At this point, you may have a pretty good idea of what the inside of a smartphone looks like, but how about a highly advanced VR headset? The experts at iFixit have posted their video disassembly of Meta’s new Quest Proand while they conclude it’s a “fascinating, if largely irreparable device”, it’s an extremely interesting look at the inside of the high-end VR headset.
One of the first things iFixit digs into is the battery, which is located in the back part of the headset. It is a twin-cell 20.58Wh battery that is curved, that’s something I don’t think I’ve seen before. It’s a different approach than what Meta did with the Quest 2’s Elite battery strap, which had two connected flat batteries (as shown in this photo from a Redditor).
On the front of the headset, it turns out that the glossy front panel is not glass, but some “glossy plastic”. After you feel it, you can see the components, cameras, and circuitry on the front of the device, and it looks cool enough that I wish Meta offered a transparent version of the plastic panel. (Finally, rule for transparent electronics.)
iFixit also found a small rectangle in the center of the Quest Pro that appears to be where a depth sensor would have been. Mark Zuckerberg told protocol in May that the Quest Pro, then codenamed Cambria, would have a depth sensor, but the company told UploadVR after the Quest Pro was announced that Zuckerberg was “referring to another depth-sensing system included in an earlier prototype version of the device.” Still, it’s interesting to see the clearing in the shipped product.
After unscrewing a lot of screws, iFixit eventually gets to the lenses (also plastic, not glass) and the motherboard, which houses the new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 1 chip. iFixit also takes apart the controllers, which have their own cameras, thumbsticks like you’d find on the Nintendo Switch, and lithium-ion batteries rated at 10.85 Wh.
The guts of the Quest Pro is certainly impressive, but the device is hard to take apart. “146 screws, tons of cables, and what seemed like a counter-intuitive design at times made this teardown one of the hardest we’ve done in a long time,” iFixit’s Shahram Mokhtari said in the video. And it doesn’t seem very fixable outside of replacing the battery.
Still, I’m thrilled to see exactly what’s inside the Quest Pro — it’s remarkable how much technology Meta was able to put into the $1,500 headset. Now the company just has to figure out the metaverse itself.
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