TCL NXTWEAR G Smart Glasses: Review
“The Future is here” the advert boldly claims. “Immersive” and “life-changing” are terms thrown about willy nilly, trying to convince the average punter that this is a device they need, that their life will not be complete without it. This sort of advertising hyperbole is usually lumped with any sort of tech that aims to “insert” the user into an experience. VR, AR and like technologies suffer from an excess of hyped-up promises and unrealistic expectations. So it was with much surprise that when I first started reading about the TCL NXTWEAR G Smart Glasses I found a much less bombastic approach to their advertising. It seemed their whole approach was “Hey, this is a cool thing, not essential but cool, so why don’t you check it out?” Do you know what? They were right, it is a cool thing.
The NXTWEAR G Smart Glasses are essentially a monitor for your face. Nothing more, nothing less. They can be hooked up to any device that can pass a video signal through a USB-C connection. So your phone, your computer, hell even your consoles if you have a HDMI-USB C adaptor handy can be used with the glasses. The unit requires no charging as it draws power through the USB connection and it sports two OLED screens which combine to emulate a 140 inch TV. The unit also has built-in speakers that support 3D audio. It is a fairly impressive list of specs but how does it handle in the real world?
Quite well as it turns out, but there are a few little caveats that are worth mentioning. The first I want to mention is the size of the glasses. The width is not great for people with a massive melon like myself and as the arms are quite stiff with very little flex they can get uncomfortable after a short while. I suspect people with a normal sized head will be fine but for those of us with an extra large hat size, well it is something to seriously consider before lashing out.
Speaking of stiff arms, the unit feels incredibly well built. There are no obvious design flaws and the build quality is of an excellent level. There is nothing about this headset that makes me feel that it wouldn’t last a long time. The unit also comes with a selection of three different sized nosebands that allow for a better fit and the arms of the unit are coated in a soft rubber that adds comfort while at the same time stopping the unit from slipping off your head.
But while comfort is important, I guess you really want to hear about how the glasses perform. The answer is really well. The screens are clear and easy on the eyes, there is no distortion or ghosting effects and even the busiest special effect driven movies play without issues. As for gaming, things are just as good though if you are susceptible to a bit of motion sickness you might want to avoid FPS games. I found myself getting a little green around the gills trying to play Doom Eternal through my computer. It is worth noting that the screens themselves are 1080p so there is no 4K content here but honestly that simply doesn’t matter.
Using the glasses is simplicity itself. Simply plug into a supported device and away you go. Phones work instantly and PCs, while requiring a little fiddling with the settings, are pretty hassle-free too. There was a Windows issue I came across when trying to use the headset on a PC with dual monitors, it essentially confused itself with where it was supposed to be sending the signal, but that was easily resolved by unplugging the second monitor. I had a blast watching films and playing games on the glasses, oblivious to my noisy children and needy pets. It is actually the perfect bit of gear for my current living situation of a one-bedroom cottage. It gives me a screen to do my thing without hogging the TV or taking lounge space from the family.
While I didn’t get to test it in this manner, I’d imagine the glasses would be perfect for frequent travellers. The screen is significantly better than anything an aeroplane offers and the fact it doesn’t require charging means that as long as you download some Netflix before you take off, you should be all sorted for entertainment and able to ignore that annoying kid yelling behind you. I can also see the glasses being great anywhere space is shared as it adds flexibility to how you consume your media, flexibility that is always welcome in these situations.
If there is one major bummer for the unit, that is the audio which is sadly not up to the level of the rest of the system. The audio seems a little echoey and distant and while it does the job, I feel most people will want to use these glasses in conjunction with a good set of earbuds. It is certainly a better option when watching movies or TV. Still, it is nice that there is an audio output at all, meaning if you are not fussy you don’t have to carry more technical doodads around with you on your journies.
When it is all said and done, the TCL NXTWEAR G Smart Glasses are hardly essential. They won’t change your world and they won’t reinvent media consumption. They are, however, very cool and perfect for those who want a bit more than their standard travel entertainment options or who live in shared accommodation and lack personal media consumption space. For the rest of us, however, the nearly $900 price tag is probably a little too much to justify the extravagance that the Glasses offer.
Specifications TCL NXTWEAR G Smart Glasses
Dimensions: 187.35×159.3×42.8mm (unfolded) 181x53x46mm (folded)
Weight: 100~130g（with cable）
Display Type: Micro OLED
Resolution: Dual 1080P display, 16:9 aspect ratio
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Features: 1080p @2D,1080 px2 @3D
USB Type C
Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass, P sensor
Type C with Display Port
Lens Frame for vision correction lenses/-3nosepads/-Glasses cleaning cloth