Vuzix Blade 2 Review

Vuzix Blade 2 Review

Published: 14-03-2023
Updated: 26-05-2023

In this Vuzix Blade 2 review, we will cover its smart glass features and how it fares against Vuzix’s continuously expanding assisted reality devices.

We will cover its pros, cons, and useability for enterprises and the front-line worker, helping you to decide which Vuzix device is best for you and how it competes against the competition.

Pros and cons of the Vuzix Blade 2

Pros

Cons

Best entry level smart glass

Less robust and certified for rugged environments compared to its competition

Vuzix Blade 2 acts as safety glasses with assisted reality functionality

Video camera for remote maintenance not capable of 4K resolution

Open and customizable operating system (Android 11) with the latest security patch

Only compatible with right eye of user

Excellent 2000 nits brightness for use in the outdoors and bright environments

Remote maintenance and expertise camera features great auto-focus and placement at eye level

Specifications of the Vuzix Blade 2 AR smart glass

Vuzix Blade 2

Display Type

MicroLED

Resolution

480 x 480 pixels

Visible Field of View

20 degrees

Lens Type

Waveguide

Processor

Quad Core ARM CPU

Operating System

Android 11

Storage (ROM)

40GB

Tracking

3DoF

Control Options

Multilingual voice, multi-finger supported touchpad, smartphone (iOS and Android)

Certifications

Full UV protection lenses, ANSI Z87.1

Price

€1.380

What comes in the box of the Vuzix Blade 2

  • 1x Vuzix Blade 2
  • 1x Micro-USB cable
  • 1x Bluetooth earplugs
  • 1x Charger
  • 1x Microfiber pocket
  • VR Expert Quickstart Guide

Display of the Vuzix Blade 2

The standout feature of the Blade 2 successor to the original Vuzix Blade and Blade Upgraded is the brightness of the display which can now reach 2000 nits. This means the Blade 2 is fully functional in bright sunlight or direct fluorescent factory lighting. 

Besides the strong brightness, the visual performance mirrors what the Vuzix Blade Upgraded delivered. Vuzix Blade 2’s technical specifications are 480 by 480 resolution in a 20-degree Field of View, producing a 24-pixel density per degree channeled through Vuzix in-house waveguide optics and Cobra II display engine.  We found this display upgrade useful and practical as even intricate details are visible, like highlighting root causes during a remote maintenance call.

The camera of the Vuzix Blade 2

Speaking of remote maintenance, in our testing of this particular use case, we found no differences in camera performance between the Vuzix Blade 2 and Vuzix Blade Upgraded. As both use the 8MP camera placed at eye level for video streaming and recording 720p at 60fps and 1080p at 30fps. We expect many remote experts will notice and like the capable camera auto-focus functionality.

Power and Performance of the Blade 2 smart glass

During these working days, you will notice the UI and UX are updated to modern standards. Part of the reason for this is the latest Android 11 operating system is featured on the Blade 2, bringing updated security sought by enterprises. While it also is compatible with the latest developer tools in Android Studio. Something we have found many industries and enterprises actively seek when choosing their smart glasses for digital transformation.

Practically, this also means enterprises have numerous choices in what specialized software can be sideloaded onto the Vuzix Blade 2, which brings great flexibility and customization in its use cases. Nevertheless, numerous official Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) solutions are available for Blade 2. As a note, we tested Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco Webex, and TeamViewer software on the new Vuzix Blade 2, and everything ran smoothly.

Besides the updated operating system, the Vuzix Blade 2 is the same as Blade Upgraded in processing power. The main area is with updated connectivity options of Bluetooth 5.0 that is capable of a stable connection between the Blade 2 and your base device for up to 243 meters (800 feet). We weren’t able to test this to its full potential, but we did find it to be better than that on the Blade Upgraded. While the integrated storage also got bumped up to 40GB alleviating the need for a slower SD card, which used to basically be a requirement to use the smart glasses..

Design and Comfort of the Vuzix Blade 2 assisted reality glass

As Paul Travers, CEO and founder of Vuzix stressed in our conversation, comfortable ergonomics and appealing Oakley-type design are front and center for Vuzix smart glasses. The Vuzix Blade 2 is no exemption.

When you pick up this new pair of assisted reality glasses, you feel the Blade 2’s lightweight and durable build quality. Similar to the Blade Upgraded, I was floored by how much cutting-edge technology and innovation could fit into such a small form factor.

Once you put on the glasses, you’ll notice its comfort from strategically placed cushions, alleviating the spots where the weight does centralize on your head, making it comfortable even after a couple hours of constant use.

Control options for Vuzix Blade 2 AR device

The Vuzix Blade 2’s control and UX options are the same as the Blade Upgraded with a good voice control and the tried and tested touchpad on the side arms. However, we did experience some issues with the touchpad’s responsiveness that hopefully will be improved in subsequent updates. 

Lastly, external control set through the companion app for Android and iOS further opens ways of externally navigating the Blade 2 smart glass, bringing extended usability to the device.

All the certifications for Vuzix Blade 2

As is the case for the Vuzix Blade series, a useful combination of safety glasses and assisted reality is offered. So, the Blade 2, like its Blade Upgraded constituents, features the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1 safety certification. This means the Blade 2 acts as a safety glass, protecting your eyes against hazardous materials like chemical splashes, sparks, and shrapnel. As a bonus, we also enjoyed the option to add full UV protection for outdoor use. 

The sound quality of the Vuzix Blade 2

Lastly, while the Vuzix Blade 2’s integrated speakers don’t produce audiophile-level sound quality, it is calibrated for clear mids for video calls. In loud industrial settings with machinery and forklifts, voices came through clearly due to the Vuzix Blade 2’s dual active noise-cancellation. Yet, compared to the competition, active noise cancellation (ACN) is not as thorough, so if this is core to your use case, we recommend other aR like the RealWear Navigator 520 smart glasses.

Price and final verdict of the Vuzix Blade 2

The updated operating system enables access to the latest software applications and security features which is something enterprises and industries actively seek. But it is with the Vuzix Blade series combination of safety glasses and assisted reality, that the Vuzix Blade 2’s €1.380 price is competitive.

Comparably,  the tethered and non-safety glass usability Vuzix M400C houses a crisper 4K camera but is monocular and attaches to external safety gear. The same is for RealWear HMT-1 priced similarly. However, HMT-1’s safety compliances are broader, and it delivers better noise-cancellation but is driven by Android 10, whereas the Blade 2 features Android 11.

Our final verdict is that the Vuzix Blade 2 fills a need for enterprises and industrial workers with the safety glasses and assisted reality combination that is more useful for the outdoors with higher brightness and its updated Android 11 operating system for improved safety and compliance.

Vuzix Blade 2

Vuzix M400C

RealWear HMT-1

Price

€1.380

€1.380

€1.669

Display

MicroLED

Single OLED

Single LCD

Optics

waveguide

HUD

HUD

Resolution

480 x 480 pixels

640 x 360 pixels

854 x 480 pixels

Camera

8MP, Autofocus, 720P 30fps video

12.8 MP, 4K 30fps video

16MP, 1080P video

Field of View

20 degrees

16.8 degrees

20 degrees

Processor

Quad Core ARM CPU

Tethered

Qualcomm Snapdragon 626

RAM

-

Tethered

3 GB

Tracking

3 DoF

3DoF

3DoF

Battery Life

-

Tethered

5-6 hours

Weight

-

182 grams

380 g

Certifications

Full UV protection lenses, ANSI Z87.1 

IP67, IEC60601-1-2:2014 EMC, IECAMD1:2013 Usability, IEC 60601-1-11:2015IEC 60601-1-2:2014, ISO 14644-1,MIL-STD 810g

IP66, MIL-STD-810G