David called the Meta Quest 3 “better than its predecessors in almost every way” in our full Verge review — but what’s it like on the inside? iFixit now has the answer in a brilliant teardown video that gets right up close to the gadget’s delightfully shiny guts.
You won’t find a curved battery in here like the “largely unfixable” Quest Pro, but you do get a curved heatsink above the fan — and, of course, the Time of Flight depth sensor that the Quest Pro apparently decided to scrap. iFixit’s Shahram Mokhtari says it can even attach to a Quest Pro’s board, though it’s not clear whether you could get it to work there.
We also get a look at the pancake lenses, an 820x microscope-enhanced look at the diagonal LCD lines underneath them (which can lead to some unfortunate tearing), plus the fifty (50!) total screws you have to remove just to replace the battery.
Speaking of that battery, it’s 19.44 watt-hours now, up from 14.3 watt-hours in the Quest 2, which suggests that Meta’s really, really pushing for performance out of its new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip instead of better battery life. (Meta says the Quest 3 has roughly the same battery life as the Quest 2, despite the larger battery pack.)
iFixit also tears down the Quest 3’s new controllers, revealing the constellation of (seven?) IR LEDs that let the headset’s cameras track their movements in 3D space. While the Oculus Touch, Quest, and Quest 2’s controllers originally placed those LEDs in a protruding ring and the Quest Pro has cameras in the controllers themselves, Meta now apparently believes it can track controllers well enough with a simpler LED setup.
While the controllers do have magnetic Hall effect triggers, they do not have drift-resistant Hall effect joysticks, I’m afraid:
The controllers are easier to tear down than the Quest Pro’s, with simpler boards and disassembly steps, but you do still have to remove a glued-on top. Mokhtari also wound up cracking the eye relief’s thin plastic while removing it from the Quest 3, but that might not be a problem going forward — this teardown can help show you where the plastic snaps are located, so you can pry carefully.
Overall, iFixit says the design is “a significant improvement over the Quest Pro when it comes to repairability” but gives it a repair score of four out of 10 because of the complicated layers of components and just how long it takes to reach the battery.