XREAL opened preorders for the Air 2 series of media viewing smart glasses.
XREAL, formerly Nreal, is a China-based startup that launched the first consumer AR glasses in the US, Nreal Light, in late 2021. Light was capable of positioning virtual objects in your real environment, but was $600 and only compatible with a few specific flagship Android phones.
XREAL told UploadVR it "probably won't" release another Light, and is now focused on its Air series of non-AR smart glasses with the release of the second generation.
Air glasses lack tracking cameras. Instead, they show a virtual TV view of any device with USB-C display-out capability, such as Android phones and iPads. The 39° horizontal field of view is equivalent to a 65-inch TV 2 meters in front of you, or a 21-inch monitor 2 feet in front of you.
With the glasses alone the virtual TV will be fully locked to your head, as if part of a HUD. With the optional $120 XREAL Beam dongle you can anchor it in front of your body, so it will stay in place when you rotate your head.
The Beam dongle also has ports to enable the use of lightning iPhones and HDMI-out devices, such as the Nintendo Switch.
The original Air glasses launched in 2022 at $380. The new Air 2 is priced at $400 and offers 20% higher brightness, improved comfort, enhanced color accuracy, and higher quality audio. The 1080p resolution is unchanged.
But the more interesting new feature arrives in Air 2 Pro. It features electrochromatic dimming. By pressing the dimming adjust button on the side you can toggle between 0% dimming to see the real world clearly, 35% to focus on the content while still being aware of your surroundings, or 99.9% dimming to be highly immersed. Air 2 Pro is priced at $450.
Air 2 and Air 2 Pro preorders are available now, and both will ship in November in the US and UK then in December in Germany, France, and Italy.