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These new AR glasses support Apple Vision Pro-like features at one-fifth the cost

The $699 AR glasses launched ahead of CES 2024 with subtle improvements over their predecessors.
By
January 7, 2024
XReal Air 2 Ultra AR Glasses
Xreal
TL;DR
  • XREAL has launched the Air 2 Ultra Augmented Reality glasses.
  • They feature new 3D environment sensors, a titanium frame, and support for Apple’s Spatial Video feature.
  • The ultra-lightweight glasses cost $699 and will be available starting in March.

XREAL (formerly Nreal) has released a new pair of Augmented Reality glasses that promise high-end features in a lightweight, affordable package.

The wayfarer-esque glasses were unveiled ahead of CES 2024 and are called the XREAL Air 2 Ultra. They feature six degrees of freedom (6DoF) via two dedicated 3D environment sensors that provide simultaneous location and mapping to determine a user’s location within a 3D space. The company claims the 3D sensors will be the smallest on the market when the glasses launch later this year.

XREAL Air 2 Ultra specs and features

The Air 2 Ultra, just like the Air 2 Pro before them, provides Full HD viewing for each eye. They have a field-of-view (FOV) of 52 degrees at 42 pixels per degree (PPD). The company says the PPD is higher than the Apple Vision Pro, which, as per market analysis, is 34 PPD. That said, Apple’s headset also features an ultra-high-resolution display system that, as per the company, packs 23 million pixels across two displays — more than a 4K TV for each eye.

While the XREAL Air 2 Ultra don’t exactly compete with the Vision Pro, they boast impressive specs. The glasses support a fast refresh rate of up to 120Hz and a peak brightness of 500 nits, the same as their predecessor. The company says the virtual display can emulate a 154-inch screen from a distance of 13 feet. We’re guessing the aspect ratio of the image would depend on the attached device. The XREAL Air 2 Ultra are compatible with several devices, including Mac and Windows Laptops, Samsung Android phones, and the iPhone 15 series.

Speaking of iPhones, the AR glasses also support Apple’s new Spatial Video feature. iOS 17.2 brought the ability to shoot Spatial Videos to the iPhone 15 Pro models. While you can shoot the videos on the phone, you can only view them in 3D on a compatible headset. Apart from the Vision Pro, users can also view these Spatial Videos on the XREAL Air 2 Ultra, apart from the XREAL Air 2 and XREAL Air 2 Pro. It doesn’t hurt that the AR glasses are one-fifth the price of Apple’s headset.

XREAL Air 2 Ultra price and availability

As of now, the XREAL Air 2 Ultra is not meant for consumer use. They are specifically designed for developers. The glasses sport a titanium frame, weigh 80 grams, offer adjustable temples for three positions, and are TÜV Rheinland certified for eye comfort.

The XREAL Air 2 Ultra is now available to developers for pre-order at $699. Shipping is expected to begin in March 2024. Developers who purchased the Nreal Light AR glasses in the past will get $100 off when they pre-order the XREAL Air 2 Ultra.