- While Apple Vision Pro costs a whopping $3,500, there are many already available alternatives you should check out.
- Meta is currently leading the AR/VR headset market with its top-of-the-line Meta Quest Pro and an affordable Meta Quest 3 option.
- XREAL Air 2 Ultra and Magic Leap 2 are also some of the best Vision Pro alternatives that can be considered.
While the Apple Vision Pro took the tech world by storm with its spatial computing capabilities, the $3,499 price tag makes you feel like you are paying through the nose. In that case, you will be happy to know that there are quite a few commendable yet cheap Apple Vision Pro alternatives out there. So, if you don’t want to create an Apple ecosystem or go all the way for the Vision Pro, take a look at these options.
Note: For a fair comparison, we’ve added only those AR/VR headsets that are standalone. Thus, excluding the likes of PlayStation VR and Valve Index.
1. Meta Quest 3
The mixed reality headset market is far from being saturated. And, in this one-bedroom apartment of a market, the Meta Quest 3 is undoubtedly one of the budget Apple Vision Pro alternatives. The biggest reason is unquestionably the BIG price difference. The Meta Quest 3 costs only $500, making it a whopping seven times cheaper than the Vision Pro!
Keeping the pricing aside, the Meta Quest 3 is also very powerful in its performance and features. The Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 (which is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC), powers the device. So, you can expect to see some top-of-the-line performance with the Quest 3. There’s also a full-color passthrough, which is very cool.
Of course, there are compromises in terms of design quality and hardware as compared to Vision Pro, but nothing to complain about for its price. Moreover, if VR gaming is what you are looking to experience, the Meta Quest 3 is the better choice, thanks to the dual controllers it comes with.
Additionally, the Apple Vision Pro comes with a heavy external battery pack, that further adds to the inconvenience of using it. On the other hand, you just need to charge the Meta Quest 3 and that’s it. Not to mention that the Apple Vision Pro does not come with the native YouTube and Netflix apps, while the Quest 3 does. However, with the hype around it, some cool Vision Pro apps have come into existence. Nonetheless, that automatically makes the Quest 3 not just an amazing VR gaming headset, but a great entertainment companion as well.
Price: Starts at $499.99
2. Meta Quest Pro
If you are getting the Meta Quest 3 with better hardware at half the price, why even consider getting the Meta Quest Pro? Well, hear us out. With the Quest 3, Meta has understandably done some cost-cutting with its features to make it as affordable as it is. Two of those missing features are eye and face tracking, which the Meta Quest Pro’s cameras and sensors bring to the table.
You also have to take into consideration the fact that the Quest Pro does offer double the storage (256GB) with its heftier price. You also get 12GB of RAM, instead of 8GB, like on the Quest 3. In addition, although the Quest Pro is heavier at 722 grams than even the Apple Vision Pro’s 600-650 grams, the former offers excellent weight distribution. The design and fit are known to be impeccable, making it a great choice for longer hours.
The icing on the cake is the dual controllers that come with the Meta Quest Pro, bringing solid tracking to the table. You are just paying the premium fee for a premium product, and it delivers on that front. Going by all that, there’s no doubt that the Quest Pro comes closer to being a proper premium Apple Vision Pro alternative than the Quest 3.
3. HTC Vive XR Elite
When it comes to premium VR headsets, the HTC Vive XR Elite is definitely one of the best out there. What makes the Vive XR Elite a phenomenal Apple Vision Pro alternative is its massive 110-degree FOV.
Moreover, even if it’s heavy at 625 grams, its weight distribution is pretty much industry-leading at this point. The battery pack is situated at the back, allowing it to maintain a steady weight without feeling heavier on your head as minutes start turning into hours. That is something that can’t be said for the Vision Pro’s front-heavy hardware.
Under the hood, the Vive XR Elite is powered by the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1, the same chipset that powers the Meta Quest 2. It is powerful enough, paired with 12GB of RAM and at least 128GB of internal storage.
Besides, being $2000 cheaper than the Vision Pro, it does not let you miss out on anything. It offers the same 6DoF inside-out tracking. You also get to see a similar battery backup of around 2 hours. However, with the Vive XR Elite, you get the advantage of using its dual controllers for more versatility when gaming.
4. XREAL Air 2 Ultra
Headsets are cool and everything, but there’s no denying that one can look pretty ridiculous with them on. More so, with something as big as the Apple Vision Pro. However, with the XREAL Air 2 Ultra, that won’t be a problem. These AR glasses also use Sony’s micro-OLED display tech, offering a 120Hz refresh rate. You also get to see a 52-degree FOV, which is pretty exceptional given their form factor.
They are also incredibly lightweight, at just 80 grams. That basically makes them weigh a little more than a pair of sunglasses. So, a 12/10 in terms of comfort. Besides, do note that with these, you do not need anything else. No controllers, no external processor or battery packs, nothing. You use solely your hand, eyes, and voice to control the device. The titanium frame is also super-premium and makes it an ultra-durable device.
The XREAL Air 2 Ultra features the six-degree-of-freedom hand and spatial tracking tech. Yes, face tracking is there as well. These allow the Air 2 Ultra to analyze your environment well, making you one with it as smartly as possible.
However, it doesn’t end there. In terms of connectivity, these glasses are the most versatile out there. They can connect to pretty much any device out there, from an Android or iOS device to even your Windows or Mac machine. All-in-all, it is definitely one of the best AR-based Apple Vision Pro alternatives.
5. Magic Leap 2
Now, let’s say that money is not your biggest problem. Then, the Magic Leap 2 should definitely be your leap into the world of AR/VR headsets. The Leap 2 runs on AOSP (Android Open Source Project) OS and brings top-of-the-line AR technology to make use of.
However, what gives the Magic Leap 2 a major leverage over the Apple Vision Pro is its weight. While the Apple Vision Pro weighs a staggering 600-650 grams, the Magic Leap 2 is super lightweight at just 260 grams. That makes it lighter than even the external battery pack of the Vision Pro, which weighs 353 grams. That automatically translates to unbeatable comfort.
Besides, the form factor and overall weight distribution make it a charm to wear. Additionally, there are some pretty interesting features like segmented dimming, which allows the Magic Leap 2 to double down as a pair of sunglasses. It can also use this tech to keep specific objects in focus.
Yes, it can’t match up with the micro-OLED displays of the Vision Pro. But, it does offer a faster refresh rate of up to 120Hz, while the Vision Pro is limited to 100Hz. The cherry on top is the custom 7nm AMD Zen 2 CPU that powers the Leap 2. For your reference, the Steam Deck uses a custom CPU based on the AMD Zen 2 architecture as well. So, you can expect to see the Leap 2 pack quite the punch in terms of sheer processing power.
Overall, if you don’t want to step into the Apple ecosystem and yet want something that comes close to matching that premium feel, the Magic Leap 2 is for you!
In all honesty, you can pick any of the alternatives from this list. One of the biggest advantages of all these alternatives is the kind of versatile connectivity you get. While the Apple Vision Pro is a standalone device with the superior M2 and R1 chip, to even order it online, you will require an iPhone or an iPad with Face ID.
So, understandably, someone who is already neck deep into the Apple ecosystem will probably prefer the Vision Pro over anything else. Of course, given that they have the budget for it too.
Meanwhile, the Vision Pro alternatives mentioned on this list bring forward amazing connectivity, being compatible with a range of different devices. Most importantly, most of these alternatives are cheaper, with the exception of the Magic Leap 2.
With that being said, let us know in the comments what you think is the best Vision Pro alternative.