Snap Spectacles 3 review: here we go again


– It’s been three years
since the first version of Snapchat Spectacles, and that first edition had a lot of buzz but it didn’t sell too many units. Last year, a second version
kind of came and went. Now Snap is back with Spectacles 3. It’s a redesigned, more powerful and much pricier take
on wearable computing. These things cost three
hundred and eighty dollars, up from a hundred and fifty
dollars for Spectacles 2. Snap says they’re intended for a more fashion forward
and creative audience, but what can these things actually do and who should really buy them? (funky music) So let’s start with the design. Compared to Spectacles 2, which looked a lot like a toy, Spectacles 3 feels much more serious. They come in just two colors, black and a kind of tan
that Snap calls mineral. And they have a new steel frame. I find that the steel frame
isn’t super comfortable, particularly over a long period of time. There’s something that would just kind of dig into various parts of my head as I was walking around town with them. And as far as the design, it might just be a little
too fashion forward, at least for me. There’s something about
this giant steel bar running across the top of my forehead that feels a little bit insect
like or maybe even alien. Now let’s talk abut the
tech in Spectacles 3. The big marquee feature this
year is a second camera, and what that second camera means is that Spectacles can sense
depth for the first time. So Spectacles now have a bunch of filters that kind of integrate the
real world with Snap’s. For example, there’s one filter
that puts hearts everywhere and as you’re walking through the video, those hearts will kind of bounce off you. There’s another flower
filter that projects flowers onto the ground and the
shape kind of changes with the topography. When I talked with
Snap’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, about Spectacles recently, he told me he saw them as a
breakthrough for the company because it’s the first time
that Snap has been able to integrate computing
with the real world. Unfortunately, though, that integration is only happening after the fact. I can’t put on my Spectacles
and just see Snap filters over layed on top of the world. Instead, I have to open my phone, import Snaps from my glasses to the phone, and only then can I tap the edit button and start swiping through the filters. It’s just a couple more steps than it feels like it should take. So there are gonna be
about 10 of these filters available at launch that are
exclusive to Spectacles 3, and I’d say that none of them has that immediate iconic appeal of past hit Snapchat filters, like the dancing hot
dog or the gender swap. But Snap is gonna let
independent developers build their own filters that
incorporate depth perception, and it’ll be interesting to
see what they come up with. In the meantime, though, it
feels mostly like a novelty. Spectacles 3 can use the
second camera in another way, and it’s by taking what
Snap calls 3D photos. So you put on your Spectacles, you press and hold one
of these camera buttons and it will capture a sort
of three-dimensional image of the world around you. Once you’ve done that, you can
build this cardboard viewer that is included with Spectacles 3, slide a phone in and then
kind of click through all of the 3D photos that you’ve taken. It’s sort of similar to one of those old View-Master gadgets, and it’s based on previous things like Google Cardboard or Gear VR. It’s a somewhat novel way
of looking through images, but I don’t know if, at this point, it’s much more than a novelty. I think Spectacles 3 are
a meaningful iteration of a product that is only
going to get better over time. At the same time, they’re
definitely a product that most people shouldn’t buy. So why does Snap keeping making these? I asked Evan Spiegel that,
and he was up front with me. He said that he thinks that
these kind of AR glasses aren’t gonna hit mainstream
adoption for 10 years. He says there are just
too many constraints on the hardware that we have. But Snap thinks it’s important
to iterate in public. Every time it releases another
generation of Spectacles, it’s able to learn from its
community, get feedback, and then incorporate that
into the next edition. With Spectacles 3, for the
first time Snap is integrating its computing into the real world. It’s opening up that tool for developers, and it’s going to learn a bunch. I don’t think it’s going
to sell a lot Spectacles 3, but I do think that what it learns is gonna make Spectacles 4 a
much more interesting product. If you enjoyed the video, don’t forget to like and
subscribe to more videos from theverge.com, and if you’re interested in Snapchat, wanna know more about the business and everything to do with
technology and democracy, how social networks
are changing the world, I write a daily newsletter about it. You can find it at theverge.com/interface.

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100 thoughts on “Snap Spectacles 3 review: here we go again

  1. The Interface is a daily newsletter where Silicon Valley editor Casey Newton breaks down the day’s big news from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Snap. Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/33EUpF1

  2. Tech reviewers: Gets to play with all kinds of tech and weird gadgets.
    Twelve seconds later: I recommend this tech for a specific group only

  3. I never heard of this product before and after seeing this video I didn't becone smarter. Is it a camera? What is the cardboard for? Does it even has a screen?

  4. If they can do a real time face swap, deepfakes….. that will be great!!!
    Imagine having some “fun” with a celebrity you like. Hehehehe

  5. Can we also have a breakdown of the privacy implications of the product being reviewed? This one for example puts two cameras on everyone's noses. Feel free to extrapolate…

  6. löl I don't even use Snapchat XD
    And considering how the company is anti-Android and all the competitors copying Snapchat's ''exclusive'' features… G'luck existing XD

  7. I remember going to NYC for the 1st time and found a Snapchat pop up store. I remember seeing a Casey video of him going there and thought it was. So I went in and my buddy and I were the only ones there. I ended up buying a pair and sold them on eBay for twice the price I paid.

  8. Thank you sir for the review 🙏🏻🙏🏻 I love them but I don’t know where I can wear them without getting into some sort of ‘trouble’ 🥵🥵…

  9. Price still isn't right. It's at the think really hard if you need level while it needs to be at the oh that's nice quick pick up level £50-£100

  10. I like the idea of it but yeah … for this to really go worldwide, personally i think it needs to at least live stream the filters to the phone with footage. Having the phone being able to click in and work or have a projector on the lens would be optimal.

  11. As a tech enthusiast… I had completely forgot that this even existed. That's how much of an impact this product line has had.
    I didn't even know that they had made a second version… let lone a third.

  12. Evan Spiegel: “this tech won’t hit the mainstream for another 10 years”
    Apple: “I’m about to end this mans whole career”

  13. Snapchat is really missing the point. They need to decouple it from snapchat and focus on quality, look and ease of use. They need to give it a universal charging port like USB C. There's such an opportunity to own this market before it takes off.

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