A Week with Vision Pro: Insights and Impressions

Things I like, dislike, and wish

Jack Yang
Antaeus AR
7 min readFeb 17, 2024


The first picture of my Vision Pro

After years of patiently waiting, I finally got my hands on the Apple Vision Pro. With nearly a decade of working with immersive technologies, it is always exciting to see new players in the field. In the following analysis, I will document my likes, dislikes, and wishlist for the Vision Pro during the first week of my experience.

What I Like

1. Next-level hardware and incredible technology.

Vision Pro has the best display of all of the headsets. Period. Having explored a wide array of headsets, from the consumer-oriented Quest 3 to the enterprise-grade Varjo XR-4, none rival the crystal-clear visual fidelity delivered by Vision Pro. Its ability to render applications — from spatial videos to the Encounter Dinosaurs experience — with such lifelike clarity and depth is nothing short of revolutionary. Moreover, it is mind-boggling to see how Apple can fit two screens (EyeSight + display) into a sleek form factor that is thinner than a Quest 3.

The speaker system is often overlooked when discussing AR/VR headsets, but Vision Pro has hands down the best speaker system in all of them, which is expected given their lineups of Airpods. I was able to experience full immersion without the need for external headphones most of the time.

The precision and responsiveness of both eye tracking and hand tracking are impressive. The range and accuracy with which it captures hand movements are among the best I’ve encountered. However, I would argue that the hand-tracking algorithm is not as good as the ones in Quest. Even though I’m not yet convinced that eye + hand combo tracking is the future of XR interaction, Apple does its best to make the interaction feel intuitive.

2. Minimal passthrough distortion with spatial awareness

Vision Pro has the best passthrough I’ve ever seen. The color remapping is fairly accurate, distortion is kept to a bare minimum, and the latency is incredibly low. While the resolution may not be crystal clear and the passthrough doesn’t work well in low light settings, I can do most of the day-to-day activities such as cooking and walking around with little issue.

What truly elevates the experience is the synergy between passthrough and Vision Pro’s spatial awareness. The device’s ability to anchor virtual windows and objects within a physical space is nothing short of extraordinary. I can place my app in one room, walk around the building, and come back to the app glued to the same position. This seamless integration of digital and physical makes spatial computing, as Apple calls it, a reality.

3. The cool factors

There is no denying that Vision Pro is arguably one of the best-looking XR headsets on the market, with HoloLens 2 fighting for the top spot (I might be biased here). After all, Apple’s brand image and marketing strategy resonate with consumers. I have never seen so many influencers and everyday users wearing an XR headset in public, embracing an HMD as not just a piece of technology, but a fashionable accessory — something I’m seeing more of on social media lately. While I’m not a fan of Apple’s deliberate avoidance of the term “AR” or “VR” for branding purposes, Apple has, in essence, rekindled widespread interest in XR, making it more accessible and appealing to a broader audience.

What I Dislike

1. The weight distribution could be better

As you might have heard, there are a lot of complaints about how heavy the Vision Pros are. Those accusations are indeed valid, and I think there are a few design choices that contribute to this issue:

  • Metal Material: to make the Vision Pro feel premium, Apple opted for aluminum to construct the body of the headset while most other headsets use plastic. Even though the Vision Pro feels incredible on the hands, it significantly increases the overall weight.
  • Front-facing Screen: Eyesight is a cool concept and is designed to make Vision Pro feel more like a pair of glasses than a VR headset. However, the screen in the front adds significant weight to the headset and decreases the battery life.
  • Separate Battery Pack: unlike HoloLens 2, which distributes the weight evenly by integrating the battery at the back of the headset, Vision Pro has all its mass in the front. Despite the well-engineered straps designed to secure the headset, it often feels like the device pulling my head forward.

From personal experience, I find that I can wear Quest 3 for a longer period with less eye strain and neck strain. Apple’s design compromises, presumably made with an eye toward future iterations, present an interesting trade-off. I look forward to what they will bring to the market.

2. Persona feels uncanny

I have tried many avatar systems in the past, from Ready Player Me to VRChat to MetaHumans. Among these, Apple’s Persona stands out as notably unsettling in its current iteration. I believe it has strived too hard to achieve realism that it falls into the uncanny valley.

My take is that some facial muscles aren’t simulated correctly, which makes the avatar expressions feel unnatural and borderline creepy. Furthermore, the absence of dynamic features such as fluid hair movement and the nuanced micro-expressions that convey genuine human emotion contributes to a somewhat jarring experience. These elements, when missing or poorly executed, detract from the authenticity and comfort level of interacting with these Personas.

3. The cord and battery pack

While redistributing the battery to the back of the headset could potentially improve weight distribution, Apple’s decision to keep the battery pack separate via a cord is a deliberate design compromise, made with certain considerations in mind. However, there are aspects of this approach that I find less than ideal:

  • The charging port on the Vision Pro should not be locked: during my first week with Vision Pro, I almost smashed the $3500 headset. How? When I was using it, the battery slipped out of my pocket and fell to the ground, almost dragging the headset along with it. A MagSafe-like magnetic charging solution would mitigate such risks, allowing the battery to disconnect harmlessly in the event of a drop, without damaging the headset.
  • The battery pack should be bigger: given the Vision Pro’s relatively mediocre battery life, opting for a larger battery seems logical. Carrying an external battery is already a requirement; a heftier capacity would ensure longer usage without the constant concern over battery levels. This would significantly enrich the user experience, allowing users to immerse themselves in the Vision Pro’s capabilities for extended periods.

What I Hope to See

1. Better integration with the Apple Ecosystem

One of my favorite things about Apple products is the ecosystem. The ability to effortlessly transition a FaceTime call from an iPhone to an iPad or to copy text on a MacBook and paste it onto an iPhone is truly magical. However, I don’t see the same level of ecosystem integration with Vision Pro. For instance, when I get a notification on my iPhone, I have to squint my eyes to see the text through the Vision Pro passthrough whereas a screencast would fix the issue. Similarly, when I’m asked to enter FaceID for my iPhone, I have to take off my headset instead of a more integrated way to authenticate myself, which seems like a missed opportunity.

These are just a few examples and it doesn’t limit to iPhone but to other product lineups like AirTags, iPad, HomePod, etc. While it’s understandable that this integration may be a work in progress, enhancing the ecosystem’s coherence would reinforce one of Apple’s key value propositions.

2. More developer-friendly environment

The high entry cost for developing the Vision Pro, with a base price of $3500, is just the beginning. Developers also need an M-chip computer, starting at $600 for the Mac Mini, and an additional $2000 per year for Unity Pro for those not well-versed in Swift, Apple’s proprietary programming language.

In contrast, Meta offers a more accessible developer experience, with a vibrant community and free-tier Unity integration. As much as I love Apple products, it’s very hard for indie developers like myself to spend at least $6000 just to support Vision Pro while we can just develop for Quest 3 for as low as $500 and a lot better developer support.

With Vision Pro being first-gen hardware and in desperate need of more content and developers, I would love Apple to address this issue, or this will come back to haunt them in the future.

My Verdict

Are you looking to get an AR/VR headset for fun, or just beginning to explore this exciting space? I would recommend Quest 3 wholeheartedly since it has a more established developer community support and offers most of the technology at a fraction of the cost. On the other hand, are you someone tightly integrated with the Apple ecosystem with some money to spare, or an experienced dev who wants to take full advantage of the next-generation technology? Then maybe the Vision Pro would be a better choice.

In summary, I strongly encourage everyone to experience the Vision Pro demos at Apple Store. It’s a remarkable piece of technology that, while not yet perfected, offers a glimpse into the future of immersive experiences. I would advise my readers to make deliberate decisions before purchasing a headset. In my case, I will be keeping the Vision Pro for future experimentation. However, in most cases, Quest 3 is still the far better option and the choice depends on your needs, budget, and how you plan to use the technology.

Thank you for reading my article. Follow me on https://jackyangzzh.medium.com/ for more content like this!



Jack Yang
Antaeus AR

Mixed Reality Engineer • Reimagining Reality with XR • https://jackyang.io/