XREAL Air 2 AR glasses: Affordable answer to Apple's Vision Pro?

The XREAL Air 2 Ultra glasses introduced the Nebula launcher, designed to enhance spatial computing for developers
The image shows a woman wearing XREAL Air 2. — XREAL
The image shows a woman wearing XREAL Air 2. — XREAL

XREAL, the company behind the innovative XREAL Air 2 AR glasses, has unveiled its latest creation at CES 2024: the XREAL Air 2 Ultra. This cutting-edge device introduces a spatial computer, providing an enticing alternative to Apple’s Vision Pro Mixed Reality headset and Meta Quest 3 at a more accessible price point. 

With a titanium ring frame, cross-platform compatibility (including Android, Mac, and Windows), and an immersive 3D environment facilitated by an array of sensors, the XREAL Air 2 Ultra sets a new standard.

XREAL Air 2 Ultra prices 

Debuting at the CES 2024 event, the XREAL Air 2 Ultra is already available for developers to craft distinctive experiences. Pre-orders for developers have commenced at a starting price of $699, with shipments scheduled to commence in March.

The XREAL Air 2 Ultra glasses introduced the Nebula launcher, designed to enhance spatial computing for developers. Equipped with advanced in-frame sensors, these glasses offer vision capabilities that provide real-time location mapping within a three-dimensional space. 

Developers can leverage these features to enable hand tracking, 3D mesh creation, semantic scene understanding, and anticipate future AI integrations, as per the company's press release.

Regarding specifications, the Air 2 Ultra boasts Full HD displays for each eye, boasting a field-of-view (FoV) of 52 degrees and 42 pixels per degree (PPD), surpassing the Apple Vision Pro. The device supports a 120Hz refresh rate and reaches a peak brightness of 500 nits, suggesting technological parallels with the previously reviewed XREAL Air 2 at Pocketnow.

Additionally, XREAL states that the Air 2 Ultra, along with the Air 2 and Air 2 Pro, supports Apple’s spatial video feature. This capability enables users to convert spatial videos captured on the iPhone 15 Pro into a regular side-by-side format via third-party iPhone apps for viewing on the XREAL Air 2 series, offering an equally immersive virtual experience without added expenses.

XREAL Air 2 Ultra release date

The XREAL Air 2 Ultra is presently available for pre-order to developers at $699, slated for shipping in March 2024. The latest NRSDK, built on Unity, introduces enhanced hand tracking and gesture recognition, expected to revolutionise the use of AR smart glasses. The device’s potential and promised features beckon anticipation from the developer community, offering intriguing possibilities for future applications and use cases.

Notably, the XREAL Air 2 Ultra will be compatible with Mac and Windows devices, Samsung Android phones, and the iPhone 15. There's anticipation as to whether XREAL will extend support to older devices in the future, but for now, this marks an impressive starting point.