Apple Vision Pro Review: First Headset Lacks Polish and Purpose

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About 17 years ago, Steve Jobs took the stage at a San Francisco convention center and said he was introducing three products: an iPod, a phone and an internet browser.

“These are not three separate devices,” he said. “This is one device, and we are calling it iPhone.”

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At $500, the first iPhone was relatively expensive, but I was eager to dump my mediocre Motorola flip phone and splurge. There were flaws — including sluggish cellular internet speeds. But the iPhone delivered on its promises.

Over the last week, I’ve had a very different experience with a new first-generation product from Apple: the Vision Pro, a virtual reality headset that resembles a pair of ski goggles. The $3,500 wearable computer, which was released Friday, uses cameras so you can see the outside world while juggling apps and videos.

Apple calls it a “spatial computer” that blends together the physical and digital worlds for people to work, watch movies and play games.

Apple declined to provide an early review unit to The New York Times, so I bought a Vision Pro on Friday. (It costs much more than $3,500 with the add-ons that many people will want, including a $200 carrying case, $180 AirPods and $100 prescription lens inserts for people who wear glasses.) After using the headset for about five days, I’m unconvinced that people will get much value from it.

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