Vision Pro teardown finds pixels smaller than a red blood cell


Apple Vision Pro teardown: Display screen
The centerpiece of Vision Pro are its amazing display screens.
Photo: iFixit

iFixit’s Apple Vision Pro teardown continues, now with a focus on the headset’s incredibly high-resolution displays. As the experts point out, “You can fit ~54 Vision Pro pixels into a single iPhone pixel.”

However, the screen looks to the viewer like it’s a lower resolution than an iPhone.

Vision Pro teardown: Display resolution an amazing 3,386 pixels per inch

The appearance of a screen depends on more than pixels per inch. The distance the user sits from the display also has a big effect. The shorter the distance, the smaller the pixels need to be to look good.

As Apple’s AR headset sits right in front of the wearer’s eyes, it must have very small pixels to look good. And Apple clearly delivered.

Vision Pro teardown: Display components
The fun of a teardown is separating the individual components.
Photo: iFixit

In part two of its Vision Pro teardown, device repair company iFixit found that “each lens assembly has a pancake lens array, a housing with embedded eye-tracking cameras, and a display panel.”

The techs used a microscope to discover that each pixel on the display panel is 7.5 μm, or about the size of a red blood cell. “The Vision Pro comes in at a stunning 3,386 PPI,” the company said.

Plus, iFixit confirmed Apple’s claim that the two screens in Vision Pro offer a total of 23 million pixels.

Why pixels per degree matters

More pixels per inch is important, but the distance a viewer sits from the display is also critical, as noted. That’s why iFixit also calculated angular resolution in pixels per degree.

“With a rough measurement of 100° FOV (Field of View), we estimate the Vision Pro to have an average of 34 PPD,” reads the teardown writeup. By comparison, an iPhone 15 Pro Max display held 1 foot away from the viewer has an average of 94 PPD.

As iFixit sums up, “The Vision Pro may have an ultra-high resolution (PPI) display, but because it’s so close to the eye, it has low angular resolution.”

That said, the rival Meta Quest 3 offers 25 pixels per degree. And the HTC Vive XR Elite can manage a mere 19 pixels per degree. Vision Pro is ahead of its competition in this area.

But wait: There’s more

The first part of the iFixit teardown focused on the Vision Pro’s controversial EyeSight screen. This complex bit of hardware displays a real-time 3D version of the Vision Pro user’s eyes based on their digital Persona.

Apple devised EyeSight to add a human element to the headset. However, it drew early criticism due to the ghostly look of the simulated eyes. Part one of iFixit’s Vision Pro teardown revealed just how complicated the technology behind EyeSight is.


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