A Complete Guide to the HTC VIVE Focus 3 (2023)

black corded device on table top

The global VR market is expected to reach $44.7 billion by 2025. With the current hype around the Metaverse, we expect to see a lot of exciting innovations in this space in the upcoming year. Apart from the Metaverse, VR is also being used within the gaming, healthcare, education, real estate, and training spaces as well. Users can choose from several popular VR headsets, such as MetaQuest2, HTC VIVE Focus 3, etc.

The VIVE series was launched in 2016, and the HTC VIVE Focus 3 headset is the newest addition to their collection. While the new version is pricier than other VR headsets, there are several interesting features that users should consider before making a purchase decision. We will discuss them in detail in the article below.

Key Points

  • This article aims to provide a complete guide on the HTC VIVE Focus 3 (2023), its importance in the Metaverse, the future of the VIVE series, a comparison with other headsets in the VIVE Pro series, and much more.
  • The VR headset was launched on June 27th, 2021, and offers numerous exciting features such as eye tracking, 4896 x 2448 combined resolution, 90 Hz refresh rate, and more.
  • We also compare the features that HTC VIVE Pro offers over the HTC VIVE Focus 3, for example, more tracking sensors, adjustable lenses, and more.
  • HTC VIVE Focus 3 also offers wireless connectivity, which helps make the entire experience much more immersive. 
  • While the headset is much more expensive than other competitors, such as the MetaQuest2, its exciting features and high resolution make it worth its price.
  • The future of HTC Virtual Reality headgears is promising with the inclusion of 5G connectivity, healthcare through collaborations with XRHealth, virtual rooms, and more.

What is the HTC VIVE Focus 3?

Launched on June 21st, 2021, the HTC VIVE Focus 3 is a standalone VR headset that is part of the HTC VIVE headset series that was initially released in 2016. While the initial headsets received a fair amount of criticism, the HTC VIVE Focus 3 has received positive feedback from the VR community.

The HTC VIVE Focus 3 was primarily developed for research institutions, businesses, and professional uses. The VR headset does not require a controller and offers high-fidelity hand tracking. This virtual reality headset offers an opportunity for teams to collaborate remotely in an immersive environment, which is perfect for remote teams that can join from anywhere in the world as long as they have a stable internet connection.

Headset Specifications

The sleek minimal look with the timeless black design makes it a very attractive headset compared to other popular headsets in the marketplace. The design team has also made considerable effort to make the headset comfortable. 

The biggest selling point of the HTC VIVE Focus 3 is its 4896 x 2448 combined resolution, which plays a big role in making experiences more immersive. The HTC VIVE Focus 3 offers training simulations, therapy and rehabilitation, learning and education, and more. 

Headset users can also have location-dependent experiences, such as touring places virtually, such as museums, concerts, etc. The headset offers up to 120 degrees wide field of vision, smooth visualization with a 90Hz refresh rate, and much more.

Furthermore, HTC VIVE Focus 3 offers immersive 3D spatial audio through its open back and dual driver speakers with a high resolution 3.5 mm audio jack support and directional speaker design to minimize sound leakage.

Power Efficient Design

The HTC VIVE Focus 3 offers a battery time of up to 2 hours of continuous use at optimum settings. Users can also quickly recharge the headset using the fast-charging option, with a complete charging time of 45-60 minutes. 

If you’re looking to extend your VR headset usage, there is also an option to swap out batteries with a spare version quickly. 

Comfortable Usage

Users can adjust the back straps to make the headset more comfortable. The headset itself is lightweight, and the weight is evenly distributed, making it easier to wear. The headset also has an in-built cooling mechanism that prevents the battery from heating up. This helps keep the device temperature optimal to allow users to enjoy long-lasting immersive experiences with ultra-HD resolution.

However, one thing that users are not too happy about is the glare that comes from the 5k resolution display. This can cause users to be uncomfortable while using it in the long run. The headset also does not offer any in-app purchases compared to the MetaQuest2.

Quick Release

“Quick Release” is another exciting feature offered by the HTC VIVE Focus 3. If you’re planning on using the headset for populated events such as tradeshows, this feature allows users to press a button to quickly take off the headset rather than pulling on the adjustable strap to take it off. 

Users can also turn the knob on the headset to ensure a tighter fit, but this helps save tons of time in a populated setting. This feature also enables users to quickly detach and clean the headset’s rear cushions and magnetic face, especially if the device is being shared with multiple people. 


HTC VIVE Focus 3 vs. Pro Series

Since its release, many VR enthusiasts have wondered whether the HTC VIVE Pro Series is better than the Focus 3. Let’s list the differences between both headsets.

Mode of Operation

The primary difference between both headsets is that the HTC VIVE Focus 3 is a standalone VR headset, whereas the HTC VIVE Pro Series is a PC-powered VR device. Standalone headsets are more portable and do not require powerful computers to provide immersive experiences.

PC-powered headsets must be connected to PCs via a cable and depend on the computer to produce high-quality graphics. However, PC VR headsets normally offer more immersive, high-quality graphics as compared to standalone headsets.

Features and Specifications

In terms of features, the HTC VIVE Focus 3 stands out more due to additional features such as 360-degree movement tracking, remote controls, 3D speakers, and more.

Both devices come with adjustable inter-pupillary distance. The HTC VIVE Pro 2 also offers 5k resolution and offers adjustable lenses. However, the field of view for the HTC VIVE Pro is only 110 degrees.

The field of view for the HTC VIVE Focus 3 is 120 degrees, thus offering the user a more immersive and realistic experience. The HTC VIVE Focus 3 also has an external memory slot, that is unavailable in the HTC VIVE Pro. Both gadgets have head movement trackers, gyroscopes, position-tracking mechanisms, gesture controls, accelerometers, etc.

Headset Pricing

When comparing prices, the HTC VIVE Focus 3 is around $1,300, whereas the Pro Series currently retails at around $1,378 with the SteamVR base. You can also get the HTC VIVE Pro 2 headset without the SteamVR base and the controllers for $796. 

If you’re looking for a portable, easy-to-use headset with great resolution, you might prefer the HTC VIVE Focus 3. However, if you have a computer with great graphic processing capabilities, it might be worth it to go the extra mile to get the HTC VIVE Pro due to its better graphics and tracking capabilities.

What Is the Future of the HTC VR Headsets?

VR enthusiasts expect to see a lot of more exciting Metaverse-related developments from HTC in the near future since they announced their vision for the Metaverse in early 2022. The company announced “Viverse,” an open ecosystem offering multiple entertainment avenues for its users. For example, you can attend virtual concerts, socialize with friends online and even hold conferences virtually. Users of the Viverse could also browse through NFT collections, host parties, and much more using controllers to move around and interact.

person holding black remote

However, the most important feature of the Viverse is parental controls. Lack of moderation in the Metaverse is one of the biggest concerns at the moment, and HTC aims to address the issue by offering parental control options to protect safety and privacy in VR spaces. Parents can monitor what content the children are viewing, and every download or purchase would require authorization. 

Industrial VR

Since we are stepping into a new era of immersive technologies, HTC has also decided to focus on creating immersive hardware, such as the HTC VIVE Focus 3, for professional use. These headsets have the potential to reshape the way businesses operate online completely.

Now that these high-touch training, supported management, and long-term strategic development technologies are available, firms may confidently overhaul their operational processes. Virtual reality (VR) experiences with high resolution and low latency may be used anytime. Individuals can almost anywhere, providing enterprises with a practical tool to advance corporate training, management, and cooperation.

5G Capabilities

HTC has announced collaborations with Super Micro and Lumen Technologies. HTC aims to introduce the world’s first portable 5G experience. This will play a huge role in enhancing the overall headset experience. As users will be able to use their own 5G connection on their wireless headsets.


HTC can serve transformative use cases, including business training, aided operations, and virtual collaboration. This is due to the Lumen low latency edge platform. Which is aimed at handling workloads with high-performance requirements.

Cloud Based Developments

HTC has also been working on resolving latency issues by streaming on the cloud to allow for smooth streaming. Several items need to be considered, such as GPU processing power, the speed of the network connection, rendering time, and more. The company is looking into offloading rendering using its wireless headset alongside HTC’s 5G network.

This offers tremendous opportunities for scaling the system as HTC aims to provide an all-in-one solution in the near future. In addition, it facilitates the development of the subsequent HMD use cases by enabling the edge offloading of more auxiliary apps.

Latest Headsets and Future Trajectory

Since the release of HTC’s wireless all-in-one headset, the VIVE Focus 3, powered by the Snapdragon XR2 platform, last year, they have continued adding more features and capabilities that give even higher accuracy and open up additional use cases.

Plans for the first inside-out tracking system for an all-in-one headgear, the VIVE Wrist Tracker, new accessories for the VIVE Focus 3, and additional capabilities for use in training, entertainment, and healthcare situations have all been unveiled.

 

black corded device on table top

On the VIVE Focus 3, the wrist monitor from VIVE makes precise tracking simpler, even when the headgear can’t see the tracking system or a user’s hands are in the way of a portable object. The VIVE Wrist Tracker is compact, user-friendly, and simple to set up. Users can switch it on and establish a wireless connection with the VIVE Focus 3. The VIVE Wrist Tracker is a wrist-worn device that is 85% smaller and 50% lighter than a VIVE Focus 3 controller. It can also be connected to objects enabling six DoF tracking that is extremely precise in several virtual reality settings.

HTC VIVE and XRHealth are partnering to bring therapeutic VR to more patients. The digital treatment rooms will offer physical, occupational and pain management therapy.

These are the few plans that HTC is currently working on and planning to launch soon with their 5G innovation. The brand has a lot in store and is only waiting to finalize the products that everyone can use.

Is The HTC VIVE Focus 3 Good for Metaverse?

Yes, since the main goal of the Metaverse is to provide immersive virtual experiences, individuals can utilize the HTC VIVE Focus 3 to step into massive virtual worlds. The exciting features such as 5k resolution, 120-degree FOV, 90 Hz refresh rate, 3D audio, and more help make the experience more immersive. 

The Focus 3 is standalone headset and does not require wired connectivity. It is more portable than wired headsets and offers a self-contained VR experience. The HTC VIVE Focus 3 provides access to entertainment, training environments, and healthcare in a single headgear. HTC has also claimed to improve the weight distribution of the headset. Thus, making it easier to wear for longer time periods

This virtual reality headgear is lightweight and can be worn with glasses. The headset can easily connect with other devices through Bluetooth or other wireless connections.  This helps users enter the Metaverse seamlessly.

FAQs

  • How much does the HTC VIVE Focus 3 cost?

HTC VIVE Focus 3 headset retails for $1300. Th headset offers exciting features such as 5K displays, 90 Hz refresh rates, a 120-degree field of view, 360-degree movement tracking, and more.

  • Does the HTC VIVE Focus 3 need a PC to work?

While the HTC VIVE Focus 3 can be connected to your PC, it is a standalone headset that can operate by itself. In contrast, the HTC VIVE Pro 2 is a PC VR headset and relies on a powerful external graphic processing unit to work properly.

  • Is the HTC VIVE Focus 3 a better option than the MetaQuest 2?

HTC VIVE Focus 3 offers 1.7x more resolution, a 20 degree wider FOV, external memory slot and more. However, there is almost a $1000 price gap between the MetaQuest2 and the HTC VIVE Focus 3, which might be a hurdle for most VR users.

References

HTC Vive review: a great prototype for an Oculus Quest rival – The Verge

VIVE Focus 3 – VR Headset for Metaverse Solutions | United States

The Vive Focus 3 is the best standalone VR headset, and no, you should not buy it | Engadget

HTC Vive Review: The Best VR Headset You Don’t Want | Tom’s Hardware (tomshardware.com)

HTC Vive vs HTC Vive Pro: What is the difference? (versus.com)

HTC VIVE Announces New Products and Content at CES 2022 | VIVE Blog

HTC will announce a lightweight Meta Quest competitor at CES – The Verge

We put the Focus 3 to the test. (caesarvr.com)

Bringing healthcare into the Metaverse. XRHealth and HTC Will Offer Virtual Treatment Rooms on the VIVE Focus 3 and VIVE Flow (prnewswire.com)

7_things_about_htc_vive.pdf (gvsu.edu)

VIVE Focus | VIVE Business United States

Vive Focus 3 versus Oculus Quest 2 | by Mat Pawluczuk | Medium

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