September 21, 2023
The HTC XR Elite was made to appeal to both businesses and consumers. It has a very sleek design similar to the HTC Flow, but is a lot more powerful with a higher resolution (1920 × 1920 per eye) and above all it also features a colourful passthrough to make it ideal for both virtual and mixed reality use cases.
HTC and their virtual reality brand, VIVE, have always produced some of the most popular headsets from as early as 2015. While many of the past headsets were tethered to a VR ready PC, the XR Elite is a standalone headset, which allows far more freedom in moving around your physical space.
For me it’s also the most portable device I have used. The weight of the headset without the battery cradle attached is just a mere 273g, while together with the battery it weighs still just 625g. The battery attached to the headset also helps to balance it better and the top strap is useful if you need extra stability for fast moving experiences.
Besides that, you'll notice the attention to detail that has been put into the device. For instance, when unboxing it, you will not encounter any plastic packaging.
Check out our unboxing video to get a better impression of the headset and its accessories!
The HTC XR Elite comes with a Snapdragon® XR2, 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
Its pancake lenses have a resolution of 1920 x 1920 per eye, up to 110° field of view and a 90Hz refresh rate.
Those specs put it en par with other current standalone VR headsets on the market.
It comes with 2 controllers with a well known standard layout that can be charged through USB-C at the bottom of the controller (see photo below), but you can also use your hands for most interactions.
Eye tracking is currently not supported but has been announced to be provided as an optional accessory.
The battery has a capacity of 24Wh and fully charged will last you up to 2 hours and is easily removable. If enterprises have multiple devices at hand, it is worth noting that the batteries are hot-swappable - meaning you don’t have to switch off the device, while changing batteries and it feels comfortable enough to wear for an extended period of time.
If you don’t have multiple batteries from other devices, a new battery in Germany will cost you 249 EUR at the time of writing (September 2023) and can be bought directly from the manufacturer here.
Having tried a lot of other headsets in the past, I think the HTC XR Elite is a big leap forward and a game-changer in the VR market in terms of weight, size and adjusting to your requirements.
In terms of comfort, it is worth noting that the battery cradle can be attached easily to the headset - either to fit at the back of your head or anywhere else if you have a long enough USB-C cable - this is useful to keep in mind if you don’t like the extra weight on your head. This also means you could put the battery around your belt or in a backpack, while on the road.
As it also supports hand tracking for most of the applications I was using, I often left my controllers at home to avoid having to take them with me, which has been really convenient as well.
HTC also understands that enterprises value openness and not being restricted to a single hardware or software provider or a singular ecosystem. Especially in a fast paced environment like extended reality, the flexibility to switch between different providers is a must for every business who adopts this technology at large scale.
This is a big plus as well.
Businesses, which are considering the HTC XR Elite for commercial purposes should also know that a minimum of 2 year Business Warranty and Services (BWS) is required at the time of writing (September 2023). However the commercial use of the headset also means that it is used more extensively and that an extension of the warranty is likely useful to have.
I have been using the HTC XR Elite for several weeks now and the first impressions have been great - ranging from a plastic-free packaging, to setting up the device as well as overall comfort and usability.
The setup of the device in your physical space has been carefully thought through and has well explained instructions on the device (note: as I used other headsets with a similar setup process in the past, it might be easier for me than someone who is buying and setting up the headset for the first time).
I would also put this on my list to consider for personal use.