Are There Cheaper Alternatives to Apple’s Vision Pro?

This teardown examines whether less expensive AR/VR headsets can meet spatial computing needs.

Spencer Chin, Senior Editor

June 24, 2024

IFixit reviewed a low-cost alternative to Apple's Vision Pro AR/VR headset.
IFixit set out to find and test a low-cost alternative to Apple's Vision Pro AR/VR headset.Eray Asena/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Back in February, the YouTube channel IFixit tore down Apple’s Vision Pro, a high-tech but costly approach to spatial computing. iFixit said the Vision Pro was loaded with high-quality cameras that produced some of the best video pass-through, but at a price of $3999 it was too costly for average users. iFixit decided to search for cheaper alternatives, and found the Vison SE headset on Ali Express. According to the video, the headset was listed at just $337.

Immediately, the reviewer found quirks in the Vision SE’s operation. He found some movement tracking, but menus could only be accessed by turning one’s head to view what one wants to look at. Selecting a function requires pressing buttons on the side of the headset. And, there are no pinch gestures; instead, the user interfaces with a clumsy controller that is tethered to the headset.

When the reviewer took apart the headset, he found some rather cheap parts, though was able to take the device apart relatively easily. One surprise was that the display was identical to that used in Meta’s Quest 2. Conclusion: the reviewer said the headset was e-waste, and suggested users buy a used Quest 2 if they want to save money.

You can view the video here

About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News, covering the electronics beat, which includes semiconductors, components, power, embedded systems, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and other related subjects. He is always open to ideas for coverage. Spencer has spent many years covering electronics for brands including Electronic Products, Electronic Buyers News, EE Times, Power Electronics, and electronics360. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him at @spencerchin.

Sign up for the Design News Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like