Watch out Apple Vision Pro! Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chip will power some strong VR/AR challengers

Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Apple's Vision Pro headset is expected to be a huge leap forward in the VR market, and it could be launching in just a few weeks. Ahead of the Vision Pro's launch, Qualcomm announced its new Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chip (via Ars Technica), which features plenty of upgraded specs over the XR2 Gen 2 chip that released in 2023 and was used in the Meta Quest 3.

While Apple users will only have one expensive VR/XR headset to choose from, Android users will probably have at least five VR/XR headset options, all of which will utilize Qualcomm's new Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 SoC and most likely take advantage of the XR experience Google is basing on Android. There's no clear announcement or release date for any of these possible headsets, but here's what we know about the chip's specs. 

Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chip boasts impressive specs

qualcomm snapdragon xr2+ gen 2 chip

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip utilized by the Meta 3 headset only supported 3K by 3K resolutin per eye at 90 fps, but the new XR2+ Gen 2 chip can support 4.3K resolution per eye at the same frame rate. This bump in resolution will not only make playing games more immersive, but also make it easier to read fine text when using the headset as a virtual desktop.

Additionally, the XR2+ Gen 2 chip can support "12 or more concurrent cameras with powerful on-device AI," which enhances the headset's ability to track your movements and the world around you while you're playing. Qualcomm says this support will result in "effortless navigation and unparalleled experiences that merge physical and digital spaces." 

To sustain this increased support for higher resolution and 12 or more concurrent cameras, the new chip is getting a GPU and CPU power boost. Qualcomm says the XR2+ Gen 2 chip is decked out with "higher GPU frequency by 15% and CPU frequency by 20%," when compared to the previous XR2 Gen 2 chip. This new VR/AR chip will also support the latest Wi-Fi 7 standard, Bluetooth 5.3, and pass-through video.

According to Ars Technica, Qualcomm notes that "at least five companies have hardware in development, including Samsung, Google, HTC, Immersed, and Play for Dream." There's no telling when we'll see VR/XR headsets from any of these companies announced or released, but perhaps we'll get a teaser from Samsung at the Galaxy Unpacked event on January 17.