eye tracking with finesse.

But watch out for fingerprints on those cameras. It’s easy to smudge them accidentally while putting the headset on, and it can make things look a bit fuzzy. But when it’s working at its best, it’s like seeing the world through a whole new lens. Speaking of lenses, the field of view on the Vision Pro is a bit of a mystery. Apple didn’t publish the exact specs, which has led to some speculation. But let’s just say it’s not as wide as some of its competitors. Still, with features like eye tracking and active compensation for distortions, it’s not as limiting as it might seem.

Criticism

So, let’s dive into the cons of the Apple Vision Pro. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s an impressive piece of tech, but there are some drawbacks, as with every piece of tech out there, that you should be aware of.

First off, the lack of content. Sure, the hardware is revolutionary, but on day one, I realized there is not much to do with it. You can watch TV, play some iPad apps with wonky controls, or check out 3D models, but it’s not exactly a thrill ride. Now, I’m sure app support will expand in the future, but for now, it’s a bit lacking.

And of course, the price. With the massive tag of $3500 plus, many can’t even buy it, and they shouldn’t, at least until the price comes down or more affordable or updated models come out. But for the tech enthusiast out there – go for it. But at nearly 4 grand, you could buy a flagship TV, a gaming console, or a laptop, and still have cash to spare. I mean, watching movies in your own private theater is cool, but is it really worth the price tag? Personally, I’d rather stick with the devices I already own until the dust settles.

Another elephant in the room is the potential regulatory pressures. Screens are an everyday part of today’s world, but many believe that wearing them on your head while walking down the street might be too much. Regulators not only in the US but also around the globe are under pressure to set fines and regulatory systems for these devices.

In a nutshell, the Apple Vision Pro sets a new standard for build quality in VR headsets. It may have its quirks, but when it comes to the overall experience, it’s in a league of its own. One thing is clear though, it was made to make waves and be talked about – more of an Apple marketing campaign to hype the following ones than a product they expected tons of people to buy.