Best AR Glasses 2023 - Our top picks for smart glasses

best ar glasses

If you're looking for the best AR glasses out there, we've got you covered right here.

The world of augmented reality glasses represents quite a new industry in the world of wearable tech, offering the power of AR with the convenience of a pair of smart glasses.

So, whilst we wait for AR contact lenses to storm the world, such as the groundbreaking Mojo Lens, we may as well enjoy what's currently on the market.

Compared to the best VR headsets, a pair of augmented reality glasses are likely to be much lighter and actually offer a different experience to virtual reality.

VR works by entirely immersing someone in a virtual world, while AR works by overlaying additional digital content on top of what people see in the real world.

The tech has actually been around for a good while, and as such, there are a few different pairs of AR glasses to choose from. Most are designed more for enterprise and commercial use at the moment, but there are a handful of excellent choices that can be had by consumers, too.

We've taken a look at what's available on the market today that aligns with what we think makes a fantastic pair of AR glasses, and selected a number of options based on everything from specs to reviews.

So, let’s get to it – here are some recommendations for the best AR glasses out there today.

Best AR Glasses

Best AR Glasses All-Rounder - Vuzix Blade Upgraded

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Credit: Vuzix
Brand: Vuzix | Resolution: 480x853 | Processor: ARM Quad Core | Storage: 8GB | OS: Android | Weight: 90g

The Vuzix Blade Upgraded, as things stand, is one of a privileged few pairs of actual augmented reality glasses around, as opposed to more standard 'smart' glasses, and in a more general sense, also represents some of the best smart glasses around.

They run Android and offer a clever transparent display that works through the power of waveguides, which project the image onto a clear screen.

Read More: Augmented Reality ads are already here with Nreal AR glasses

For the waveguide tech, the resolution is 480x480, meaning it's only really useful for showing key information; however, it's still a clever add-on. You also get 8GB of total on-board storage with the Vuzix Blade Upgraded, although you can upgrade this with its microSD slot.

Its 470mAh battery should also be enough for these glasses to last between four to six hours before they need to be charged back up again.

Best AR Glasses For Work - Lenovo ThinkReality A3

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Credit: Lenovo
Brand: Lenovo | Resolution: 1920x1080 (per-eye) | Processor: Qualcomm XR-1 Smartviewer | Storage: None | OS: Windows/Android (when connected to relevant device) | Weight: 130g

If you're looking for an excellent pair of AR glasses to use for work, then the Lenovo ThinkReality A3s should be a rather useful choice.

What these glasses allow you to do is create a large, wide virtual monitor that can be used for working alongside a laptop or phone so you can see what you're working on without any need for one of the best ultrawide monitors, or multiple smaller ones with some.

To this end, the ThinkReality A3's make use of a per-eye resolution of 1920x1080 and feature 200 nits of brightness, which should make images and work clear, as well as rather sharp too.

In addition, they also run Qualcomm's powerful XR-1 Smartviewer processor, which means they'll pack in a fair bit of power for day-to-day working.

Best Light AR Glasses - Epson Moverio BT-300

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Credit: Epson
Brand: Epson | Resolution: 1280x720 | Processor: Intel Atom 5 | Storage: None | OS: Android 5.1 | Weight: 60g

For those after an immensely light pair of AR glasses, look no further than the Epson Moverio BT-300s.

These may be slightly older than the rest of our list, but they maintain competitive with quite an excellent feature set. Chief among these comes their 60g weight, which makes these some of the lightest frames out there, and therefore one of the lightest AR or VR devices money can buy.

Read More: 3D Metaverse Ads are coming to all Meta services with AR support

The Epson Moverio BT-300s also come with oodles of power thanks to its 1.44GHz Intel Atom Processor, as well as some bright Si-OLED panels that offer a 1280x720 resolution. Si-OLED is a form of display tech Epson utilises that uses silicon panels which look to offer high transparency and immense lightness.

You'll also find Bluetooth connectivity, as well as support for Miracast, which should make pairing these with displays rather easy. The fact they also run Android should offer an intuitive user experience, too.

Best AR Glasses For Enterprise Use - Microsoft HoloLens 2

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Credit: Microsoft
Brand: Microsoft | Resolution: 2040x1080 (per-eye) | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 | Storage: 64GB | OS: Windows Holographic OS | Weight: 566g

The Microsoft HoloLens 2 may not be considered a pair of AR 'glasses' as such and occupies more of a halfway house between glasses, and a headset.

It's technically designed more for business users or enterprises than for the general public, but with a 2K resolution, offers some of the clearest images out there on an AR device.

With the HoloLens 2, you'll also find clever features such as hand and eye tracking, and with 6DoF tracking, everything should also be immensely precise.

6DoF refers to 6 Degrees of Freedom, meaning that the directional tracking system of the 'glasses' is sensitive to translational movement as well as rotational movement.

There's also a shedload of sensors here such as environment-sensing cameras and an ambient light sensor that can figure out what environment you're using the headset in, which sounds mighty clever.

Best AR Glasses For Runners - Engo Eyewear

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Credit: Engo
Brand: Engo | Resolution: 304x256 (per-eye) | Processor: None | Storage: None | OS: ActiveLook (App) | Weight: 41g

The Engo Eyewear acts as a great demonstration of how, at the moment, augmented reality tech is designed more for specific cases than for general use.

These are a pair of AR glasses designed for runners, as well as cyclists, that can be worn while running, and can project statistics such as distance covered and speed on its AMOLED panels so you can keep track.

The Engo Eyewear works by being tethered to a device and works with a range of different options, including Garmin watches, smartphones and bike sensors such as power meters.

These glasses also come with gesture controls so you can change screens with a flick of the wrist, as well as 12 hours of runtime. The lenses here also feature 100% UV protection, so can also act as a useful pair of running sunglasses too, ensuring your eyes are protected.

Upcoming Releases For AR Glasses

Alongside our list of picks currently available, there are a handful of options from manufacturers that have been announced, although haven't been released fully just yet. Here are a few we think you should keep an eye out for.

Magic Leap 2

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Credit: Magic Leap

The Magic Leap 2 is a second-generation AR headset from startup Magic Leap, and looks to be one of the most exciting upcoming releases out there.

They should be quite lightweight at 248g, which is a 70g or so decrease on their predecessor, as well as featuring an uprated 70 degrees of FOV, and a clear 1536x1856 per-eye resolution.

Keep an eye out for the Magic Leap 2's arrival and for more information, our friends at VR Life have everything you need to know about Magic Leap 2 right here.

Oppo Air Glass

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Credit: Oppo

The Oppo Air Glass is arguably one of the most intriguing offerings from the world of AR glasses.

These look to work via what Oppo calls 'assisted reality' and offer more of a companion device than one that works on its own. Oppo says these will work with any Oppo smartphone or smartwatch in a range of use cases, including as a wearable teleprompter for company presentations.

They're said to be offering a weight of just 30g and a battery life of 3 hours, and work via a Mini LED projector with a resolution of 480x6409.

As things stand, they're only available in China, and it remains to be seen if Oppo will release them globally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are AR glasses worth it?

We'd say that at the moment, a pair of AR glasses may only be worth it for developers or business users who require an augmented reality solution within their workplace.

There is a place for it for consumers, although it may still be some time before we see the technology becoming widespread.

How much do AR glasses cost?

This all depends on the glasses, of course, and their respective use case. Augmented reality glasses, as mentioned in the intro, are still a developing industry, and therefore come with higher barriers to entry.

For some older or less enterprise-style candidates, these can be had between $500 and $1000, while for the increasingly specialist choices, you'll be looking at several thousand.

Do you need glasses for augmented reality?

Technically speaking, no, but glasses provide a more immersive method of experiencing AR. This is because augmented reality tech works via adding digital content to an existing display that is essentially laid over what the camera sees in the real world.

Glasses are arguably the easiest way of accessing augmented reality, although it is now possible to experience its power on smartphones too.

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