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These are the Snapchat Spectacles

After a long wait, we finally got our hands on the Snapchat Spectacles! Here are our first impressions.

Published onDecember 11, 2016

Snapchat Spectacles is the first wearable from Snapchat. It basically looks like a regular pair of sunglasses, but comes with a built-in camera lens that lets you record up to 10 second videos and then share on the social media platform. These aren’t the easiest to get your hands on, but we were finally able to do so. Here are our first impressions as we unbox the Snapchat Spectacles!


A lot of people enjoy using Snapchat, and the Spectacles offer a new and fantastic way to share things from your perspective, quite literally. You can record 10 second snaps using the glasses, and the video will then be sent to the app, from where you can either send it to anyone on your Snapchat or share it to your “My Story.”

As mentioned, the Spectacles are really hard to get, given that they are sold via vending machines, called Snapbots, that pop up around your city. The Snapchat Spectacles website features a “Find a Bot” section with a countdown timer, and once the timer hits zero, a random location is mentioned which tells you where you can find the Snapbot. I’ve tried three times to get to the vending machine and have waited in line for hours on end without success, and I was finally lucky enough to get one.


The Spectacles come in a yellow case that also doubles as a charging dock. Once you run out of battery on the glasses, you can put them back in the case, that has connector pins on the corner, to charge them.

In the box is the setup guide, which says that you need to hit the button on the glasses and then open the Snapchat app and connect to it via a code that it generates. It uses Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to connect, and the Spectacles are compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Also included in the package is a cleaning cloth which takes the shape of the Snapchat ghost, as well as a proprietary charging cable.


Once the glasses are paired to the phone, you can start taking 10-second snaps with it by using the button on the top left side. As far as comfort when wearing the glasses is concerned, something to keep in mind is that only one size is available for the Spectacles, so it may end up being a touch small and in my case, I do feel a slight pinching on the sides. There are also black bars on the insides that tend to block your peripheral vision, which isn’t necessarily distracting, but something you definitely do notice.

In the Android app, you will find all the snaps you’ve taken using the glasses in the Memories section. There will be a new section just for the Spectacles, and you will be able to select what snaps to send out to other users or share on My Story.


When you look at the video in the Memories section, you will see a snap that is full screen and traditional looking. However, if you save it to your Gallery or send it to other users, it will put a circular crop on the video, which is a little bit distracting. I would have preferred being able to send the full video without the circular crop. Hopefully this is something that will be included later on, because the camera obviously takes full video, and it is in the app that the circular crop is added.

On the right side of the spectacles is an indicator that tells people when you are recording something, which helps alleviate some privacy concerns, with them not having to worry about being recorded without their knowledge. You get to see a light as well on the left side, so you know when the glasses have stopped recording.


Tapping twice on the side will also tell you how much battery is left. I haven’t been using the Snapchat Spectacles long enough to arrive at a definite conclusion, but from what I’ve seen so far, and from what I’ve heard from other users, the battery life is pretty good.

These are sunglasses, so it isn’t a good idea to wear them when the sun goes down or while indoors, where it will obscure your vision. Of course, there will definitely be situations where you will want to take snaps, so the best idea here will be to just hold up the glasses and take a shot, instead of wearing them.

So there you have it for this first look at Snapchat Spectacles! Stay tuned as we bring you the full review that will be coming up shortly, and until then, you can also follow me on Snapchat over the weekend too see what the snaps from the Snapchat Spectacles look like.

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