We explored some alternatives to the Apple Vision Pro and found something interesting

From VR headsets to smart glasses.
  • Apple Vision Pro took the world by storm, but many complain about the price
  • There are several alternatives in the market, and choosing the best one largely depends on budget
  • In addition to other headsets, smart glasses are also an interesting alternative solution

Published on Mar 28, 2024 at 10:23PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 2, 2024 at 6:57PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood

The newly-launched Apple Vision Pro has taken the world by storm but there is one thing that might put a few people off – the $3,499 price.

In order to ‘fix’ that issue – for those that don’t have that kind of dough, anyway – we explored some alternatives, from VR headsets to smart glasses, to see what’s available out there.

READ MORE: Apple reportedly finally adding iOS feature that Android has had for 15 years

The first and most obvious rival to the Vision Pro is the Meta Quest, which now starts at just $199.99

Zuckerberg, who’s tested the Vision Pro before, says Quest is better, and not just because it’s so much cheaper.

Then again, he’s probably a bit biased.

But perhaps more interestingly, Mark Zuckerberg also filmed himself using something we also tested, the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses.

These aren’t equipped with VR, but they are indeed very ‘smart’.

For starters, you can use them as earphones by connecting them to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

You can play music and talk on the phone, and the audio quality is pretty good.

We should also point out that no one around you can really hear the music you’re listening to on your Ray-Ban Meta glasses unless the volume is all the way up and they’re sitting next to you.

They also incorporate a Siri-style AI assistant.

For example, you can look at a particular potted plant through your glasses, and the AI assistant, when you ask, is going to provide information as to what sort of plant it is, how much water it needs, and so on.

They’re fitted with a camera, which records high-resolution videos of up to one minute and can take pictures, and everything you create automatically uploads to the Meta View app.

It’s sort of like having a GoPro mounted on your forehead, except instead you’re just wearing normal glasses.

They start at $329.

Check out this clip we filmed with the Ray-Ban Meta glasses

On a completely different end of the spectrum, we have the Pimax Crystal, which is indeed a direct competitor to the Apple Vision Pro, because it’s a ‘proper’ VR headset.

The Crystal is fitted with eye-tracking, which means the headset constantly monitors the user’s position and optimizes the device accordingly, and it also has something called ‘local dimming’.

With local dimming, the headset identifies the bright and dark colors and rearranges them to make sure the quality is as good as it can get.

It’s a bit like when you snap a picture with a phone and then adjust brightness and contrast and so on to make it better.

Except the headset does it automatically.

It also has an extremely high resolution, 5760 x 2720, but it also has a relatively high price.

Crystal starts at $1,599, which is not as ‘cheap’ as the Meta Quest or the Ray-Bans, but still less expensive than Apple Vision Pro.

So – in the end – choosing which VR headset to go for largely depends on budget.

And even though the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses aren’t a VR headset, they’re quite useful, which is why they deserve a mention.

One of the main advantages is they look like normal glasses, which means users will avoid the inevitable reactions that might get wearing a VR headset in public.

At the same time, they’re not a VR headset, which means you can’t watch videos or play video games.

And for that, budget-wise, Meta’s Quest is probably a good place to start.

As ever, you’ll have to make your own call – but do so after looking at the information provided.

After all, these things are the future – we’ll all have to get on board eventually.

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