Vision Pro Durability Tests Show Glass Has Great Shatter Resistance, But Scratches Easily

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Vision Pro is in the wild, which means we get to see just how durable Apple’s first mixed reality headset is. The good news: the $3,500 device is pretty drop resistant, although if it does take a tumble, don’t expect it to look brand new for long.

The drop test from ‘Apple Track’ was one of the first to toss Vision Pro straight onto the ground. The informal durability test went through a number of everyday scenarios, like bumping into walls head-first, and dropping from various heights. Check out the 10-minute video below, or continue reading to learn more.

While ramming the headset with a lot of force into a wall didn’t appear to do anything besides leaving a few scuffs, after dropping from around head height, the first thing to break wasn’t Vision Pro’s “laminated glass” front, rather the right speaker, which started to visibly break at what is seemingly an internal hinge on the headphone strut. Repeated drops showed similar breakage on the other side.

Multiple drops later, specifically the second drop higher than head height, was able to crack the screen for good.

Image courtesy Apple Track

From there, it’s fairly simple to peel off the glass and keep using it, albeit with the camera sensors and a single black plastic layer between the outside and Vision Pro’s EyeSight external display, which shows a virtual representation of the user’s eyes.

The destructive teardown from ‘JerryRigEverything’ goes a bit deeper, showing that the glass is actually sandwiched between what appears to be a soft plastic laminate construction that can be scratched by common metal items such as keys or coins. Watch the 13-minute video, or read on to hear more.

JerryRigEverything also did the standard set of destructive tests: easily burning a hole clean through the headband, scratching the lenses with a utility knife (yikes. deep gouges), scratching the anodized aluminum chassis, and a bend test to see if the unit might flex or crack in any way (it didn’t).

Including what iFixit revealed in their teardown was 34 g of laminated glass was an interesting choice by Apple, although it largely makes sense from the company’s unique design philosophy. Apple not only needed to make something visually similar to its existing line of products—glass, aluminum, premium textiles—but it had to do it in a way that had good shatter resistance, which not only protects the user from shards of glass, but also the delicate components inside.

All in all, Vision Pro seems fairly resistant to abuse, although if you do manage to break or otherwise irreparably damage the front glass, replacing it won’t be cheap. Without the optional Apple Care plan ($500), you’re looking at paying around $800 for new glass, or $300 with Apple Care. Still, it’s a shame something so visually distinct could be scratched so easily—probably why Apple included a knit storage cover in the box in the first place.

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