The Rokid Max smart glasses pair nicely with the new Rokid Station, which adds Android TV features and eliminates compatibility issues.
I got an opportunity to try out the new Rokid Max and Rokid Station bundle and I’m quite happy with the image sharpness, color saturation and brightness of the screen in the glasses.
Adding the Rokid Station accessory makes this a standalone system as it runs Android TV and includes a 5-hour battery. It also supports casting from most devices.
Rokid Max and 215-inch TV
Rokid claims its Max glasses can display a screen the size of a 215-inch TV. That’s true, but the perceived size varies with my environment. When I look at a far wall, the screen looks bigger. When I look at a dense wall, it seems smaller.
The field of view (FOV) and pixels per degree (PPD) are the details that really matter when comparing virtual displays. Rokid Max has a FOV of 50 degrees, among the widest for smart glasses. Rokid hasn’t shared its PPD, but it looks remarkably sharp, roughly on par with the Xreal Air.
The Rokid Max has a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, although most video content is at 60Hz. When connecting a device that supports 120Hz for gaming, more frequent screen refreshes can make a difference.
The screen brightness is also remarkable and reaches 600 nits. It’s not good enough to see in sunlight, but it works well in most indoor lighting. There is an easy solution to using Rokid Max in sunlight. Rokid includes a snap-on screen that blocks light from the front without interfering with peripheral vision.
The screen in the Rokid Max can be compared to the Xreal Air. Both provide wide FOVs and high enough pixel density to make text sharp on a large virtual screen. I use the Rokid Max to watch videos and as a replacement for my MacBook’s screen, and it works beautifully in both cases.
Rokid Max + Rokid Station
Compatibility is a problematic issue for most smart glasses, including the Rokid Max. A technology called DisplayPort over USB-C or USB-C Alt Mode is required. This makes it challenging to connect a large virtual screen to iPhones. The same problem affects many Android phones.
This is where Rokid Station can help. Instead of connecting different adapters and cables in an awkward mess, I can cast a video from my iPhone or Pixel phone to the Rokid Station.
Rokid Station works with many video streaming apps, including YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video and other Chromecast-compatible apps. I can also cast from a Chrome browser.
If I play a video directly from Rokid Station, I don’t need to cast at all. This pocket-sized device runs Android TV, a version of the Android operating system that Google has optimized for television.
Several Google apps are pre-installed, including YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Store, and Google Play Games. A significant number of video and music streaming apps are available on the Play Store, as well as many entertaining games.
I installed Prime Video, Amazon Music, Spotify, Hoopla and Tubi. I highly recommend Beach Buggy Racing as a great way to test your reflexes while having fun with Rokid Max Goggles and Rokid Station.
Xreal took a similar but different approach to its smart glasses. The Xreal Air + Beam package provides Wi-Fi connectivity but requires a phone or other source for video.
Rokid Station contains several buttons for navigation. An included TV remote control provides an alternative way to select content with less bulk and weight. I also paired a Bluetooth keyboard and was able to type in the Play Store and a few other apps.
Android TV is versatile but limited. In particular, I couldn’t find any of the chat or productivity apps I use on my Android phone. Google Meet was already installed so I tested it. I accepted a video call and could see the caller while they could only hear my voice.
The Rokid Max retails for $599, but it’s currently available for $439. Rokid Station is $129. Bundle pricing offers a savings of $70, so you can pick up both for $529. An upcoming back-to-school sale from August 25 to September 8, 2023 drops the bundle price to $489.
That’s the price of a smart TV that I can watch with others, while the Rokid Max + Station package is a personal theater and gaming system. The TV might be a better choice for sharing, though I can’t take a 65-inch TV with me when I travel.
The Rokid Max + Station bundle doesn’t offer tracking features like AR glasses, but it does accept voice input. I also get a huge, crisp and vibrant virtual screen.
The glasses weigh approximately as much as two pairs of sunglasses. After a few hours I felt pressure on my nose. Each person has a different tolerance for weight on the face. If you’ve used a VR headset, even something as light as the Bigscreen Beyond, smart glasses feel like nothing by comparison.
Besides the weight, this bundle should be fun for everyone if it’s within the budget. I like the Rokid Max glasses and enjoy the ease of use of the Rokid Station.
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