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This tiny tablet is a smart upgrade for AR glasses

The back of the Xreal Beam Pro, a chunky white Android tablet.
An Android phone minus the phone plus two giant cameras. | Image: Adi Robertson / The Verge

Xreal is one of the few companies trying to sell mass-market augmented reality headsets without an existing big tech empire. But its latest product isn’t a pair of glasses; it’s a phone-sized Android tablet designed to keep you using them. At last week’s Augmented World Expo (AWE) the company announced the Beam Pro, a combination battery, app repository, and 3D video recorder. It’s a pragmatic solution to a very obvious problem — even if, at first glance, I wish it were weirder.

Xreal’s glasses — the Air 2 and Air 2 Ultra — have generally required some kind of third-party device like a phone, laptop, or Steam Deck. (There was a bare-bones control box called the Beam, but it wasn’t a big focus for the company.) The Beam Pro is meant to…

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