TCL’s NXTWEAR AIR are lighter, feature a full-HD Micro OLED display behind each lens, and only need to be connected to a phone or a PC.
TCL is back with another portable-cinema-in-front-of-your-eyes product called the NXTWEAR Air smart display glasses, which are lighter than the 2021 version but trade the futuristic looks for some customization scope. The NXTWEAR idea is neither new, nor exclusive to TCL. Sony jumped on the idea all the way back in 2013 with the bulky HMZ-T3 wearable headset. The Avegant Glyph from 2016 looked as if someone was wearing a pair of Beats cans, but with the headband in front of the eyes.
A year later, the Royole Moon arrived, looking like a pair of luxurious headphones glued to a VR visor. While none of the aforementioned ideas took off, TCL revived the concept in 2021 with the NXTWEAR G cinema glasses. Although the design was unbelievably cool, the product did have its flaws, including a lack of focus adjustment, teeny-tiny icons, and the overall fit could have been better.
Hoping that the world will eventually warm up to the idea — partly thanks to the suggestion that Apple’s game-changing AR/VR headset might arrive in 2022 — TCL is back with a second iteration called the NXTWEAR AIR. Terrible naming and styling aside, the TCL NEXTWEAR AIR glasses are about 30-percent lighter than the previous version, but still offer the experience of viewing a giant 140-inch TV from a distance of thirteen feet. The core premise is simple — connect to a phone or PC and access everything on the glasses. In principle, the idea sounds great and especially in situations like when watching movies on a long flight. The no-frills, no-fuss gadget can also be used for gaming with a controller as well, but just don’t expect to handle a multi-sheet Excel file at work while wearing them.
A More Versatile Set Of Glasses
Another cool aspect is that the look of TCL’s NXTWEAR AIR can be changed thanks to exchangeable front lenses that lock in place magnetically. The NXTWEAR AIR weighs 75 grams with the standard lenses, which is still on the heavy side, but not too bulky to get a facial HIIT workout. Each lens has a Full-HD Micro OLED display behind it that shows content in a 16:9 aspect ratio and covers a 47-degree field of view. Unfortunately, folks hoping for a high-refresh-rate tech like Apple’s ProMotion are in for a disappointment, as the screen refresh rate is capped at a standard 60Hz. In addition, sensors like an accelerometer and gyroscope are missing from the package. On a positive note, users can switch between 2D and 3D viewing modes when content allows.
There is a pair of onboard speakers, just like with the Amazon Echo Frames, and there’s also the option to connect to a phone using a USB-C cable or simply connect a pair of wireless earbuds. The best part, is that the smart display glasses don’t need to be charged separately, as all the juice is derived from the phone or laptop they are connected to. Another benefit is that, unlike Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, there are no cameras to pose any risks of violating someone’s privacy. TCL isn’t saying anything about the price or market availability, but if the previous version is anything to go by, they could be expensive.
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About The Author
Nadeem Sarwar (478 Articles Published)
Nadeem has been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Pocketnow in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, he also has experience testing out the latest phones and laptops. When he’s not writing, you can find him failing at Doom eternal.