Magic Leap 2 vs Microsoft HoloLens 2: Key differences

Magic Leap 2 vs Microsoft HoloLens 2: Key differences

Published: 14-11-2022
Updated: 15-03-2023

What are the key differences of the Magic Leap 2 vs Microsoft HoloLens 2. In this article we will review the key differences in the competition for augmented reality market superiority. 

We will go over the following Key differences between the Magic Leap 2 vs Microsoft Hololens 2:

  • Processing
  • Display
  • Tracking
  • Compatibility
  • Design and Comfort
  • Price
  • Specifications

Processing of the Magic Leap 2 vs HoloLens 2

One of the key differences between the HoloLens 2 and Magic Leap 2 AR headsets is in both devices processing power. This is an area where the Magic Leap 2 is far superior, meaning it can run more demanding applications and programmes compared to the Microsoft HoloLens 2. For reference the Magic Leap 2 uses a AMD Quad-core Zen2 x86 processor which was custom made for this specific device. Whereas the Microsoft HoloLens 2 uses a far older Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 which is no longer the industry standard.

Looking at it simply the purpose built processor from AMD means better power efficiency, optimized performance for augmented reality, and an overall better experience. From a pure numbers standpoint, HoloLens 2 has eight processing cores, whereas Leap 2 has fourteen.

Oppositely, it can present challenges with enterprises integrating their own software onto the Magic Leap 2 as it must comply with the closed architecture of the AMD instead of Qualcomm.

Display of the Magic Leap 2 compared to Microsoft HoloLens 2

Magic Leap 2 HoloLens 2
Resolution 1440 x 1760 per eye 1440 x 936 per eye
Optics Waveguide Waveguide
Refresh Rate 120 Hz 60 Hz
Field of View 70° diagonal 52° diagonal

Magic Leap 2, with its three-year difference, delivers the best visual AR experience of the two devices and this is why.

Because of the capable graphical and computing processing from the partnership with AMD, Magic Leap 2 produces the most natural augmented reality experience from its 120Hz smooth refresh rate. In comparison, HoloLens 2 achieves half the refresh rate of 60Hz, translating to 3D objects feeling less fluid.

The immersion on the Magic Leap 2 is superior, with an almost 35 percent bigger FoV. However, this difference comes from a much taller aspect ratio of around 1440 x 1760 per eye on the Magic Leap 2 compared to 1440 x 936 on the Microsoft Hololens 2. So it is up to preference if you prefer a wider or taller area where augmented reality is experienced.

Lastly, a unique innovation featured in Magic Leap 2 is Dynamic Dimming. This technology dynamically controls how much real-world light is entered into the wearer’s eyes. In fact, Dynamic Dimming can be dimmed down to near blackness levels of 0.3% light pass through. In other words, Magic Leap 2 is less sensitive to bright lights enabling more outdoor use and it allows delicate 3D objects to be clearer, such as text.

Tracking differences between Magic Leap 2 and HoloLens 2

Similar to its predecessor, Magic Leap 2 uses its neat coloration of the environment to set up the tracking space around you. Oppositely, HoloLens 2 excels at multi-use as different spatial environments can be saved online, making set up effortless when used by multiple people. This could technically be achieved with Magic Leap 2 as its operating system is agnostic to custom software, meaning that you can install customized applications your enterprise is using.

Lastly, both headsets feature eye and hand tracking, both useful features for enterprises that we have covered prior. Magic Leap 2, in addition to hand tracking, offers interaction through a controller, whereas HoloLens 2 must use either hand tracking or voice control through Cortana. It means that Magic Leap 2 is more user-friendly, as hand tracking can have a learning curve to it.

Compatibility, platforms and operating system differences

Where Microsoft HoloLens 2 offers a suite of supporting enterprise platforms such as Cortana natural language assistant, Microsoft Teams, and Dynamics 365, it is a more closed ecosystem than Magic Leap 2. So while Magic Leap 2 doesn’t offer the same breadth of supporting productivity platforms, its agnostic operating system means enterprises can tailor specific software onto it.

The operating system on the Magic Leap 2 is based on Android-based APKs, which means enterprises can develop customized applications for the headset in Android Studio or Unity. Furthermore, Magic Leap 2 supports the open software standards of OpenGL, Vulkan, OpenXR, and WebXR.

In other words, Microsoft HoloLens 2 offers a comprehensive productivity ecosystem that is convenient and easier to adopt into existing enterprise systems. Whereas Magic Leap 2 only requires the external management hub: Magic Leap Hub otherwise it is open and platform agnostic to be compatible with in-house enterprise software.

Design and Comfort

When it comes to weight, Magic Leap 2 is significantly lighter than HoloLens 2 (even Magic Leap One) as its processing is located in an external pug add-on. Whereas on HoloLens 2, all computing is within the headset making it completely standalone. This makes ML2 more comfortable to wear after many hours but comes with the drawback of a dangling cable down your back.

Price of the HoloLens 2 vs Magic Leap 2

Magic Leap 2 can be purchased in three ways: the base for €4.120, Developer Pro for €5.065, and Enterprise for € 4.780. Each version depends on the permission of use in commercial deployments or if it is only permitted internally in design and R&D labs. Additionally, the difference in pricing package also dictates the support Magic Leap will provide, such as developer tools and enterprise features.

Alternatively, HoloLens 2 base version is €3.588, with the Industrial Edition priced at €4.950.

Specifications of the Magic Leap 2 vs HoloLens 2

Magic Leap 2 Microsoft Hololens 2
Release Date September 30, 2022 November 7, 2019
Holographic Resolution 1440 x 1760 per eye 1440 x 936 per eye (Optimized for eye position from static foveated rendering)
Refresh Rate 120 Hz 60 Hz
Display Engine Dual Liquid Crystals on Silicon Dual Laser Beam Scanning
Dynamic Dimming Yes  No
Type Binocular Binocular
Optics Waveguide Waveguide
Field of View 44° horizontal

53° vertical

70° diagonal

43° horizontal

29° vertical

52° diagonal

3D Positional Audio Yes Yes
Processor AMD Quad-core Zen2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 850
Graphical processor AMD GFX 10.2 Adreno 630
Operating System Magic Leap OS built using Android open source operating system Microsoft OS
Weight 260 grams with head strap 566 grams with head strap
Storage (ROM) 256 GB 64 GB
Tracking 6 DoF Inside-out with eye and face tracking from 3 integrated cameras, 1 depth camera, 1 full color camera, ambient light sensor, 4 eye tracking cameras, 4 IMUs, accelerometer, gyroscope, 2 magnetometer, and 2 altimeter Hand- and head tracking from 4 visible-light cameras and 2 Infrared (IR) cameras in eye-tracking, a depth sensor, and inertial measurement units (IMU) of accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer
Video Passthrough 8MP, 30fps, camera 12.6MP, 60fps RGB camera
Control Hand gestures, Eye-tracking, Headmotion, and controller Hand gestures, Eye-tracking, Headmotion, Voice with Cortana natural language
Battery 3 hours of active use (7 hours in sleep mode) 2-3 hours of active use (two weeks of standby time)
Connectivity WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and USB-C WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, and USB Type-C port
Price €4.120,- excl. VAT Base version €3.588,- excl. VAT
Compatibility Magic Leap Enterprise platform All of Microsoft’s platforms
Industrial certificates CE ISO 14644-1 Class 5-8 certification and UL Class I Division 2 with HoloLens 2 Industrial Edition for cleanrooms and hazardous locations
Link Buy Magic Leap 2 Buy Microsoft HoloLens 2

If you have any questions or need further advice on which augmented reality headset is better for you: contact us here.