The $399 Xreal Air 2 augmented reality glasses are now available for pre-order

While Apple, Meta and others continue to work with augmented reality (AR) headsets, Nreal has been selling much smaller augmented reality glasses since 2021. Now the company, which has been renamed Xreal, has released a new version called Xreal. Air 2 in Europe and the US, following its launch in China last month. It offers an improved display and more comfort, and the company also unveiled the Xreal Air 2 Pro with electrochromic lighting that lets you choose the level of immersion from zero to 100 percent.

Xreal (which the company says X stands for Extra) promises that the Air 2 glasses will “turn everything the user sees into a big screen experience of up to 330 inches.” To that end, it uses Sony’s latest 0.55-inch Micro-OLED display, up from the 0.68-inch Micro-OLED (Apple also uses Micro-OLED technology in its Vision Pro mixed reality headset). As before, it can display Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 per eye with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. Along with the higher resolution, it has 500 nits of brightness, compared to 400 nits on the original Nreal Air.

The Air 2 is also 10 percent thinner and 10 percent lighter (from 79 grams to 72 grams, which is actually 8.9 percent by my count), according to Xreal. It also has improved elastic temples, new “AirFit” nose pads and softer materials. According to the company, all of these are designed to improve comfort and enable longer use when watching movies and other content. As before, it connects to devices via USB-C with video output (DisplayPort) without the wireless option, so you’re effectively connected to the device.


Xreal also improved the audio speaker system by using “automatic spatial delivery” through an open-ear design aimed at the user. “This increases privacy and minimizes disruption to others in public spaces,” the company said. It also improves voice and video calls, as the Xreal Air 2 can let you receive audio from a smartphone or tablet.

The most desirable model is Xreal Air 2 Pro. It introduces electrochromic dimming that lets you choose three modes, including a clear mode that doesn’t block light and lets you wear the glasses while still seeing the outside world. “Productivity Mode” blocks out 35 percent of outside light, so you can focus better without completely shutting out your surroundings, while Immersive Mode blocks out all light for gaming, entertainment, and more.

Similar to the original Nreal Air, the Xreal Air 2 seems to be mainly aimed at viewers for YouTube videos, gaming, movies, etc. There are no cameras or motion sensors included, so it effectively acts as a personal projector, with the screen moving in motion. You move your head (hello, nausea). However, you can buy an accessory called the Xreal Beam ($119), which adds gyroscopic tracking and keeps the screen stable while moving, while also enabling additional wired connection options that supposedly reduce lag. According to the reviews done on the device, it performs almost the same as the original Air, but is lighter and more comfortable.

For what it can’t do, the Xreal Air 2 is pretty expensive at $399 (in black or red), while the Air 2 Pro is $449. For full performance, you’ll need Xreal Beam, which costs $518 and $568 more than Meta Quest 3, respectively. Shipping is expected to begin in the US and UK in November 2023, and in the rest of Europe in December.

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