I wore smart glasses that made me excited for the future

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A personification wearing nan TCL RayNeo Nxtwear S XR glasses.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I cognize smart glasses will fresh neatly into my life. I deterioration spectacles already, I loved Google Glass, and I often deterioration a smartwatch. I besides deterioration headphones a batch to perceive to podcasts while I do different things, and I for illustration nan thought of having a whopping awesome large surface correct successful beforehand of my eyes to watch videos. A camera wouldn’t spell amiss, either.

But getting each this successful 1 merchandise is still a far-off dream, truthful I person to make do pinch abstracted devices for now. But sadly, nan products we person presently haven’t rather deed nan spot, arsenic nan TCL smart glasses I’ve been wearing (lovingly called nan RayNeo Nxtwear S) person proved. However, it’s person to getting it correct than ever before.

Long name, elemental product

The TCL RayNeo Nxtwear S XR glasses pinch nan sunglass attachment.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The TCL RayNeo Nxtwear S aren’t really smart glasses. TCL calls them XR (for extended reality) glasses, but it’s champion to deliberation of them arsenic a show for your face, arsenic they don’t person immoderate circumstantial functionality of their own. Instead, nan RayNeo Nxtwear S link to different device, specified arsenic your telephone aliases computer, and displays what would usually conscionable beryllium shown connected that device’s surface straight successful beforehand of your eyes. There’s nary built-in operating system, nary fancy processor, nary AI sound assistant, aliases thing isolated from a brace of Micro OLED screens and a mates of speakers.

Here’s why I for illustration nan idea: I tin watch thing I like, successful immoderate position I like, connected a big, agleam surface without having to put my chosen instrumentality straight successful my oculus statement aliases look straight astatine an immovable entity for illustration a TV. It’s complete, immersive freedom. The 1080p image is apparently nan balanced of a 130-inch surface from a region of 4 meters, and location are dual speakers pointed toward your ears, delivering sound.

The screens whitethorn not person nan highest resolution, but they ne'er look pixelated, while nan opposition level ensures blacks look achromatic and there’s capable brightness to spot nan surface during nan day. But what I really for illustration is that it’s a pleasurable viewing experience. Pair it pinch Bluetooth headphones, and you really are sealed distant from nan extracurricular world, near unsocial to bask what you’re watching successful peace.

The issues pinch today’s smart glasses

A personification wearing nan TCL RayNeo Nxtwear S XR glasses.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

But each of this only useful good provided you put up pinch nan compromises and usage nan glasses successful rather circumstantial circumstances. It’s astatine this constituent wherever my smart solid dreams go a spot of a frustrating nightmare, arsenic nan small annoyances quickly adhd up to almost ruin what is adjacent to being a awesome product. Much of what I’m going to mention is applicable to smart glasses and wearable monitors successful general, not conscionable nan RayNeo Nxtwear S.

I said it delivers complete, immersive freedom. Well, it does, benignant of. The Nxtwear S connects to its big instrumentality pinch a USB-C cable, truthful you are tethered. I tin unrecorded pinch this, but it’s conscionable nan commencement of nan compromises you person to make to bask this absorbing device. It doesn’t person a artillery of its own, which is bully to support nan size and weight sensible, but it really puts a strain connected your device’s battery. Less than an hr of YouTube sucks 20% from my iPhone 15 Pro Max’s battery.

Despite nan comparative deficiency of hardware inside, nan glasses still measurement 90 grams, astir 4 times nan weight of my normal, mundane eyewear. You really announcement nan heft aft a very short magnitude of time, particularly arsenic nan span portion isn’t very soft aliases forgiving. The USB cablegram tin besides get caught and unexpectedly tug connected nan glasses.

There are nary controls extracurricular of measurement and brightness, truthful everything you do requires entree to nan connected device. Finally, it useful champion successful a very acheronian environment. Even pinch nan sunglass-style shades attached, thing approaching daylight bleeds done and detracts from nan image.

Seeing nan screen

Taking disconnected nan TCL RayNeo Nxtwear S XR glasses's sunglass attachment.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Just because nan surface is correct up against your eyes, don’t expect to beryllium capable to spot it intelligibly if you person mediocre eyesight and request corrective lenses. It’s “positioned” 4 meters distant from your eyes, and if you couldn’t usually spot a surface from that acold away, it’ll beryllium a blur wrong nan RayNeo Nxtwear S too. Since I past looked astatine this situation, TCL has a business pinch a lens shaper that offers civilization lenses for a reasonable price. This is awesome news, but you’ll still request to facet this into nan wide cost.

You can deterioration nan RayNeo Nxtwear S complete regular glasses, but only just, and it’s surely not comfortable for long. The arms are large and heavy down your ears, truthful adding different group (even if they are thin) isn’t fun. It besides intends nan unforgiving chemoreceptor span is pushed further down your nose. Because nan position is compromised, nan surface isn’t arsenic clear arsenic it should beryllium astir nan edges erstwhile worn for illustration this. The elemental truth is, if you request glasses, you really do request to bargain a due lens attachment.

It’s almost worthy nan disbursal because, successful nan correct situation, nan RayNeo Nxtwear S is truthful adjacent to being brilliant. When I woke up early 1 morning, I put nan Nxtwear S connected and watched a fewer videos. I was lying connected my backmost successful a pitch-dark room, truthful they didn’t measurement down connected my chemoreceptor truthful much, and location was nary intrusive light. It really did look excellent, and I recovered it very relaxing and enjoyable. I moreover managed to disregard nan agleam surface connected my connected iPhone, arsenic it has to enactment awake and play what you’re watching done nan Nxtwear S astatine nan aforesaid time. See what I mean astir compromises?

Is location dream for early smart glasses?

The beforehand of nan TCL NXTWEAR S, pinch nan sunglasses accessory attached.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

There’s a batch that makes nan TCL RayNeo Nxtwear S annoying, but there’s besides plentifulness of potential. It really is very adjacent to being a usable wearable display, and what gives maine dream is really overmuch amended it is than nan really bad TCL Nxtwear G I tried previously. Advancements are being made that are taking nan conception successful nan correct direction, but it’s still not rather location yet.

TCL seems to beryllium moving to amended its smart glasses too. For example, nan caller Nxtwear S+ exemplary comes pinch an updated, air-filled chemoreceptor pad section, and nan akin RayWear Air 2 glasses measurement 76 grams. Reducing weight and expanding comfortableness are important steps successful making wearable displays usable for longer periods of time, and will thief group forgive nan different foibles too.

Using nan TCL RayNeo Nxtwear S has shown maine my smart solid dreams are getting person to reality, but besides that there’s still immoderate ways to spell earlier we get a merchandise that wraps everything I want — screens, audio, wireless connection, smartwatch-style functionality, a camera, and all-day artillery life — into one, comfortable instrumentality I tin deterioration connected my face.

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