No, that's not a phone — XREAL's new AR glasses accessory with a touchscreen can take 3D videos and it was created to save your phone's battery life

XREAL Beam Pro front and back.
XREAL Beam Pro is a new phone-like accessory for XREAL AR glasses. (Image credit: XREAL)

What you need to know

  • XREAL is a Chinese tech company that creates augmented reality (AR) glasses. 
  • Today at AWE 2024, XREAL announced a brand new mobile Android device called Beam Pro that serves as an accessory to XREAL AR glasses.  
  • The XREAM Beam Pro offers dual 3D cameras, allowing users to capture 3D videos.
  • It was designed to allow AR glasses users to access the apps they want without draining their phone battery.  
  • XREAL Beam Pro preorders are open. It comes in either a Wi-Fi-only model or a 5G model and it has a starting price of $199.

This week in Sunnyvale, CA, the extended reality (XR) expo, known as AWE 2024, is going on. It's a major tech conference for companies within the virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) space. During the event, Chinese tech company, XREAL, which is known for its quality AR glasses, unveiled a new accessory in the form of the XREAL Beam Pro. This device is currently available for preorder as of today for $199 at XREAL

The XREAM Beam Pro looks an awful lot like a mobile phone — albeit a far less expensive option — technically, it could be used like a phone if you get the 5G model, but it's first and foremost an XREAL glasses accessory. It features a familiar app layout that any Android user is familiar with and can be used to access to millions of 2D apps including those found on Google Play Store, streaming services, and cloud gaming platforms (like Xbox Game Pass). 

To use it, you simply plug XREAL AR Air glasses into one of the two USB-C ports and you're good to start your 3DoF or 6DoF spatial environment sessions. 

"AWE 2024 is the perfect backdrop for us to reveal XREAL Beam Pro globally, a groundbreaking mobile device that gives everyone the chance to create their own stunning spatial video content, as well as the opportunity to enjoy a full range of popular entertainment and gaming platforms when paired with the world’s best-selling AR glasses,” commented Chi Xu, Founder and CEO of XREAL. “For XREAL Beam Pro we chose a uniquely simple design that features a familiar Android mobile experience to open the door to a new world of spatial computing that everyone can enjoy. Working with companies including Qualcomm Technologies, NVIDIA and others, we see the mobile internet evolving to the spatial internet and foresee XREAL Beam Pro plus XREAL glasses becoming one of the most powerful AR solutions to explore millions of apps in 3D space."

XREAL Beam Pro specs

Price: Starting at $199
Qualcomm Snapdragon technologies
Wi-Fi-only | 5G
Android 14 w/ NebulaOS
6GB | 8GB
Storage: 128GB | 256GB
Screen: 6.5-inch LCD 2K touchscreen
Cameras: Dual 50MP 3D cameras
Ports: 2x USB-C, microSD card reader
Battery: Unknown, but it has 27W fast charging

As XREAL Head of PR Ralph Jodice explained to me, the Beam Pro was designed in answer to feedback from XREAL glasses users. Basically, when people use XREAL glasses, many prefer to just use their phone for phone tasks. Additionally, users don't want to have to worry about the glasses draining their phone battery in order to function. With the use of a completely separate, phone-like device, XREAL glasses users can still control the AR and VR apps they want without connecting to their phones. What's more, some phone companies still weren't utilizing USB connections that worked with XREAL glasses, but the Beam Pro works with all of them so you don't have to worry about compatibility. 

Beam Pro starts at $199 and comes in either a Wi-Fi-only model or a more expensive 5G model. Both models feature Qualcomm Snapdragon technologies processors (specifically a Snapdragon Spatial Companion Processor) and run Android 14 with a "custom spatial UI built on XREAL's NebulaOS." More than just screen mirroring, apps accessed with Beam Pro and XREAL glasses are presented in a "spatial canvas" where two apps can be open at once and positioned as desired either side-by-side within a 3D space.

When XREAL glasses are connected to the Beam Pro, users will be able to enjoy countless 2D apps but within a 3DoF or 6DoF spatial environment. As far as storage, there is the option for 6GB RAM with 125GB storage or 8GB RAM with 256GB storage. That said, an included microSD card reader makes it possible to expand the storage capacity further, if desired.

As previously mentioned, this mobile device also features two USB-C ports to allow users to recharge the device while still having XREAL glasses plugged in. According to XREAL, it offers 27W fast charging to help keep the Beam Pro ready to go. One of the most interesting aspects of the Beam Pro is its dual 50MP 3D cameras which allow users to create 3D videos. They capture in 1080p at 60fps, which is very impressive.

The Beam Pro also doubles as a controller. Simply wave it about to use it like a pointer that you'll see behind your AR glasses.

Another cool thing is that the Beam Pro not only serves as a spatial environment app device, but also functions as a controller. Simply wave it about to use it like a pointer that you'll see behind your AR glasses or tap directly on the 6.5-inch 2K touchscreen to send commands.

One of the more popular features from the original Beam accessory is also available on Beam Pro in the form of Body Anchor mode. This fixes the virtual screen to one position. In a somewhat related way, the Smooth Follow mode keeps the screen in front of you and can even make it so what is displayed is "in gentle sync with the movement of your head." This should make the viewing experience a whole lot more convenient for users. 

Which XREAL glasses are compatible with Beam Pro?

The XREAL Beam Pro is designed to work with XREAL Air, XREAL Air 2, XREAL Air 2 Pro, and XREAL Air 2 Ultra glasses. However, only the XREAL Air 2 Ultra will be able to take advantage of 6DoF capabilities thanks to its 3D environment sensors. The rest of these compatible XREAL glasses have 3DoF experiences. 

XR experiences that won't drain your phone

We've seen a lot of growth in the XR space over the course of the last decade, so it's not at all surprising that XREAL — one of the biggest AR glasses companies — has created a new device for interacting with apps in a spatial environment. I know from my own experiences with AR glasses that phone battery anxiety is a real thing, so having a separate device that allows me to access and control programs while leaving my phone free to be a phone is really appealing.

More Spatial Computing

I also very much appreciate that the Beam Pro doubles as a pointer that can be moved around and used like a remote. Earlier this year at CES 2024, I had the opportunity to check out XREAL glasses in person and discovered that the Air 2 Ultra has a 3D environmental sensor that picks up on my hand movements. XREAL has made it so that there is a reticle at the center of the glasses virtual screen. In order to select something, I needed to point my head toward a program and then pinch my thumb and finger together in view of the camera, which translates to making a selection. While it's nice being able to control apps without needing to interact with a device, the Beam Pro will offer more meticulous, Nintendo Wii-like control for those that want it.  

Of course, the low price of the Beam Pro is also attractive. I'm almost tempted to buy a 5G model and see how easy it is to use it as my main phone; it's basically only a quarter of the price of my current one. Who knows, this low cost might just launch a Beam Pro mobile phone user base. 

I just wish I knew for certain how long the Beam Pro battery lasts. If it can run for up to six hours on average, I'll be especially happy. Afterall, I assume spatial computing takes more power than your typical phone usage. I'm guessing that more intensive 3D programs with XREAL Air Ultra 2 glasses will likely tax the Beam Pro battery more than 2D programs will. But I'll have to wait until I check the Beam Pro out in person to know if that's correct. We'll be reviewing the Beam Pro at some point so check back here at Windows Central for that. 

XREAL Beam Pro | Starting price of $199 at XREAL

XREAL Beam Pro | Starting price of $199 at XREAL

This is a special Android AR-device that allows people to create FHD spatial videos thanks to the dual 3D cameras. It's an ideal accessory for XREAL Air AR glasses since it frees your phone up to still be a phone. 

XREAL Air 2 Ultra | $699.00 at XREAL

XREAL Air 2 Ultra | $699.00 at XREAL

The Ultra version of the Air 2 offers both AR and VR capabilities. You can easily view the world around you while looking at a micro OLED displays or you can press a button to black out the world so you can purely focus on the screens. 

XREAL Air 2 Pro | $449 at Amazon

XREAL Air 2 Pro | $449 at Amazon

Simply plug these glasses into your phone, laptop, computer, or gaming handheld and you'll be able to view the device's display behind the glasses lenses. They're very comfortable and are a far more affordable alternative to Apple Vision Pro. 

Rebecca Spear
Editor and Reviewer

Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's editors and reviewers with a focus on gaming handhelds, PC gaming, and laptops. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, ROG Ally, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of articles with everything from editorials, reviews, previews, features, previews, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming-related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market. You can follow her @rrspear on X (formerly Twitter).