Xreal is opening preorders for its latest generation of augmented reality glasses, the Xreal Air 2 and Air 2 Pro, for a November release in the US, UK, Germany, France, and Italy. The glasses are a follow-up to the first-generation Air glasses released last year under the company’s former name Nreal. Starting at $399, they plug into phones, computers, and a variety of gaming devices to project a display through a pair of sunglasses.
The Air 2 glasses are an iterative upgrade from the original $379 Air. They use Micro OLED displays to project a 1920 x 1080 pixel display in front of your eyes, the same resolution as the original Air. But they promise a brighter image than their predecessors (500 nits, compared to 400 nits on the Air) and are about 10 percent thinner and lighter than the first-gen version, which weighed 79 grams. (That makes them a bit heavier than the roughly 50-gram Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, which feature cameras but no built-in display.) Xreal says it’s improved the temple and nose pads to offer a more comfortable fit as well, and it promises it’s redesigned the audio system to pipe sound more directly into your ears without leaking it to the rest of the room.
The Air 2 Pro, which starts at $449, will give you one big extra feature: dimming control, an option that uses electrochromatic glass to control how much light is allowed through the glasses, ranging from full transparency to a blackout tint. Both models are supposed to ship in mid-to-late November in the US and UK and appear in the rest of the European market in December. They’ve already launched in China and Japan.
Unlike many augmented reality glasses, including Xreal’s first-generation Light glasses, the Air 2 and Air 2 Pro don’t feature cameras that can track or record a user’s surroundings. That means they can’t do some things people often associate with AR glasses, like make virtual objects stick to walls or floors. Rather than heavily blending the physical and virtual, they’re designed for use as a big screen that will float in front of your face. While this is far from a new concept, Xreal’s take on it is unusually svelte, easy to use, and (by AR glasses standards) pretty normal-looking. It also gives you a real view of the outside world instead of a passthrough video feed like Apple or Meta. The downside is that even with that bolstered brightness, you’ll typically get some image transparency in anything but a very dark room.
The Air 2 uses a USB-C cable with USB-C or HDMI output to connect with a wide range of supported devices. Xreal touts support for the Valve Steam Deck, Asus ROG Ally, and Nintendo Switch alongside Xbox and PlayStation consoles, iOS and Android devices, and PCs and Macs. (That long list makes sense since it’s fundamentally an external monitor — you should be able to plug those into almost anything!) Buyers can choose from graphite gray or carmine red glasses and add an optional adhesive skin available in six colors: navy blue, royal blue, “verdigris,” “dale dogwood,” “jonquil,” and “dartmouth green.”