A few weeks ago, we got wind that HTC was working on a standalone wireless AR/VR (opens in new tab)headset to rival the Meta Quest 2. And here it is: at CES 2023, HTC revealed the HTC XR Elite, an all-in-one XR headset set for release next month. And it won’t be cheap.
The Vive XR Elite can achieve 4K resolution (2K per eye) at 90Hz with a 110-degree FOV. It’s also got an external camera for mixed reality hijinx. It’s powered by a Snapdragon XR2 with 12GB RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. On paper, the Vive XR Elite is about three times more powerful than Meta Quest 2 (opens in new tab); it’s also three times as expensive at $1,099, so there’s that.
The Vive XR Elite is going for a comfort-focused design with as little bulk as possible. The back headrest is detachable, and the rest of the headset can be folded like a pair of sunglasses to store in a carry case.
I wear large-framed glasses, which makes wearing certain VR headsets really uncomfortable, so I’m excited that the XR Elite has built-in diopters that adjust focus, so you can actually use the headset without glasses.
According to HTC, the expected battery life is about 15 hours, and it offers 30W fast charging, which can charge the battery to 50% capacity in half an hour. The battery can also be swapped out and replaced if you want to buy a second one for longer VR sessions.
With the battery, the XR Elite weighs about 625g (about 1.4 pounds), making it with a fairly lightweight headset, while the Meta Quest 2 is still lighter at 503g. Both are significantly lighter than the Valve Index, which weighs 809 grams. Without the XR Elite’s battery, you’re looking at only 240g, which is pretty light when connected to a PC or phone. Though I’d imagine it wouldn’t last long when plugged into a phone.
The Vive XR Elite is positioning itself as a premium alternative to Meta’s wildly popular headset. At launch, it’s expected to have 100 games in its digital store (opens in new tab), but you’ll also be able to use it as a Steam VR headset, too.