Watching Netflix through these new glasses is said to be like staring at a “cinema screen” but they might miss the mark a bit.
If you’re familiar with TCL it’s most likely because they’re well known for manufacturing displays and TVs. Though these days they’re producing a plethora of products such as mobile phones, tablets and wearables.
Most recently they’ve brought out an audacious product called the TCL NXTWEAR G that TCL describes as providing a “hands-free watching experience that resembles a theatre wherever you are”, or what I’d describe as a wearable display.
To me these “glasses” are somewhat reminiscent of Cyclops’ visor from X-Men but they aren’t quite as all encapsulating as Scott’s visor appears.
What do they do?
When you’re wearing the TCL NXTWEAR G it’s meant to replicate staring at a 140 inch cinema screen but in my opinion it feels more like you’re looking at a 27-34 inch computer monitor. This is impressive nonetheless – fitting a desktop-sized display into this kind of form factor.
It works by tethering, via its built-in USB-C cable, to a smartphone, laptop or tablet. And is compatible with a wide range of devices such as the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, ASUS ROG Phone 3, Apple MacBook Pro, Acer Swift 5, Microsoft Surface Go, and Google Pixelbook.
It’s pretty much instantly compatible once plugged in and the NXTWEAR functions almost exactly as an external monitor would when connected to your device.
Are they comfortable?
The main part of the device rests across your nose and a bit of weight is also distributed across the tops of your ears. Although it didn’t feel too heavy to wear, for about 30 minutes to an hour, the glasses are somewhat narrow and would likely be quite tight on larger heads. There are multiple nose pieces to adjust the comfort but the glasses still create a bit of pressure (and possibly a funny nose indent).
Otherwise, what’s going on inside of the experience is pretty awesome. You’re looking at dual Full HD Micro OLED panels with a 16:9 inch aspect ratio, which offer excellent clarity. And because they’re not a boxed-in design like a VR headset you maintain some peripheral vision. You could use these while working or watching content, kicking back on the couch or bed – bringing the screen front and centre for more comfort, or even use them for an immersive gaming experience.
They’re ridiculously portable so you can take a big screen anywhere (such as public transport) and they don’t require charging as they’re powered by the device they’re tethered to.
Cost vs. benefit
Ultimately, I can picture a lot of creative uses for the NXTWEAR G – they could even act as a portable workstation setup when you need to get away from some noise in lockdown. Though you do need to consider some possible pressure and eye strain while wearing these. Your eyes get used to the focal length the longer you use them but they’re not ideal for constantly taking them off and on your head. At $899 though they’re a steep price for their futuristic convenience, but maybe that’s just what you’re looking for.