RayNeo Air 2 XR glasses capitalize on the hype without delivering on promises

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Over nan past fewer years, nan marketplace for extended reality (XR) devices has expanded significantly. While earlier forays for illustration Google Glass grounded to return off, caller additions for illustration nan XREAL (formerly Nreal) Air 2 — and nan just-released Apple Vision Pro — person shown acold much promise, leaving galore consumers excited astir nan early of extended reality. 

And for me? I’ve spent years diving headfirst into XR devices, perpetually looking for nan adjacent large thing. From virtual reality (VR) headsets to augmented reality (AR) glasses and everything successful between, I’ve been impressed — and disappointed — by galore different options connected nan market…which is why I jumped astatine nan chance to effort nan TCL RayNeo Air 2 glasses for myself.

side position of RayNeo XR glasses

The RayNeo Air 2 glasses look cool, but nan creation isn't ace practical. Credit: RJ Andersen / Mashable

Marketed arsenic an “upgraded and enhanced” type of nan TCL NXTWEAR S+ smart glasses, nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses tout immoderate beautiful awesome specs, including:

  • 1080p Sony Micro OLED displays

  • A monolithic 201-inch virtual surface size

  • 600 nits brightness

  • Super-fast 120Hz refresh rate

However, while nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses sound for illustration an awesome contender successful nan burgeoning XR/AR glasses space, they besides travel pinch rather a fewer problems.

First impressions of nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses

Straight retired of nan box, I wasn’t judge what to deliberation astir nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses. Like galore different AR glasses, nan RayNeo Air 2s person a style reminiscent of classical Wayfarer sunglasses, but they’ve added a futuristic edge. While nan look is cool successful photos, nan execution didn’t rather meet my expectations.

The beforehand of nan glasses is simply a azygous achromatic portion of integrative that’s very shiny and reflective. It looks to beryllium attached separately to nan remainder of nan glasses — almost for illustration nan lens has been glued to nan beforehand versus group wrong frames — which isn’t my favorite. Some group mightiness for illustration nan look of these glasses, but it feels much for illustration a novelty merchandise than a sleek and stylish choice. Plus, fixed that there’s nary “frame” connected nan beforehand broadside of nan glasses, each smudge and fingerprint is easy visible connected nan lens. 

dark XR glasses pinch arms folded up

These frameless lenses are asking to beryllium smudged. Credit: RJ Andersen / Mashable

All successful all, nan remainder of nan build feels underwhelming. The glasses are lightweight and beautiful comfortable, but nan wide artistic of these glasses is lacking compared to different brands I’ve tried. They person astir of nan modular features: adjustable chemoreceptor pads, elastic temples, and nan action to bid magnetic medicine inserts. However, they’re besides beautiful plasticky. The earpieces are rigid and stiff, nan chemoreceptor pads are difficult to move, and nan earpiece's beingness buttons — 1 for measurement and 1 for brightness — speak to a creation focused much connected features than functionality.  

Even nan carrying lawsuit was a letdown. Unlike different AR glasses I’ve tried, nan RayNeo Air 2s travel pinch a cloth container alternatively of a difficult case, making nan full acquisition consciousness a small lackluster for nan price.

What I liked astir nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses

The RayNeo Air 2 glasses activity decently good arsenic a plug-and-play portable outer display. They connection a decent section of view, and nan Sony Micro OLED displays let you to scope an awesome surface size of up to 201 inches, pinch a super-fast 120Hz refresh complaint and awesome brightness level. 

The glasses usage an included USB-C cablegram to link to your device, and they’re compatible pinch iPhone 15 and Android devices pinch DisplayPort retired functionality. There is simply a abstracted adapter that you tin acquisition to usage pinch different devices — 1 that useful for Nintendo Switch and different for older iPhones and non-DP Android devices — but some are sold separately. 

Because these glasses don’t person a built-in battery, getting started pinch them is beautiful easy. You simply plug them into a compatible instrumentality — I utilized my Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra — and Samsung DeX takes attraction of nan rest. It was easy to scroll done my phone, watch movies, and bask nan convenience (and privacy) of a individual outer show without immoderate unnecessary bells and whistles. That being said, nan deficiency of a artillery besides intends that nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses are pulling powerfulness from immoderate instrumentality you’re using, truthful you won’t beryllium capable to complaint your instrumentality while it’s plugged into nan glasses (unless you person a wireless charger of immoderate sort). 

What I didn’t for illustration astir nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses

As awesome arsenic immoderate of nan specs are, nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses were riddled pinch issues. The surface itself was ample and ace bright, but nan extracurricular edges of nan surface were warped and blurry connected nan near and correct sides — making it difficult to usage nan glasses successful full-screen mode connected DeX. The glasses besides sat beautiful acold from my face, and nan chemoreceptor pads were difficult to adjust, meaning a adjacent magnitude of ray came done astir nan edges. This made nan viewing acquisition little immersive, moreover though nan glasses did person an awesome surface size. 

inside position of RayNeo lenses

The glasses' creation allows excessively overmuch ray to leak in. Credit: RJ Andersen / Mashable

The RayNeo Air 2s were darker than astir AR glasses I’ve tried. While this is bully for visibility and contrast, particularly if you’re utilizing nan glasses successful a brighter environment, it makes utilizing them arsenic AR glasses almost impossible. There’s nary existent caput search aliases AR functionality that I could find, truthful erstwhile you participate full-screen mode, nan surface is stationary. Instead of being capable to “lock” nan surface into position successful virtual space, moving your caput while wearing nan glasses intends nan surface moves pinch you. And, because of really acheronian nan lenses are, you tin hardly spot done nan surface to nan existent world. Other manufacturers of AR glasses person worked astir this by making nan lenses much transparent while including a abstracted clip-on screen for a darker viewing environment.

Unfortunately, nan built-in speakers weren’t awesome either. The sound was clipping, particularly astatine higher volumes, and nan speaker value was obscurity adjacent arsenic bully arsenic different AR glasses I’ve tried. I recovered it beautiful easy to link them to different devices for illustration my iPad  — I conscionable plugged my iPad into nan TLC portable adapter ($90) utilizing nan included lightning to USB-C cablegram and past plugged nan glasses into nan adapter. However, utilizing nan adapter and nan mirroring app pinch non-DP Android devices was frustrating. The app was incredibly glitchy connected my Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+, and it often froze and needed to restart. Plus, nan adapter itself felt very clunky and cheaply made, particularly since it was bigger and much costly than different adapters I’ve utilized (like nan $49 XREAL Adapter). 

Are nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses worthy it?

Not really. While seeing much options successful nan burgeoning XR marketplace is exciting, nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses didn’t trim it for me. They worked decently good arsenic a portable outer display, but — for nan value — plentifulness of different options are disposable that person akin specs, amended features, less problems, and much potential. 

That being said, nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses person immoderate awesome specs. The 120Hz refresh complaint would’ve been awesome for gaming, nan surface size is incredible, and nan 600 nits surface brightness is excellent. However, almost each “plus” astir these glasses instantly loses to downsides. The compatibility is limited, nan surface is blurry and warped, and nan darker lenses are a hassle. 

Overall, nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses still consciousness for illustration a activity successful progress. They’ve sewage a fewer things that are a measurement successful nan correct direction, but nan remainder feels for illustration they’ve sacrificed what makes a instrumentality actually wearable truthful they tin marketplace circumstantial specs. On paper, this makes nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses promising. In reality, they’re hardly passable. 

At $379, nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses person a akin value constituent to different AR glasses connected nan market, but nan driblet successful value is noticeable. They person galore of nan aforesaid issues I had pinch nan original XREAL Air glasses — for example, they’re much for illustration a level show glued to your glasses versus an existent augmented reality acquisition — but they ray successful comparison to newer options connected nan market. If you’re connected nan fence, I’d hold to spot what TCL releases adjacent aliases instrumentality pinch nan upgraded XREAL Air 2 glasses. They’re only $20 much than nan RayNeo Air 2, but — astatine slightest for maine — nan value quality is good worthy nan splurge.

I’ve tried rather a fewer different AR/XR glasses complete nan past fewer years, truthful erstwhile I heard that TCL had released an upgraded type of their NXTWEAR S+ Smart Glasses, I was eager to effort them retired for myself. Billed arsenic nan RayNeo Air 2 (note: location is nary RayNeo Air 1), I tried these glasses retired for astir 2 weeks. I tested them chiefly pinch a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but I besides tested them pinch a Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+ and an eighth-generation Apple iPad utilizing nan TCL portable adapter. 

I struggled pinch nan plug-and-play functionality of these glasses, moreover erstwhile utilizing my Display Port-enabled device. From issues getting nan audio to play done nan glasses to surface warping, I besides didn’t emotion really acheronian nan lenses were connected nan RayNeo Air 2 — each of which impacted nan Performance and User Friendliness scores. Like nan original XREAL Air glasses, I besides recovered nan AR functionality of these glasses to beryllium lacking. Instead, I conscionable utilized them arsenic a portable outer monitor. 

Some different factors I took into relationship include: 

  • Power: Like different XR glasses, nan RayNeo Air 2s don’t person a artillery connected nan instrumentality itself. Instead, it uses nan powerfulness of immoderate instrumentality it’s plugged into and drains your artillery quickly. Because it uses nan aforesaid larboard arsenic your device’s charger, you can’t usage these glasses while charging your instrumentality (unless you usage a wireless charging pad). 

  • Comfort: These glasses are a smidge lighter than different XR glasses I’ve tried, weighing successful astatine 76 grams, but they besides consciousness a spot cheaper and little durable. The chemoreceptor pads were difficult to adjust, and nan receptor pieces were very rigid (although nan temples do flex outwardly), making it difficult to get a comfortable, customized fit.

  • Display quality: Overall, these glasses person a beautiful bully show pinch a max surface size of 201 inches, a 120 Hz refresh rate, and 600 nits brightness — which is 100 nits brighter than my favourite XREAL Air 2 glasses. However, nan surface warps and blurs importantly connected nan near and correct sides, which made utilizing these glasses successful full-screen mode pinch Samsung DeX very difficult. I besides didn’t emotion that nan exterior lenses were darker connected nan RayNeo Air 2 glasses (even though it technically improves nan show quality) because it’s importantly little customizable — and impacts usability — much than nan clip-on covers utilized by different XR glasses.

  • Price point: There are rather a fewer XR glasses connected nan market, pinch astir prices ranging from $349 to $439. The RayNeo Air 2 clocks successful astatine $379 (or $439 pinch an adapter), which makes nan value comparable to different options connected nan market.

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