Ray-Ban Meta Glasses Review. The smartwatch concept has been extensively explored yet the next frontier of wearable tech remains a work in progress. You wo not find yourself strolling down the street donning today is virtual augmented or mixed reality headsets on your head. However you will seamlessly blend into the crowd while wearing a pair of sophisticated eyewear like the Ray Ban Meta Smart Glasses.
These glasses represent an enhanced and streamlined iteration of the original Ray Ban Stories which ingeniously integrated a camera and speakers into familiar-looking frames. Unlike the Meta Quest 3 headset unveiled concurrently these glasses do not incorporate any augmented reality or mixed reality features. Instead they place a strong emphasis on elevating picture quality delivering clearer sound and extending battery life. Has technology advanced sufficiently over the two years since the introduction of Ray Ban Stories to make you consider parting ways with conventional sunglasses forever? We had the opportunity to experience these glasses ahead of Meta is annual Connect event to find out.
Ray Ban Meta smart glasses technical specifications
|Wayfarer, Headliner (regular and large)
|Qualcomm Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1
|2x custom drivers
|6hrs (average use), 4hrs (live streaming)
8x charges from case
Design & Construction: Aesthetic Appeal
The nomenclature itself provides a substantial clue the Ray Ban Meta Smart Glasses undeniably resemble classic Ray Ban eyewear. The iconic Wayfarer style is poised to become a crowd favorite with options available in regular and large sizes. The regular fit was comfortable for us although the larger variant offered a less constricting experience around the ears.
A novel Headliner style injects a fresh perspective with its more rounded appearance distinct from the squircle shaped Wayfarer. Regrettably there is no information available regarding the Meteor or Round styles that graced the previous generation model. Consider it a compromise between the two.
Regardless of your preference you can select from a range of finishes including shiny and matte black as well as a new transparent option in Jeans Rebel Black and Caramel shades. Before donning them we might have insisted that black should always be the first choice for a pair of Wayfarers but the subtle blue of the Jeans variant won us over. Ray Ban is Remix web store offers the flexibility to mix and match frames and lenses boasting over 150 distinctive combinations.
Due to the abundance of internal circuitry within the frames the glasses are limited in their ability to accommodate thick lenses. This means that those with prescriptions beyond 6 or +4 will have to resort to contact lenses or traditional tinted eyewear.
Ingenious packaging is employed to house all the electronic components within frames that remain nearly identical in size and thickness to regular Ray Ban glasses. This includes a camera dual speakers batteries and a combination of physical and touch sensitive controls. The Smart Glasses only marginally outweigh the folding Wayfarer sunglasses we typically sport. While the arms felt notably sturdier this may evolve over time as the hinges endure regular use.
Under the hood the Qualcomm Snapdragon AR1 Gen1 CPU assumes responsibility for various tasks including camera image and video processing audio playback voice command recognition and seamless smartphone pairing.
Charging Case: A Classic Approach
The charging case accompanying the Ray Ban Stories took an unconventional approach but this time around it embraces a more traditional design. It is slimmer and lighter featuring the same snap fit lid reminiscent of cases accompanying traditional Ray Ban sunglasses.
The case exudes sturdiness suitable for effortless inclusion in a backpack or handbag. It offers ample rigidity to safeguard the frames and features a soft inner lining to protect the lenses.
We appreciate the illuminated clasp on the front which provides a quick visual indication of your Smart Glasses charge status. Green signifies readiness yellow indicates partial charge and red warns of a need for recharging. The case possesses its own substantial battery capacity capable of supplying the Smart Glasses with up to eight additional full charges translating to approximately 48 hours of usage before necessitating access to a power outlet. Although wireless charging is not supported a brief one hour stint of USB C charging suffices to achieve full capacity.
For now the case will be available exclusively in tan.
Speakers: Keeping Sound Personal
Meta has engineered custom speakers for this year is Smart Glasses promising a 50% increase in volume doubled bass compared to the previous model and reduced sound leakage. Remarkably these improvements are achieved without resorting to bone conduction technology which has always fallen short in delivering robust bass.
The speaker drivers are strategically oriented towards your ears ensuring a degree of auditory privacy. From a few feet away we could not discern the musical choices of fellow journalists even when the volume was dialed up. However it is advisable to keep the volume around 60% for comfortable listening in relatively quiet environments.
Sound quality proved impressive with each segment of the audio spectrum faithfully represented. While these glasses may not replicate the booming bass of dedicated headphones they certainly avoid the pitfall of sounding thin or excessively treble focused. Moreover since they do not obstruct your ears you remain fully aware of your surroundings and capable of engaging in conversations.
Navigation of playback controls proved seamless responding to taps on the arms of the Glasses for functions such as track skipping and pausing. While we did not have the opportunity to assess the clarity of the five microphone array for voice calls it accurately recognized our voice commands. Nevertheless we remain discreet about uttering “meta take a photo” in public.
Cameras: Visionary Insights
In contrast to the 5MP camera sensors featured in the Ray Ban Stories the new Meta Smart Glasses boast a 12MP unit paired with an ultra wide sensor that closely approximates the human field of view. Designed for vertical capture (3024×4032 for stills and 1330×1920 for videos) these glasses enable direct sharing on social media without the need for cropping. Based on our initial observations picture quality aligns with that of a capable mid range smartphone.
Capture control can be executed through the integrated frame button: a single press captures a photo while a prolonged press initiates video recording. Alternatively you can employ voice commands for hands free operation. The capture LED has transitioned from red to a bright white a change that Meta asserts enhances visibility across various lighting conditions. Additionally a sensor ensures that no obstructions hinder the camera is view before permitting a capture.
Each still image consists of multiple frames featuring HDR processing to simultaneously capture both well lit and shadowed areas. Our demonstration within a well illuminated environment yielded remarkable results effectively capturing both the interior space and the exterior scene.
Meta asserts that image stabilization for video recording has been improved and our brief recording sessions confirmed impressively smooth footage despite our deliberate efforts to challenge the Smart Glasses with erratic movements. The presence of a five microphone array enhances spatial sound capture.
With 32GB of built in storage these glasses offer ample space for over 500 photos or 100 videos. This represents an eightfold increase compared to the storage capacity of the previous Ray Ban Stories.
Software Experience: Designed for Sharing
Our interaction with the Meta View companion app was relatively brief but it was evident that a substantial visual overhaul had transformed it from the previous Facebook View app employed with the Ray Ban Stories. The app prominently presents your photos and exhibits prompt synchronization via Bluetooth a notable improvement over the struggles of the previous Stories specs in this regard.
In conclusion the Ray Ban Meta Glasses are a remarkable fusion of fashion and technology. They offer a glimpse into the future of augmented reality where information and entertainment seamlessly blend with the real world. If you are looking to make a fashion statement while staying connected and informed these glasses are a must have. Step into the future with Ray Ban Meta Glasses and see the world in a whole new way.