Today at Meta Connect, the company showed off its high-end Quest Pro headset for the first time (formerly called Project Cambria). The headset costs $1,500 and comes with a new Snapdragon XR2+ processor and a lot of sensors that can track the user’s face and the world around them for better passthrough augmented reality. Along with the new and better controllers, the company also announced the full Quest Pro specs, the date you can pre-order it, and the date it will be available to buy.
Quest Pro was just announced, and you can pre-order it in 22 countries starting today. Quest Pro costs $1,500 and will be available on October 25. It is fully compatible with Quest 2 content and adds improvements like face-tracking that will improve passthrough AR functionality and social interactions. Let’s look at the specs on paper:
Quest Pro Specs
|Resolution||1800 × 1920 (3.5MP) per-eye, LCD (2x)|
|Refresh Rate||72Hz, 90Hz|
|Field-of-view (claimed)||106ºH × 96ºV|
|Optical Adjustments||Continuous IPD, contiguous eye-relief|
|IPD Adjustment Range||55–75mm|
|Battery Life||1–2 hours|
|Headset Tracking||Inside-out (no external beacons)|
|Controller Tracking||Inside-out (headset line-of-sight not needed)|
|Expression Tracking||Yes (eyes, face)|
|On-board cameras||5x external, 5x internal|
|Input||Touch Pro controllers (rechargeable), hand-tracking, voice|
|Audio||In-head strap speakers, dual 3.5mm aux output|
|Pass-through view||Yes (color)|
Compact Optics & Form-factor
In terms of resolution and field of view, Quest Pro is very similar to Quest 2. It has an almost identical resolution of 1800 1920 (3.5MP) per eye, but its optical pipeline is much smaller because it uses “pancake” lenses. This makes the headset look more like a pair of goggles than the old “box-on-the-face” design of Quest 2. Quest Pro is heavier than Quest 2 at 722g, but it may be more comfortable because the battery is in the back and the head strap is stiff.
Even though the resolution isn’t higher, Meta says that Quest Pro’s new optics give it better clarity: a 25% improvement in sharpness at the center of the field of view and a 50% improvement at the edges, which means a larger “sweet spot” of clarity. We don’t know yet if those claims are just about the lenses or if they also include the screen. We’ve reached out to Meta to find out more (pun intended).
Meta also says that Quest Pro has a 500-element local dimming backlight that makes the contrast up to 75% better than Quest 2 and lets you see 1.3 times more colors.
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New Controllers & Capabilities
The controllers for Quest Pro, which Meta is calling Touch Pro, look the same but are much better on the inside. The tracking rings are gone, and in their place are three cameras that let the controller do its own tracking from the inside out. This makes the Touch Pro controllers smaller, and it also means that they don’t need a clear line of sight for the headset to stay in place.
In addition, the Touch Pro controllers have a better feel and new features. The controller’s thumb rest is now at an angle, and it has a pressure sensor that lets you pinch your thumb in a natural way. The controllers come with stylus tips that can be attached to the bottom. This lets you turn the controller over and use it like a big marker for a whiteboard. The stylus even has a pressure sensor that can tell how hard you are pressing on a surface.
Quest Pro Technical Analysis: A Hands-On Look – What Looks Good and What Doesn’t?
Even though the Touch Pro controllers have new features, they still have the same button and trigger layout as the Quest 2 controllers, so they can play all Quest 2 games. Meta’s Touch Pro controllers are also the first ones that can be charged.
The Touch Pro controllers come with Quest Pro, but they also work with Quest 2 and can be bought as a separate accessory for $300 later this year.
Better Sensing, Inside and Out
Quest Pro doesn’t just have a better design and better controllers; the headset also has a lot of sensors that make it easier for the user to interact with the real world and the virtual world.
Quest Pro has five external sensors for passthrough augmented reality. This gives the user a higher-resolution color view and better depth detection. This makes the headset better at figuring out the shape of the room around the user and lets it blend the real and virtual worlds more convincingly.
There are also five sensors inside the headset that track the user’s eyes and face. In addition to using eye-tracking as input (which could be used for things like foveated rendering), the sensors track much more information about the user’s face. This makes it possible for avatars to be much more expressive than they are on Quest 2.
Powered Up Processor
Since Quest Pro has so many new features and things to process, it’s good that the processor and RAM have been upgraded. The new Snapdragon XR2+ is used in Quest Pro. It is an updated version of the processor in Quest 2, but it has better cooling, which lets it do 50% more work. The headset also has twice as much RAM as Quest 2, which is 6GB. At the moment, it’s not clear how much of this performance boost will be given to developers and how much will stay in the system for things like tracking.
More Features, Less Battery
Quest Pro is a lot better than Quest 2, but it doesn’t come for free… and not just in price. Meta says that the Quest Pro’s battery life is 1–2 hours. The headset comes with a charging dock for both the headset and the controllers, so it should always be ready to go. Meta says that the headset can be fully charged in about 2 hours from the dock.
Complement Not Replacement, Says Meta
Meta says that Quest Pro is the first in a line of “high-end” headsets for the company, while Quest 2 and its offspring will continue to be a “low-end” option.
Quest Pro is fully compatible with Quest 2 content, and while the headset is designed with a focus on passthrough AR (with an open peripheral view to keep users more grounded in their environment), it also has magnetically attachable blinders that can be used to increase the immersion for VR. As a separate accessory, you can buy a “full light blocker,” which blocks out even more of the view around you.
Quest Pro is priced at $1,500 and pre-orders are available today, with headsets poised to ship starting on October 25th.
Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.