We tested the HTC Vive XR Elite, a competitor to the Meta Quest Pro

The Meta Quest Pro’s competitor is the HTC Vive XR Elite. And we had the opportunity to test it at CES 2023.

Arnaud in the canyon // Source: Frandroid

HTC Vive is back with a new headset model. The latter is designed for transition between virtual reality and augmented reality or mixed reality. This technology allows you to see and interact with objects integrated into the real world. Here, the HTC Vive is directly opposite the Meta Quest 2.

Technically, XR Elite combines mixed reality and virtual reality capabilities in one device. HTC Vive announces that “ compact, lightweight, powerful and versatile, perfect for gaming, fitness, productivity and more. “. It’s a major competitor to Meta Quest Pro, offering the ability to do both transition, what we call mixed reality is somewhere between virtual reality and augmented reality, because this technology makes it possible to mix virtual and reality. In other words: with this HTC Vive XR Elite headset, you can see and interact with objects embedded in the real world.

HTC Vive XR Elite // Source: HTC Vive

HTC is quite proud to have brought it transition In addition, it ensures that the quality is high enough to read your laptop or phone screen without removing the headphones, and it also has a depth sensor. This is useful for recreating the sense of distance when you’re in mixed reality mode, but also for automatically connecting your room so that virtual objects collide with real objects.

Interesting modularity

Although designed with a USB-C connection to connect to a computer to use your computer’s computing power in big 3D games, the Vive XR Elite is a headset. IAO Where All in one. It is standalone and can use Wi-Fi and even Wi-Fi 6E with low latency. Versatility is the word that defines this headset with a well-thought-out modular design that can easily be converted into goggles by simply removing the battery. Thus, it adopts different physical configurations to adapt to the situation where you are at home, office or car.

HTC Vive XR Elite // Source: Frandroid

The redesigned hinge allows the headset to truly conform to the shape of your head, front and back. On the right side is the USB-C connection cable, which you can connect to a power source, such as a power bank.

HTC Vive XR Elite // Source: Frandroid

The modularity of this helmet is its strong point, you can take it wherever you want. This means you can fit a 300-inch big screen wherever you go. If this isn’t the future…

HTC Vive XR Elite // Source: Frandroid

The rear module incorporates a battery that offers two hours of autonomy. It’s easily removable and has 30-watt fast charging over USB-C.

A smooth experience, but far from perfect

In short, we were able to test the Vive XR Elite at CES 2023. In virtual reality, the headset works perfectly. The technology is now well adopted, improving as screens improve, helmets become lighter, sensors multiply…

Here, the Vive XR Elite offers a smooth and lag-free experience that lets you fully immerse yourself in the virtual universe without worrying about stuttering. Head tracking is relatively accurate and fast, which makes immersion in the virtual universe very natural. As for the field of vision, it is wide and deep, which gives the impression of actually existing in a virtual environment. In the proposed game, we were kayaking at the bottom of the canyon. A complete change of scenery. We were disappointed to discover the paddle, which was very random.

HTC Vive XR Elite // Source: Frandroid

Then we had the opportunity to conduct some experiments in mixed reality mode. The first is Air Guitar, a kind of instrumental performance. People watching me saw me imitating the gesture of a guitar player without holding the instrument in my hand. Always fun to watch. Another experience was putting yourself in the shoes of a virtual conductor conducting an orchestra, a game developed by a French studio and symbolically named “Le Metavers”.

In short, when you put the HTC Vive XR Elite in mode transition, you see what’s around you in real life. They are not true glasses because the helmet uses a camera to film the exterior and integrate it into the image you see.

It’s not perfectly clear, the colors are dull and everything is grainy. It gives a washed-out feel of reality, but it’s possible to play content on your smartphone or chat with physical people around you. We place our hands well in physical space, which suggests that the helmet is still capable of at least multiplying depth. It remains extremely perfect, so much so that I almost hit one of the HTC Vive employees.

The look of the HTC Vive XR Elite seemed relevant to us, as the headset resembles large glasses. So it gives us the impression to outsiders that they are real glasses, which of course adds to the effect transition.

In any case, even if we spend only an hour with the helmet, it can be improved. This is a story of hardware compromises. It remains intelligently designed and offers a solid alternative to Meta’s Quest Pro. Now the hardware is only one aspect of the experience, the content is another. So let’s see what HTC has in store for us in the coming months.

Recall that the HTC Vive XR Elite will be delivered in February 2022 at a price of 1,400 euros (six games are offered). Not given at all.

Find all the news from CES 2023

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