Xreal launches a custom-made Android device for its line of AR glasses

Xreal launches a custom-made Android device for its line of AR glasses
Xreal has unveiled its latest offering: the Xreal Beam Pro. But unlike most of the company’s previous products, the Beam Pro isn’t a pair of AR (Augmented Reality) glasses. It’s a successor to the Xreal Beam, and promises to solve most major issues customers had.

The Xreal Beam Pro, on the outside, looks like an Android phone. A 6.5-inch LCD display (2400 x 1080) with a 90 Hz refresh rate, 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB or 256 GB of storage, Android 14 with Xreal’s NebulaOS and support for everything Android. Where the Beam Pro differs is how Xreal has tailored it to work specifically for their AR glasses.

Firstly, the Beam Pro features two 50-megapixel cameras set much farther apart than is tradition. This is to facilitate the capture of spatial images and videos that accurately simulate the pupillary distance between our eyes for enhanced depth perception. Secondly, the Beam Pro has two USB-C ports at the bottom.

Xreal’s AR glasses, like the Xreal Air 2 Ultra, need to be plugged in to work. Dual USB-C ports let users charge their Beam Pro and use their Xreal glasses at the same time. And NebulaOS is made with Xreal’s AR glasses in mind.

NebulaOS can project standard 2D Android apps into spatial space. It also lets users access their apps from a home screen that looks pretty similar to what you’ll find on the visionOS. The Beam Pro itself also serves as a remote for accessing and interacting with apps in AR.

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There are other cool features too. For example, the Beam Pro supports Nvidia’s CloudXR. This allows users to stream OpenVR-based applications using powerful cloud servers. Xreal Beam Pro also leverages Amazon Web Services, the world’s most broadly adopted cloud service.

The idea behind Beam Pro, as Ralph Jodice of Xreal told me, was to eliminate friction. Bring everything you need from your phone and your AR glasses to one device, vastly improving the user experience.

I personally think it’s a fascinating take on tackling how AR glasses are powered. It’s the same strategy audio manufacturer Moondrop recently used by releasing a smartphone with a high-end DAC inside to power audio gear. The Xreal Beam Pro doesn’t have to compete with your smartphone for pocket space because it is the smartphone.

And it costs a very reasonable price too, in my opinion. The 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage variant costs $199, whereas the 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage variant costs $249. If the Beam Pro is a success, and I truly hope it is, we could very well see Xreal become a smartphone manufacturer for VR enthusiasts.

You can purchase the Xreal Beam Pro here, with deliveries beginning mid-July. And you can even get $50 off if you own the first-gen Xreal Beam.
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