Apple AR/VR headset reportedly has terrible battery life

apple mixed reality headset
(Image credit: Future)

Rumors of Apple's AR/VR headset using an external battery pack have circulated for a while, but now it's looking like that extra hassle doesn't come with any extra charge. Bloomberg reports you'll get just two hours out of the device before needing to recharge, on par with the Meta Quest 2 with its internal battery. 

That's disappointing considering the Apple VR/AR headset's rumored to cost $3,000, about seven times that of the Meta Quest 2. The internal battery on the PSVR 2 lasts on average around three to four hours, and at $550 it still doesn't come close to the price tag Apple's purportedly targeting. 

The device will reportedly feature dual 4K displays and Apple's M2 chip, both of which draw a lot of power and could be to blame for the poor battery life, Bloomberg suggests. Apple could potentially sell extra battery packs for users to swap out if they're looking to extend their sessions though. 

According to the news outlet, Apple's opted for an external battery to reduce the device's weight and make it more comfortable to wear for extended periods. The battery pack itself is rumored to share the same form factor as Apple's MagSafe battery pack charger, so it's small enough for users to slip into their pockets and it connects to the headset via a cable.

Based on the report, the battery pack will have two ports: a USB-C connection and a proprietary charging port. To keep it from falling out while you're using the headset, the charging cable apparently inserts magnetically and can be locked into place by rotating it clockwise. The pack can be charged via USB-C and will come with the same adaptor included with the MacBook Pro, Bloomberg reports. 

We're likely to hear more details from Apple at WWDC 2023 in June. However, the iPhone maker will really have to knock the socks off the crowd to justify the device's price tag — especially with such a short battery life. Bloomberg previously reported Apple's AR/VR device will feature the iPad's library of apps optimized for mixed reality right of the box, including Books, FaceTime, Safari, and more. The Apple Technology Group, responsible for Apple's mixed-reality project, has reportedly demonstrated the headset for the company's top 100 executives already, suggesting a launch could be imminent. 

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.

Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.