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Snapchat Spectacles review: Oh Snap, Spectacles are ridiculously fun

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The Good Do you use sunglasses? Do you like Snapchat? Then these are made for you. You actually film what you see and the battery lasts a loooong time.

The Bad They only work with Snapchat. You can't really wear regular glasses with them.

The Bottom Line If you use Snapchat, you're going to want a pair of these.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

Review Sections

I use Snapchat all the time but I still wasn't expecting to like Spectacles as much as I did.

They do one thing -- record video for Snapchat -- but they do that one thing really well.

I took them to the beach, jumped on trampolines, dodged balls, climbed a pyramid play structure, watched the sunset and played tennis with them. A whole lot of fun captured from my point of view.

Regardless of age (or activity), if you use Snapchat a lot, Spectacles open up the possibility of capturing hands-free, phone-free moments.

Best of all, Spectacles are now available to buy for everyone -- in the US, at least. Previously, they were only available via pop-up vending machines that would periodically appear in random locations. As of today, however, Spectacles are finally available online. They cost $130 (that's about £105 or AU$170).

Before I go any further, here's a cheat sheet review in case you're already feeling the need for a TL;DR.

What I like

1. They feel like regular sunglasses and they look pretty good on just about everyone.

2. Video quality is great for Snapchat. If the light is good you're getting a pretty decent picture.

3. Spectacles record circular video. You can rotate your phone to see more of the image.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

4. Filters, emojis and text. Once the video's in Snapchat, it's just like editing a regular snap.

5. They don't need to be connected to a phone to work, only when you want to view and post snaps.

6. They won't fall off your face if you jump around or play sport.

What I don't like

1. You look like an idiot wearing them indoors, at night or with prescription glasses underneath.

2. Spectacles only work with Snapchat.

3. No face filters (aka lenses) allowed. Sorry, those funny Snapchat face swaps and Bambi ears won't happen here.

4. The audio is good, but not great. It picks up sound pretty well from the wearer so narrating the action is what you'll end up doing most of the time.

5. Mirror selfies. Unless you take off the glasses or have a friend wear them to film you, selfies are hard.

6. Spectacles take video only. No still images.

James Martin/CNET

Who would want Spectacles?

  • Athletic types: Unless you're going bungee-jumping or riding a roller coaster, they're probably not going to fall off your face. I wore them playing trampoline dodgeball and they didn't budge.
  • Parents: Being able to film your kids (or pets!) hands-free is probably worth the price of admission. I played fetch with a dog and captured 10 awkward seconds of him not returning the ball -- perfect Snapchat footage.
  • Someone who wants to be part of the action: They're on your face so they don't get in the way and other people are less likely to be weirded out when being filmed. (Try not to be such a creeper.)
  • Anyone who needs a point-of-view perspective: You can see what I see. Cooking, dancing, singing, hands and all.
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