Quest 3, 1st impressions and comparison to Pico4

I just received the Quest 3 yesterday (128 GB) and so far I’m really impressed. I got it mainly to replace the Pico4 that I bought a year ago, which was a disappointment due to warped/wavy lenses and mismatched screen brightness. The Pico4 looked great on paper, but poor quality control held it back. I use them for wireless PCVR gaming via Virtual Desktop.

I don’t mind the cheap Quest strap and the facial interface fits me pretty well. It starts to hurt my neck after only 5 minutes though as it is very front heavy. This thing really needs a counter weight (that will be my first mod). Even my Vive pro at 999 g (including the wireless adapter) is easier to wear for a long session.
The stock Pico facial interface was wearable, but a poor fit for me. I 3D-printed a custom gasket using a face scan, so it’s not really a fair comparison to the Quest. Regardless of the custom gasket, the Pico4 is definitely much better balanced and does not hurt my neck.
Winner - Pico4

Controller Tracking:
I found it better on the Pico4. I occasionally lost tracking during the Quest tutorials while I rarely experience that with the Pico. I have not done much testing though, so take that with a grain of salt. Pico has had several updates since releasing last year, so I expect Meta will improve with firmware updates and quickly close the gap.
Winner - Pico4

The Pico4 passthrough seemed amazing compared to the Reverb G2 and Vive Pro, but the Quest3 is on a whole other level. Crisper, more vibrant, and the 3D is spot on. Your room looks great, but the resolution is still too low for any real AR tasks imo. You can only read your phone if you bring it really close to your face. It looks good enough for MR games, but we’re no where near the point of wearing it to perform surgery with an AR overlay, for example.
The MR capabilities of the Quest3 are surprisingly good. I played the tutorial game that has puffballs invading your actual room, and was blown away. It doesn’t have much replay value though. I’m excited to see what other MR apps are developed in the future.
Winner - Quest3

Visuals (tested using the ROV tool):

Column 1 Pico4 Quest3
FOV Horizontal - 99°, Vertical - 89° Horizontal - 106°, Vertical - 88°
Snellen Chart readability @ 4 metres Line 7 (almost line 8) Line 7 (barely)
Sweet Spot 40% of visible area 99% edge to edge clarity
Binocular Overlap 75% 50%
Chromatic Aberration slight yellow fringing at edge of view slight blue fringing at edge of view
Glare (higher is better) 6/10 7/10
Optics wavy distortions on both lenses no visible distortions
Colour/Contrast (OLED = 10) 7/10 7/10
Brightness 7/10 warm 8/10 cool

I didn’t notice much difference in FOV, but Quest3 came out ahead when measured using the ROV tool.
The Pico4 higher resolution screen does make a difference in text readability, but it is not significantly better in-game.
The Quest3 has an amazing sweet spot - essentially the entire FOV is sharp. Not so with the Pico4, despite also having pancake lenses.
I useed the ROV Sweetspot test screen to also estimate binocular overlap. Pico4 has a significantly higher binocular overlap; 75% vs 50% for the Q3. I didn’t notice anything amiss with the Quest3 though. Perhaps more testing in game environments would show a difference in 3d presence.
Neither headset had much chromatic abberation, just a slight amount of colour fringing near the edge on the lenses (yellow for Pico and blue for Quest).
The Pico4 and Quest3 have similar glare patterns, but it was a bit more pronounced on the Pico. It’s a different kind of glare compared to a Fresnel lens. I don’t find it any better or worse than the Reverb G2, for example; just different. Glare doesn’t bother me much in general though.
The Quest3 optics (at least on my unit) are much better than the Pico4, which has wavy distortions as you look around. I have heard some Q3 units can suffer from lens distortions too and even Mura, so ymmv (
Colour and contrast on the Quest3 is very good (for LCD anyway) and is very similar to the Pico4 and Reverb G2. Of course, if I had a Bigscreen Beyond to compare it to, I’d probably not be so happy with the Quest screens afterwards.
I found the Quest to be slightly brighter and the colour a bit cooler (blue shifted) compared to the Pico. I guess they are both dimmer compared to Fresnel headsets, but they look fine to me; I don’t actually like a super bright screen. The Quest3 “night mode” overdose it with the blue light reduction and looks pretty crappy.


Have you already made the changes in questdebugtool?

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Very nice review. If I can also recommend you might also want to use @risa2000 's hmdq to collect hard data from the headset drivers.

I have recently saw what looks to be a cool zombie game that uses the passthrough to bring zombie waves to your living room. Not good to hear of the qc issues vr flightsim guy went through.

You may also be interested in SimHanger Flight Simulation’s guide for msfs with vd for both pico4 & Q3.

@james_gammell you might be interested as well.

no, I’m new to Quest, I don’t know about the debug tool

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thanks I’ll check out the HMDQ Tools.
I haven’t done any slight sims myself. I have a HOTAS, but only used it for the gamier stuff like Elite:Dangerous, Starwars Squadrons.

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I will see if can maybe find more guides for q3…Any help collecting/organizing would be awesome!

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