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8 Reasons to Avoid an Apple Vision Pro

apple vision pro

8 Reasons to Avoid an Apple Vision Pro

Apple’s reputation leads us to believe in any device they release, and that includes the recently released Apple Vision Pro. The tech giant attempts to revolutionize the AR industry with its headset designed for use in public settings. Apple uses the latest sensors and processors to blend your space with virtual media. Featuring a massive display, users should nearly forget they’re wearing a headset at all.

However, that’s asking a lot when the device costs $3,500. With a price that high, expectations go through the roof. Plus after just three weeks following its release, an alarming amount of people decided those expectations weren’t met. Let’s take a look at why the headset is experiencing mass returns and why you should avoid an Apple Vision Pro.

Apple Vision Pro Specs

Operating systemVisionOS
Capacity256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Display23 million pixels, Micro-OLED, 7.5‑micron pixel pitch, 92% DCI‑P3; Refresh rates: 90Hz, 96Hz, 100Hz; 24fps and 30fps for stutter‑free video
ChipsM2 chip (8‑core CPU, 10‑core GPU, 16‑core Neural Engine, 16GB unified memory), R1 chip (12 ms photon‑to‑photon latency, 256GB/s memory bandwidth)
CamerasTwo high‑resolution main cameras, six world‑facing tracking cameras, four eye‑tracking cameras, TrueDepth camera
SensorsLiDAR scanner, four IMUs, flicker sensor, ambient light sensor
Optic IDIris‑based biometric authentication, Encrypts data accessible only to Secure Enclave, Secures personal data, and purchases
Audio and video playbackAAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, FLAC, Dolby Digital formats; HEVC, MV-HEVC, H.264, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG for video
Wireless connectivityWi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3
BatteryUp to 2 hours of general use and up to 2.5 hours of video watching; Can be used while charging
PriceFrom $3499 for 256GB, from $3699 for 512GB, and from $3899 for 1TB

Reasons to Avoid the Apple Vision Pro

Let’s take an in-depth look at the reasons why you should avoid the Apple Vision Pro and look at alternatives instead.

1. The High Price

The top reason to avoid the Apple Vision Pro is the price. The Apple Vision Pro costs about $3,500 — the price of a used car. When compared to other VR/AR headsets, that’s overwhelmingly more. While it reflects the advanced, premium hardware, the device doesn’t feel advanced or premium in any regard.

I notice in practical usage that the Apple Vision Pro has limited capabilities, especially when it comes to apps, connectivity, and even OS reliability. Frankly, it feels like a novelty toy.

Plus that’s just how it comes out of the box. What about the cost of fixing one of these headsets? Due to its freshness on the market, parts and expertise practically don’t exist. That means shipping the Vision Pro back to the manufacturer for an expensive repair.

2. Physical Discomfort and Appearance

Apple promised a comfortable fit and ergonomic design. However, most people find the headset heavy and bulky during prolonged use. Although smaller than the VR headsets of the first generation, The Apple Vision Pro still causes noticeable strain on the neck and shoulders after just an hour of wearing it. 

The device’s fit and adjustability also ruin the experience. Despite the adjustable straps and supposed universal fit, many struggle to find a comfortable setting that doesn’t result in pressure points or slippage. It’s definitely limiting while being active, even when just walking.

I find the Apple Vision Pro to be conspicuous, and not in a good way. Wearing it in public or even around family and friends feels awkward and draws more attention than most people prefer. It’s not a device that blends in easily in everyday settings.

3. Isolation and Safety

The design of the headset acts as both a physical and virtual barrier between users and the outside world. It tells others that you’re unavailable, reducing spontaneous social interactions and leaving you isolated. While the Apple Vision Pro uses TruDepth and LiDAR scanners for accurate passthrough, you’re still missing critical social cues from your friends and coworkers. Even if you’re in the same room, you won’t really feel like you’re participating with everyone.

One of the major reasons to avoid the Apple Vision Pro is the safety concerns that go along with isolation. The Apple Vision Pro has a Light Seal to block all external light. So the user has to rely on the headset cameras and sensors to see. The headset can’t adequately reproduce human vision, which can endanger the user and others.

4. Complexity and Learning Curve

We’ve had the iPhone for nearly two decades, but using the Apple Vision Pro requires learning the ecosystem all over again. From the initial setup to the controls, I find every aspect taking longer to pick up on than I’d like.

Plus it doesn’t get easier with the tutorial videos. You’d think Apple would have the resources to put out a quality intro guide, but it instead speaks to the complexity of the headset. This means setting aside time to learn the system, which annoys those who are tech-savvy and almost cripples those who aren’t.

5. Mixed Reality Limitations 

When Apple promises an immersive mixed reality experience, that’s what you expect, especially with the $3,500 price tag. So when you put on the headset and you don’t have a seamless blend of the digital and physical worlds, you feel a little ripped off.

While it uses proprietary cameras and sensors to relay a wide and high-resolution field of view, the Apple Vision Pro falls short with spatial awareness. Sometimes it struggles to recognize objects entirely. (Hence the safety issues we mentioned earlier.) I notice a natural caution in tight or crowded spaces; I just don’t trust the system yet. 

Whenever these issues come up, it pulls me out of the experience enough to remember that I’m in public wearing a high-tech headset. This, coupled with its reliance on external hardware, keeps me from fully immersing in augmented reality.

6. Eye and Hand Tracking Issues

The Apple Vision Pro uses eye and hand tracking to navigate through the system. However, it often misreads movements, making users spend an uncomfortable amount of time selecting a menu or using an app.

These issues tie into the unconvincing persona that you must use when making video calls. The headset scans your facial features to project a 3D avatar to your friends that even displays facial expressions like you’re actually there. However, the eyes often go in awkward directions, and the hands twitch like they’re lagging. It’s a little hard to look at.

7. Limited Battery Life

Here’s one of the more frustrating aspects of the Apple Vision Pro — it has a battery life of less than three hours. With constant use, that lithium battery only degrades over time. You can use the headset while it’s plugged in, but that reduces it to a glorified first-generation Oculus.

What’s more bothersome is how often I have to put it back on the charger. Imagine I’m using it to write an article; unless I’ve already got it researched and formatted, it’s not likely I’m getting through the body in one session. That means I’m plugging in or switching to my laptop. Either way, I’m back to being tied to my desk.

8. Limited AR and VR Content

Maybe you want to use it for entertainment rather than work. Unfortunately, the visionOS seriously limits the available apps as of the headset’s initial launch. Right now, your $3,500 device can’t run major programs like Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, or Facebook without physically navigating to its website via Safari.

Apple announced that the Apple Vision Pro comes with over 600 native apps. However, that list likely doesn’t include your favorite games. So if you were hoping for a quick Candy Crush break, you might find yourself let down. For a list of mobile titles you can play, check out the Apple Arcade store.

Apple Vision Pro Alternatives

The Apple Vision Pro attempts to blend virtual reality with our everyday world. However, its current limitations and exorbitant price makes it impractical, even with its advanced technology. If you’re looking for an excellent VR or AR experience, check out these alternatives that not only do it more seamlessly, but also for an affordable price.

Meta Quest 3

Mixed Reality
Meta Quest 3 128GB Asgard’s Wrath 2 Bundle
$499.00
  • 2x the graphic processing power of Quest 2 with the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2
  • Mixed reality blends virtual elements and physical space
  • 4K+ Infinite display
  • 3D audio with enhanced clarity and bass
  • Touch Plus controllers deliver a more intuitive experience
  • Library of over 500 titles
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/12/2024 12:27 pm GMT

At the forefront of commercial virtual reality, the Meta Quest 3 offers over 500 titles to play (including Asgard’s Wrath 2), with 4K resolution precise Touch Plus controllers, and a comparable battery life, this VR headset does gaming way better than the Apple Vision Pro. Plus right now, you can own one of these devices ready to go for under $600.

X Real Air 2

Incredible Visuals
XREAL Air 2 Pro AR Glasses
$449.00
  • SONY Micro-OLED panels, 46° FOV, and 120Hz ultra-sharp display
  • 3-level electrochromic dimming for indoor and outdoor conditions
  • Lightweight at only 75g and 1:1 weight distribution
  • Watch apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV, and more
  • Compatible with Steam Deck, ROG Ally, iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 03:02 pm GMT

Looking for an augmented experience while out in public? The X Real Air 2. When you connect to any of your devices, you can view your screen as though it were a 130-inch display. That includes YouTube and Netflix, but without needing to wear a heavy headset. It’s light at only 75 grams, and it’s fashionable, too. This is the AR device you want for consuming any media anywhere you go.

Ray-Ban Meta Wayfarer

Ray-Ban Style with Meta Technology
Meta Ray-Ban Wayfarer Smart Glasses
$329.00
  • Capture photos and videos with the ultra-wide 12MP camera and five-mic system
  • Open-ear speakers to help you stay connected to your surroundings
  • Send hands-free messages using WhatsApp, Messenger, and SMS
  • Livestream through the glasses directly to Instagram and Facebook.
  • Up to four hours of battery and up to 36 hours of charge time per charged case
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 03:11 pm GMT

For an even classier look, Meta worked with Ray-Ban to create these slick shades that work as an extension of your phone. The ultra-wide 12MP HD camera makes social media photos and videos convenient, but people really love the audio and calling capabilities. Featuring embedded speakers near the ears and multiple microphones, your friends and family won’t even know you’re speaking through your glasses. 

Best Alternatives to Apple Vision Pro

1. Meta Quest 3
2. X Real Air 2
3. Ray-Ban Meta Wayfarer
  1. Meta Quest 3 128GB Asgard’s Wrath 2 Bundle
    $499.00
    • 2x the graphic processing power of Quest 2 with the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2
    • Mixed reality blends virtual elements and physical space
    • 4K+ Infinite display
    • 3D audio with enhanced clarity and bass
    • Touch Plus controllers deliver a more intuitive experience
    • Library of over 500 titles
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/12/2024 12:27 pm GMT
  2. XREAL Air 2 Pro AR Glasses
    $449.00
    • SONY Micro-OLED panels, 46° FOV, and 120Hz ultra-sharp display
    • 3-level electrochromic dimming for indoor and outdoor conditions
    • Lightweight at only 75g and 1:1 weight distribution
    • Watch apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV, and more
    • Compatible with Steam Deck, ROG Ally, iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/10/2024 03:02 pm GMT
  3. Meta Ray-Ban Wayfarer Smart Glasses
    $329.00
    • Capture photos and videos with the ultra-wide 12MP camera and five-mic system
    • Open-ear speakers to help you stay connected to your surroundings
    • Send hands-free messages using WhatsApp, Messenger, and SMS
    • Livestream through the glasses directly to Instagram and Facebook.
    • Up to four hours of battery and up to 36 hours of charge time per charged case
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/10/2024 03:11 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Apple Vision Pro?

The Apple Vision Pro is a headset that blends digital content and apps into your real world environment. It uses eye, hand, and voice tracking to navigate through its system.

Is the Apple Vision Pro worth it?

At $3,500 users have major expectations for the Apple Visioin Pro. However, because of several software and hardware limitations, many users don’t find the headset worth the price.

Why are people returning the Apple Vision Pro?

In Februrary 2022, just three weeks following the release of the Apple Vision Pro, people have started returning the headset in mass quantities. This is because the device lacks the AR immersion that Apple promised. Alongside this, many popular apps are currently unavailable, and its uncertain when they’ll be added.

What apps are available on the Apple Vision Pro?

You can’t run major apps like Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, or Facebook, you’ll have to physically navigate to their websites via Safari. However, you can find out what apps you can use on by tapping Apple Vision Apps near the top of your virtual screen to see apps made for Apple Vision Pro.

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