Thank you, TCL, for the RayNeo Air 2, which has restored my faith in the potential of AR glasses to deliver a big screen experience in a light, portable form that just works when you plug its C-connection into any compatible device. The screen is big and bright and looks crisp even in sunlight. The RayNeo Air 2 is the best looking of its peers, too, but are still just a tisch too bulky to be mistaken for sunglasses.
Screen extenders were all the rage at CES 2023 last January, but they’re just hitting the market this fall. It seemed AR is going to enter the lives of most consumers as a pricey smart phone accessory optimized to deliver a big screen experience, but it hasn’t happened yet. Tis the season. And simulating a big screen is all these do. It is all they will ever do, so looking and sounding great is their one and only job. We should not be surprised that China’s TCL, which has been making low-cost TVs for decades, has gotten this part right.
The $379 RayNeo Air 2 weighs just 76 grams while housing a pair of 16:9, 120Hz Sony Micro-OLED 1080p displays that are equivalent to a 201-inch screen viewed from six feet away. The glasses have a respectable 46° FOV, the 49 pixels-per-degree (PPD) and a 108% sRGB color gamut. It also features what they call “a fully upgraded dynamic stereo sound system, complete with a whisper mode for privacy.” The sound is good, but not great. Audio smart glasses like Bose Frames spend their money on audio. TCL spent their money on displays. I say they made a good call here. Whisper mode is a nice touch, though.
My biggest beef with every other pair of AR smart glasses is that I can’t get them to sit correctly on my face. They all have adjustable nose pads, but those alone doesn’t do it. The RayNeo Air 2 is the only one that fits me. This is because it has a special hinge where the wing meets the frame, which allows you to adjust the angle. It seems like a detail, but together with a bright, crisp screen, it makes all the difference.
Now the not so good part. The RayNeo Air 2 supports DisplayPort or USB-C Alt mode only. For older iPhones with the Lightning port and other devices that don’t support USB-C Alt mode, you will need a $99 MiraScreen Adapter. Be sure to check for compatability lest you make a critical shopping mistake.
If you or someone on your list has an iPhone 15, the TCL RayNeo Air 2 is going to make their day. A lot of thought has gone into these. It feels good to wear them.