The Apple Vision Pro clones are already here, and they’re not pretty

EmdoorVR AX162 headset in front of a blurred press image and a thinking emoji
Credit: EmdoorVR

EmdoorVR AX162 headset in front of a blurred press image and a thinking emoji
Credit: EmdoorVR

Unfortunately, every great device has a cheaper knockoff, and the Apple Vision Pro is no different. While the doors to CES 2024 are almost closing, with the event coming to an end in a couple of days, we've still got plenty to talk about - including these not so great Apple Vision Pro clones.

After a shocking reveal last year, the Apple Vision Pro release date is almost upon us, with Apple opening pre-orders soon for the expensive device. With the cost of it starting at $3,499, it's not exactly a budget-friendly headset, so there's bound to be plenty of competitors, with even Sony releasing a mixed reality headset.

Unfortunately, the floodgates are also open for cheaper devices, looking to tempt you away from losing your hard-earned savings to, realistically, a poor imitation. The most notable one is the AX162 from EmdoorVR, which was seen on the showroom floor, and will be available to purchase from sites like AliExpress.

While this device is an AR headset, meaning it isn't competing for a top spot on the best VR headsets list, it's certainly following (see: copying) the design of the Apple Vision Pro, with visual similarities that are only, unfortunately, skin deep. The specs for the device include a measly Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1, which is actually a generation behind the Meta Quest 2.

Alongside a fairly weak chip includes a sole 5.5-inch LCD panel, delivering 1,832 x 1,920 pixels per eye. For comparison, the Meta Quest 3 (which isn't competing with the Apple Vision Pro, mind you) is 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye, using two LCD panels with pancake lenses, unlike the AX162 which uses Fresnel lenses.

The story isn't too different outside of the on-paper specs from those who have tested EmdoorVR's AX162. Writers at UploadVR have said that the "passthrough was low resolution, low framerate, and incorrectly scaled" going as far as to say it looked "zoomed in", which is no surprise given the tech inside.

However, the team at UploadVR did actually say the one benefit of the device was that it felt "light and comfortable", which isn't too bad. However, it features no hand tracking, something which many AR headsets are attempting in order to make accessibility and travelling with your headset easier.

Of course, this won't be the last knockoff attempting to make an Apple Vision Pro copy for those unwilling to part with at least $3,499. However, considering that a cheaper version of Apple Vision Pro is apparently on the way, we'd argue it would be better to wait to see what Apple's budget version delivers.

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