Should you preorder the Apple Vision Pro? The pros and cons, plus how to buy it

An Apple Store staff member shows a customer how to use a Vision Pro headset.
(Image credit: Apple)

Do you want to preorder an Apple Vision Pro, or find out the reasons why you should – or shouldn’t – preorder the headset? Then this guide is for you.

Below you’ll find pros and cons for getting an Apple Vision Pro preorder in when they go live at 5am PT / 8am ET on January 19, 2024. We’ll also run you everything you need to have ready so you can get through the online checkouts as smoothly as possible – ordering this gadget has more steps than just heading to the right website.

If you’re unsure if the gadget is for you then you might also want to read our hands-on Apple Vision Pro review, as well as our Meta Quest 3 review. The Vision Pro is a very different beast from the Quest 3, but Meta’s VR headset has many great qualities – especially if you’re on a budget.

Should you pre-order the Apple Vision Pro?

Preorder it if…

  • You don’t want to miss out
  • You want to experience high-end mixed reality
  • You have an iPhone 15 Pro and other Apple gadgets

An example of gaming on Apple Vision Pro using a PS5 controller to play NBA 2K23

An example of gaming on the Vision Pro (Image credit: Apple)

The biggest reason to put a preorder in as soon as you can is availability. By all accounts, the Apple Vision Pro will be in short supply at launch and throughout 2024 so we’re expecting it to sell out fast – and there’s no telling when it will be available again. Preordering the gadget from Apple the moment you can gives you the highest chance of getting one.

Beyond the popularity, according to everyone who has given the Vision Pro a whirl it offers users the best version of mixed reality on the market – though that should be expected considering it costs $3,499 which is vastly more than any of its rivals. The 4K visuals are reportedly stunning, and those who have tried the Disney Plus immersive experience say it's a blast to watch films in Avengers Tower or on Tatooine.

Plus the Vision Pro can add a lot to your existing Apple gadgets. If you have an iPhone 15 Pro you can watch your spatial video recordings the way they’re meant to be seen – it’s a visual trip you should experience if you can – and Mac users can expand their productivity with virtual screens and collaboration opportunities powered by the headset.

Don’t preorder it if… 

  • You want to read reviews first
  • You have a great home theatre setup and PC rig
  • You want traditional VR and MR gaming experiences

On the flip side, waiting to order the Apple Vision Pro could be smarter as you’ll have the chance to read reviews and see people’s proper hands-on experiences with the headset. Apple has already done some demos for the Vision Pro but these fairly short (around 25 minutes or less), uber-controlled experiences won’t give people a proper feel for the device. 

Apple Vision Pro spatial videos filmed at the beach being watched by someone wearing the headset on their couch

An example of Spatial Video on the Vision Pro (Image credit: Apple)

The short two-hour battery life and reportedly uncomfortable heavy design might be bearable for a quick demo, but in real-world use cases people may find it annoying that they can’t finish an immersive film in one sitting because the headset dies or their neck hurts. Alternatively, these issues might not be that big a problem. Until full reviews come out we just don’t know.

Another concern may be what you’ll use the Vision Pro for. Apple has highlighted the Vision Pro’s immersive entertainment – complete with 4K OLED visuals and spatial audio – as well as its computing prowess – courtesy of its M2 chipset – but if you have a high-end home theatre setup and PC rig already the Vision Pro would only offer you the novelty of wearing it on your face.

What’s more, Apple hasn’t shown off many VR or mixed reality experiences like those you’d find on the Meta Quest 3 or Valve Index – with most software instead being altered versions of iPad apps. We expect these XR experiences are coming but right now if you’re after a more traditional VR gaming experience then the Vision Pro doesn’t seem to offer anything like what you’d find on rival hardware.

How to pre-order the Apple Vision Pro

Preordering the Apple Vision Pro won’t be as simple as heading to the official Apple Store page at 5am PT / 8am ET on January 19, 2024. 

You’ll also need to have your iPhone or iPad ready and be running the latest Apple software and with the most recent version of the App Store installed according to Apple. That’s because you’ll need to take a Face ID scan of your head so Apple can determine what size head strap and Light Seal you need for the Vision Pro to fit you properly.

iPhone 15 bezels and Dynamic Island close up

Get your iPhone camera ready (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

When you preorder the headset your $3,499 purchase will get you a Vision Pro with 256GB of storage, the Solo Knit band, the Dual Loop band, a Light Seal, two Light Seal cushions, a battery pack, USB-C charging cable and power adapter, a polishing cloth and a cover for the headset.

If you wear glasses you’ll want to order special lens inserts too because the headset can’t accommodate your specs. You can only buy them online and to pick up the official Zeiss reading lenses ($99) or the official Zeiss prescription lenses ($149) you’ll need a valid prescription.

Just be careful when preordering the headset, and remember that it's only being sold through Apple itself. Given the headset is expected to sell out there's a high chance scams may crop up to take advantage of the lack of availability and try to trick you into paying for a fake Vision Pro.

How to try out the Apple Vision Pro

Two people sit at a desk with a Mac Studio, a Studio Display, and a Vision Pro headset in front of them.

The Vision pro demo should be very in-depth (Image credit: Apple)

If you are still on the fence about the Vision Pro headset then you might be in luck. Apple is offering people the chance to book demos for the Vision Pro that are said to last about 25 minutes and give you an in-depth look at what the gadget is capable of.

We don’t yet know much officially about what the demos will entail or how exactly you sign up for one, but we do know signups will go live at 8 am local time on February 2 and you’ll have to travel to an official Apple Store – i.e. not a licensed reseller – to take part in it. It’s also unclear if Apple will set aside Vision Pro units for people to order in-store after the demo or if they’ll have to wait for restocks if the initial preorder allotment sells out between January 19 and February 2.

These demos are likely going to be really popular, so if you want one you’ll want to book it fast. As we learn more about how they’ll work we’ll be sure to update this page so you know when and how you sign up for one.

What is the Apple Vision Pro?

Still unsure what the Vision Pro is? The Apple Vision Pro is an all-new XR headset from Apple that’s like a super duper Meta Quest 3 – costing seven times more at $3,499 rather than just $499.

In exchange for the higher price tag you’ll get a way better machine. It boasts two processors – the M2 chip you’ll find in the best iPads and some of the best Macs and MacBooks, as well as an R1 chip that handles its XR elements – has two 4K micro-OLED displays which have roughly 23 million pixels each, and offers realistic full-color passthrough for mixed reality that gives you a very clear view of the real world.

A screenshot of Disney Plus' 3D movies functionality on the Apple Vision Pro headset

3D videos on the Vision Pro from Disney Plus (Image credit: Walt Disney Company/Apple Inc.)

Apple has also partnered with apps like Disney Plus to create unique experiences. In the streaming app’s case, you can watch films and TV shows – some of which will be 3D – while kicking back in one of four iconic locations: Hollywood's historic El Capitan Theater, Monsters Inc.'s Scare Floor, Marvel's Avengers Tower, and Luke Skywalker's landspeeder cockpit from Star Wars.

Most of the best streaming services will be present – just Netflix and YouTube appear to not have dedicated Vision Pro apps based on Apple’s announcements – with the visuals enhanced thanks to Dolby Vision HDR. Immersive spatial audio will top things off making the Vision sound less like a VR headset and more like a wearable home entertainment setup.

You’ll also be able to use a huge suite of iOS and iPadOS apps that have been ported to the Vision Pro including popular games and productivity apps for when you want to work or play.

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Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.