Quest 3 vs Quest 2: Most important differences

Quest 3 vs Quest 2: Most important differences

By jakob
Published: 17-11-2022
Updated: 15-03-2023

Below we will outline the most important differences between the best-selling headset Meta Quest 2 (former Oculus Quest 2) and the upcoming Meta Quest 3. As always, we will update this article as new information is released.

Table of contents:

  • Specifications comparison
  • OLED panels
  • Improved mixed reality
  • Double the processing
  • Dynamic foveated rendering

Specifications comparison of Quest 3 vs Quest 2

Meta Quest 3 Meta Quest 2
Resolution *1.920 x 1.800 pixels per eye 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye
Display engine Dual OLED Single LCD
Refresh Rate 120Hz 90/120 Hz
Lenses *Pancake Fresnel
Field-of-view *105º+ Horizontal 97° Horizontal
IPD Adjustment Range *Automatic IPD 3 fixed manual: 58mm, 63mm, 68mm
Processor *Qualcomm Snapdragon XR3 Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
GPU Adreno 730 with 2.4 Teraflops Adreno 650 with 1.2 Teraflops
RAM 8-12GB 6 GB
Storage *512GB 128/256 GB
Connectors USB-C, Quest Link, and WiFi 6E USB-C, Quest Link, WiFi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0 LE
Weight TBA 503 g with head strap
Battery Life *3+ hours 3 hours (2.5 hours charge time)
Tracking Standalone, inside-out with face, hand, body and eye tracking from optical internal and external cameras and a LiDAR depth sensor

*Controllers Optical inside-out tracking

Standalone, 6 DoF Inside-out via 4 integrated cameras

Two 6 DoF 3rd gen Meta controllers

Interactivity *Controller, hand gesture and voice control Controller, hand gesture and voice control
Audio *3D audio from integrated headset speakers, dual 3.5mm mini-Jack outputs and a built-in microphone array 3D audio from integrated stereo speakers, microphone array and 3.5mm audio Jack
Video Passthrough *Full-color passthrough with depth sensor for spatial mapping Greyscale video passthrough
MSRP $300-$500 $399.99 (128 GB) and $499.99 (256 GB)
Shipping date Late-2023 to early-2024 October 13, 2020

OLED panels instead of LCD on Quest 3 vs Quest 2

It is unknown if Changxin Technology or Samsung will supply OLED panels for the upcoming Meta Quest 3. Currently, Changxin provides the single LCD panel in the Meta Quest 2, while Samsung supplies the Quantum Dot technology in the premium Meta Quest Pro VR headset.

In either case, OLED in Quest 3, compared to LCD in Quest 2, produces a better contrast ratio, color accuracy, deeper blacks, and higher refresh rates crucial for VR gaming. Furthermore, OLED also shrinks the headset and reduces its weight, following the trend of the new pancake lens in headsets like Pico 4.

Improved mixed reality

Meta’s hardware strategy is to offer premium VR headsets in addition to consumer, more affordable VR Headsets. The top-of-the-line VR hardware is used to patent innovative solutions and distill some of its features, down to its more affordable headsets. In this context, Meta Quest 3 will have substantially better mixed reality and video passthrough compared to Oculus Quest 2. Where Quest 2 has a greyscale passthrough, Quest 3 will have a full-color passthrough and likely feature a depth sensor for spatial mapping. Such a sensor, usually seen in augmented reality, will vastly improve interaction with 3D objects in mixed reality, as currently, the Quest Pro’s mixed reality jiggers when interacting with digital objects.

Read here the difference between virtual, mixed, and augmented reality: 

What’s the Difference Between Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality?

More Powerful processor in Quest 3 vs Quest 2

In addition to Changxin Technology and Samsung, Meta has entered a long-term partnership with Qualcomm for its Snapdragon chipsets. Namely, Meta’s new Quest Pro is the first VR headset to feature the new Snapdragon XR2+ processor, so naturally, Meta Quest 3 will have powerful internal computing with the upcoming Snapdragon XR3 chipset. Furthermore, VR tech leaker Brad Lynch, reportedly found Meta Quest 3 will have the new Adreno 730 GPU, producing 2.4 Teraflops of graphical power, double the visual performance compared to 1.2 Teraflops on Quest 2’s Adreno 650 GPU.

Dynamic foveated rendering

As we covered in the breakdown of the Meta Quest 3, eye tracking will be a “big focus“. While Mark Zuckerberg commented on the metaverse functionalities eye and face tracking would have, eye tracking also enables dynamic foveated rendering. An optimization technology that, in real-time, prioritizes graphical fidelity to where you are looking and blurring everything else. The solution is still early, but current test results have seen visual improvements up to ten times and a marked gain in battery life. Comparably, Meta Quest 2 does not have eye tracking and subsequently only has static foveated rendering, a crude version of the same technology.

A realistic metaverse

Trickling down from the premium Meta Quest Pro, face tracking will be featured on the new Meta Quest 3, enabling realistic mirroring of facial expressions and eye contact. This tracks with Meta’s long-term strategy of building the metaverse and becoming synonymous with it. On the Meta Quest Pro VR headset, we found its face tracking working remarkedly, so it is exciting to see this in a consumer-focused headset from Meta.

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Written by jakob

Jakob Pii is the Head Writer for VR Expert and currently lives in the UK. He started his career in VR gaming in 2015 and has stayed in XR since, from exposure therapy in VR to 360-degree video documentaries. He is fascinated by how emerging technologies change how we live, play and work.

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