August 8, 2022
Snap Spectrum 3 Review |  Gadgets 360

The Snap Spectrum 3 are the company’s latest AR glasses, and unlike the earlier iterations, they are officially available in India. These smart glasses come with cameras on board, so you can take pictures or video of what you’re seeing, so you can create some interesting first-person content. We found out what it’s like to use them first hand.

At Snap’s Annual Partner Summit last month, the company claimed that Snapchat grew 120 percent in India in 2019 in terms of daily active users. If you’ve been a Snapchat user over the past several years, you’ll notice how the app has evolved quite rapidly with many India-centric features and filters. The company is now bringing its AR glasses, Spectrum 2 and Spectrum 3, to India for the first time.

AR glasses aren’t a mainstream phenomenon yet, and no one knows when they’ll actually be. Google made one, and it failed miserably. Amazon built one while Apple is rumored to be working on a solution of its own. All the while, Snap has been busy offering its side of the argument for years.

Snapchat’s first hardware product, Spectacles, launched back in 2016. The company itself thinks it will take some time for AR glasses to see widespread adoption, something that has been the case for most wearables. The “smart” here is actually pretty simple unlike those other smart glasses—there are no heads-up displays or voice assistants, just cameras.

Once I briefly tried out Snap’s first-generation glasses, they felt magical. Of course, they were nowhere near what the now doomed Google Glass could have been, but being able to capture photos, without first holding the smartphone out of your pocket and then firing up the camera app, is like being in a science. Felt-fi movie. Snap released another pair of Spectacles that didn’t get much public attention, and last year launched an entirely new pair of AR glasses, simply called the Spectacles 3. Snap has now brought the Spectrum 3 to India along with the second-generation Spectrum 2, in a market that continues to grow thanks to the popular photo-sharing app.

What can you actually do with Glasses 3?

The core idea of ​​Snap’s Spectacles AR glasses has always been to let users capture images quickly and easily, without ever reaching for their smartphone. While it’s a great idea, and it works too, the Spectrum 3 is too expensive for that one simple use-case.

You can record videos, photos while you’re playing, running, cooking, working, drawing, or doing anything you don’t have a real camera on hand can take. The Glasses 3 is like having a GoPro camera on you at all times. You can simply tap a button to capture a moment when it’s happening in front of you. Snap’s community of AR developers has grown exponentially over the years. As a result, you are now able to use more and more AR filters, especially with glasses.

Glasses 3 lets you create AR content on the go using the Snapchat app. You can be creative and fill your Snapchat feed with content that is attention-grabbing no matter what. The Spectrum 3 can help record video and shoot photos that would otherwise have been high-end post-production as well as a GoPro camera strapped to your head. They’re a great way to create engaging, first-person videos and photos, while keeping your hands free during most of the recording process.

Hey, what about privacy?

In a country like India, privacy is not really taken very seriously. So when you imagine someone or yourself wearing a fancy pair of AR glasses, being able to capture photos or videos without making any noise, it sounds a little scary. Snap has tried to work around this by adding flashing LED lights around the cameras on the Spectrum 3. Each time a camera is in use, its corresponding circular LED light will blink for the entire recording.

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A circular LED ring flashes when the Glasses 3’s camera is recording content

The Glasses 3 are ideal for recording personal footage, but there may be times when you’re recording videos or capturing photos in public. In such a situation, an intelligent wearable camera may not really be appreciated by many.

When I tried these on at the local park, I found everyone staring at me. No matter how traditional the design, the Glasses 3 stands out from the top, with the two cameras on the side standing out. At home or among relatives, in some cases you are bound to laugh. It will probably take some time for these to feel normal among people. For now, you will need some courage to wear these and go out in public.

design

The Glasses 3 are essentially regular sunglasses, loaded with two cameras. The third generation Spectacles feature a metal frame that is available in black and gold color options. The frame itself is a bit heavy, and it can take some getting used to, especially if you’re wearing regular sunglasses that are usually very light. Unlike the previous generation Spectrum, the adjustable nose pads on the Spectrum 3 make it easier to fit more people. The two cameras are placed at the top corners of the metal frame, easily identifiable so that you never actually spy on anyone in secret.

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The metal frame fits snugly, is almost too tight, and is a bit heavy

The retro design makes the Spectrum 3 look more like regular sunglasses, so you can easily take them off when you’re outside. The overall design looks sleek and the frames are somewhat stylish. The metal frame looks premium and the LED ring light on the camera lens, which lights up while recording videos or capturing photos, looks quite classy.

Besides the cameras, there are two buttons on each side of the frame. While pressing one lets you record a quick ten-second video clip, holding it lets you capture a picture. There’s no way to pause the recording, you just have to wait for the 10-second clip to finish recording.

For longer videos, you can just press the extra button five times to shoot up to 60 seconds of video. There are a total of four microphones placed around the Spectacles 3 for recording audio.

cameras

Cameras are where the magic happens, at least partially. The two-camera setup on the Spectrum 3 enables users to create AR content in a format the company calls 3D Snaps. The second camera means you’re capturing an offset image, which can be used to measure depth, allowing you to take 3D photos, which can be further enhanced with a larger selection of AR filters. Of course you can’t do all of that on the Spectrum 3 itself, you’ll need to transfer the photos to the Snapchat app on your phone for all post-processing.

Compared to the previous generation Spectrum, the new Spectrum 3 features cameras with a relatively high resolution. Photos are captured at 1642×1642 pixels while videos are recorded at 1216×1216 pixel resolution at 60fps (frames per second). The cameras have a wide-angle lens, which means they see more than what you’re actually seeing when recording content. The only disadvantage here is that when creating content, you are absolutely sure of how much detail you will actually give.

Once you’re recording video or capturing a still image, the LED ring around the cameras blinks circularly, letting others know you’re using the cameras. While this is a privacy-oriented feature, the tiny light from inside the frame is also quite visible, giving visual confirmation when a video or photo is being recorded.

How does it actually work?

Glasses 3 pair with the Snapchat app on your phone via a Bluetooth 5.0 connection. You can record videos and photos on AR Glasses, but for everything else, you’ll need to fire up the Snapchat app on your smartphone. These videos and photos are transferred to the Memory section of the Snapchat app wirelessly via a Wi-Fi connection. But it takes some time.

Once videos and photos are loaded, you can apply AR filters, edit them, add text, and share them on Snapchat. If you want to share all this content with your friends on other networks, you can easily export these videos and photos too. You can even convert the content into VR videos and upload them to YouTube. You also get a Google Cardboard-based VR viewer that lets you watch your immersive videos, but that’s something you’ll be doing essentially while at home.

battery

Like the previous generation Spectrum, the Glasses 3 comes with a charging case. But it has a more premium-looking leather triangular case that includes a USB Type-C charging post. The bundled cable that comes with the package also gives it a premium look and feel. The charging case can store up to four charges, and folds flat when not in use.

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The Glasses 3 comes with a charging case that’s perfect while you’re on the go

We were able to capture around 60 videos or around 190 photos on a single charge, which is close to what the company promises, on a single charge. This is good for a single outing, considering that you can easily charge the carrying case using the bundled USB cable.

Is Glasses 3 Really For Me?

To be honest, it takes some guts to put on a pair of AR glasses. You have to be courageous enough to avoid the laughing and awkward looks of those around you the first time you put them on. But once you try them, you’ll be glad you did.

The Glasses 3 isn’t really your typical pair of AR glasses. They are expensive and they are meant for a very specific use case. If you’re on Snapchat, and you want to create rich AR content, the Spectacles 3 can add more value, provided you’re willing to spend the money. If you are looking for a similar feature set but at a lower price point, the Spectrum 2 is also available in India. They cost almost half as much as the Spectrum 3’s price here.

Approx Rs. 30,000, Snap’s Spectacles 3 will appeal to a much smaller group of content creators and influencers on Snapchat, and even other social platforms, who want to create rich, engaging content for their followers. You don’t need any real pro-level skills to create high-quality, and sometimes downright weird but good-looking content online. For everyone else, the Spectrum 3 can be a costly affair that may not offer any real value for their money.

The world still may not be ready for AR glasses. Aside from the technical limitations, there still isn’t an ideal use case for a large portion of the online audience to buy a pair and start using it. But with each generation of Spectacles, Snap continues to show the world what’s possible, and how one day everyone you see in the real world will be wearing a pair of AR glasses that has a plethora of use cases. Apart from this, only 3D imagery will have to be captured. ,

Pros:

nice solid looking design

High quality photos and videos

easy to use

Comes in a 3D Viewer Bundle

Shortcoming:

Costly

not water resistant


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