Be Tech Ready!!
GadgetsVirtual Reality

Xreal Air 2 Ultra could be a good, cheap Apple Vision Pro alternative

Xreal, previously known as Nreal, had one of the most buzzing booths at recent CES events. So, it’s no shocker that they’re back with fresh AR glasses for CES 2024, especially with the highly awaited release of Apple’s Vision Pro.

After the 2019 Nreal Light, the all-new Xreal Air 2 Ultra reintroduces 6DoF (six degrees of freedom) spatial tracking and hand tracking. It boasts a broader 52-degree FOV (field of view) and sharpness at 42 pixels per degree, all packed into an 80-gram titanium design. The company boldly suggests that these specs position the $699 Air 2 Ultra as a compelling choice against the $3,499 Vision Pro.

Unlike the standalone mixed reality headsets, the Air 2 series of glasses require an external computing unit for power. This could be a smartphone, a computer, or Xreal’s Beam module, connected via USB-C. While the previous Air 2 Pro and Air 2 were more about being personal display wearables, the Air 2 Ultra focuses more on its 6DoF spatial computing capabilities. This implies that virtual objects can be mapped into the real world as you move around.

This capability is made possible by the front-facing dual 3D environment sensors and the Qualcomm Snapdragon processors found in devices like the Samsung Galaxy S23 or S22, iPhone 15, or any Mac or Windows machine that’s compatible with Xreal’s Nebula launcher. If you’ve got an Xreal Beam, you can also plug in the Air 2 Ultra for a 3DoF experience (meaning just simple head tracking) during video playback or console gaming. Interestingly, the company isn’t currently planning to support more smartphones, but they’re working on a new custom computing unit to pair with the Air 2 Ultra in the future.

Similar to the Pro, the front layer of the Air 2 Ultra offers three levels of electrochromic dimming to enhance immersion without requiring a physical shield. It also features directional audio technology to enhance privacy and dual microphones for voice interaction.

The Sony micro OLED panels are still in play, delivering 1080p resolution per eye, a refresh rate that can hit 120Hz (90Hz in 3D mode), and brightness cranked up to 500 nits (250 nits in 3D mode). The Xreal Air 2 Ultra, priced at $699, is up for pre-order. If you snagged an Nreal Light some time ago, chances are you qualify for a $100 discount.