So, I was grateful enough to get a pair of Black Snapchat Spectacles, one of the more exclusive tech wearables this year. The little pair of glasses pop up in what they called "bots" if you haven't already heard, and are priced at $130 (not too bad). Unfortunately, if you don't live in NYC, or aren't adventurous enough to constantly find a drop zone for a bot, you're gonna be dishing out at least 200 dollars online, but onto the review!
Now if I am being 100% honest, the camera isn't something to rave about. No, its not terrible and no, its nothing to be ashamed on, but it isn't something mind blowing. The main point of spectacles isn't to be able to capture crisp quality though, its to be able to capture the moments you normally wouldn't be able to. When recoding a small circular light on the front will spin, allowing others to see you're recording the moment. You can record a video for 10 seconds, or press it up to 3 times to allow a total of 30 seconds. The camera is a fish eye lens which is the coolest feature, giving a rotating image to anyones snapchat story. Its night time recording isn't half bad as well, so if you really need to capture some dark moments, it would be able to.
The Spectacles work FLAWLESSLY within the app on both android and iOS. Simply looking at your snap code is the way to pair the device. After that, you really need not worry how far away you are, or if you left your phone at home. The device stores the images on your eyes until you can import them onto you phone. Which begs the next question, importing and sending. Importing takes a little bit of time. There are two video standards to import, SD and HD. Now, they don't determine the quality of the video, but rather the FPS (Frames per second). For those of you not familiar, the higher the FPS the better. SD being 30fps and HD being 60fps. You can import videos to your phone on cellular, but must be connected to wifi in order to import HD videos.
Exporting on the other had is just like exporting any other video from memories. However, due to the fish like lens of the camera, all videos exported will come out circular.
There battery isn't too bad, but depends on person to person. The device can record 16 minutes of video (at 10 seconds a video), that means about 100 snaps before the device dies. Now, if you are a moderate user, using the device to capture those few moments will be no problem. However, heavy snapchatters who want to capture their ENTIRE day will find this a little, tedious. Now not to worry though, the case that comes with the Spectacles though is a charger on its own. The case holds about 5 charges for the glasses, so you can get about 500 snaps with the glasses on the go, before needing a refresh. You can charge the glasses in the case both at the same time, but if you really need a fast charge, you can plug in the Spectacles directly into the cord. The cord itself Snap's own propriety magnetic strip, similar to that of Apples own mag safe on the MacBook Pro's.
The design of the glasses is rather, clunky in my opinion. As someone with a rather smaller face as well, I find them a little big and bug eyed. However, they aren't too bad, and can work for both men and women without a problem. On the side of the glasses though, you will find two large boxes, which hold the overall components. These are the biggest, clunks I guess you could say, that are on the device itself. On the left side of the eye, there is a small blue dot that informs you, that you are recording, and begins to blink when you reach about 3 seconds until the end of the snap. On the outside, there is a spinning blue dots, that inform others of your snapchattery, and also indicate battery. On the opposite side, there is your camera. The colors come in Teal, Coral, and Black, and all of which have the same yellow circles around the eyes.
Functionality/How to Use
The device is rather simple to use. Connect to your phone, press the button, and begin snapping. Tapping the side indicates battery life by the front facing LED, and on the inside of the glasses, you have your own blue dot to indicate how long until the snapchat is finished recording. It doesn't directly send the snaps to your story/friends though. Instead, the snaps are sent to "Memories" where from there, you can edit, put some emojis, text etc and send them to anyone you like (including your story).
Sending a Spectacle video from your Memories tab to your story though, will NOT put the white memory banner around it, it will look like a normal snapchat story (unlike normal memory snapchats). Sending directly to friends on the other hand though, will send it like you were sharing an image with someone (chat like).
All spectacle videos sent to story have the tag "Sent from Spectacles" on them, and ALL videos recorded will have the cool fish eye, 360 spin view. No matter how you view it, the picture adjusts with it. As said, you simply click the button on the left side, and it records a 10 second video, up to 30 seconds (you can press it 3 times together though for a 30 second video).
Overall the device is VERY fun to use, IF you are a typical snapchat user. If you are someone who barely uses the app, stay away, its main purpose is for it. Also, if you are someone who likes to take selfies rather than share whats going on around you, the device might not be for you either. The price, $130 dollars isn't too steep compared to that of other similar products in the past (Google Glass $1500). I would defiantly recommend them to people, and even the style if you don't like it, grows on you.