The Meta Quest 3 is reportedly getting a charging dock, as per a US regulatory filing, meaning it’s stealing yet another great feature from Meta’s best VR headset.
With this charging dock – which sounds exactly like the one that came with the Meta Quest Pro – you wouldn’t need to plug the headset into a USB-C charging cable. Instead, you’d just set it down on the base when you’re finished using it, and it’ll recharge via contact charging (metal pins on the base line up with contact points on the headset, and the charge is passed through this connection).
Interestingly, while the base will use contact charging for the headset, it will apparently use 2.5W wireless charging for the controllers (by smartphone standards this is low, but for much simpler controllers we expect charging will be speedy enough). This is a minor upgrade over the Quest Pro’s base, as wireless charging requires you to be a lot less precise with how you place the controllers on the base.
It’s because of this wireless charging change that we know about the base this far in advance of the Meta Quest 3's September 27 official announcement at Meta Connect 2023 – it was listed with the US Federal Communication Agency (FCC), which is tasked with certifying all products with electromagnetic emissions. If the base only used contact charging Meta wouldn’t need to get FCC certification for it, and it would have been kept under wraps for a little longer.
A must-have Quest 3 accessory
Charging docks are not all that exciting – I’d say the Quest Pro's was the most mundane upgrade that headset offered over its predecessors. At the same time, it’s also the best improvement by a country mile because of how much it improves the gadget’s usability.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve strapped on my Quest 2 only to discover that the battery is completely dry because I forgot to plug it in when I last stopped using it. In the roughly eight months I’ve had a Quest Pro I’ve never had the same issue, and that’s entirely thanks to the charging dock – when I’m done, I just put the headset back in its place and it instantly starts recharging.
The controller charging is handy too. Sure, the Quest 2 handset’s batteries need changing infrequently, but the less I have to think about whether I have AA batteries at the home the better. What’s more, the base is a significantly simpler solution for charging controllers than what other VR brands have used – when I was testing the HTC Vive XR Elite I found that it didn’t come with a helpful charging base, but with separate charging cables for each controller and the headset, necessitating the use of three plug sockets for charging instead of one.
The only question that remains is if the base will be included in the Quest 3’s box or sold as an add-on. Given Meta’s open desire to keep the Quest 3 relatively budget friendly with a streamlined suite of features we can see a world in which it sells the charging dock separately. Equally, $499 / £499 / AU$829 is a decent chunk of change, and we hope Meta wouldn’t nickel and dime us by forcing us to pay extra for charging accessories that improve the experience significantly.
We’ll just have to wait and see what it announces at Meta Connect 2023.
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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.