Gadget news
Lenovo Legion Glasses review: your best bet for AR glasses
7:00 pm | November 11, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Software Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality | Tags: | Comments: Off

Lenovo Legion Glasses: Two-minute review

Lenovo’s first foray into the AR glasses market could easily be one of the best smart glasses, with a great balance between design and functionality. They look similar enough to other AR glasses on the market, all-black, and mostly sleek sunglasses. There is a bulkiness that comes from the built-in lenses, which does make them jut out from your face a bit, and the optional lenses that can be slotted behind the main ones don't help with that either. 

Those spare lenses have a purpose, however, as those who wear corrective lenses can have them made out in our prescription. But having to pay for extra lenses on top of shelling out over $300 for the Legion Glasses is a tall order, which is why I appreciate the modified nose guard that allows you to wear your glasses under them. 

Lenovo had warned me about them not fitting every pair of glasses and I personally experienced the awkwardness of trying to shift them to stay on properly, which took a bit to master. But once I found the sweet spot, they stayed in place surprisingly well around my large plastic frames. Not the best look, however, so if you care about aesthetics you may want to splurge for the prescription lenses.

Compared to other AR glasses like the Xreal Air AR which only offers the corrective lens option, or the Rokid Max AR which offers the corrective lens option plus myopia adjustment wheels for each eye, the Legion Go offers the simplest yet most effective method out of them.

The build quality of these glasses is quite premium – it has a sturdy yet light form factor with glass lenses and a solid frame. These are glasses clearly built to last. Not to mention that it comes with spare nose guards and a spare pair of anti-slip adapters for when wear and tear happens.

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Editor John Loeffler wearing Lenovo Legion Glasses

(Image credit: Future)
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Editor John Loeffler wearing Lenovo Legion Glasses

(Image credit: Future)
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Editor John Loeffler wearing Lenovo Legion Glasses

(Image credit: Future)
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Lenovo Legion Glasses on table

(Image credit: Future)
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Lenovo Legion Glasses on table

(Image credit: Future)
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Lenovo Legion Glasses on table

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Lenovo Legion Glasses on table

(Image credit: Future)

I also love the buttons in front of the speakers, two on each side, as they activate several useful features depending on whether you short or long-press them. You can increase or decrease brightness, enable Low Blue Light Mode, control volume, and toggle the display off and on.

As for performance, the Lenovo Legion Glasses work exactly as promised, which is to say, quite well. I extensively tested it out with a wide variety of devices that feature USB Type-C ports including videos on the best smartphones, the Lenovo Legion Go, the best gaming laptops, the best gaming PCs, and more. 

Even though it only states that the Legion Glasses works with Android, iOS, and Windows, it also works perfectly with the Steam Deck as well. And it works equally well with all of them, though I wish there were more connection types other than Type-C, however, I can understand the rationale behind it.

The picture quality and brightness are superb, living up to its micro-OLED HD visuals and more. My only real complaint in that regard is the image can blur around the edges a bit and obscure any UI, especially if the glasses aren't fitted properly to your head. Sometimes you have to readjust them to hit that sweet spot, and then the visuals are great. Accompanied by excellent visuals are equally excellent built-in speakers, which are so robust that I forgot I wasn’t playing video games on a gaming PC. That also carries over to music and movie streaming, delivering great audio quality on those fronts.

Something that often isn't mentioned with AR and VR tech in general is how they can affect more sensitive people, such as myself. Normally I have sensitivity issues with 3D, VR, and some AR technology ranging from watering and burning eyes, headaches, and nausea to name a few symptoms. But I've found that prolonged use of the Legion Glasses doesn't affect me in the slightest.

Lenovo Legion Glasses: Price & availability

Lenovo Legion Glasses on table

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? Starting at $329.99 / £329 / AU$599
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Lenovo Legion Glasses is a pricey gadget at $329.99 / £329 / AU$599, though it’s still more affordable than some of its competitors like the Xreal Air AR and Rokid Max AR, making it a much better deal by comparison. And if you're investing in a pair of AR glasses, you're most likely already prepared to spend a sizable amount of money so that shouldn't be much of an issue.

It’s also available for shipping in the US, UK, and Australia from the Lenovo storefront, which is great news for those in regions outside the US.

Lenovo Legion Glasses: Specs

Should you buy the Lenovo Legion Glasses?

Buy it if...

You want good-quality AR glasses
The build quality is extremely good with a nice weight and sturdy form factor. The lenses being made of thick glass also help.

You want a clear picture quality
The display is made of dual micro-OLED HD screens for each eye and the result is a bright and clear picture quality.

Don't buy it if...

You're on a budget
Though it should be expected for AR glasses, you're going to be paying quite a bit of money for them.

You want a completely clear image
Though it's usually not an issue, sometimes the edges can blur a bit which is exacerbated by misaligned glasses.

Lenovo Legion Glasses: Also consider

How I tested the Lenovo Legion Glasses

  • I spent about a week testing these AR glasses
  • I tested it with a wide variety of screens
  • I used it extensively in different environments with different lighting

I tested the Lenovo Legion Glasses keyboard in a home office environment, seeing how well it functioned in both productivity work and gaming. I also carried it around in various bags to test its portability.

The Lenovo Legion Glasses is a pair of AR glasses that's meant as an alternative screen for a wide variety of devices. I made sure to quality-test it to see if it held up to being able to work on nearly any device with a USB Type-C port.

I've tested a wide range of accessories and these in particular I've tested for well over a year at different stages of completion, becoming familiar with its features and improvements.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed November 2023

PhotoRoom review
9:41 pm | November 6, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Creative Software Gadgets Software | Tags: | Comments: Off

PhotoRoom: Two-minute review

Removing backgrounds from images used to mean manually masking subjects. Adding different backdrops and drop shadows required a deft touch, too. Not with PhotoRoom: harnessing the power of AI, it automates the background removal process and makes it a cinch to place people and products in new settings, complete with accurate shadows.

Available as a mobile app for iOS and Android, as well as a web-based tool, it has the potential to revolutionize promotional imagery for online businesses. With just a few taps, PhotoRoom makes it possible to cut out subjects, place them against virtual backgrounds, and then export them at the perfect size for different social platforms.

PhotoRoom review screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

A Pro subscription removes the PhotoRoom logo from high-resolution exports, unlocks powerful batch editing support, and grants access to a catalog of templates covering everything from birthday cards to seasonal sales. You can make mock magazine covers, create studio-style imagery for your online store, or instantly upgrade your marketing graphics – all without expert knowledge of design software. It can even transform self-portraits into headshots that pass for professional.

It’s easy to use, yet the results are broadly believable. While it's not infallible, PhotoRoom is impressively effective at matching backgrounds and shadows to the lighting of your original subject. And though not every virtual backdrop is photorealistic, the majority give the impression of genuine placement within the scene – or at least that the image has been professionally produced. If PhotoRoom’s presets don’t fit the bill, you can generate custom backgrounds using simple text prompts, giving you theoretically infinite possibilities.

PhotoRoom review screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

With layered editing, including the option to place and edit text and graphics, PhotoRoom firmly plants its flag as an alternative to Adobe Express – a rival web-based design tool with AI features from the maker of Photoshop. Editing professionals may find some limitations, but for most users, PhotoRoom is slick, quick, and surprisingly powerful. 

If you only want to separate subjects from their backgrounds, there are cheaper – and even free – alternatives. Equally, if you want a fully-fledged image editing solution, you should look at our round-up of the best photo editors

But if you want an accessible toolkit that lets you rapidly generate pro-grade promotional imagery, and seamlessly place your subjects within a vast library of settings – all from your smartphone or web browser – PhotoRoom is well worth the cost of a monthly subscription.

PhotoRoom: Pricing & availability

  • Weekly prices start at $4.99 / £3.99 / AU$17.99
  • Many features are available for free, including background removal
  • Pro subscription removes branding and unlocks full feature set

PhotoRoom is available as a smartphone app for iOS and Android and online via the PhotoRoom website. Many of its features can be accessed without a subscription, including the background and object removal tools. With the free version, you are limited to 250 image exports, all of which will be watermarked with the PhotoRoom logo.

If you plan to use PhotoRoom for your business, you’ll probably want to pay for the additional features included with a Pro subscription. Paying for full access removes the PhotoRoom logo and export cap. It also unlocks batch editing, design resizing, and high-resolution exports, as well as the full collection of instant backgrounds.

Pricing for the Pro plan varies based on the frequency of the renewal period you choose. In the US, the rolling weekly plan costs $4.99, while the annual plan costs $89.99 per year. In the UK, you can subscribe for £3.99 a week or £69.99 a year. In Australia, the weekly cost is AU$17.99, while the yearly price comes in at AU$139.99. 

PhotoRoom offers a free trial of the Pro features through its smartphone apps. Be aware that this will auto-renew if not cancelled before the end of the trial.

PhotoRoom: Interface & tools

  • PhotoRoom can be accessed using the app or via the web
  • Simple, icon-based interface is easy to use and understand
  • One-click templates and AI backgrounds can be easily edited

Whether you use PhotoRoom on the web or through the smartphone app, the core user experience is very similar. The icon-based interface is designed to be simple and self-explanatory, even if you’ve never used a photo editor or any kind of graphic design software.

You start by selecting a tool, template, or photo: all options lead to the same destination, only the route is different. With a Pro subscription, you also have the option to edit in batches, applying the same template or background swap to several images at the same time.

Pick an image, and PhotoRoom will automatically run the background removal tool, separating the subject from its surroundings. From there, you can edit the outline of the cutout, either manually – by painting with a brush to adjust the masking – or with AI assistance, which automatically detects the objects you click.

PhotoRoom review screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

Once you’re happy with the cutout, your first option is to explore PhotoRoom’s preset templates. Some are purely functional, making the background transparent or resizing the canvas for different social platforms. Others keep it simple and professional, with a drop shadow and a plain backdrop. The most dynamic add everything from text headlines and graphic elements to photorealistic settings and artistic blurring. 

A tap or a click is all it takes to apply any of the templates. What’s more, every component in the template can be repositioned, rotated and resized to suit. Each occupies a separate layer, which you can drag to rearrange. You can also tweak each layer using the adjustment toggles and sliders. While PhotoRoom is far from a Photoshop alternative, you can make a range of color tweaks, change the perspective and add creative effects, including several blur and texture options. All of these tools are intuitive to use, and the learning curve is minimal.

PhotoRoom review screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

The instant backgrounds tab is where AI really steps into the spotlight. You can browse by background category, spanning all manner of materials, scenes and settings, or pick from suggested backdrops based on the subject detected by PhotoRoom. Pick one, and you’ll get four versions of that theme. If none fit the bill, you can tap to generate four more.

Where backgrounds get really interesting is with custom prompts. Under the assisted tab, you can specify the surface and any background details you’d like. Or you can go full manual and write the entire prompt yourself, together with a negative prompt to exclude specific elements. You can also upload an image as a prompt. All three are straightforward to use and genuinely accessible.

AI is also deployed for the magic retouch tool, which allows you to paint over objects to remove them from an image, and for instant shadows, which can read the object placement within a given composition and introduce soft, hard, or floating shadows accordingly.

PhotoRoom: Cutouts

  • AI effectively recognizes and cuts out subjects 
  • Manually brushing to edit the mask can feel clumsy

Any background removal tool is only as effective as its subject recognition. Luckily, PhotoRoom is remarkably good at detecting and selecting. From clothes to creatures, it effortlessly traced around countless subjects in our tests. What’s more, because the AI engine tries to understand what it’s looking at, it’s also effective at cutting out elements within an object – such as the spokes of a bicycle.

That’s not to say it’s perfect. It can struggle when presented with busy scenes that feature multiple potential subjects. Outlining can also falter when there is poor contrast, dim lighting or a low resolution, all of which affect the definition of a subject’s edges. But upload a well-lit image in clear focus and PhotoRoom will almost always extract it cleanly from its surroundings.

PhotoRoom review screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

This is good, because editing a cutout isn’t the most precise affair. The guided mode is useful if you want to simply remove specific objects from the selection. But when it comes to manually refining the mask, you’ll need fine fingerwork to paint around objects. And while you can change the brush size, there’s no option to adjust its softness. Strangely, there's no undo option: if you accidentally paint to erase part of a selection, you’ll need to repaint it with the Restore brush – or cancel and start again. 

So while the option to edit cutouts is necessary, the slight clumsiness means you’re often better trusting in the automated selection and accepting any minor deviations, which usually won’t be visible when viewed at standard screen sizes.

PhotoRoom: Performance

  • Instant backgrounds can deliver remarkable realism
  • Post templates require more creative input
  • Retouch tool is a useful addition for removing objects

A creative eye is still required when it comes to working with templates. Unlike backgrounds, PhotoRoom won’t suggest templates to suit your image, so you’ll need to pick one that works for your subject and purpose.

Realism is rarely the aim here, with many of the presets featuring bold graphics, text, and obviously simulated settings. It’s important to choose one that matches the theme of your subject, otherwise, your cutout can look out of place. Perspective is also important to bear in mind, particularly with product photography: the templates are most useful for subjects shot straight-on.

The best of PhotoRoom’s templates are those that keep things subtle, specifically those that place your subject against a relatively plain background with a soft drop shadow. Even then, you’ll often want to adjust the placement of your subject within the template and consider adding a shadow using the adjustment menu. With the right touch, results can be fun and dynamic.

PhotoRoom review screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

The believability factor is far higher with PhotoRoom’s instant backgrounds. That’s not to say that every placement looks like a real photo. You will still encounter AI artifacts, especially with backgrounds generated from prompts. You’ll also need to ensure that the scale appears consistent: many have defocused elements that can throw off the perspective. One background made a bicycle look like a miniature model on a shelf, for example.

On the whole, PhotoRoom is remarkably good at placing subjects in scenes with a high degree of realism, particularly when that subject is an object. Whether you pick from PhotoRoom’s suggested backgrounds or select a theme for yourself, it will incorporate the item contextually – often with breathtaking effectiveness.

PhotoRoom review screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

When tasked with placing a camera on a table surrounded by succulents, PhotoRoom generated shadows that looked true to life, weighting the camera in the scene. Swapping the table for a concrete step, it added a subtle reflection in the polished stone below. Equally, when situating a lamp on a bedside table, it cast a glow on the neighboring wall. It’s these details that make PhotoRoom stand out as a tool for product photography.

Not every result appears authentic, but for every four variations generated, at least half could pass for a genuine image from a photoshoot – certainly to the untrained eye on social media. Even those that don’t quite pass for genuine frequently look as if they’ve been manipulated by a professional graphic designer. And it’s worth remembering that these aren’t fixed scenes into which different subjects are substituted: each is generated specifically for the given subject, based on your chosen theme or prompt.

PhotoRoom review screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

What’s so impressive is that new versions can be generated with just a click, and every result can be reworked simply by changing a few words in the text prompt. As with many generative tools, prompts won’t always yield the exact visual you had in mind. But the option does put an arsenal of creative possibilities at your fingertips, with no training required. With batch editing available to Pro subscribers, you can achieve a consistent look for up to 50 image subjects at once. This works best with similarly framed shots.

In short, PhotoRoom is a powerful tool for producing virtual photoshoots. If you’re an online seller, it has the potential to eliminate the need for expensive and time-consuming seasonal shoots. From one clear, well-lit set of images, you can produce realistic visuals of your subjects in all manner of scenarios, from minimalist retail stores to kitchens at Christmas. When you compare the relative costs and the quality of its output, PhotoRoom makes a convincing case for itself.

Should I buy PhotoRoom?

PhotoRoom review screenshots

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

PhotoRoom: Also consider

The closest competitor to PhotoRoom is Adobe Creative Cloud Express. Like PhotoRoom, this is a web- and app-based editing platform that makes it easy to produce professional marketing graphics.

It doesn’t have PhotoRoom’s ability to produce instant AI backgrounds for a given subject, which means PhotoRoom remains the top choice if you want to create realistic virtual product shoots. But Adobe Express does include a free cutout tool, social templates, and AI-powered generative fill, which can be used to add and remove elements within existing images. 

If you’re looking for an intuitive online solution for producing polished marketing content in a range of sizes and formats, Adobe Express is arguably the more comprehensive option in terms of templates, font styles, graphic elements, and overall versatility. At $9.99 per month, it’s more affordable on a monthly basis, although the yearly fee of $99.99 makes PhotoRoom the cheaper annual choice. 

It’s worth noting that if you have a Creative Cloud subscription, you’ll likely have access to Adobe Express already.

Xreal Air 2 review: better in all but the most important way
3:00 pm | October 24, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Software Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality | Comments: Off

Two-minute Xreal Air 2 review

The Xreal Air 2 and Xreal Air 2 Pro AR glasses are here to replace the original Xreal Air (formerly Nreal Air) AR specs – and they’re just as much fun to use as the originals.

Design-wise they keep everything that made the Xreal Air good – they’re both comfortable to wear for long stretches of time and look kind of stylish too – though the base model doesn’t change things up too much from what’s come before. The Pro model has received new Electrochromic Dimming for its lenses allowing them to swap between clear and shaded at the literal push of a button – and this feature is the only difference between the regular Xreal Air 2 glasses and the Pro.

There are more changes in the picture and audio department thankfully. Both the Xreal Air 2 and Xreal Air 2 Pro have new Sony 0.55 Micro-OLED displays that boast 25% higher peak brightness and improved color calibration. This allows them to produce vibrant colors and provide good contrast in dark scenes.

The AR glasses also feature more immersive audio through their speakers, however, the bass is still a little weak and there’s a not insignificant amount of audio leakage from the open-ear speaker design. If you want to watch something in private you’ll need some Bluetooth headphones.

Unfortunately, the main issue holding the original Xreal Air glasses back wasn’t their picture quality or audio, it was their value, and the Xreal Air 2 and Air 2 Pro don’t address this issue.

I think the specs are a delight to use, but the $399 / £399 price tag – or $449 / £449 for the Xreal Air 2 Pro – is a massive turn-off. 

All you get for this high price is a wearable display for some laptops, phones, and handheld game consoles. If you want a more worthwhile experience from the AR glasses you need to buy an Xreal Beam and a handful of add-on adapter cables, and these can add the best part of $200 / £200 to the total cost.

Hamish Hector wearing the Xreal Air 2 Pro glasses

Here's what the AR glasses look like on my face (Image credit: Future)

At this price, you’ll have spent more than you would have on something like the Meta Quest 3 (which I gave five stars in our Meta Quest 3 review). Yes, a VR headset isn’t the same as these Xreal glasses but it’s an awesome XR wearable and I think most people would find it offers way more bang for your buck – as it’s not just a display, the Quest 3 does stuff without you needing to pick up a bunch of not-so-optional extras.

If you have a spare $399 / £399 lying around and you want to pick up some fun tech then you could do a lot worse than the Xreal Air 2, but for the money, you could do better too.

Xreal Air 2: Price and availability

The Xreal Air 2 and Air 2 Pro are available to preorder for $399 / £399 and $449 / £449 respectively from and Amazon. There’s no firm release date yet, but Xreal has told us they’ll be shipping to US and UK customers in November.

The two models are fairly similar, but the cheaper Xreal Air 2 loses out on Electrochromic Dimming. This exclusive Xreal Air 2 Pro feature allows you to dim the lenses between three presets – you can either go for fully transparent where you can see the real world more clearly, blacked-out immersive mode where the real world is (almost) entirely blocked out, or a half-way point between the two.

It’s certainly neat but an optional cover that comes with both models is still the best option for blocking out visual distractions while you try to immerse yourself in what you’re watching. As such, spending an extra $50 / £50 on the Pro glasses isn’t going to be necessary for most people.

Xreal Air 2: Design

  • Comfortable, lightweight design
  • Improved lens cover
  • New color options

I’ve tested a fair few AR smart glasses like the Xreal Air 2 and Air 2 Pro, and based on my experience they’re one of the better-designed options on the market.

The inside displays are shown off in the photo, they sit behind the Xreal Air 2 Pro AR glasses shades

Here are the Xreal Air 2 Pro's displays (Image credit: Future)

As with other smart glasses – like the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses or Rokid Max AR glasses – these specs aren’t noticeably larger than a regular pair of specs. The only telltale signs they aren’t regular glasses are the inner displays that sit behind the lenses, and a USB-C port at the end of the left arm for attaching a cable between the glasses and another device.

They’re pretty lightweight too. The Xreal Air 2 comes in at 72g and the Air 2 Pro glasses at 75g. The specs also come with a few easily swappable nose clips, which make it easy to adjust the position and fit the AR gadget. Those of you who wear glasses will appreciate the free optional frame attachment that allows you to equip the AR glasses with prescription lenses – though will have to pay extra for the actual lenses.

The Xreal Air 2 glasses are comfy to wear for extended periods of time for another reason. The biggest issue of some rival devices is that the bridge of the glasses (which touches your face just above your nose) can get annoyingly hot – and can do so after barely five minutes of use. 

That’s not the case with Xreal’s specs. Even an hour in I’m happy to keep using them for as long as I can.

The only significant fault I can find with the glasses is that they lack volume controls. Instead, the only buttons on the glasses allow you to change brightness levels – though I’ve never found a reason to set them at anything less than max.

If you pick up the Xreal Air Pro 2 model you’ll find an additional button for adjusting the Electrochromic Dimming – a feature that affects how shaded the front lenses are. As I mentioned above you can change the lens between transparent, blacked-out, or in-between.

This feature is certainly neat but I personally prefer to use the case cover that comes with both models when I want to immerse myself. The cover not only helps to block out more light from the front, but has plastic parts that extend underneath the lenses to further block out annoying light and reflections – marking an upgrade from the cover used by the original Xreal Air.

The Xreal Air 2 Pro AR smart glasses on a table with a black cover over their front

The Xreal Air 2 Pro doesn't look as yellow with the cover on (Image credit: Future)

The only downside of the cover is that it hides the kaleido decal that I’ve applied to the specs. I’m not entirely sure if this optional sticker kit comes free with every pair of Xreal Air 2 glasses, just the Pro model, or was just an extra in the reviewer’s kit but it applied a fun vibrancy to the AR glasses and makes them look a little less intimidating – wearable tech (particularly glasses) can make some people feel uncomfortable even if they don’t have any cameras.

I got a yellow kit as you can see from the images in this review, but there are navy, turquoise, blue, pink, and green options as well. You could also remove the hassle of applying a sticker and get the Xreal Air 2 glasses in red by default– the Pro unfortunately only comes in black without using any decals.

  • Design Score: 4/5 

Xreal Air 2: Performance

  • Impressive HD visuals
  • Immersive audio
  • Bass is a little weak, and the sound does leak a fair bit

The Xreal Air 2 Pro glasses offer a solid performance boost over their predecessor.

When it comes to visuals, the Sony 0.55 Micro-OLED display does an impressive job. Thanks to the 25% boost in brightness the glasses have received (and the calibration Xreal has done to get the specs TÜV Rheinland certified for color accuracy) I felt that colors look more vibrant than on the original Xreal Air glasses. The contrast in dark scenes is also pretty darn good, which is to be expected from an OLED screen. 

The 100,000:1 contrast ratio and 500nits brightness might not look like a lot on paper – they’re what you’d expect from more budget-friendly projectors that aren’t all that impressive – but because the glasses aren’t attempting to throw the image across the room they’re able to use the same specs to deliver a much higher-quality picture. 

That said, I do still find the best performance is to be had in a fairly dark space with the cover attached (and the Electrochromic Dimming set to max if you have the Air 2 Pro). They can still function okay in brighter spaces, but you’ll notice a dip in quality – especially if you don’t have the cover with you.

The only disappointment is that these specs still only offer full-HD (1080p) resolution. It’s fine but 4K visuals would really have been appreciated. At least you can benefit from a 120Hz refresh rate if you want to use them for gaming.

The Nreal Air AR glasses being used to see a video game screen while some holds a controller in their living room, they're sat on the couch with pillows all around them

Here's what it looks like to see virtual images on the Xreal Air glasses (Image credit: Nreal)

The glasses’ audio performance isn’t as impressive as its picture quality, but the sound is still pretty solid and offers a good level of immersion that will suck you into the action of the content you’re watching thanks to its upgraded “cinematic sound system” with spatial audio.

While watching various shows, films, and music videos I found that mid and high-range tones were delivered with good clarity – even when I cranked the volume up a bit there wasn’t noticeable distortion. That said, I found the specs do struggle with bassier tones. The lower-end performance isn’t terrible but it doesn’t have as much force behind it as I would like – which can lead to music feeling less impactful, and some action explosions lacking the intensity you’d get from a more capable setup.

I do like the open-ear design though – which is taken wholesale from its predecessor. It’s perfect for commuting as you can enjoy your favorite show or movie while you travel while still being able to listen out for when you get to your stop.

Just watch out for audio leakage – as while the situation is improved on these newer models, much like with the original Xreal Air glasses your audio still isn’t completely private. If someone is sitting or standing next to you while content is playing through the Xreal Air 2 or Air 2 Pro glasses at moderate volumes they’ll be able to hear it.

The only solution is to add a pair of Bluetooth headphones to your setup, but this will have an impact on the battery life of the device they’re connected to. However, if they’re a decent pair – like one of the picks on our best headphones list – then you might find the battery trade-off is worthwhile for the privacy and improved sound quality you’ll experience. 

  • Performance Score: 4/5 

Xreal Air 2: Compatibility

  • Compatible with a range of devices
  • Xreal Beam and additional adapters are pricey, but feel necessary

The Xreal Air 2 and the 2 Pro have an identical compatibility list to the original Xreal Air. 

Using the included USB-C to USB-C cable you can use the glasses with a range of laptops, tablets, handled consoles like the Steam Deck, and phones that support video output through a USB-C port (called DisplayPort). Just note that not every USB-C phone will offer this feature – for example, the Google Pixel 8 and other Pixel phones don’t support video output via their USB-C port.

For devices lacking a USB-C port or DisplayPort support, you can try using the Xreal Beam adapter. This optional add-on, which comes in at $119 (UK price to be confirmed), allows you to wirelessly cast content from your incompatible phone – such as an iPhone with a lightning port – to the glasses (note, the Google Pixel line still won’t work with the Beam as they can only cast to devices using Google’s proprietary Chromecast tech, not the generic version used by the Beam). 

Using another USB-C to USB-C cable you can also connect your Xreal Air 2 glasses to a Nintendo Switch through the Xreal Beam.

The Beam serves as a power source for the glasses too, and will help you enjoy content on your Xreal Glasses for longer – as rather than draining the connected device’s battery you’ll use the Beam’s stored power instead which lasts for around 3 hours.

If you purchase an HDMI to USB-C cable (make sure it’s this way around as most cables on Amazon are USB-C to HDMI, and as I found out they don’t work as intended with the Xreal Air) you can hook your glasses up to a console like a PS5, an Xbox Series X or a docked Nintendo Switch. 

The Xreal Air 2 Pro AR smart glasses next to the Xreal Beam hub, they're both on a wooden table in front of a brick wall

The Xreal Beam is a neat but pricey add-on (Image credit: Future)

I just wish the Xreal Air 2 and Air 2 Pro came with more of these cables and adapters in their boxes – as either you have to opt for the relatively pricey adapters it sells as add-ons, or try and navigate the labyrinth of cheaper third-party options on Amazon which may or may not work. Including the cables in the box would not only make things simpler, it would help to make the Air 2 glasses feel like better value for money as you no longer need to spend extra on not-so-optional add-ons.

I also would prefer if the Beam was more like the Rokid Station – which is effectively a portable Android TV device for the Rokid Max smart AR glasses. You can jerry-rig together a setup that uses the Rokid Station and Xreal glasses, but you’ll need a pair of BlueTooth headphones for audio. If the Beam is going to stay as a more rudimentary product, much like I said for the additional connector cables, I’d like to see it included in the Xreal Air 2’s price.

Heck, even if it is given some upgrades I’d like to see it included in the Xreal Air 2’s price. It would make the $399 / £399 price tag a lot easier to swallow.

Should you buy the Xreal Air 2 glasses?

Buy them if… 

Don't buy them if...

Also consider

How I tested the Xreal Air 2 Glasses

For this review, I was sent the Xreal Air 2 Pro model to test – and as I mentioned it’s functionally identical to the regular Xreal Air 2 glasses except has lenses with Electrochromic Dimming.

To put the displays through their paces I watched a range of different content across streaming services and YouTube. I played movies with bright vibrant scenes to see how well the colors were presented, I watched shadowy scenes in films to test the glasses contrast capabilities, and I played many music videos to get a feel for the speakers’ audio chops.

I also made sure to test the glasses with a range of compatible devices including a smartphone, a laptop, the Xreal Beam, and games consoles.

Lastly, I would swap between these smart specs and a few others I have lying around from older reviews, including the original Xreal Air glasses to see how these specs compare.

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed October 2023
Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Collection review: the Ray-Ban Stories 2 in all but name
9:09 pm | September 27, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Software Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality | Comments: Off

The Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Collection aren’t officially called the Ray-Ban Stories 2, but they might as well be. They take everything that made the original Meta and Ray-Ban collaboration stand out, while improving upon those glasses to become worthy successors.

You’ll find improved design options, with two frame styles, five frame colors, and a slew of lens options that allow you to customize your glasses between over 150 different combinations. The charging case, meanwhile, looks more classically Ray-Ban without losing any of the functionality of the case that came with the Ray-Ban Stories.

The cameras get a resolution bump up to 12MP, and image stabilization has been improved to help keep your recordings from looking too shaky. The built-in speaker’s audio has also been given a boost, and there’s a handy voice assistant that lets you control the glasses hands-free.

I had the chance to try out the new Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses ahead of their launch, and while I want to spend more time with them before passing a final verdict, I’ve been impressed by the improvements I saw. That said, I feel these glasses won’t be a good fit for everyone – especially at $299 / £299 (Australian pricing to be confirmed). Unless you can think of a reason why you need these glasses yesterday, you might want to pass on them. 

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses: Price and availability

The new Ray-Ban Meta Collection Smart Glasses are on preorder from September 27 until their October 17 release date, and they’re available for $299 / £299 (Australian pricing to be confirmed). If you want to pick up a pair with Transitions or Polarized lenses this will cost you a little more, at £379 (US and Australian pricing to be confirmed) and £329 (US and Australian pricing to be confirmed) respectively.

A blue Wayfarer pair of the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Collection on a wooden table in front of their charging case

(Image credit: Future)

This price is the same as the launch price for the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, which were the first collaboration between Meta (then Facebook) and Ray-Ban, and is roughly on par with other smart glasses I’ve seen and tested. Just note that these are a very different kind of smart glasses to something like the Xreal Air glasses, so make sure you investigate your options before you order a pair.

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses: Design

The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses come in two shapes, and a range of different color options to suit different tastes.

Fans of the iconic Ray-Ban look can pick up a pair of Wayfarers (in standard or large sizes), or you can opt for the brand-new Headliner style that’s been created specially for this collaboration. Both styles come in matte or glossy black, or you can choose a translucent material that comes in black, turquoise, or orange so that you can show off the technology inside your new specs – kind of like that translucent purple GameBoy you always wanted.

You can also outfit the glasses with a massive variety of lenses, from clear to prescription to polarized and a bunch more. All in all there are over 150 different combinations of frames and lenses, so you should be able to find one that suits you perfectly. No matter which combo you choose, the glasses have an IPX4 water resistance rating and boast 32GB of storage, which is enough for roughly 500 photos, and 100 30-second videos.

Three pairs of RayBan Meta Smart Glasses, one is blue with purple lenses, one is black with yellow lenses and the last is orange with blue lenses

There are so many different style options for these smart glasses (Image credit: Meta)

The camera is positioned on the right edge of the frame, just in front of the right arm. It also has a fairly large and noticeable light next to it, which activates whenever you’re recording a video or taking a picture so that people around you know when the camera is and isn’t on.

Best of all, the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses feel just as lightweight as a regular pair of glasses. The Wayfarers come in at just 48.6g (or 50.8g for the large frames) and the Headliner frame weighs 49.2g, so it shouldn’t be a challenge to wear these for long stretches.

Before I round off the design section of this hands-on review, I need to highlight the charging case – I love it. It looks just like a classic Ray-Ban case, but it has a USB-C port on the bottom and it can provide your smart glasses with an additional 32 hours of use thanks to its internal battery. It only takes 75 minutes to charge the glasses from 0% to full, or you can reach 50% in 22 minutes, which isn’t too bad.

On their own, the smart glasses can hold four hours of charge. This isn’t particularly impressive compared to smartwatches, for example, but considering the small size of the glasses it’s not a huge surprise.

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses: Performance

Smart glasses aren’t just a fashion accessory, they need to be functional too – and based on my brief demo session with these Ray-Ban spectacles I’d say they do a good job of being a useful gadget.

You can see inside these transparent orange frames, giving you a look at the internal componenst and spoeakers housed in the arm of the Ray-Ban and Meta smart glasses

(Image credit: Future)

Its 12MP cameras won’t produce images as crisp as the 50MP snappers found on most mid-range smartphones, though I found that images and 1080p video captured on the glasses looked fine. There’s also a huge advantage over your phone in that you don’t have to hold a phone while recording, which allows you to take a more active part in the footage you’re capturing.

And you can seemingly get involved without too much fear of creating a super-shaky video. While I didn’t give the glasses a massive challenge in the demo, I wasn’t focused on keeping my head still either, yet I noticed that video playback looked reasonably steady for a camera worn on my face.

Audio from the glasses’ speakers also sounds pretty good. I didn’t have the chance to listen to the full range of tracks I normally rely on to get a feel for a gadget’s audio chops, but what I heard didn’t sound half-bad, and best of all audio leakage doesn’t seem to be much of a concern.

I tried out the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses at the same time as someone else, and I couldn’t hear their music while I was standing fairly close to them (and it was apparently playing at moderate volumes).

I need to spend more time with the glasses before I issue my final verdict on their performance. Beyond giving the camera and speakers a more in-depth test, I also want to put the microphone array through its paces. While the audio I recorded did sound clear, I was testing the glasses out in a room with very little noise – I don’t know how well they'll fare outside if I’m trying to record on a windy day or while I’m doing something active and breathing hard.

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses: Features

A stylish person wearing a pair of black Wayfarer Ray-Ban smart glasses in front of a green background

(Image credit: Meta)

The Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses have two new features that you won’t find on the Ray-Ban Stories that came before them.

The first is a simple voice assistant that allows you to record videos or snap pictures by speaking (using the wake word ‘Meta’). If you’re connected to your smartphone you can also ask the assistant to start a call with someone in your contacts, or send them a picture of where you are. 

The second is the ability to easily set up an Instagram or Facebook livestream that shows viewers a live feed from your glasses. I was able to set up a test livestream on Instagram, and literally at the push of a button I could swap from the smartphone’s camera to the connected Ray-Ban Meta glasses I was wearing. I hope this feature is extended to other services like YouTube and Twitch too.

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses: Initial verdict

The Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Collection offers solid improvements over the Ray-Ban Stories in every single way. That said, I’m still not sure how comfortable people will feel about having a camera always on their face, or how those around you will feel about the camera either.

I need to test them further, but based on my demo I feel like these glasses exist to serve a specific use case. If you can think of ways in which these will enrich your life then the $299 / £299 (Australian pricing to be confirmed) might seem reasonable. However, if you like the idea of smart glasses, but don’t have an immediate idea of how you might use these glasses, you might want to think twice about putting in a preorder.

Meta Quest 3 review: the best VR headset for most people
8:41 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Software Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality | Tags: | Comments: Off

I’ve not spent a lot of time with the Meta Quest 3, but my roughly 30-minute demo with the new headset has given me a taste of what it has in store for users when it launches on October 10 – and I’m already hungry for more.

The improved performance and graphics provided by the new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, the slimmed-down design, and the superior mixed reality experience it offers combine to create a VR gadget that feels like an excellent successor to the Oculus Quest 2.

Yes, the Quest 3 is pricier than the Quest 2 was at launch (coming in at $499.99 / £479.99, Australian pricing to be confirmed by Meta) for its cheapest model instead of $299.99 / £299.99 / AU$509.99) but its improvements certainly seem to justify the higher cost.

I’ll need to spend more time with the headset to get a proper feel for how it stacks up against the competition, but I already feel this may be the best VR headset out there; maybe finally replacing the ol’ reliable Oculus Quest 2, which has been my go-to headset recommendation for people looking to try what VR has to offer.

Meta Quest 3: Price and availability

Meta Quest 3 preorders went live on September 27 – the same day as Meta Connect 2023 – ahead of the official release date on October 10. You can choose between two models: a 128GB model at $499.99 / £479.99 (Australian pricing to be confirmed by Meta) and a 512GB option for $649.99 / £619.99 (Australian pricing to be confirmed by Meta). The only difference between the two is the on-board storage, so which one is best for you will depend on how many VR games and apps you want to have installed at any one time. 

The Meta Quest 3 and controllers on their charging station which is itself on a wooden desk next to a lamp

(Image credit: Meta)

Based on my experience with VR the 128GB model should be sufficient for most users. VR apps are generally fairly small in terms of file size, which means you should be able to download a lot before you fill up the headset. If you somehow do fill up the storage it’s also fairly easy to delete and redownload software quickly, as long as you have a decent internet connection.

That said, VR games are going up in scale, so 128GB might not go as far in the Quest 3 era. If you don’t like swapping out digital games, and you plan to use the Quest 3 a lot, you might need to invest in the larger model.

It’s also worth noting that the Quest 3 is pricier than the Oculus Quest 2 – which currently starts at $299.99 / £299.99 / AU$509.99 for the 128GB model – although as you’d hope for from a newer gadget the Quest 3 does offer some solid improvements that seem to justify the price.

Meta Quest 3: Performance

The Meta Quest 3 owes most of its performance improvements to the new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset that powers it – which Qualcomm describes as a literal “game changer” for XR. Other upgrades are the new 2064 x 2208 pixel displays (one per eye) and the bump to 8GB of RAM, from 6GB on the Quest 2.

According to Qualcomm and Meta, the new XR2 is able to deliver two-and-a-half times better graphical performance compared to the Gen 1 chip found in the Oculus Quest 2, while simultaneously delivering 50% better GPU efficiency – which should help to keep the headset from overheating, and the battery from draining too quickly. 

Speaking of which, Meta says the Quest 3’s battery can last for two hours and 12 minutes on average  – that sounds about right for a VR headset, but I haven’t yet been able to test the Quest 3’s battery for myself to see how long it lasts. With the included 18W charger the headset can reportedly be charged from 0% to 100% in roughly two hours.

Hamish wearing the Meta Quest 3 as he stands in front of a plant. He's looking at something in VR with wonder.

Mixed reality is very impressive on the Quest 3 (Image credit: Meta)

Numbers are one thing, but seeing the Quest 3 headset in action has sold me on the improvements Meta and Qualcomm claim the new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip brings.

Text is notoriously difficult to read in VR, but the usually blurry letters had crisp defined edges that were clearly legible in the experiences I tried, such as Red Matter 2. As a matter of fact, all objects looked sharper, and free from the slight haze that outlines VR objects, causing them to blend together. Shadows and reflections look much more realistic too, which helps to bring VR and MR worlds to life.

In one demo for Red Matter 2, I was able to swap back and forth between the Quest 3 graphics and a Quest 2 emulation, and the difference in the visuals was striking. It was like going back to play one of my favorite PlayStation 1 games and realizing that the graphics are significantly worse than my nostalgia will let me remember. And in Assassin’s Creed Nexus, while the graphics weren’t on par with Red Matter 2, I was impressed by how busy the world felt, with large numbers of responsive NPCs and interactable items filling the space.

I’ll need to spend more time with the Meta Quest 3 to fully test how well it performs, but it does indeed appear to live up to Meta’s promise that this is its most powerful headset yet.

Meta Quest 3: Design

The Meta Quest 3 takes many of its design cues from the Quest 2, albeit with some enhancements that will be greatly appreciated by users.

The headset is a little heavier than its predecessor at 1.14lbs / 515g (the Quest 2 was 1.10lbs / 503g), but it’s a fair bit lighter than the 1.59lb / 722g Meta Quest Pro. It’s 40% slimmer than the Quest 2 though, and with the weight sitting closer to your face it does feel a little easier to wear (this is something I’ll only know for sure after using it for a few sessions that are longer than my 30-minute demo).

A more minor improvement (but one I love) is that IPD adjustments (how far the lenses are apart) are now managed by a little scroll wheel found underneath the headset’s visor. Unlike with the Quest 2, you don’t need to remove your headset to change how far the lenses are apart with the Quest 3, plus you’re not limited to three predetermined presets – you can scroll between a much wider range of options, so you can set the Quest 3’s lenses to suit you perfectly.

You’ll also see from the images that the Meta Quest 3 doesn’t just come in white; you can swap the strap, and some of the plastic casing, for orange and blue options. Unfortunately, these color options cost extra, but if you fall in love with your Quest 3 and want to personalize it they could be fun add-ons to pick up in the future.

A blue Meta Quest 3 and its controllers sit on a blue pedestal in a fancy looking building

The Meta Quest 3's left controller (Image credit: Meta)

Before trying out the Meta Quest 3 I was concerned that the controllers would be an issue. They don’t use a tracking ring, but unlike the Quest Pro’s controllers, which also lack tracking rings, they don’t have internal cameras to replace it.

Instead, the Quest 3’s handsets rely entirely on the headset’s cameras, IR LEDs in the controllers, and AI for tracking. I wasn’t convinced that this would be a suitable alternative, but having used the Quest 3 controllers I can report that they work just fine; in my demo I noticed no differences between using them and using the Quest 2’s controllers, save for the fact I no longer had to worry about a tracking ring bumping into something.

Meta Quest 3: Initial verdict

Like Meta’s previous Quest headsets, the Meta Quest 3 will support every single game and app currently on the Quest store. So if you own an Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, or a Meta Quest Pro you’ll be able to bring your entire software library to the new headset.

You won’t just be enjoying old VR experiences, however – there are new and exciting mixed reality apps to explore with this headset. The Meta Quest 3’s standout feature is mixed reality with full-color passthrough. This isn’t new to Meta headsets – it first launched with the Meta Quest Pro – but the Quest 3 is the first headset in the affordable Quest line to get the feature. Plus, the Quest 3 does it better than the Pro.

The picture quality is significantly less grainy, and the colors look more vivid than what the Quest Pro’s passthrough produced. While the real world still doesn't look exactly true to life, the Quest 3’s video feed does make it look a lot more so, which I found helped to sell the mixed-reality experiences.

A recreation of what mixed reality looks, A Meta Quest 3 user is rolling a large virtual die for a medieval tabletop game that looks like its real but isn't.

A recreation of what mixed reality looks (Image credit: Meta)

Another boost to MR is the improved AI provided by the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, which in collaboration with the headset’s depth sensor and other external cameras can not only automatically map out your floor, but walls and other objects in the room as well. This allows mixed-reality experiences to interact more realistically with the space around you, and I found this made the feature feel a lot less gimmicky than on other headsets I’ve tried. Usually I ignore MR, but on the Quest 3 I can see myself turning it on as often as games and apps allow – I can’t wait to return to the mixed-reality Stranger Things and Samba de Amigo experiences I played in my demo.

I haven’t yet had the chance to use them, but the Quest 3’s new Augments sound like they’ll be great uses of mixed reality too. These mixed-reality widgets can be used to decorate your real-world space, and offer a range of different features. You can set up portals to your favorite games, get live weather updates for your local area, or just place a pretty-looking sculpture in the space. Best of all, Meta says these Augments will stay where you put them; so if you decorate your space with Augments during one session and then enter mixed reality in the same space on another day, everything will be just how you set it up before.

It’s also now a lot easier to swap between virtual reality and mixed reality – you just double-tap the right side of the headset to change your view.

Meta Quest 3: Initial verdict

The Meta Quest 3 is an impressive VR headset that takes mixed reality very seriously too. While it’s not as affordable as Meta’s Quest 2, it offers enough improvements that I feel it’s higher launch price is justified.

There are a few features I want to spend more time with before passing a final verdict on this new headset, but based on my early impressions this could be not just one of the best standalone VR headsets Meta has made, for most people, it might just be the best VR headset that money can buy.

Rokid Max AR glasses review: another passable pair of smart specs
6:06 pm | September 21, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Software Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality | Comments: Off

Rokid Max AR glasses: One minute review

The Rokid Max AR glasses are par for the course when it comes to AR glasses. They offer a lightweight wearable second screen for compatible devices, effectively providing you with a private, portable home theater. They’re not perfect, though.

I'm not a fan of the glasses' design overall, but one major negative aspect of the design isn’t just down to my personal tastes. The bridge of the glasses – the part pressed up against your face – gets hot. It never burns, but it is unpleasant, and the glasses heat up fairly quickly.

Picture-wise, the Rokid glasses are fine – roughly on par with a decent budget projector. This means you’ll get fairly vibrant colors when the brightness is turned up to max, but you’ll need to use the optional lens cover or use them in a dark environment for the best visuals. No matter your setup, contrast in dark scenes is weak, with onscreen details of scenes in shadow or set at night losing any intricacy. 

Similarly, audio is passable, but the Rokid Max’s inbuilt speakers lack any kind of force in the bass department, so expect your favorite film score to sound less impactful than you’re used to. There’s also a fair amount of audio leakage, so unless you want everyone around you to hear what you’re watching, we’d recommend using headphones – though headphones aren’t usable with the Rokid Station.

Speaking of the Rokid Station, this add-on may be officially optional, but I’d recommend picking it up if you can. It turns the glasses into a portable Android TV (with a roughly five-hour battery life), giving you access to a host of streaming services. You can also cast videos from your phone to it just like you would with a Chromecast.

Lastly, the Rokid Max AR glasses are slightly more pricey than some of their rivals – such as the Xreal Air glasses – and I don’t feel they offer a better experience for the money. During sales, you've previously been able to pick up a bundle of the glasses and Rokid Station at a reasonable price, so I’d recommend waiting for a deal before buying a pair.

Hamish hector Wearing the Rokid Max AR glasses

Look, I'm wearing the Rokid Max glasses (Image credit: Future / Hamish Hector)

Rokid Max AR glasses: Price and availability

The Rokid Max AR glasses usually cost $439 – they’re currently only available in the US unless you ship them internationally – though at the time of writing, they’re on sale for $399 at and the official Rokid store. Both prices are in the same ballpark as similar AR glasses, however, they’re at the higher end of the scale. The Rokid Max glasses cost more than rivals like the Xreal Air AR glasses (at $379) and don’t offer a compelling enough reason to consider them over the competition.

The Rokid Station is an optional add-on (which we’d recommend you pick up with the glasses as they turn it into a standalone Android TV) for $129. Though at the time of writing, the Max and Station can be bought in a bundle for $489, saving you $89. This deal won’t be around forever, but always look out for similar sales, as it’s hard for us to recommend these smart specs at full price. As a pair – at the discounted price – the Rokid Max and Station are a formidable duo compared to the competition, offering simplicity and good performance at a relatively decent price.

In general, we’ve found AR glasses feel a little too much like an early adopter’s gadget. By that, we mean that the price you pay is high for what you get. While they do serve slightly different purposes, it’s hard not to compare AR glasses to a VR headset like the Oculus Quest 2 – which costs as little as $299 and offers considerably more bang for your buck.

  • Value score: 3/5

Rokid Max AR glasses: Performance

  • Colors look vibrant with max brightness
  • Struggles with shadowy scenes
  • Sound lacks fullness and oomph

The image quality from the Rokid glasses is comparable to a decent budget projector – fine but not faultless.

With the Rokid Max AR, I could enjoy full-HD (1080p) video on a virtual 210-inch screen, which is pretty awesome when just lying back in my bed. In a dark environment, the picture looks solid with decently vivid colors – though I’d recommend setting the brightness to max for the best image. If you’re in a brighter environment, the black cover is a must, as you'll struggle to see what’s happening without it.

Unfortunately, as is the case with other AR glasses, these specs struggle to reproduce dark scenes with clarity. Watching the finale of a film like Spider-Man: Homecoming – where our protagonist faces off against a villain with a dark costume in a dingy warehouse at night – making out details is a challenge. Characters’ facial expressions were sometimes impossible to see when they were in shadow, and the villain’s costume and glider just looked like dark blobs rather than intricate designs.

A person watching a show with someone in a space suit exploring a red planet, the screen is floating virtually in front of the person thanks to the Rokid AR glasses

A mock up of what using the Rokid Max glasses is like (Image credit: Rokid)

A minor annoyance is that the screen can become somewhat blurry at the edges. Generally, this isn’t a problem as the action is in the middle of the screen, but details on the fringes won’t be in focus, which can be an immersion-breaking distraction when you’re trying to enjoy a show.

Audio-wise, the Rokid glasses are passable in terms of mid and higher-range tones, but the bass lacks any kind of oomph to it. That said, if you’re planning to use them for film and TV rather than music videos you should be fine, just expect your favorite scores to sound a little more flat and emotionless than you're used to.

Additionally, audio does leak a considerable amount at moderate to loud volumes, so if you're using the Rokid Max AR glasses in a public space (like on a train during your commute to work), then you need headphones – though headphones will only work if you connect the glasses to your phone, using the glasses and station means you’re forced to use the in-built speakers. 

  • Performance score: 3.5/5

Rokid Max AR glasses: Design

  • Fit really well
  • Not my favorite design aesthetically
  • Get uncomfortably hot

Design-wise, the Rokid Max AR is a mixed bag, with some factors I love and others that are disappointing.

On the positive end, I love the fit of the glasses. They’re comfy to wear at just 75g and come with two interchangeable nose clips. What’s more, they offer 0.00D to -6.00D myopia adjustment wheels for each eye, and you can buy an optional lens attachment at a fairly decent price (the site says they’re usually $30, though I’ve seen them on sale for $15) if you need a bigger adjustment. Ideally, this lens clip would be free, as you also need to provide your own prescription lenses, but at least it’s there if you need it. Not every pair of AR smart glasses is as accessible for prescription glasses wearers.

On the negative end, they suffer the same major design issue I found with the TCL Nxtwear S glasses; the bridge (which is pressed up against your face) gets hot when the device is in use, rather than an outer edge that's not against your skin as with the Xreal AIr glasses. The heat was never painful, but it did get uncomfortable, especially during the hot weather we were experiencing in the UK while I was testing these out. 

I also think the glasses are pretty ugly with their bug-eyed look and choice of blue plastic covering. This just gives me an excuse to never remove the optional cover, as it gives the glasses a nicer shape (at least to me).

The Rokid Max AR glasses with a cover and the Rokid Station sat on a polka dot covered table

The Rokid Max AR glasses, station and optional cover (Image credit: Future / Hamish Hector)

Lastly, while the case is annoyingly close to being perfect, it falls short and is still kind of a failure. Yes, it’s great storage for the glasses and its cables but, ideally, it would also store the  Rokid Station. There’s a perfect slot in the base of the case for the station – it fits so precisely that this must be intentional – but then there’s only space to fit the glasses too, and no room for the necessary connector cable that attaches the two pieces together. 

I tried shoving everything in to see if it could work but ended up breaking the zip – it’s fixed now, thankfully. No other AR case included with the glasses I’ve tested offers the ability to carry the glasses and adapter in a single pouch; I was hoping Rokid would be different, but I’ve been disappointed again. Maybe a future iteration will finally fix this frustrating problem.

  • Design score: 2/5

Rokid Max AR glasses: Compatibility

  • Compatible with devices that support Display Port over USB-C
  • Rokid Station is easy to use

The Rokid Max glasses are par for the course in terms of compatibility. If your gadget supports Display Port over USB-C, then you can plug these specs in and use them as a second screen. This includes many laptops, smartphones (such as the Samsung Galaxy S23), and even the Steam Deck. To be able to hook up other devices like a Nintendo Switch, PS5, iPhone 14, or PC with only HDMI-out you’ll need to buy additional adapters, which Rokid sells for around $40 each.

You could also pick up the Rokid Station to turn your smart glasses into a smart TV powered by the Android TV OS. This little AR smart glasses hub is really neat and one of the easiest to use that I’ve tested. Once you’ve logged in with your Google account, you can download a range of apps for the best streaming services – including Netflix and Disney Plus. Alternatively, using the in-built Chromecast, you can cast videos from your phone to the Station.

The advantage of this is that your glasses will use the Station’s five-hour battery rather than your smartphone’s. You can even charge the Station while using it, so you can endlessly enjoy your favorite streamed content.

The Rokid Max AR glasses arm seen from the side. You can see the speakers on top, the nose clips and inner screens

The Rokid Glasses from the side (Image credit: Future / Hamish Hector)

Should you buy the Rokid Max AR glasses?

Buy it if...

Don’t buy it if...

Also Consider

How I Tested The Rokid Max AR glasses

  • Used for a couple of weeks
  • Tested with a range of devices 

To test out these AR smart glasses, I used them for a couple of weeks in my home – using them as a second screen for a laptop, smartphone, and the Rokid Station. This was to get a feel for how easy they are to use with a selection of compatible gadgets.

I also made sure to watch a range of content types through the glasses, including music videos, movies, and YouTube videos, to understand the audio and visual capabilities of the Rokid Max glasses. In particular, I made sure to listen to bass-heavy music and very visually dark content, as these can be challenging for AR glasses. During my tests, I also made sure to watch the same content multiple times to get a sense of the glasses' performance with and without the cover in rooms of varying brightness.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed September 2023]