TCL announces new smart glasses – the future is (almost) here

Who will make the first essential pair of smart glasses?

(Image credit: TCL)

Picture the future, what do you think glasses will look like in 20 years? I'm imagining a sleek pair of shades that project lush personal displays, play my own music and other a true computing experience. Yeah, we're not there yet. 

TCL has just announced its new XR glasses, the TCL NXTWEAR S+, and for a start they tick one of my boxes, they look pretty sleek. They also offer the ability to watch up to a 215-inch screen with dual OLED panels boasting a 1920 x 1080 resolution in 2D and a 3840 x 1080 resolution in 3D. Another big tick. Audio-wise they include a "whisper mode" that prevents sound leakage with "an advanced acoustic phase cancellation technique". It all sounds promising. 

But after testing the similar RayNeo Air 2 XR glasses (RayNeo itself is a subsidiary of TCL) I can't help but see similar problems emerging. The NXTWEAR S+ also need to be plugged in via USB-C, which kind of kills any vision of running around town with the glasses. 

TCL Nxtwear S+

(Image credit: TCL)

My other concern with the RayNeo's was that there were limited ways to adjust the display. You could change the brightness but in terms of moving the image into focus, the idea was to adjust the nose clip, a fairly low-tech solution that didn't always work. The NXTWEAR S+ use the same system, hopefully it's slightly more adaptable. 

In truth, I think the only smart glasses that I would consider using right now are the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. They boast a stylish Ray-Ban design, are actually wireless, don't leak much sound at all and even have a camera. The only problem? They don't have any displays, the lenses are just lenses. In a dream world, I'd love to see the two styles of glasses combine, but having a pair of glasses with display tech either needs a wired connection or a bulky design, and I'm just too shallow for either. It will be interesting to see where the Apple Vision Pro lands on this spectrum (once it finally lands in the UK!). 

As a home cinema experience or as a portable display the NXTWEAR S+ make sense. Just don't expect to use them away from a power supply. They're available now for £399 from EE

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.