Rokid Max review: Impressive screen and sound, all in the form factor of sunglasses

Rokid Max review: Impressive screen and sound, all in the form factor of sunglasses
With a price tag of $439, the Rokid Max are positioned as the new premium consumer smart glasses to consider, if you're on the market for it. Their presentation and design definitely reflect it.

More importantly, the Rokid Max's display and sound quality are the best I've experienced from a consumer AR device yet, so they are indeed easy to recommend, and would justify their cost for the right person.

They're available for pre-order now, with shipping starting later this month of May.

Let's get into the details…

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What are the Rokid Max glasses for?

Over the recent years, Rokid has established itself as one of the most reliable brands to turn towards, when looking for quality consumer AR products. The Rokid Max happen to be that company's latest set of augmented reality glasses, following its previous Rokid Air. Except these are lighter, and as their name might suggest, with higher specs.

What the Rokid Max offer is what pretty much all modern AR glasses from reputable brands do – they can project a huge virtual screen that mirrors your smart devices; could be your smartphone, could be your PC or Mac… It's all about portability and convenience.

Picture you're on a plane but you don't feel like struggling to set a laptop on the lunch tray just to watch a movie (plus you forgot to bring headphones), nor will a tablet suffice, because that too might be bulky, and needs you to hold it.

Well, just plug in the Rokid Max into your phone, play some Netflix, and voila – you're watching movies on a big, virtual screen, with sound, and it's all thanks to a smart device that's about the size (and form factor) of sunglasses!

AR glasses like these also have strong potential to replace portable monitors for professionals on the go. Whether you're a programmer whose laptop's screen is not good enough, and you need a bigger one without actually lugging a physical monitor around, or perhaps a music producer, or any type of creator… Or alternatively, gamers who want a high-specced portable monitor for their Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch, for some big-screen battle royale sessions.

Of course, the Rokid Max can technically do more than just screen mirroring (although that's plenty enough for most people), and have a dedicated AR app, but we'll get to that later…

Design, Build Quality, Controls

The Rokid Max AR glasses come with a handy case, as well as a plastic lens cover, for anyone who may want to use them more akin to a VR headset rather than AR glasses. You snap-on that cover over the lenses, and it blocks the outside world from your view, for better immersion.

Now I'd expect that cover to stick to the lenses magnetically, like it does on the cheaper Nreal Air, but unfortunately it does not; you have to snap it on around them, which isn't ideal.

Regardless, the carrying case we get feels very nice and premium – it's protective, hard, yet smooth and rubberized on the outside. Though once you unzip it to reveal your new AR glasses – it's obviously soft on the inside, and conveniently has an extra compartment that holds the USB-C cable the glasses use to connect to your smart devices.

The Rokid Max glasses themselves also feel premium, and more importantly – comfortable to wear and light, at just 75 grams. Their interchangeable nose pads are covered with a soft rubber-like material, so I didn't get any red marks on my nose, which I normally do from wearing sunglasses for long.

Speaking of sunglasses, these are actually a bit like normal sunglasses, in the sense that their lenses are darkened. So there's that practical angle – when you're not using them as AR glasses, you can actually get away with keeping them on your face as regular sunglasses too.

My only gripe with the design of these is the large blacked-out forehead they have, where most of their tech is crammed in. Because it's eating into the glasses' lenses, which end up being positioned lower than usual, the glasses are designed to stay on your head a bit higher than regular sunglasses. So basically, you look like you're wearing them wrong.

It's not something the wearer will care about or be bothered by, but it can look a bit odd to others. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you looked at the thumbnail of this review and thought: "Is he wearing them wrong? They're too high up!" Nope.

But let's get onto the controls.

Like many contemporary AR glasses, the Rokid Max have some buttons under their right frame, which is exactly where most (right-handed) users will find them comfortable to reach for.

We have two volume keys, and a brightness switch, which is already more than I've seen from competitor AR glasses; normally tending to lack volume controls. Your volume keys here are arranged just like on your smartphone, while the brightness switch is one button that alternates between 6 brightness levels. And boy do these get bright!

That's not all, though, as on top of each individual lens is also a slider that lets you adjust the diopter – from 0.00D to -6.00D. So if you have myopia, which is pretty common, you'll find this feature very useful. You'll want to adjust the lenses so the image appears as sharp as possible for each eye. For me, it was quite easy to do so, and I appreciate the option.

Display Quality

Any AR glasses' crowning feature is their ability to project an image, taken from your smart device. That can be your smartphone, your laptop, your portable (or standard) gaming console…

And the Rokid Max might just be the best AR glasses I've used so far, when it comes to the screen quality.

They get very bright, at up to 600 nits, and due to their projectors being Micro OLED, the picture is super sharp and with great colors. 120Hz refresh rate too, meaning smooth; which gamers will be particularly happy about.

It's also worth noting that the Rokid Max do have HDCP support, meaning you can watch Netflix and other streaming services that use this copy protection standard, at the highest quality. Some smart devices still don't have HDCP support, which restricts HD playback from most streaming apps, but again – that's not the case here, thankfully.

Anyway, back to that display quality. We have the specs below, but those don't really do the real-life experience justice – the Rokid Max are very impressive with just how sharp, bright, smooth and vibrant the 215-inch virtual display they project is.

There's no ghosting, no visible pixels; really nothing to complain about. At least in regards to the picture quality. I do find that the virtual screen's position is a bit lower than I'd like it to be, meaning the bottom of the projection is on the edge of where I can comfortably see it, while there's plenty of free space at the top.

So, say, if I'm projecting my smartphone, the bottom row of icons on the homescreen will be slightly blurry near the bottom edge, while everything else is nice and sharp. It's a minor complaint, but something I hope Rokid will address in the future. Props to Rokid though, this is still the sharpest, most perfect image I've seen from AR glasses to date.

Some of you may be disappointed that it's still not a 4K screen, but objectively, I really don't believe a higher resolution would make much of a perceivable difference; only drain your phone's battery quicker.

If someone put these glasses on me, told me they were 4K, and played one of those gorgeous HDR YouTube videos for me, I'd believe them. The image is that good-looking. Bright, vibrant and sharp, especially if you put on the plastic cover that blocks the outside world – it's like your own little ultra-portable private cinema. Pretty darn magical.

And by the way, the Rokid Max have a sensor for detecting when you're wearing them. They turn off automatically when you take them off, and similarly turn on when you put them back on, which is always a welcome convenience feature to see.

Connectivity (Smartphones, PCs, Macs)

The Rokid Max come with a USB Type-C-to-USB Type C cable, one end of which plugs into the glasses, and the other – into your smartphone, or PC, or game console, or whatever device you plan on using with them. Note that said device needs to support display out, and not all do.

For certain computers or devices that don't have a display out over USB Type-C, you can use an HDMI-to-USB-C adapter.

In any case, the Rokid Max immediately worked with my Android smartphone, without any hassle or needing anything extra – just plug'n'play. Same with my MacBook, which immediately detected them as an external display.

My Windows gaming PC, however, does not support display out over USB-C, so I used a powered HDMI adapter (Ugreen CM323) and voila – that worked perfectly also.

But I know what you're all probably wondering, naturally – do they work with iPhones? Well, like pretty much all AR glasses we've tried, you can't connect these to an iPhone easily. And that's Apple's fault, not the AR glasses manufacturers'.

You can technically use an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter, or a wireless adapter, but would you really want to? Unfortunately for now, iPhone users better keep away from AR glasses, as only Apple's upcoming Apple AR/VR headset will work as seamlessly as we'd like.

But Android users will definitely have a great experience here. As mentioned earlier, getting the Rokid Max connected is as easy as plugging them into your phone. Again, that phone should support display out, though, so certain budget phones may not work as easily.

But on the Android flagship side of things, if you own a Samsung phone – you're king – because you can take full advantage of the Samsung DeX desktop interface on a big, virtual display, with the Rokid Max. It's a really futuristic, minimalist productivity set-up that I like a whole lot, as I know many of you do too.

Companion App / AR Mode (Optional)

The Rokid Max have 3DoF head tracking, so they are indeed technically AR glasses that can be more than a static screen mirroring device for your phone or computer.

To expand their functionality into true AR territory, head tracking and all, you'll need the Rokid AR companion app. It's available for Android phones, and can be downloaded from the Google PlayStore.

However, the app does require that you make an account, which I don't particularly like. Even worse, when it asked for my email address and I entered it, I got an error saying "Mobile phone number must be all digits".

So, the app is buggy, to say the least. Switching between the options to use a phone number and email, and adding a different email fixed it, but wow. The account verification email arrived fully in Chinese too, which was also a bit jarring.

Enabling AR Mode, the app tried to gain "access to STM3 Bootloader", then began updating the glasses. At this point my phone started acting strange and the Microsoft Launcher I was using stopped working, so I had to reset the whole thing.

Trying to enable AR Mode afterwards gave me a black screen several times, but it eventually worked. Needless to say, it wasn't a smooth experience, but let's finally talk about what you get out of this companion app and its AR Mode...

It gives you an interface similar to what you may have seen on the Meta Quest 2, with a taskbar-slash-app launcher, and a list of AR-optimized apps (most notably a web browser). Your phone's display turns into a touchpad, and you get a cool remote control pointer in AR.

Head tracking is off by default, which I thought was weird, but understood why that was the case as soon as I enabled it – it doesn't work too well. Basically, enabling head tracking (or 6DoF – six degrees of freedom) is meant to make the interface stick to one point in 3D space, so when you turn your head around, it can go out of your view realistically, instead of being fixed to your vision. But when you move your head the interface gets blurry and moves in a jarring way, so I quickly turned head tracking back off. It's not like it appears to have a practical use anyway.

In any case, web browsing using this interface is neat, and two-finger scrolling through pages feels natural, with that virtual touchpad that your phone's screen turns into, but I'd rather use Google Chrome, or Samsung DeX, with the Samsung Internet web browser instead.

More things you can do in this "AR Mode" is watch videos or tinker with other simple apps, like a file browser, but I don't see why you wouldn't just use your Android phone's built-in apps and launcher instead.

Long story short, you'll want to buy these glasses to use for screen mirroring, without relying on any extra apps, because the app experience here is not good. And the glasses started warming up while using the companion app, so yeah, there's that.

Speaker Quality

Like other modern smart glasses, the Rokid Max have stereo speakers, one on the bottom of each frame. And wow do these speakers sound impressive!

The clarity is on point, with the high and mid frequencies both sounding unreasonably perfect, considering the speakers' size. The volume can go comfortably high too, just to the point where people around you might start slightly hearing what you're listening to, yet not enough for you to actually bother anyone.

And although we can't realistically expect bass from tiny speakers on smart glasses, I am actually able to enjoy music on the Rokid Max quite a bit; running on the treadmill or just doing house chores – there's a hint of low-end, enough to convey your music as best as this form factor allows.

Honestly, the speaker quality of the Rokid Max is about as impressive as their display quality, and at the end of the day, I'd argue those two features are what matter the most on a product like this.


With their impressive picture and audio quality, the Rokid Max are arguably the best AR glasses you can get right now, if you need both a quality ultra-portable external display for your phone, and some comfortable headphones that won't irritate your ears whatsoever, as they won't be going in there.

Micro OLED, 120Hz, and basically zero latency means you can not only enjoy your movies on the go, but do some gaming comfortably too. And while I do have gripes with its companion app, the good news is that you don't have to deal with it, and here's hoping it gets better eventually.

In their price range, the Rokid Max are a new heavy hitter in the consumer AR world, with some of the highest specs we've seen so far; definitely worth any tech enthusiast's attention.


  • Fantastic screen quality
  • Best-in-class stereo speakers
  • Sliders for adjusting individual eye diopters
  • Conveniently soft USB-C cable that doesn't get in the way


  • Bad companion app experience
  • Screen cover isn't magnetic
  • Pricey

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