Snapchat Spectacles 3 review

Spectacles 3

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Snap’s Spectacles 3 launch on Tuesday for $380. They let you record video and snap pictures, apply new 3D effects to them and then post that content to Snapchat or other social networks.

Unlike the previous two versions of Spectacles, the Spectacles 3 introduce new augmented reality and 3D features with the aid of a new depth sensor. Thanks to this tech, you can make it look like you’re walking down a rainbow hallway, that heart-shaped balloons are floating in a park around you, or that a cartoon phoenix is following you around on a walk. Or you can take pictures and convert them into tilting 3D images and GIFs that can bring your adventures to life.

Snap Spectacles 3

Todd Haselton | CNBC

It’s kind of cool.

But Spectacles 3 aren’t meant for mass consumption the way earlier models might have been. (Snapchat wrote off nearly $40 million in losses when the first model flopped.) Instead, Spectacles 3 are aimed at wealthier influencers and creators who want to add special effects to their Snapchat posts. That’s a relatively small audience.

At $380, they’re not exactly priced for mass consumption anyway. Given that 90% of Snapchat’s audience is comprised of 13- to 24-year olds, they’re also probably too expensive for most of the younger buyers.

Snap is in the race to put computers in our faces, and Spectacles 3 is a stepping stone to get there. In October, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said more than 500,000 AR lenses are available on Snapchat. Developers and partners will soon be able to build them for Spectacles 3 too. And in 10 years, Spiegel said that consumers will widely adopt augmented-reality glasses.

“We’re working toward that future,” he said during the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in October. “Rather than go in a hole or an R&D center or something and try to make something people like and show them 10 years later, we create a relationship with our community and build that future together.”

According to a report from The Information on Monday, Snapchat is already working on a fourth version of Spectacles that will have AR built-in, allowing users to potentially view their creations right through the glasses themselves, instead of later on a phone.

Here’s what you need to know about Spectacles 3, Snap’s next step toward that future.

What’s good

My friend Nick wearing Spectacles 3.

Todd Haselton | CNBC

The Spectacles 3 are made out of metal, instead of cheaper plastic like some of the earlier models. They look a bit more premium than before, but they’re not necessarily as luxurious as what you’d find among similarly priced glasses made by fashion brands. They’re not very comfortable either. (More on that in the next section.)

It’s really easy to connect Spectacles 3 to your phone. I added them inside the Snapchat app and was ready to start recording in just a couple of minutes. There are two buttons you can tap to record video or snap 3D pictures, with one placed on each side of the frames and always within easy reach.

There are…

Have a comment? Type it below!