The first full reviews are in for Apple's Vision Pro. Here's what people are saying.

  • Apple's betting on the Vision Pro headset to be its biggest product launch since the iPhone.

  • New reviews of the mixed-reality device are out ahead of its US launch on February 2.

  • Here's what people are saying about it.

There's a lot of hype around the new Apple Vision Pro ahead of its launch in the US this Friday.

Apple reportedly sold out of the headset almost instantly when preorders opened January 19, and has sold around 200,000 units so far, MacRumors reported.

The company is betting on the $3,500 mixed-reality headset to be its biggest product since the iPhone. But does it warrant the hype?

The first full reviews of the headset came out Tuesday. Here's what reviewers had to say about the Vision Pro:

It can be uncomfortable to wear for too long

The headset could get uncomfortable after extended use. The Verge's Nilay Patel said the Vision Pro was "definitely warm" after a while. A half-hour in, Mark Spoonauer of Tom's Guide felt it "weighing on my cheeks."

The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern said the device, made of metal and glass, caused what she called "face crush." She noted that her Light Seal cushion, intended to help the headset rest more comfortably on your face and block out light from your surroundings, was "now covered with makeup" at the end of her trial.

The displays and video passthrough quality are stunning, with a catch

The headset's displays produce "vivid, richly colored, HDR and just stunning" visuals, CNET's Scott Stein wrote.

"Not only is it good enough for movies — something Apple is touting constantly — but it's better than any TV in my house," he added.

Patel called it "the best video passthrough that's ever shipped in a consumer device by far."

The device's field of view seems to be smaller than that of competitor Meta Quest 3, though.

Stein equated it to "seeing an amazing monitor through a scuba mask," while Patel said there were "fairly large black borders around what you're seeing, a bit like you're looking through binoculars."

EyeSight and Personas look offputting

The overwhelming consensus is that the Vision Pro's depictions of the user to other people are … weird.

First, there's EyeSight, which shows a digital version of your eyes to others looking at you while you're wearing the headset.

Patel calls it "a low-res, ghostly image of [your eyes] that feels like CGI." Stern said it was "very subtle" and "a bit gimmicky."

There's also your Persona, which is a digital avatar of yourself that appears in FaceTime calls. Patel called the avatars "deeply weird and extremely uncanny," and Stern said hers would "haunt your dreams," with one of her colleagues likening it to "Botox from hell."

CNBC's Todd Haselton and Spoonauer said their avatars significantly aged them.

It's great for entertainment like watching movies …

Reviewers seemed to have a positive experience watching movies on the Vision Pro.

"Between the big screen and immersive spatial audio, the only thing I was missing was theater seats," Stern wrote.

Spoonauer said the headset would "make even the biggest skeptic a believer in 3D movies."

Multiple reviewers said the sound quality was great but to beware that it leaks, so others around you may hear what you're listening to if you don't use earbuds.

… but falls short at some aspects of work, like typing

The Vision Pro's floating virtual keyboard lets you type in thin air without any physical keys at your fingertips, but it was a resounding flop to reviewers.

"It will drive you mad for anything longer than a short message," Stern said. Spoonauer likened it to "a peck-peck-peck scenario with one or two hands," and Patel called the keyboard outright "hilarious."

However, the Vision Pro fared better for other work purposes.

Haselton said it presented "a completely new way to multitask."

"You can open mail and a browser or leave Slack open next to a Word document with your calendar on the other side. Put your text messages on the ceiling if you want," he wrote.

Spoonauer felt he "could see myself taking the Vision Pro on business trips and using it back at the hotel."

Closing thoughts

So what were the reviewers' big takeaways?

"While it has some shortcomings, it's easily the most fun new product I've tried out in years," Haselton said.

Stein said Apple beat out its competition in having a seamless input experience.

"Other headsets have eye tracking and hand tracking, but none have the combination working as smoothly, subtly and intuitively as the Vision Pro," he wrote.

There's also the matter of juggling real and virtual worlds with the device.

Stein talked about the risk of "isolation" in his review.

"While the Vision Pro creates presence by showing the real world through its passthrough cameras, or even replicas of my eyes, it also allows me to close these off, even sealing my audio world completely with AirPods," he wrote. "I can be in my own world, inches from my own family."

Stern called the Vision Pro "the best mixed-reality headset I've ever tried, way more advanced than its only real competition, the far cheaper Meta Quest Pro and Quest 3."

Patel called the Vision Pro "a VR headset masquerading as an AR headset."

"There's not a lot of reality being augmented in the rest of visionOS. There's an awful lot of what you might call mixed reality: virtual objects floating around in space with no connection to anything real," he wrote. "This is the best anyone has ever made in there look, and it's still not nearly as good as out here."

Read the original article on Business Insider