XReal’s new Air2, especially when used with their new Beam adaptor, is a highly portable private screen which, tethered to your smartphone, reflects its screen as what appears to be a 330” high definition TV in the center of your field of view. XReal Air2 is the largest in the category of screen-reflecting smartglasses uses for mobile phones, PCs, and handheld game consoles for a big screen on the go. Using the Beam accessory the virtual screens could be placed around your room. The Air2 is $399 and Beam $119. For those of us who wear glasses, they provide a insert that requires a custom perscription lens. Unsurprisingly, the biggest and the brightest is among the most expensive.

The Air2 is light, a mere 72 grams, which makes it the lightest of the screen reflecting AR glasses. It’s comfortable enough to wear for hours. Its frame, although thicker than traditional eyewear, looks pretty natural, considering it houses dual Sony Micro-LED displays and a sensor to detect user wear. The arms of the glasses are a bit bulky, too, with speakers, USB-C, a power button and a rocker switch to control brightness. So, while they Air2 looks kinda cool, no one is going to think you are wearing regular glasses. The Air2 has upgraded display technology, with dual Mini-OLED panels from Sony delivering resolution of 1920 x 1080 per eye, with pixel density improving from 3320 ppi to 4032 ppi resulting in a sharper, clearer image. Honestly, you’d rather have that than more style.

We love the way the original Air just worked when you plugged it in to your Android device. Now Air2 now similarly connects the iPhone 15, ditching the adapters which are still necessary for older iPhone models. For those we recommend the Beam, a $119 a wireless accessory designed to optimize XReal’s wireless connectivity. This compact, battery-powered device serves as a bridge between the glasses and various input sources, including smartphones, tablets, and computers. Importantly, it allows users to place screens around them, rather than having the projection anchored in the middle of the users’ field of view.

Xreal’s closest competitor among smartphone screen extenders is the Rokid Max AR, and its companion Rokid Station, which is a tisch heavier at 75 grams, and Virture, which was made specifically for use with the Steam Deck.

The Air 2 represents a solid step forward the pioneering Chiese company. Improvements in design, display quality, and device compatibility mark it as a significant upgrade over its predecessor. While there are areas for improvement, particularly in sound quality and the persistent need for adapters, the Air 2 stands as a compelling choice for those seeking an enhanced mobile viewing or gaming experience.

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