Tired of staring at your phone and ignoring your surroundings in order to stay connected? Well, Snapchat (now Snap Inc., technically) has the answer. The company’s Spectacles sunglasses have lit up the internet, a result of both the product’s unique nature and its initial limited availability.
Now that Spectacles can be purchased online, avid snappers will no doubt have lots of questions about the fashion-forward eye candy, so let’s not waste time. Scroll down to learn more about Spectacles.
How to find a pair
Although Spectacles (available in black, coral, or teal) went on sale in late 2016, the limited availability means they aren’t widespread (and, for now, it’s U.S. only), giving them that cool factor first-adopters love. Snap also made Spectacles incredibly difficult to find, so even if you have the $130 to buy one, Snap wants you to jump through a few hoops. The Spectacles were distributed via Snapbots, which are special vending machines that accept credit or debit cards only. However, Snapbots were nomadic, as they never stayed in any location for more than a day. And, you would never find Snapbots in more than one location at a time. This “game” made Spectacles rare.
But on February 20, Snap began selling Spectacles on the Spectacles website, making the gadget available to any customer who wants them. Like at the Snapbots, a pair of Spectacles costs $130, plus taxes and shipping. As for the bots themselves, Snap has put them on hiatus, making a return sometime in the future, according to the company.
Before you buy
Should you buy one? Well, it goes without saying, you will need a phone when it comes time to transfer the recorded content over. If you aren’t already a Snapchat user or you find it confusing, we don’t think Spectacles will change that outlook.
Note: You will also need to be using an iPhone 5 or newer that’s running at least iOS 8, or an Android device that’s running at least Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) with Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi Direct.
However, there are other things to keep in mind. Spectacles isn’t one-size-fits-all. For one of our editors, the Spectacles felt small and tight on the face. Snap says this can be adjusted by an optician, but be careful: applying heat or water to where the electronics are (in the front of the frame) may fry them. If Spectacles feel loose, Snap suggests tightening the screw of each temple – where the arm joins the lens frame.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to try them before you buy. Some Snapbots have a display that lets you try one on virtually, but it’s not the same as actually putting one on a face. If you decide you don’t like Spectacles, Snap offers a 30-day return policy, provided you have a receipt and your pair isn’t damaged or altered. You can also exchange for a new pair if you encounter any problems that you can’t troubleshoot.
If you wear prescription glasses, you can swap out the Spectacles lenses for ones that match your prescription. An optician needs to do this for you.