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Meta Quest 3 lite specs have leaked, and they’re not good

A cheaper Meta Quest 3, called the 3s, will reportedly drop the resolution, limit refresh rate options, and make big design changes.

Meta Quest 3s spec leak

A new Meta Quest 3 lite is reportedly on the way, and this new leak gives us our first look at what to expect. The idea of a new, cheaper Quest headset is nothing new, but this is the first time we’ve seen specs listed, and it looks like more of a Quest 2 replacement than a Quest 3 competitor.

As the best VR headset currently available, the Meta Quest 3 sets a high bar for standalone quality. Ultimately, though, Meta now appears to be trying to avoid embroiling itself in an awkward battle where a cheaper headset potentially threatens the Quest 3. Instead, this new Quest 3 lite appears to be a Quest 2 with an improved SoC and color passthrough system.

Meta Quest 3s leaked specs shwoing off a possible design for the new headset

Tech leaker Luna (Lunayian on X) has posted a summary of what they are confident they have learned about the new Meta Quest 3 lite, although they believe its preliminary name is the Meta Quest 3s.

Among the major changes are a reduced per-eye resolution from 2,064 x 2,208 to 1,832 x 1,920. On the plus side, it looks as though the refresh rate will also hit the same 90Hz/120Hz as the Quest 3. There’s no mention of whether the rumored Meta Quest 3s will also be able to run at 72Hz and 80Hz, like the Quest 3, although there’s no reason why this wouldn’t also be possible.

Finally, the pancake lenses are being swapped out for fresnel ones and there will only be three fixed IPD settings instead of the 22mm range on the Quest 3. This is concerning because the general image quality of pancake lenses is much better, with an improved sweet spot and less image stretching around the edges of the lens.

This may not be a problem for anyone upgrading from the Quest 2, but if you’ve experienced gameplay on a Quest 3, it will be a considerable downgrade. On top of the lens changes, the glasses spacer is also reverting to the Quest 2 solution, a removable fixed-distance plastic frame, which is far worse for bespectacled VR enthusiasts like myself.

There’s no mention of any DRAM changes, and it appears that the full-color passthrough cameras will make their way over to the Quest 3s as well, although in a slightly different configuration based on the image provided by Luna.

These changes should reduce the price substantially, hopefully helping the Quest 3s meet the original $299 MSRP of the Quest 2 or even its current $199 price. Either way, these savings would be potentially huge compared to the $499 starting price of the 128GB Quest 3. Storage options for the Quest 3s aren’t mentioned, but we could see a return to a 64GB base model. However, I feel it’s more likely that 128GB will remain the smallest storage option.

The trade-off for this lower price is the fact you’re getting a headset that will pale in comparison to the power and quality of the Meta Quest 3. Even though it uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 SoC, everything else is a downgrade, and the VR experience of both headsets is likely to differ as a result.

While it may carry the Quest 3 branding, this lite model looks more like a mid-generation Quest 2 upgrade to me. I would argue that a flat MSRP reduction on the Quest 3 would be a far smarter move than releasing this potentially confusing product into the market.

If you already have Meta’s latest headset, you can check out our picks for the best Meta Quest 3 games, which are all hand-picked and tested so you know they’re great.