Tech

HTC’s Vive Focus 3 and Pro 2 make VR look even more real with 5K resolution

The all-in-one Vive Focus 3 and PC-based Vive Pro 2 VR headsets push realism even further with more resolution and less motion blur.

At Vivecon 2021, HTC doubled down on its commitment to VR with two new headsets: the Vive Focus 3 and the Vive Pro 2. Both headsets take VR realism to the next level.

No PC needed

The Vive Focus 3 is the more exciting VR headset. Like Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2, the Focus 3 is a standalone wireless headset that works on its own — no PC required. It’s built on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 platform.

5K

Dual 2.5K resolution displays provide a combined 5K resolution.

This increased combined resolution (4,896 x 2,448) paired with a 90Hz refresh rate, a wider 120-degree field of view, and “real RGB subpixel” display tech (each pixel consists of three pixels) means details like text are more visible and VR’s “screen door effect” is greatly reduced.

Unlike other VR headsets, the Vive Focus 3’s battery is removable. It slots into the back of the headband, acting as a counterweight to the front, and can be quick charged to 50 percent in 30 minutes. HTC says batteries are good for about 2 hours of use. There’s also an LED battery indicator.

The headset itself is made of magnesium alloy. HTC GM Dan O’Brien told me this material is 20 percent lighter and 500% stronger than traditional plastics used in other headsets.

Other upgrades like easily swappable face cushions/gaskets, larger IPD range (57-72mm) with better support for larger glasses, and improved spatial audio, and a copper pipe and fan that keeps the headset cool round out the Focus 3.

The hand controllers are lighter, more accurate, and more grippy. They charge via USB-C and last up to 15 hours each.

VIVE FOCUS 3 SPECS:

• Snapdragon XR2 chipset

• 4 cameras with AI-powered inside-out tracking

• 8GB of RAM

• 15W copper heat pipe

For the elite

The Vive Focus 3 is an impressive headset, but if you need more power, you have to go with Vive Pro 2, a PC VR headset.

Now that the Rift 2 is dead, the Pro 2 is the only real affordable PC VR headset with high-performance specs.

Like the Focus 3, it’s got 2.5K resolution per eye, better ergonomics, improved spatial sound. It also does the Focus 3 one better: 120Hz vs. 90Hz.

120Hz reduces motion blur, which not only bumps up clarity but decreases nausea.

Full compatibility

All existing Vive trackers, base stations, and controllers work with the Vive Pro 2. It also supports the Display Stream Compression with the latest NVIDIA and AMD GPUS. HTC says it’s the first time a VR headset is able to push this kind of visual fidelity to a VR headset.

Not toys

The Vive Focus 3 and Vive Pro 2 are not toys. They’re premium VR headsets designed for professionals who need to use them for work (i.e. designing helicopters or buildings), not Beat Saber. As such, the $1,300 for the Focus 3 and $1,400 for the Pro 2 Kit ($750 for just the Pro 2 headset) are appropriately priced for the tech, especially when you factor in access to HTC’s Vive Business suite of apps and services, device management (for deployment from IT), and business training applications.

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