In preparation for its June 27th ship date, HTC released a full teardown of its latest enterprise-focused standalone, Vive Focus 3.

Shen Ye, HTC Vive Head of Global Hardware Products, takes us through the whole dismantling process, something that he warns shouldn’t be tried at home since it will undoubtedly invalidate your warranty—not something you want to do with the $1,300 headset and controllers.

“We use incredibly precise machines to calibrate the headsets, and there is no way to replicate the precision by hand alone,” Ye cautions before heading into the teardown proper. The teardown is of a pre-production unit, which is said to look slightly different on the outside in terms of finish, but is “pretty much the same on the inside,” Ye says.

We’ve linked the full teardown below, but also included a written recap if you’re unable to watch the video.

Ye first explains a bit about Vive Focus 3’s specs, including its headstrap design, integrated audio solution, and hot-swappable battery, which is mounted on the back of the headstrap.

Like all batteries, it’s unwise to dismantle any further than popping it out of the device itself, Ye warns. The 26.6Wh battery features a curved design to better fit inside the back part of the headstrap, and features USB-C fast charging, which can charge from 0 – 50% in 30 minutes, Ye says. Owing to its lithium polymer gel design, it’s said to be more leak and swelling resistant than traditional lithium polymer liquid cells.

Qualcomm's Latest AR Glasses Reference Design Drops the Tether, Keeps the Compute
Image courtesy HTC

Ye also goes through a few notable features, most of which can be summarized in the headset’s spec sheet. If you want a deeper dive into each component, check out our full breakdown here.

Vive Focus 3 Specs
Resolution 2,448 x 2,448 (6.0MP) per-eye, LCD (2x)
Refresh Rate 90Hz
Lenses Dual-element Fresnel
Field-of-view 120° horizontal
Optical Adjustments IPD
IPD Adjustment Range 57–72mm
Processor Snapdragon XR2
Storage 128GB (expandable via MicroSD to 2TB)
Connectors USB-C (2x)
Battery Life 2 hours
Tracking Quad on-board camera (no external beacons)
Controllers Vive Focus 3 controllers, rechargeable battery
Audio In-headstrap speakers, 3.5mm aux output
Microphone Dual microphone
Pass-through Cameras Yes

With precision screwdriver in hand, we get the first glimpse under the plastic headstrap, which hides the power cables running to the back-mounted battery, the in-strap speakers, and the audio cables that connect them to the mainboard sitting at the front of the headset. That white ring at the headstrap swivel is a special polymer that’s designed for strength, Ye explains.

Image courtesy HTC

Next up, Ye detaches the faceplate by removing a few screws from the lens-side of the headset and some hidden inside the USB-C accessory port, which is held shut with magnets. Here, we get our first look at the mainboard, 15W copper cooling heat pipe, brushless fan, and the lattice of ribbon cables connecting everything together.

Ye doesn’t mention exactly how many tiny screws are involved in these next dismantling steps, but it’s probably a lot, as the heat pipe and fan need to be well attached to the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR-2 chipset.

VR Attraction Zero Latency Ditches Backpack PCs in Favor of Vive Focus 3 & Wireless Rendering
Image courtesy HTC

After removing some ribbon cables, the housing and internals can be separated. A few more connectors and the main PCB can be removed from the magnesium alloy frame too, something that’s “20% lighter and 500% stronger than traditional plastics,” Ye says.

The magnesium alloy frame is also useful insofar it can dissipate heat from the four outward-facing camera sensors, which handle both controller tracking and positional room-scale tracking for Vive Focus 3.

Image courtesy HTC

Next up is the optics and displays, which are sandwiched together. Those little arms in the center featuring small teeth are used to adjust the displays for each users’ individual interpupillary distance (IPD). It’s a dual-element lens design, Ye tells us, which allows for a 120-degree horizontal field of view (FOV).

Image courtesy HTC

Flipping the whole assembly around, and Ye then detaches the display from the lens housing, revealing the 2,448 x 2,448 LCD.

Image courtesy HTC

That’s the extent of the headset teardown; Ye moves on to take apart the Vive Focus 3 motion controller. Popping off the handle’s outer plastic and top with a spudger, we get the first glimpse at the controller’s capacitive sensors, which sense when your finger is resting on a button or area of the controller.

Image courtesy HTC

More screws, more connectors, and the top tracking ring can be removed from the body and bisected, revealing the internal IR LED markers that the headset’s camera sensors use to track the controller. There’s five on the inside of the ring as well, he says, which was included to improve tracking performance.

Image courtesy HTC

Back at the controller’s handle, a stiff pull is used to pop off the joystick. Multiple screws hold the upper assembly, which is attached to the trigger button. As it goes, everything seems to come off with the removal of only few screws.

Apple Says Steep 'Horizon Worlds' Creator Fees Show Meta's "Hypocrisy"

Here’s the full exploded view of the controller, showing (among everything else) the mainboard and battery housing.

Image courtesy HTC

And that’s it for the Vive Focus 3 teardown. Again, if you want a deeper dive on the specs, software, enterprise device management, app store, and more, click here to learn more.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.

  • kontis

    What a nice pro-consumer move for an Enterprise-only (or rather nobody-only) device.

    They have no idea what they are doing.

    • xyzs

      I don’t like this clueless company neither but criticizing the fact that a prosumer product shows how well it can be easily repaired is a bit unfair no ?

      Ps: HTC, why is this product not the Vive 2 ? That is what people wanted from you and you make it basically unavailable and instead you give them an overpriced refurbished Vive Pro… you should have done the opposite: the known bulky form factor for prosumers, the new light one quest like for consumers…

      • kontis

        It wasn’t meant as criticism of this move (I called it “pro-consumer” which is a praise). I’m just surprised by this contrast. It feels like some people there are trying to make attractive choices for consumers, but haven’t yet heard from the product department that they are not even making consumer hardware anymore. It’s bizarre.

        HTC seems to be like a ship with no one steering it for a few years. Same with so many different headsets, like they throw things against the wall and see what sticks.

        This started when they stopped cooperating with Valve. it was understandable they didn’t want to be exploited for hardware manufacturing (while Valve was making money on software), but going against Facebook (and Steam) is not easy.

        And I’m not happy that smaller companies can’t compete with those giants and usually can only hope for being acquired.
        These anti-trust laws are clearly not enough.

        Also: what you are suggesting them is something they are fully aware of. They just don’t know how to make that profitable. If Oculus bleeds money and Google temporarily gave up on VR then how can HTC do it better? Incredibly difficult.

        • HTC’s yearly revenue from VR is reportedly between $20-30 million.

          Google typically makes donations over $100 million to education charities every year, most recently Forbes report Google providing $150 million for a Black business accelerator program.

          Vast difference in scale and ability to spend, that latest donation is 5 times HTC annual revenue. Damn it’s not easy to compete with Big Tech…

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            USD 20M – 30M revenue seems extremely low. If revenue per customer for HMD sales averages USD 750, USD 30M translates to only 40K HMD sales per year. If things are worse and the average customer pays USD 1000 resulting in USD 20M revenues, they sell 20K HMDs per year. I expected more, esp. since they are still selling to consumers in China without competing with Facebook.

            Let’s assume that Oculus will sell 2M Quest 2 in 2021 at about production cost, so Facebook eats development and marketing expenses, but gets some income from the Oculus Store (and soon ads). Even if they changed the “low price, growth first” strategy tomorrow and started to recoup the extra costs by increasing the price, this would still mean that every HTC user has to pay a 50-100 times larger share of the extra costs compared to the average Quest buyer.

            You’d quickly get to a point where HTC has to charge 100% on top of the pure production costs just to keep the company and development running without making a loss. Which would explain why the Focus 3 costs USD 1400. HTC still sells some smartphones, their total revenue was USD 330M in 2019, USD 210M in 2020. So they do not fully depend on VR paying the bills yet, and hopefully it will keep them afloat for long enough that the professional VR market can grow and they start selling more units.

          • Something to consider with HTC’s recent revenue is the loss of business from shuttered or failed location based entertainment and arcade businesses during the Covid pandemic.

            HTC Vive and Vive Pro have been solid performers in these sectors, I’ve attended events running 50 Vive Pro Eye; but I can’t see HTC doing much business in these sectors the past 15 months, and debatable if this business will return at scale?

  • mappo

    No hands-on review today? Didn’t they send you a review unit? Several other reviews went live yesterday.

  • I still wished they made the Vive Air as a workout headset. They where on to something since VR is heavily used as a fitness device….

    • Daisy Hannah

      I am gaining 80 dollars/hr for freelancing on the computer.~nr253~ I’ve not at all realized that it’d possible however my close buddy collecting $25,000 just in four weeks easily doing this easy job and also she had satisfied me to join…~nr253~Try it out on following website, you have nothing to lose… >>>

  • Artem Grushetskiy

    Can someone confirm that the battery is hot-swappable? I’ve read varying comments/reviews in regards to that. The comments in the break down video say no but this article says yes.