Over recent years, Rokid has established itself as a go-to brand for reliable consumer AR products. Their latest offering, the Rokid Max, takes their legacy a step further, delivering an even more compelling AR glasses experience.
With a price tag of $399, the Rokid Max confidently positions itself as a premium choice in the world of consumer smart glasses. These glasses are engineered to project a virtual screen that mirrors your smart devices – be it your smartphone, laptop, or gaming console.
Imagine being on a plane, wanting to enjoy a movie without the hassle of setting up a laptop or juggling a tablet. With the Rokid Max, all you need to do is plug them into your phone, launch Netflix, and you’re instantly immersed in a cinematic experience – all through a device that’s no larger than your everyday sunglasses.
The package includes a well-designed case and a plastic lens cover for those moments when you desire complete immersion. Otherwise, you’ll have an augmented reality experience with things displaying over the top of the real world. The case is protective, robust, and boasts a premium feel, complete with a dedicated compartment for the supplied USB-C cable.
Design and Comfort
Weighing in at just 75 grams, the Rokid Max glasses are designed with your comfort in mind. They come equipped with interchangeable nose pads, covered in a soft rubber-like material that ensures no unsightly red marks on your nose, even during extended use.
One particularly practical aspect of these glasses is their darkened lenses, giving them the dual function of regular sunglasses when not in AR mode. However, there’s one unique design element to note: the sizable blacked-out area on the forehead, which accommodates most of the technology. This design does cause the glasses to sit slightly higher on your head than typical sunglasses, giving them a distinct appearance.
Controls and Customization
The Rokid Max incorporates a set of buttons under the right frame, including two volume controls and a brightness switch – a feature that sets them apart from many competing AR glasses. What’s more, each lens features a slider for adjusting the diopter, a valuable addition for those with nearsightedness.
One of the standout features of the Rokid Max is its display quality. With a maximum brightness of up to 600 nits and Micro OLED projectors, the result is an exceptionally sharp and vibrant image with rich colors. The glasses boast a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, ensuring a visually pleasing experience that will especially delight gamers.
The Rokid Max supports HDCP, making it possible to stream high-quality content from services like Netflix, even on devices lacking HDCP support. The virtual screen, equivalent to a 215-inch display, offers an immersive experience devoid of visible pixels or ghosting. However, there’s one minor quibble: the virtual screen’s positioning is slightly lower than ideal, affecting the visibility of the lower portion of the projection. I’d like to be able to calibrate where the screen sits even if only in a limited capacity.
Connecting the Rokid Max to your devices is a breeze. The package includes a USB Type-C-to-USB Type-C cable, simplifying the process. Most Android smartphones and PCs immediately recognize the glasses as an external display. For devices lacking USB-C display support, a straightforward HDMI-to-USB-C adapter gets the job done seamlessly.
The Rokid Max offers 3DoF head tracking, allowing for some AR functionality. To tap into more AR features, including an app launcher and web browser, you’ll need to utilize the Rokid AR companion app, available on the Google Play Store.
However, it’s important to note that the app experience isn’t without its hiccups. It requires user registration and can be prone to issues like error messages and email verification glitches. The AR Mode, which integrates head tracking, may not provide the smoothest experience due to blurriness and jittery movements when turning your head.
Also a noteworthy feature of the Rokid Max is its stereo speakers, positioned at the bottom of each frame. These speakers deliver impressive audio quality, with clear high and mid frequencies. They can achieve comfortable volume levels without causing disruptions to those around you. While you won’t get booming bass from such compact speakers, you’ll find the listening experience surprisingly enjoyable.
Compatibility with iPhones
iPhone users may encounter compatibility challenges with the Rokid Max. Apple’s AR glasses ecosystem is less open than Android’s, necessitating additional adapters and workarounds to connect these glasses to an iPhone, making it less user-friendly for Apple enthusiasts. I am not certain how things will fare now in with the iPhone 15 and its USB-C connectivity.
Available from Rokid’s online store for $199, the Rokid Station is an accessory that looks like a remote control but packs an entire Android TV experience inside. It’s an optional device but it complements the Rokid Max quite nicely and I think it’s worth pairing the two together if you’re considering the glasses.
Inside lies a 64-bit 4-core ARM CPU, 32GB of internal storage (with 20GB available for your use), 2GB of RAM, and a robust 5,000mAh battery. Remarkably, there’s no fan inside, ensuring silent operation even during extended use. On the exterior, you’ll find intuitive control buttons, a LED battery indicator, and two ports: USB-C for charging and a mini-HDMI port for display output.
The device features clicky buttons and a spacious circular pad that closely resembles other Android TV or projector remotes, and it functions as a conventional four-directional d-pad. The buttons are straightforward: the left-pointing arrow takes you back, the home button returns you to the main screen, and so on. Android TV’s interface is refreshingly simple, allowing you to navigate effortlessly with this remote control.
The Rokid Station seamlessly integrates with the Rokid Max. Upon plugging it in and powering it up, Android TV springs to life. Initial setup involves connecting to Wi-Fi and optionally signing in to your Google account, enabling a personalized YouTube feed and access to additional apps.
The Rokid Max, paired with the Station, delivers visuals equivalent to a massive 215-inch screen from a distance of 10 feet. This immersive experience allows you to “see through” the visuals, making it suitable for on-the-go usage without obstructing your surroundings. However, for distraction-free viewing, opt for that aforementioned lens cover and it will feel like a colossal floating screen in front of your eyes.
The Rokid Station offers an alternative to using your smartphone for content consumption. Some phones lack ports that support display output, and the Station solves this problem. Additionally, its compact and lightweight design (weighing just 148g) makes it more convenient than carrying a bulky smartphone. Whether you’re watching videos or walking around the house, the Rokid Station fits comfortably in your pocket or hand.
The Rokid Station’s 5,000mAh battery provides approximately five hours of power, ensuring it can keep up with your AR glasses usage throughout the day.
In the realm of consumer AR glasses, the Rokid Max stands as an impressive choice. Its exceptional display quality and high-fidelity speakers ensure an immersive entertainment experience that’s hard to match. Despite some hiccups with the companion app, the glasses excel when used for straightforward screen mirroring, eliminating the need for additional applications.
Priced competitively within its category, the Rokid Max is a compelling option for tech enthusiasts seeking a versatile AR glasses experience. Its lightweight design, premium feel, and outstanding specifications make it a worthy investment for those in search of a well-rounded AR glasses solution.
You can purchase the Rokid Max on its own for $399 through Rokid’s website or Amazon. My suggestion is to pair the Rokid Station to it and pick up the “Rokid AR Joy Pack” for $499 which essentially adds the full Android TV experience for just a hundred bucks more.