Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Review: Versatile and Practical

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are the most practical glasses to launch lately. The biggest advantage of such smart glasses is that they free you from the constraints of taking out your smartphone or a camera to record a moment. Being wearable, it records what you see, bringing a unique perspective or simplifying – truly living in the moment. Launched in September last year, Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses are made in partnership with EssilorLuxottica and come with tons of improvements from first-generation smart glasses. Meta and Ray-Ban claimed that they have redesigned the smart glasses from the ground up, and after weeks of usage, we couldn’t help but notice most of these.

However, the idea of smart glasses isn’t entirely new. There have been numerous versions launched by different companies, including Google (Google Glass in 2014), Snapchat (Snapchat Spectacles in 2016), Bose (Bose Frames Tempo in 2021), Amazon (Echo Frames in 2020), and even Facebook before rebranding to Meta (Ray-Ban Stories in 2021). 

So, are the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses worth the price? I try to answer that in my review. 

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Price and Availability 

The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses prices start at $299 (roughly Rs. 25,000) and go up to $379 (roughly Rs. 32,000) depending on the style. People who wear prescription lenses can get one made via Ray-Ban, and that’s excellent. For regular users, these are available in wayfarer and headliner styles.

Ray Ban Meta smart glasses review7 Ray Ban Meta Smart Glasses Charging Case

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Charging Case

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are available in limited countries, and the features are also limited depending on which market you use them in. For example, smart glasses are not available in India, and we don’t see any news of this arriving here in markets anytime soon. The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are available in 15 countries, including Australia, Canada, the US, and Europe. These are available via Meta.com and Ray Ban’s online and offline stores. 

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Review: The Package

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses come in sleek packaging with nothing fancy. However, what’s interesting is the case. Unlike your regular sunglasses, the Meta smart glass case is a charging case, and it’s portable. The slim case fits the smallest backpacks, ensures the glasses are charged, and extends battery life. The Meta smart glasses sport a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera with a five-mic system. The camera offers 1440×1920 resolution and packs 32GB storage. The smart glasses also pack open-ear speakers with extended bass and decent volume, even in noisy environments. The right side of the glasses houses a touchpad for tapping to play or pause songs and supports swipe gestures for volume. The left side packs the power switch, while the capture button is placed on top of the right side and offers a good tactile feel. 

Ray Ban Meta smart glasses review2 Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses feature Capture Button on the right side

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses feature Capture Button on the right side

For privacy purposes, the LED blinker dubbed Capture LED housed on the right side of the glasses blinks every time you snap a photo and remains on continuously when recording a video. This is a good feature, considering Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses aren’t spy cameras and shouldn’t be used like one. This was one of the concerns raised during the original model, where people claimed that glasses could allow them to film others without their consent. 

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Specifications

Camera – 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, 3024×4032 pixels image resolution & 1440×1920 pixels video resolution
Mic – Custom 5-mic array
Audio – 2 custom-built speaker open-ear
Controls – Capture button on the right side and supports gestures
Storage – 32GB 
Battery Life – Up to 4 hours of battery life
Charging case – Adds up to 8 hours of usage time (over and above up to 4 hours that the glasses offer)
Companion App – Meta View app
Connectivity – Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Weight – 133 grams (including charging case)

Ray Ban Meta smart glasses review3 Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses also support tough gestures

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses also support touch gestures

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Review: Practical Everyday Wearable, Useful too

The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses can be your daily wearable, depending on the style you choose. You have the option to add prescription glasses. After testing these indoors and outdoors, we can say that Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses can easily replace your action cameras. Though the target audience for your action cameras is different, the Meta glasses don’t require anything additional to be carried, plus there’s no mounting required. The best part is that it records what you see. 

Considering Meta glasses don’t look like huge AR/ VR glasses, such as Apple Vision Pro, nobody notices it until they are close to you and looking at the frame. The 12-megapixel camera on the Meta glasses isn’t the best out there, but it does what it’s intended for. The Meta glasses are almost the same as your regular wayfarers in daily wear, albeit slightly heavier. But there are no complaints; you can wear these for hours without issues. Snapping pictures or videos is easy; you can do it by tapping the Capture button on the right side. 

Ray Ban Meta smart glasses review5 Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are available in 150 combinations

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are available in 150 combinations

The captured images (see below) come out well during the day and have enough details to be your perfect social media post. One important thing is that all photos captured are vertical, giving you a clear hint that these are made for a generation that likes to share every small moment on social media. The best part is that after clicking the photo, you can right away post the image on your Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, or Messenger. 

ray ban meta glasses camera sample3 Ray-Ban Meta Camera Sampleray ban meta glasses camera sample1 Ray-Ban Meta Camera Sample

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses camera samples

 

The video, on the other hand, is the real deal here. The idea of shooting images and videos without taking out your phone is cool. The Meta glasses can record up to 60-second videos, and that’s fine for your Instagram or Facebook Story. What impresses you the most is the stabilisation of the videos and the details captured by the glasses. Additionally, the Meta glasses also offer you an option to live stream videos—the quality, however, isn’t great. 

The company has made huge battery life claims; however, in reality, it’s not close to those figures. We will talk about battery performance in a bit. 

Ray Ban Meta smart glasses review4 Ray Ban Meta smart glasses house the camera on the left side

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses house the camera on the left side

Coming to audio, the Meta glasses pack open-ear speakers, meaning if you are travelling in a metro, you are not alone who can hear your private calls, but also people around you. The same goes for music or a clip you are seeing on your phone with Meta glasses as your speaker. During the review, there were moments when I forgot my earbuds for meetings, but Meta glasses made sure I could hear music while on the go. 

Quality-wise, the treble is nice, but the base is completely missing, which is expected. But at the end of the day, if you forgot your buds, then Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are your saviour.

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Review: Meta View App Support

The Meta View app is the companion app for Meta glasses. It is easy to connect with your glasses and offers quick options to transfer files. The app provides plenty of features, including privacy, where you can tweak a few things for calls and voice commands and opt for a different video length. The app is your quick reference point for checking the battery and changing settings. The app also offers options to share the clicked photo or video on social media. 

Ray Ban Meta smart glasses review10 Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses work with companion app named Meta View

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses work with a companion app named Meta View

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Review: What Can Improve

There are plenty of things we love about the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, but there are a few that need improvements. When you put on the glasses, a voice tells you the battery status, which is very useful. Well, that’s the only time glasses get anything concrete, such as voice commands. The entire Meta AI thing doesn’t work here in India and a lot of international markets. The voice command is limited to a few functionalities, and most “Hey Meta” voice triggers go unanswered. The only helpful use for voice commands was for recording videos and photos hands-free. Then, what actually spooked us was the shutter lag. From the moment you want to click a picture or record a video and tap on the Capture button on the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, there’s a proper 1-second delay. 

There was an instance when, while driving, I was trying to click a sunset picture appearing just above Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, but thanks to shutter lag, the frame I wanted to record was missed because of the delay. Another thing that could have given Meta glasses a bump in terms of usage was a toggle to zoom and then click a photo or record a video. The glasses offer touch gestures, and it would have been useful to zoom in and then click images. But I guess this could only be possible in next-gen Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses.

Ray Ban Meta smart glasses review9 Smart glasses feature a blinker light indicating snaps and video recording

Smart glasses feature a blinker light indicating snaps and video recording

Next, the photos and videos do come out excellent for social media when in good lighting. The moment the lighting is slightly off, the recorded images and videos turn slightly dark. 

Another minor issue is undocking the glasses from the case. The pin is placed on the nose of the glasses and is docked in the charging case. Every time you want to take them out, you must put some effort in because it’s not as easy as removing your sunglasses from their case. We wish Ray Ban and Meta had simplified this on the smart glasses, as a regular consumer may do this several times during the day, which hampers the overall user experience. 

Battery performance is the next thing that could have been improved. The company claims up to four hours of battery life without a charging case, but in our review period, the battery dropped to 20 percent when we continuously wore them for 2 hours. Yes, the charging case drastically increases the battery life, but we would have loved it if Meta glasses could match the claimed numbers. 

Ray Ban Meta smart glasses review8 Meta glasses come with a charging case

Meta glasses come with a charging case

The glasses charge up to 50 percent within 20 minutes and up to 100 percent in about 65 minutes. When you use the Meta glasses for short durations, which means keeping them back in the case every now and then, you won’t see the battery drop on most occasions. The battery issue only occurs when you wear these glasses for long hours. 

The best thing, however, is that when the battery is dead, you can still use these glasses as your regular sunglasses without the smarts. 

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Review: Verdict

The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses can easily be your choice for daily wear, fitted with prescription glasses (if required), or simply used as sunglasses. They pack a camera and record a unique perspective. The Meta glasses are best used as glasses with a camera and speakers. 

Ray Ban Meta smart glasses review6 Ray-Ban Meta is the most practical smart glasses available right now

Ray-Ban Meta is the most practical smart glasses available right now

What it offers—a plethora of things, including hands-free images and video recording alongside a live streaming option. There’s also hands-free calling and music. The call quality is good, and the gestures work well on the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. The design is interesting and lightweight. 

Priced at $299, these can be your new sunglasses with a camera that lets you click snaps or record anything anywhere without taking out your phone—one of the product’s biggest USPs. The Ray-Ban Meta is one of the most practical smart glasses money can buy but has limited functionalities.

Pros – 

  • Smart glasses with plenty of combinations on offer
  • Decent picture and video quality for social media uploads
  • Comfortable to wear 
  • Excellent voice quality on calls and videos
  • Amazing battery life

Cons – 

  • Limited availability (not available in India, too)
  • Undocking glasses from the case is a task every time
  • Minimal Shutter lag while clicking photos or recording videos
  • Missing AI features
  • Average camera performance in low-light conditions

 

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