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Meta Quest Pro review: For those with more money than sense

Looking like a million bucks... or at least 1,500...
Enlarge / Looking like a million bucks… or at least 1,500…

At this point in the history of tech product marketing, consumers generally know what it means when a company sticks the word “Pro” at the end of a device name. From iPads and AirPods to the Microsoft Surface and Galaxy Watch, “Pro” models generally offer the same underlying device and core platform with a few “nice to have” top-of-the-line features for enthusiast users who want the best experience.

To get those Pro features, consumers generally have to pay a “Pro premium” of somewhere between 25 to 60 percent over the most expensive “non-Pro” model of the same product. Even the biggest Pro-version outliers we could find in the tech world barely top a 100 percent increase over their non-Pro progenitors.

Despite the name, the Meta Quest Pro doesn’t really belong in the same marketing universe as these previous “Pro” products. Meta’s new standalone VR headset costs $1,500 at launch, a whopping 275 percent more than its $400 predecessor, the Meta Quest 2 (which has sold quite well for its still-young market segment). The premium increases to 400 percent if you compare the Quest Pro to the $300 Meta was asking for a Quest 2 just a few months ago.

That kind of price increase justifiably sets sky-high expectations for the new device. A product that costs nearly four times as much as its predecessor needs to offer some truly unique and luxury features that early adopters feel they can’t live without. For that price premium, this should be the kind of upgrade that makes people wonder how they ever felt satisfied with the old model in the first place.

Look into my eyes
Enlarge / Look into my eyes

That is decidedly not the case here. New Quest Pro features like a full-color passthrough camera and the ability to read a user’s facial expressions feel too experimental and underbaked for a marquee product. And while there are distinct improvements in comfort and screen clarity here, they’re less impactful than we’d expect for the price (and, honestly, for the passage of time since the Quest 2’s 2020 launch).

After spending a few days with a retail Quest Pro unit, we’re left wondering who, exactly, this product is for.

Feels good, man

Headset specs
Quest Pro Quest 2
Weight 722 g 503 g
Resolution (per eye) 1800×1920 1800×1920
Refresh rate 90 Hz 90 Hz
Field of view (H) 106 degrees 104 degrees
Field of view (V) 96 degrees 98 degrees
Processor Snapdragon XR2+ Snapdragon XR2
Internal storage 256GB 128GB

After opening your $1,500 package, putting a Quest Pro on your head feels distinctly nicer than wearing either of the previous Quest headsets. The flimsy “ski goggles” strap that sealed those old headsets to your face has been replaced with two semi-spherical cushions, one that sits on your forehead and one that tightens to the back of your skull with an easy-to-use dial.

Instead of resting heavily above the bridge of your nose, the Quest Pro display hovers comfortably just in front of your face at a distance that can be easily adjusted with its own dial. This is a significant improvement—with the bulk of the weight resting on the forehead, the unit feels much more secure and better balanced than previous Quest headsets, especially during extended use.

That said, the Quest Pro does not achieve the “wear it all day” ideal that some VR boosters might hope for. The headset’s 722 grams (which is significantly heavier than the stock Quest 2) start to become apparent on your forehead around the one-hour mark, especially as you wrinkle your forehead or move your eyebrows. Still, I found this pressure pretty bearable—I wasn’t tearing the headset off in pain after 60 minutes or anything—and it was certainly preferable to the more significant pinch around the eyes and nose of previous Quest headsets.

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