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Oppo Air Glass 2 hands-on review: surprisingly practical specs
The Oppo Air Glass 2 are a discrete pair of smart glasses, and there's a lot to like
Smart glasses haven’t found the sort of success they initially seemed destined for, but that doesn’t mean manufacturers have given up just yet.
After all, the idea remains a sound one. Who wouldn’t want a pair of glasses that not only match your prescription but can also make life a little easier in the process?
Even though Google was the first to make strides with Google Glass, the search giant has since turned its focus on enterprise as opposed to the consumer space. But Oppo, the Chinese electronics manufacturer that’s best known for its gorgeous lineup of foldable phones, like the new Oppo N2 Flip, is stepping in to fill the void left by Google.
At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Oppo’s smart glasses — the Oppo Air Glass 2 — were available for a hands-on demo. You’d be forgiven for missing the booth, though. It was hidden away inconspicuously behind the many rows of shiny new smartphones that Oppo was showcasing.
What’s great about Oppo Air Glass 2 is that they look like typical glasses at first glance. Even upon further inspection, the stems of the glasses aren’t noticeably chunky and the design is understated and sleek. Two styles were available to choose from, too - silver and black - and the glasses weigh in at just 38 grams.
In fact, it’s only when the Oppo Air Glass 2 is in use that it becomes clear that these aren’t the type of specs you’d find at your local opticians. A faint, colorful box can be seen while looking at the wearer, but crucially, not the information that’s being displayed. That’s solely for the person wearing the glasses, and there are some neat things the Oppo Air Glass 2 can do.
When you put on the glasses you’re presented with some surprisingly sharp green text thanks to the new Micro-LED projectors hidden inside. You can still see your surroundings, but now a small box floats in front of you and provides additional information such as today’s date, the current weather, and if you have appointments on that given day. Pressing a single button on the right stem brings you back to the main menu, where you can scroll through various options by swiping your finger across the side of the glasses’ stem. It all felt intuitive and easy to do.
Unfortunately, not all of the Air Glass 2’s features were available to try. For instance, I was curious to see how the Translator option would work, as this is something I think every holiday goer would find genuinely useful. There's also the promise of location-based navigation, voice-to-text for those with a hearing impairment, and much more.
However, the few that I did try were very promising indeed. One of the features was a prompter, which literally lets you turn the glasses into a private teleprompter. Say goodbye to fumbling your next big speech, as the Oppo Air Glass 2 can show you exactly what you need to say. And because the screen is augmented over what you're looking towards, using the prompter should look completely natural to your audience.
Another novel feature, though one that isn’t exactly new, is the Air Glass 2’s ability to play music. The Glass 2’s heads-up-like display shows you what artist is playing, the song name, and how much of the song remains. Despite being a pair of glasses, the sound quality was impressive, even if they do bleed a little sound as you’d expect. Still, it’s a surprisingly private and pleasing listening experience.
So when can you get your hands on the Oppo Air Glass 2? Sadly, when pushed on a release date, the Oppo representative only offered a vague answer of “sometime next year”, but there’s a real chance it might not appear on western shores at all. The Oppo Air Glass was only released in China, and the same could happen with its successor.
Hopefully, that’s not the case, as the more smart glasses that enter the market, the better it’ll be for competition and, in turn, consumers. We’ll be keeping a keen eye on the Oppo Air Glass 2, then, if it does indeed come to market.
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