Hands-On: Xreal Air AR Glasses video – CNET


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Hands-On: Xreal Air AR Glasses


Speaker 1: These aren’t sunglasses, they’re AR glasses. That project a monitor in front of you, these are the unreal air AR glasses that connect to various devices through U s BBC or with some additional accessories, any H D M I device for an on-the-Go style monitor experience. These include devices like game consoles, phones, or even computers. Let me show you some of the best and worst ways to use these glasses and let’s find out if they can take your gaming or productivity to the next level. Let’s get our capture limitations out of the way. Right now, there is no [00:00:30] way to directly capture what I’m seeing when wearing the errors. What you’re seeing right now is the only display recording that is supported and it’s of an Android app called Nebula. This is en reel’s own app that lets you open webpages, watch YouTube and some other small tasks in here.

Speaker 1: You can see how it’s tracking my head movement, but the black background is only because the airs don’t have any front facing cameras, so while you’re seeing a display floating in black space, I’m seeing a display floating directly in the room I’m sitting in to help you guys get a better [00:01:00] sense of what I’ll be talking about, we’ve set up a GoPro as close to the glasses as we can in an attempt to capture some more real life visuals. The n Unreal air glasses look very similar to a pair of sunglasses. They weigh 80 grams and feature 2 10 80 P o OLED panels, one for each eye. All the computing is done in this wide brim at the top. The image is projected down towards this angled lens and then bounced forward onto the front lenses, meaning they aren’t actually filling all of the lens with your image, but just what’s inside [00:01:30] this section of it.

Speaker 1: From my view, that display sits a few feet in front of me and is approximately this large. That display looks sharp, crisp, and text is easily visible. The glass’ arms feature three degrees of movement to help them sit more comfortably on your head. Unfortunately, you can’t adjust the length of the arms and there’s no way to bend them into a slightly different curve. This means in regards to my head shape. The arms actually pinch inward a little too much for me and don’t sit on my head as comfortably as I’d like. Each arm has a built-in speaker placed just [00:02:00] in front of your ear. On the right arm you’ll find a power button as well as two buttons to adjust how transparent the image is placed. Above the nose pads is a proximity sensor that detects when someone is wearing the glasses so that they’ll turn on and off when needed.

Speaker 1: For the majority of this video, we’ve put a tiny piece of tape over it so that we could position a camera behind the lens. One of the main downsides is that these glasses don’t have a built-in battery, so you will always need to use them tethered to whatever device you’re displaying through. However, that does keep the glasses weighing less. The airs do [00:02:30] come with a U S B C cable with an angle at the end to help wrap the cord behind your ear and down below you. In addition, your purchase will also get you a nice carrying case with room for that cable, a cleaning cloth and a plastic cover that not only protects the lenses but also helps you see the displays better. Since these glasses when not covered, don’t block out external light like a VR headset. If you’re in a bright room, that image can get washed out and difficult to see even at the highest brightness level. These covers can help for

Speaker 2: Like that since [00:03:00] they give a black background for the display to sit in front of. On top of that, they also help to immerse yourself in whatever media you’re viewing. If you’re not interested in seeing your surroundings at the same time, the en unreal air glasses and these accessories retail for $379. Hands down. The best gaming experience I’ve had with the en unreal air glasses is when paired with the steam deck, simply plug the glasses into the U S B C cable and then the cable into the deck and the display moves onto the glasses and you’re good to go. From there, you can keep [00:03:30] the steam deck in your lap or connect a separate controller and move the deck off to the side. Laying flat on a couch or in bed staring up at the ceiling with the display projected in front of me is really awesome.

Speaker 2: In fact, the AIR’S 10 80 p display is actually better than the deck’s native 800 P screen, and if you’re taking this on the go like in an airplane for example, and you don’t want people here in the audio coming out of the glasses speakers, you can connect your own to the deck and be fully immersed. Considering the Dex Battery life is already on the shorter side and now it needs to power the glasses at the same time, [00:04:00] you’re definitely limiting the amount of gain time out of this whole setup. In order to connect any device that uses H D M I out, you need en reel’s H D M I adapter. This little device costs $59 and it also needs to be charged. You can see the battery level indicator on the front. The adapter has U S B C in on one end and H D M I in on the other.

Speaker 2: This lets you plug the glasses into it while plugging your game console into the other with an H D M I cable. With this, you can easily set your console up on a desk or maybe your nightstand and enjoy some [00:04:30] gaming outside of the living room like laying down in bed. It’s also a really nice way to take your console with you on the go, and as long as you have a single outlet to power the device, use it much more portably. If you’re like me and you often bring game consoles with you when traveling, maybe you move around often for work and spend a lot of time in hotel rooms or you’re just someone who doesn’t want to transport around a monitor for your gaming, these glasses can really come in handy. As a side note, I’ve made several videos in the past on how you can make your Xbox more portable and I’ll leave a link on the screen right now if that interests [00:05:00] you.

Speaker 2: This setup will work the same with pretty much any device that connects to a monitor via H D M I, but let’s talk about using the Nintendo Switch when it isn’t docked. You would think that using these glasses with the switch would be just as seamless as with the steam deck, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. The first issue is that the switch doesn’t support video out through its u s BBC port. It needs a dock in order to send the video to a display. Not a big deal, since there are plenty of third party docks out there that are smaller and more portable than the dock that comes with your switch. This little [00:05:30] one I have here is about $25 on Amazon and I’ll leave a link to it in the description of this video. Just like a PlayStation or Xbox when docked, the switch needs a wall outlet to power any dock accessory you’re using and can’t just plug it into an external battery. At that point, the portability advantage of the switch has pretty much vanished. You connect the switch to this dongle. You plug an H D M I cable into the dongle and the previously mentioned H D M I adapter. You plug the dongle into the

Speaker 3: Wall. Finally, you plug in the glasses and now [00:06:00] you are ready for portable gaming. It is still a little easier than carrying the bulkier standard dock with you, but this mess of cables compared to how easy the steam deck is to use is disappointing. Of course, you can use these glasses for more than just gaming. If your phone or tablet supports u S bbc, then you can plug it into the bottom and have the display floating in front of you. This is great if you’re traveling and want to watch a movie or some media on a monitor larger than your phone screen. If you’re using an iPhone, which is a device without u s bbc, [00:06:30] you’re going to need some adapters. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The first dongle you’ll need is Apple’s Lightning to digital AV adapter. This lets you connect your iPhone to an H D M I cable.

Speaker 3: From there, we need N reel’s, H D M I adapter again, but this time we have to remove this piece so that the AV adapter can connect to it and then we can plug the glasses in. Just remember that the only source of power now for your glasses, the iPhone and the HD M I adapter will be your phone’s battery. The good news though is that nothing has to be plugged into [00:07:00] the wall and you can actually watch media portably anywhere you’d like. Like I mentioned before, Android does have the Nebula app and if your phone has u s BBC like this one plus phone I was sent, you can plug the glasses right into it to use the en Unreal Air glasses can also be used as an external monitor for a computer or laptop. Just like the steam deck, you can plug the glasses right into A U S B C port and the computer will detect them like a second screen.

Speaker 3: With the 10 80 P displays, text is sharp enough to read, so I’m happy to report [00:07:30] you could actually get some work done with these. Overall, I think the air glasses are a good first step into where I’d like to see this tech go. Being able to project my games and media up onto a larger screen in front of me is very cool. I absolutely loved lying in bed, can controller in my lap playing games up on my ceiling. However, the number of caveats, every scenario I set up required made it more of a hassle than I’d like, especially at that high price point. I wish I could just plug this right into my switch while I’m on the plane. I wish I didn’t have to sit so close to my consoles. [00:08:00] Since the airs have no internal batteries and must remain connected, even using it with my phone requires this little brick of cables to hang off my head. The Unreal Air glasses are cool to use, but I don’t think they’re the perfect accessory you’re hoping for. Do these glasses seem like something you’d use? Let me know and thanks for watching.

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