Today, Snapchat launched its Spectacles Camera Sunglasses V2 in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and France. The new glasses are wearable underwater, are available in better colors, prescription options and a much slimmer frame and charging case. The stylish glasses are priced at $150 ($20 more than the older version) which is a bargain for the features packed into them.
What are Spectacles?
Spectacles are a pair of smart glasses for recording video for the Snapchat service fitted with a camera that is capable of recording short video segments and syncing with a smartphone to upload to the user’s online account. They were released on November 10, 2016 by Snap Inc. The glasses are made for Snap’s image messaging and multimedia platform Snapchat and were initially distributed exclusively through Snap’s pop-up vending machine, Snapbot. On February 20, 2017, Snap Spectacles became available for purchase online. They are also a competitor of Google Glass.
What’s New in V2
The new V2 Spectacles are sleeker and feel less bulky. They also come in three colors – onyx black, ruby red and sapphire blue and you can choose between a more mirrored or natural lens color too. An extra microphone helps Spectacles cut the wind noise and balance out conversations so the wearer doesn’t sound way louder. The camera button is intuitive where you can hold it for a photo or tap it for a 10-second video, with extra taps extending the clip up to 30 seconds.
The field of vision has been reduced from 115 to 105 degrees to reduce some of the fish-eye warping that happened on the older V1 glasses. You can record high quality videos in 1216 x 1216 pixels, while photos can be captured at 1642 x 1642 pixels. The glasses are waterproof allowing you to shoot videos or photos underwater which is plain awesome. Now you can sync to your smartphone just using Bluetooth and a seven-second press of the shutter button.
Snap has also made the glasses look more like normal sunglasses. They still light up when you snap a photo or video, but the conspicuous yellow rings at the top of the frames have been swapped for colors that match the frames.
The important question is whether Spectacles are a good enough product or just another expensive distraction?
For Snap Inc., the V2 Spectacles prove just how committed the company is to playing the long game when it comes to its hardware strategy. Yes, the glasses are considerably more boring than we may have hoped for Version 2, but they improve on the original design in just about every way.