The new Meta Quest 3 is almost impossible to repair, according to the repairability experts at iFixIt. Compared to previous incarnations of the mixed reality headset, the newest version of Meta’s standalone VR set is a nightmare for repairmen.
One of the main issues with any standalone machine is its internal battery. Over time, internal batteries will start to fail, holding less charge and even increasing in size to the point of being extremely dangerous. Old iPads and phones will often have swelling batteries that break through their chassis.
Unfortunately, replacing the lithium ion battery in the Meta Quest 3 is a ridiculously difficult task. Repair experts at iFixIt describe the process as an “extremely complicated procedure” that is “as difficult as it was in the Quest 2, and far more difficult than the Quest Pro."
“It's taken me three Fixmats, a single tray of plastic, and very careful organizing of about 50 screws to get this far,” iFixIt reports after replacing the battery.
The team explains that they’ve been dismantling and repairing VR headsets since the release of the original Oculus Rift DK1. While the technology inside is certainly improving — no doubt about that — the factor of repairability is being left to the wayside, instead eschewing on the side of planned obsolescence. If you can’t replace the battery, you might as well buy a replacement, no?
iFixIt did praise a reversion from the Meta Quest Pro to the Meta Quest 3, the use of AA batteries for the controllers instead of irreplaceable lithium ion cells. This means that users can simply buy rechargeable AAs that can be used for decades and replaced instead of cells that will die and swell as time goes on.
At the end of the report, the team awarded the Meta Quest 3 a damning 4/10 for repairability. It ain’t looking good, chief.