What you need to know
- Nreal Light mixed reality glasses project a 1080p image to each eye with a 52-degree field-of-view.
- The key selling point is the design: the Light looks like ordinary sunglasses.
- At $499, it's also one of the most affordable options around.
- Going on sale later this year, developer edition launching today for $1,199.
Most mixed reality glasses are bulky and expensive, and Chinese startup Nreal is looking to fix that with its first product in this space. The Nreal Light retails for just $499 later this year, and it combines high-quality visuals with a contemporary design that doesn't call out too much attention to the glasses.
The Nreal Light features two cameras up front for tracking objects in real-time, and in conjunction with other sensors you get 6DoF (six degrees of freedom). The glasses project at 1080p up to 60fps, and the 52-degree field-of-view makes it ideal for pulling up information while commuting or playing games on the go.
The Nreal Light customer kit contains a pair of glasses that can be hooked up over USB-C to any phone powered by the Snapdragon 855. Nreal has partnered with Black Shark to deliver the "highest performance mobile gaming experience:"
Nreal also teamed up with carriers to stream latency-free mixed reality content on 5G networks. Customers with an Nreal Light and a 5G-enabled device hooked up to China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, EE, KDDI, KT, LG Uplus, Softbank Corp. or Swisscom will be able to stream content on the go without any lag.
We'll have to wait until closer to launch to see what apps Nreal has in store, and the company is now rolling out a developer kit that lets devs create content for the platform. The $1,199 developer kit contains the Nreal Light as well as a 3DoF wireless controller and a "proprietary computing pack." The kit will start shipping out in September, and interested devs can apply here to get their hands on the mixed reality glasses.
Overall, the Nreal Light has a lot of potential, particularly given the $499 price point. It'll be interesting to see how the final product stacks up, but it is turning out to be a viable alternative to the Magic Leap One.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.