Now that the Apple Vision Pro is officially hitting the streets, folks who ordered early are truly able to see how hard they can push their $3,500 headset. While there’s no medical terminology for that feeling of somebody taking a sledgehammer to your wallet, a few people are already tearing the Vision Pro apart in spectacular fashion to understand how it ticks and perhaps learn what would happen if you can’t help but walk headlong into walls while engaged in Apple’s “spatial” environment.
It seems that the front EyeSight glass on Apple’s Vision Pro, the strange part meant to display your eyes to those looking in your direction, is susceptible to damage if you don’t treat your expensive hardware with care. Drop tests aren’t exactly scientific by any means. However, YouTuber Sam Kohl on the channel AppleTrack showed that the exterior screen was surprisingly resilient when dropped from eye level or above his head. Instead, the band near the side speakers tore from the impact, though that didn’t impact the device’s visual quality.
When let fly from about 10 feet off the ground, the Vision Pro’s exterior screen shattered pretty spectacularly—as should be expected when dropping such a heavy device directly on the display. Still, the inside plate remained intact despite the extreme drop, and—even better—the headset still booted up with no issue. Kohl said there was no real difference in visual quality from the internal display or from the multiple passthrough cameras. If there’s any hope for a replacement front panel, the $3,500 headset might still be perfectly usable in case of a truly catastrophic drop. Unfortunately, replacing that front glass could cost you an estimated $799 if you’re getting it directly through Apple.
Though the headset seems rather hard to break, performing any at-home repairs is equally tough. Self-repair company iFixit shared its own teardown of the Vision Pro, and yes, it’s a very, very complicated device, even if you only look at the EyeSight display. First, the front glass panel is glued on, which can be removed with the usual heat gun and guitar pick method, but that did melt a part of the plastic film that coats the front plate.
It’s apparently much harder to get into that second screen without damaging anything. And guess what’s behind that? Yet another display that’s full up with lenticular lenses. Those are the kinds of lenses that will show you a slightly different image depending on where you view it from, which is how the EyeSight display manages to display the users’ eyes with that sense of 3D without it having that “creepy painting with eyes that follow you around” effect.
The internal display housing is easier to remove thanks to the use of clips, flex connectors, and many, many screws. However, to get access to the main internals, you may still need to remove that external screen fully. The teardown crew was especially negative about that external display, saying that it’s “dim, it’s low-resolution, and it adds a lot of bulk, weight, complexity, and expense to the most weight-sensitive part of the headset.”
iFixit also noted how, despite Apple’s early claims, the wire-connected external battery pack could be removed with a SIM card tray tool or a paper clip. Inside, it sports a chunky Lightning connector, not a USB-C that comes with every new iPhone 15. You can take apart the battery pack (though it’s a much more dangerous process that shouldn’t be taken lightly), and inside the 35.9 Wh external unit, there are two battery cells weighing about .4 pounds each.
Overall, the device isn’t easily repairable on your own, at least according to the folks at iFixit. While it can survive a drop, the Vision Pro likely won’t bear the brunt of you trying to pry its external screen off the main body without causing some injury to the ultra-expensive headset. Of course, that screen won’t be the worst damage you risk if you decide to drive down the highway with a Vision Pro strapped to your head.