The Rokid Max AR glasses, released this year, promise consumers a unique insight into the evolving world of smart glasses technology. While major technology brands have been discussing the potential benefits of smart glasses for a while now, the market is still quite limited.
We’ve seen plenty of updates to the VR/AR and mixed reality space, with new innovations from Meta and even Apple, but smart glasses technology has lagged. Fortunately, a few innovators in the market, like Rokid, are helping to reignite the industry.
The Max AR glasses, announced in Spring 2023 (and now available to purchase), promise exceptional audiovisual experiences with state-of-the-art semiconductor tech and HDCP support. In this Rokid Max glasses review, we’ll examine what these wearables can do.
What are the Rokid Max AR Glasses?
Chinese technology company Rokid unveiled their “Max AR” glasses during the Rokid Open Day in March 2023. They’re currently the only pair of AR glasses available from the brand, though they can be purchased either as a standalone product or as part of a bundle.
Weighing in at only 75g, the Rokid Max AR glasses are a lightweight and convenient solution for accessing AR technology on the move. They aim to compete with existing solutions from other major tech brands and impending technologies rumored to be arriving from companies like Apple and Microsoft. The glasses include two Micro O-LED screens, which project visuals to the wearer.
Notably, the screens don’t point directly at your eyes. Instead, they point down and reflect into your line of sight, using a mechanism known as “bird bath optics” to reduce eye strain.
The device doesn’t feature any internal storage or battery and needs to be plugged into a computer, tablet, smartphone, or Nintendo Switch. This means the headset is extremely lightweight, but also that it isn’t exactly “wireless.”
Rokid Max AR Glasses: The Specs
Essentially, the Rokid Max glasses are designed to showcase visuals to users equivalent to watching a 215-inch screen from about 20 feet away. The glasses feature:
- 1080p FHD Micro-LED displays
- 120 Hz refresh rate
- 75g weight
- 00 to 6.00D Myopia adjustment
- Up to 600 Nits of brightness
- Professional-grade surround sound speakers
- TUV Rheinland comfort certification
- Screen privacy (90% light leakage reduction)
- HDCP support for easy streaming
The glasses are available to purchase now for $499, either through the Rokid website or Amazon. This places them at the higher end of the pricing spectrum for AR glasses. They also become even more expensive if you purchase them alongside the Rokid Station.
The Station, available for an additional $129 (or as part of a bundle), allows you to turn the glasses into a standalone Android TV, with quick and easy access to all kinds of content.
Rokid Max AR Glasses Review: Hardware and Design
For most companies investing in the smart glasses landscape, the main focus is on creating an ergonomic, lightweight device users can wear all day. This is undoubtedly the case for Rokid. With their slimline design, the 75g glasses are incredibly comfortable, although they may not appeal to everyone from an aesthetic perspective.
Each set of glasses features Micro-LED displays in each eye, which can display visuals like a floating screen when plugged into an accompanying device. The Max glasses also come with adjustable diopters. Near-sighted people can twist the dial atop each display to adjust their visuals and depth perception.
Also built into the glasses is a directional speaker system at the bottom and top of each arm. Buttons on the device are kept to an absolute minimum, which is a plus. There are two located on the right arm for brightness and turning on 2D/3D playback. You also get a volume rocker, so you don’t have to go back to your phone or tablet to change the volume manually.
As mentioned above, the Max has no internal chip or storage and draws power and content directly from a source device. You can link the specs to your computing system through a USB-C cable, which plugs into the left arm.
The Performance: Visuals and Audio
One great thing about the Rokid Max AR glasses is the exceptional video and audio quality. You can enjoy full-HD 1080p video with rich and vivid colors. However, it’s worth noting that, like most AR glasses, the specs can struggle to reproduce darker or shadowy screens clearly.
You can set the brightness to max to improve your chances of getting a clean visual. Like other recent AR glasses, the Max specs use birdbath optic technology, making you less likely to encounter eye strain issues.
Plus, they’re certified for flicker-free, low glare, low blue light, and eye comfort. The virtual screen you see is also large enough to fill your vision without being overwhelming.
Since the glasses connect directly to your computer, they don’t suffer from much input lag, provided your device can stream seamlessly. One slight issue is that the screen can seem slightly blurry at the edges. However, you’re unlikely to notice it too much, depending on what you’re viewing.
The Rokid Max offers stereo speakers placed at the bottom of each frame for audio. These speakers are far more advanced than what you might expect from most AR vendors, with excellent clarity and easy volume adjustment. There’s not a lot of bass to speak of, but this is no surprise considering the tiny size of the speakers themselves.
Notably, however, audio can leak a bit when using the glasses at loud volumes, so you might want to consider using wireless headphones with your smartphone or device in public places.
Rokid Max AR Glasses: Compatibility and Companion App
In terms of compatibility, the Rokid AR glasses deliver about what you’d expect from an AR innovator. You can connect the glasses to virtually any device that supports a USB-C display port and use them as a secondary screen.
Rokid sells additional adapters for about $40 each to connect the system to products such as a Nintendo Switch or iPhone 14. There’s also the option to purchase the Rokid Station to transform the glasses into an Android TV solution. The hub for the smart glasses is straightforward to use. All you need to do is log into a Google account, and download apps for top streaming services, such as Netflix.
The glasses can also use your Station’s battery (with 5 hours of power), in this mode, making you less likely to run out of energy.
For access to software, the Rokid Max AR specs feature a companion app, available for Android phones. You need to make an account on the app to access features like “AR mode” and adjust your settings. The interface is similar to what you might have experienced with the Meta Quest 2 and similar products.
Specific settings will be switched off by default, such as head tracking. However, this might be a good thing, as the head-tracking capabilities in the glasses are a little unpredictable at best. On the plus side, you can browse the web pretty quickly and control the UI on your glasses with your phone screen with minimal effort.
The Benefits of The Rokid Max AR Glasses
It’s no secret that the AR glasses market is still in its nascent stages. Like many competing products, the Rokid Max AR glasses can be somewhat limited in functionality. They just mirror the screen of your tablet, computer, or smartphone, with a few added benefits.
Despite their simplicity, these glasses could be valuable for many consumers. Employees can use the glasses to access crucial work and applications on a screen much larger than their laptop. Plus, they could be ideal for meetings when you want to immerse yourself in collaborative settings. However, you will still need to manage the apps you use on your phone or device.
If you’re looking for an immersive, portable display that makes it simple to consume content on the go, then the Rokid Max AR glasses could be ideal. However, you might be disappointed if you’re experiencing a complete AR experience with unique applications.
- High-quality visuals with a large virtual screen
- Excellent immersive audio
- Easy-to-use companion app
- Lightweight and comfortable for long-term wear
- Fantastic accessories, such as the Rokid Station
- Great for work on the go
- No advanced augmented reality applications
- No built-in chip or memory
- Slightly unattractive design
- Some tech issues still need to be addressed