The latest generation of smart glasses continues to accessorize. Last month, timed in the middle of AWE USA 2024, Xreal launched the $199 Beam Pro (coverage forthcoming) to follow up the original Beam with expanded features to elevate Xreal’s smart glasses such as the Air 2.

But preceding that move, TCL’s smartglasses sub-brand, RayNeo, launched its Pocket TV. At $179, it runs on a wifi connection to bring all your games and streaming services together on your RayNeo AR (assisted reality) screen-expanding glasses, which make you feel like you are looking at a 201” screen from six meters away. Like Xreal Beam Pro, this is a much better way to run the glasses than using a cell phone for its primary use case. Also, only the iPhone 15 can be used with the RayNeo without an adapter.

The RayNeo Pocket TV is a great on-the-go device, too, with 64GB of local storage expandable with a microSD card of up to 2TB. Pocket TV is an official partnership between RayNeo and Google TV, but it accommodates all streaming services, including Amazon Prime (which also has a branded button), Disney+, Hulu, Max, and even Pluto and Spotify. Pocket TV makes the RayNeo feel like Internet TV on your face.

Style & Focus, Part II: RayNeo Air 2 Gets it Right

The successful design of the RayNeo Pocket TV may be because it follows several similar offerings from companies like XReal and Rokid who also make their own pocket TV controllers. They all recognize the TV-controller metaphor is a much more natural way to browse and consume content than using a smartphone. The smartphone, after all, has to do everything. The Pocket TV has to do one thing, and it does it well. In a specs comparison, RayNeo beats its peers with longer battery life, microSD storage, and Google TV integration, which makes it easier to use.

As we wrote in February, we’re big fans of the RayNeo Air 2, and Pocket TV makes it an even better way to consume media that would otherwise be seen on a smartphone or laptop screen. It delivers 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, bright, and crisp, even in sunlight. The RayNeo Air 2 is the best-looking of its peers, too, though is still just a tisch too bulky to be mistaken for sunglasses.

The 6,500mAh battery makes the controller about eight ounces, similar to my iPhone. The Pocket TV device is a substantial battery pack for the RayNeo XR glasses, too. It’s sufficient to watch 5.5 hours of videos. There are two C-connections so you also charge your phone while using it or use a game controller.

Style & Focus: The New Smartglasses Standard

“The Pocket TV is a game-changer in redefining XR user experience,” said Howie Li, Founder and CEO of RayNeo, in a statement. “With this innovation, we’re not just offering a product; we’re crafting an unforgettable, on-the-go entertainment journey for users. RayNeo’s mission is clear: to democratize the exhilarating experience of cutting-edge, large-screen XR glasses. This collaboration propels us forward. Together, we’re poised to build a top-tier XR glasses ecosystem and redefine what’s possible.”

You can also use Google Assistant to play music, search for shows, or discover content. Users are encouraged to subscribe to Google TV, and honestly, this is the first time I was ever tempted, as the pocket TV is the ideal platform to consume its epic offering of 700,000+ movies and TV episodes, live TV, and more available across 10,000+ apps and games.

Charlie Fink is the author of the AR-enabled books “Metaverse,” (2017) and “Convergence” (2019). In the early 90s, Fink was EVP & COO of VR pioneer Virtual World Entertainment. He teaches at Chapman University in Orange, CA. Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn, and check out his website or other work.

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