As both enthusiasts and experts in the field of virtual and augmented reality, we await each new AR/VR headset release with bated breath. The Oculus Quest 3 is no exception, and we were eager to get our hands on the headset to evaluate it for ourselves. It was released in mid-October, just a few weeks ago, and we immediately put our engineers to work in checking it out!
As the Oculus Quest 3 makes its foray into the market, four of our seasoned AR/VR engineers take a deep dive into its features, performance, and overall experience. From the intricacies of its design to the immersive depths of its gameplay, we aim to give you a comprehensive review that will leave no virtual stone unturned. So, whether you're an AR/VR novice, a gaming aficionado, or simply curious about the future of tech, strap in and join us on this exhilarating journey through the Oculus Quest 3's virtual realms.
Meet the AR Developers (Or, Skip to the Review)
Brennan Zuber, Director of Engineering
Brennan Zuber is our Director of Engineering here at DAS Labs, and he has over 10 years of experience working with virtual and augmented reality. If you’ve been a client of ours, you’ve likely had the pleasure of communicating with Brennan. He ensures quality engineering, and develops apps for Android, iOS, VR, AR, HoloLens, Quest, and more.
Nickolas Wright, Senior Augmented Reality Software Engineer
We are proud to have Nickolas on the team as a Senior Augmented Reality Software Engineer. He is a Unity developer with an in-depth background as a software engineer, artist, animator, designer, and producer. He is a passionate and dedicated programmer, and he cares deeply about the games and applications he works on. His experience developing these AR apps and games is immensely valuable in reviewing and evaluating the new Quest 3!
Nicholas Blaauboer, Software Engineer
Nicholas’s degree in Computer Science and background in Mathematics have made him a powerhouse for DAS Labs. During his time so far as a software engineer on our team, Nicholas has worked on a number of notable projects. Among many other projects, he has developed an Athlete Hologram iOS app that creates an augmented reality hologram of an athlete saying a custom message, similar to Cameo. He’s also worked on an iOS app that uses augmented reality to try on different glasses, and fixed bugs in an iOS app that utilizes the camera and LiDAR Scanner on iPhone and iPad to create a 3D floor plan of a room.
Michael Dykier, CEO
Michael co-founded DAS Labs in 2013. He has a passion for innovating the world of augmented reality, and has assembled a powerful team of developers to help him do so. When Michael comes upon a new challenge, he thrives on finding new ways to smash through roadblocks for his clients.
Our Engineers’ Take on Key Aspects of the Oculus Quest 3
Brennan Zuber: “The cost for the Quest 3 is on the lower end compared with other recent headsets, which is refreshing.”
Nickolas Wright: “The price point is more accessible for both consumers and for industry use. This could help to boost overall enthusiasm for VR/AR applications for recreational use at home. Even further than that, though, the lower cost could allow large enterprises to buy these headsets in bulk for industrial applications.”
Hardware Design & Comfort
Brennan Zuber: “Overall, I didn’t love the hardware design. The headset was front-heavy, and it didn’t conform well to my nose the way that other Oculus products have in the past. I had hoped for updates to the controllers with this new release, but the only changes were some slight updates to the design.”
Nickolas Wright: ”The weight of the headset hanging off your face is annoying at first, and painful after a while. The Pro did it much better with the pack on the back of the head, this helped balance it on your head and not hang off your face.”
Nicholas Blaauboer: “Personally, I found the headset to be pretty lightweight, and the weight balance didn’t bother me. I think the comfort of the product comes down to personal preferences.”
Michael Dykier: “As with any headset, my forehead gets hot after playing in it for 30 minutes. Also, I echo some of the team’s preference for the Pro’s balance and I prefer the Pro’s knob for tightening/loosening the head straps.”
Ease of use
Brennan Zuber: “Getting started with the Quest 3 is a much more seamless process than it was with the Quest 2. Before, when using the Quest 2 or Pro, you would have to draw your boundary in your physical space with your controllers - then, you might have to periodically set it up again later on. The Quest 3 detects the environment automatically, which allows the user to get into their apps and games more quickly.”
Nickolas Wright: “Guardian room scanning is really nice and fairly accurate. Not having to draw the guardian over and over and making sure you exclude every little bump or item is a really nice user experience.”
Nicholas Blaauboer: “The setup is intuitive and quick, which I appreciate! When you’re excited to use your new headset, a long, drawn-out setup process can be a buzzkill. On top of that, the dashboards have an easy-to-use user interface (UI).”
Michael Dykier: “Meta gets a B- for the overall login process, including adding additional profiles. The user has to switch between doing things on a mobile app (i.e. reading text through the headset) and interacting within the Quest 3. The process made me sick the first day I tried the headset, which spilled over to the games I tested after setup. The video passthrough is good enough for me to read the codes and other necessary info from their mobile app (a tedious requirement imposed by Meta) but I’m hoping for significantly better passthrough in the future if they continue to use this inefficient back-and-forth process.”
Resolution & Frame Rate
Nickolas Wright: “The resolution does not seem to be better than the Quest Pro. Unless you’re looking at text right in front of your face, it's unreadable, and any other screen (TV, smartphone, etc) is so light blown out, it is almost impossible to view.
However, the graphics and frame rate in first person shooter games are a significant upgrade from the Quest 2, where some games are almost unplayable. The quality in these areas matches the Quest Pro, and those types of games are pretty fun on this headset.”
Nicholas Blaauboer: “I was disappointed by the camera quality in mixed reality. The resolution is pretty grainy.”
Michael Dykier: “While playing a couple of multiplayer games concurrently on the Quest 3 and the Quest Pro, we noticed the Pro would hang up/freeze for a couple of seconds. Assuming this is truly an ‘apples to apples’ comparison, I’d say the Quest 3 has noticeable performance improvement over the Pro (a headset that cost 3 times more when initially released).”
Brennan Zuber: “The plane detection of the Oculus Quest 3 is a bit slow, but overall this feature is a big ‘plus’ for me. The quality of the plane detection, also known as plane object breakaway, is similar to the HoloLens 2. Plane detection is the feature that allows a user to place a 3D model of an object onto a surface in front of them and interact with it.
I appreciate that you can use the headset without the controllers if you need or want to. Meta has developed ‘building blocks’ that allow Unity developers to build hand tracking into the game engine, which creates a nice user experience when it’s done well.”
Nickolas Wright: “The low light detection has a lower threshold than previous models. It seemed to do room detection and controller detection in much lower lighting than the Quest 2, which increases the range of environments in which someone can effectively use the product. When low light did turn off detection, having the lights turned back on allowed the guardian to reacquire the scanned guardian, and did not throw a ‘No Guardian’ error, which is very frustrating on the Quest 2 and Pro.
On the other hand, I expected the passthrough to be better. The camera tracking on the controllers through the passthrough view appears to either focus or zoom in on the controllers. You can move your hands in front of you, and you can see the camera ‘warp’ around the controllers.”
Michael Dykier: “So many headset manufacturers have stunted their own product’s capabilities by preventing developers from accessing the video feed. AR/MR possibilities would be endless, if they allowed us to access the camera feed - which we are already able to access for every smartphone, anyway. The ‘privacy concern’ argument is disingenuous to me and holds back innovation in AR/MR. At minimum, I wish they would allow us to do marker tracking.”
Note: Motion sickness associated with using a VR/AR headset is a highly personal experience. Everyone will experience something different, and what bothers one user may have no effect on another, even if the two people are similar to each other. We’ve included our personal experiences here to help our readers make an educated decision regarding the Quest 3, and you’ll even see the variety of experiences reflected in our engineers’ feedback.
Brennan Zuber: “I experienced instant motion sickness when I started to use the headset, and I anticipate that others who aren’t used to it will feel ill as well.”
Nickolas Wright: “I did not get motion sickness at all, even when trying. I was able to get a little dizzy in a first person shooter game that had controller movement while I was actively moving my body in random ways and rotations not consistent with the movement, but it did not last more than a second.”
Nicholas Blaauboer: “I didn’t feel the instant motion sickness that Brennan did, but I did start to experience nausea and a headache after 30-40 minutes in VR.”
Michael Dykier: “I got motion sickness the first day, after reading a lot of text on my smartphone’s screen while going through Meta’s tedious ‘account onboarding process’. After that, I’ve not experienced sickness again.”
Meta’s Oculus Quest 3 is a great headset for some use cases, and the lower price point compared to other models is a significant selling point. If you’ll need your AR/VR headset to have very high resolution, or if you’ll be using it in an environment with a lot of other screens in the field of view, you might be better off finding an alternative with better passthrough (fingers crossed for the Vision Pro). However, if you’re looking for a reasonably-priced, easy-to-use, and generally well-performing headset, the Quest 3 is a fantastic option.