In December, the TCL brand launched TCL NxtWear G glasses on the Czech market, which promise a “home cinema experience with a screen diagonal of 140 inches and an aspect ratio of 16: 9” (I quote from the press release). This concept is not new, similar attempts were made here about 20 years ago by Olympus, Sony and others. But it was never a big market hit. Maybe now is the time and technology…
Integrated OLED displays with FULL HD resolution bear the Sony brand, they are soft and contrasting, I have no major reservations in this regard. However, the stunning impression of the four-meter canvas does not come. It’s more like sitting at a table with a standard 27 “monitor.
Comfort and diopter
The spectacle window is relatively narrow, it takes a while to find the position and it wants to choose the right nose pad (there are three sizes in the package) so that you can see well. Even then, there is a slight blurring of the image at the edges. The advantage is that it can be seen outside the glasses, so when watching you can work quite comfortably with a mobile phone, you will see on the plane when the flight attendant brings you a drink.
Do you wear glasses? The headphones have a supplied magnetic insert, which they will need for short-sightedness – they have a blurred image, as the eyes focus at a longer distance. You must have your diopter inserted into the “rings” by the optician. If you keep your glasses, then you will not see the whole picture. If you have small narrow glasses, it can be compromised, you are unlucky with larger glasses.
The glasses do not have optical correction. The space between the eyes and the glasses is so large that you can fit in with even more subtle glasses, but due to the problems described in the previous paragraph, it will be a real equilibrist.
The supplied magnetic adapter appears to be an elegant solution, in which you can have the dioptric glasses sharpened exactly to measure. But the cost of monitoring will increase by another few thousand crowns.
There are integrated speakers in the legs that play in the ears, while leaving them free for sounds coming from the surroundings. The reproduction quality corresponds to the size of the drivers, so don’t expect powerful sound or even surround effects. However, you can easily improve the sound side by connecting your own (completely independent of glasses) headphones. You insert the smaller ones (pips, plugs) into the ear canal without hindrance, it will be more complicated with headphones with large shells over the ears – you have to reckon with the fact that you will push the dome to the head over the leg of the glasses, so the ears will soon hurt.
The glasses have a tightly integrated cable with a USB-C at the end, and it doesn’t matter if you connect them to a computer or a monitor, they just act like an external monitor. In the operating system, you then choose whether the area will be expanded, whether the image will be mirrored, Samsung smartphones will offer their computer environment Dex, etc.
Two problems in conclusion
While mirroring the image, I noticed a slight delay (in the order of tenths of a second), so the glasses are not suitable for playing games. They can be used for watching videos, during the test I managed a feature film with them and I did not observe any nausea that appears with some glasses. The advantage is that you can lie down with glasses, the picture is still in front of you. The resolution is fine enough for office work with spreadsheets, reading the web, when typing on the keyboard, it is useful that the glasses only slightly limit the view of the keyboard.
And what is the image quality? When tested with Samsung smartphones (N9 and S10) in Netflix, dark shades shifted to light and the grayscale is not displayed correctly. As a result, instead of almost black, the image was gray, highlighting compression errors and artifacts that you would not otherwise notice. After connecting to the laptop, the errors disappeared and the image was correct during normal operation. This shift was reflected in the change on Youtube for some videos in the browser. Due to the fact that the glasses use OLED, the colors are vivid, black is not gray, however, any incorrect display of darker shades is even more visible.
The USB cable also provides power, so the glasses do not have their own power supply, there is no need to charge them. They are light, compact, mobile, you get a carrying case with which you can throw them into your backpack with a calm soul.
The question I ask during the whole test is what such glasses are good for, in which situations they will find application. You have a monitor in the office, a TV at home and a mobile phone in between. I can imagine that they will provide a better visual experience on an airplane than the displays integrated in the seat back in front of you. And if you add TWS headphones with active ambient noise cancellation, it will work. But I would take them off in the taxi on the way from the airport – I only tried them in the car for a short time and it didn’t hurt my stomach.
Revived: Another scenario emerged from the discussion in which the glasses excel. Privacy. If you do not mirror the image from the computer, but make it the only output device, only you will actually see the image and there is no chance that anyone will look over your shoulder.
We are going to the biggest problem. Price. And the competition. TCL NxtWear G glasses cost CZK 14,999which is a lot. In addition, there are Oculus glasses on the market, which are functionally richer, have a better image and, with a price tag of 12,000, are also significantly cheaper.
The high price and lack of scenarios in which TCL glasses solve the problem or offer a significantly better experience make them a narrow-profile product.