Snap Spectacles 2.0 – Two months later, should you buy it?

One of the biggest issues I had with the first generation of Snap Spectacles was how ‘locked’ it was into the world of Snapchat. I understand where Snap Inc was going with it, but with a miserable marketing campaign it heavily backfired for the company. There were other issues such as quality of the video, format and many more which have all been addressed with the launch of their Snap Spectacles 2.0.

I’ve spent about 2 months with them and (Spoiler Alert) I actually think its fine if you get a pair of the second iteration. Before I tell you why, lets check out the new accessory shall we? 

Snap Spectacles 2.0 – Body and Case

The second iteration of the Spectacles sees a newer sleeker body. The sides have shrunk and just like the previous model the frames fit snug on the face… maybe a bit too snug for some. The frames are sturdy and have shown no sign of going flimsy while I’ve used them for over two months now. 

There are new colours to the Spectacles too, namely Onyx Midnight, Ruby Daybreak and Sapphire, with a choice of two kinds of lenses for each frame. Also, the atrocious yellow rings around the camera are gone! They’re replaced with solid colours like red, blue or grey depending on which colour Spectacles you pick up. 

The box (which I hated in the earlier edition) is much smaller and slimmer now. It will provide your Spectacles with up to 3-5 charges and it does so true to its word. 

The charging of the Spectacles and the box have remained with the proprietary Snap cable which comes in the box. 

 

Snap Spectacles 2.0 – What’s new? 

Image and video quality

So clearly Snap heard a lot of what their few Snap Spectacles buyers had to say and got to work. First things first we’ve got updated resolutions for both photo and video. Photos are now at a 1642 x 1642 resolution, and video at 1216 x 1216 pixels, so you’re basically recording everything in higher quality HD content than the previous generation Spectacles.

Picture Quality from the Snap Spectacles 2.0 (Exported in widescreen mode)
Picture Quality from the Snap Spectacles 2.0 (Exported in widescreen mode)

You also now have dual microphones which give a much better audio experiences which everything from water splashes to voice coming in much clearer than you’d expect. 

Now you can’t possible be one of those people who wears shades indoors, so the Snap Spectacles 2.0 don’t really have any sort of low-light capabilities and I really didn’t expect them to have any but they performed well enough for me to have some sort of media on a recent excursion to caves in Lebanon. 

Low-light imagery from the Snap Spectacles 2.0
Low-light imagery from the Snap Spectacles 2.0

From a social media perspective, I think the quality of the Spectacles 2.0 works. Its not like anyone will be using this to film longer videos. 

Connectivity 

One major issues I had with the previous generation of spectacles was connectivity. First time connections were a horror and disconnection between the device and the spectacles was common.

Luckily, that has changed with this generation. When connecting for the first time all you have to do is look for your scan code and hold the spectacles facing the screen for 10 seconds. While using it though, I did experience a few connection issues but definitely not as bad as the first iteration of the device. 

Water-Resistance

The new Spectacles are now water-resistant, which is fantastic. They can handle a few splashes and definitely the rain (not like that’s an issue in the UAE).

 

I took them into the ocean and into a pool, and the spectacles performed very well. The ease of just clicking a button, capturing media in HD quality always impressed me to no end but once you export it (depending on which format) it could end up looking like the video above. 

Exporting Media

Lastly and most importantly, in a recent update Snap Inc. removed one of the most hated features of the Spectacles. Until recently if you exported any media from the device you has to export it in this ridiculous circular format (which is what Snap uses to keep the video or image full screen at all times in the app). Well now you can select how you want it exported and to which app. 

It can be exported in multiple formats including square format  (for their competitors I’m guessing) and wide-screen landscape format for a more ‘normal’ video viewing experience. Its unfortunate that they didn’t include a portrait format too (since the video is circular) but I’m glad the other formats are there. 

Now I had a very strange issue with the export of media from the Spectacles. When the media is downloaded and you’re looking to export, you’ll see this screen before you export. Whether you select one story or the whole lot, you’ll see this screen. The issue comes when you select the a few bits of media and create another story, then for some reason this option disappears. 

 

Snap Spectacles 2.0 – Price and Availability 

The Snap Spectacles 2.0 are available at select UAE retailers Virgin Megastores, Emax and Souq.com for a price of Dh659. Now while world over people are whining about the price being made higher, for us in the UAE this is cheaper than what they were selling for while they weren’t officially available. 

Snap Spectacles 2.0 – Should you get a pair? 

So I’m quite glad I’m writing this review quite a bit later than most people. If you had asked me this question a few weeks ago, my answer would’ve been “only if you’re a major Snapchat user” cause we all know that’s a shrinking community. The Spectacles until a few weeks ago were a mere device to lure more users into Snapchat itself. Well that’s all changed now. 

Now I’m not a Snapchat user (got off it long ago) and have only had the app to review this device. The Snapchat Spectacles 2.0 is a stellar device but it just lacked the ease in sharing (across other apps) which has all changed now. 

 

As soon as the update came out I found myself using the device much more thanks to the fact that I can export video in multiple formats (mostly wide-screen). The Snap Spectacles are no more shackled to the app the way they were. I consider them as a new way to have a small portable device like a GoPro or a point and shoot camera. 

 

So should you get a pair? Yes, if having the ease of capturing absolutely anything and everything from a first-person perspective (only for social media) appeals to you, then you should! The water-resistance, increase in image and video quality, change in size and new design definitely make a very attractive package.