What Are Snapchat Spectacles?

Glasses, with a twist

Three pairs of Snapchat spectacles on a beach
The three main colors of Snapchat Spectacles.

 Snap, Inc

Picture of a man laying in sand and wearing Snapchat Spectacles
Capturing a video with Snapchat Spectalces on the beach.  Snap, Inc

Snapchat Spectacles are a normal pair of sunglasses with a camera added in, so you can capture photos and videos from your perspective and share with your friends and family. Effectively, Snapchat Spectacles are the hardware effort by Snap, Inc., the company behind the popular video- and photo-sharing app Snapchat.

The current Snapchat Spectacles are the second version, and you may see them called Snapchat Spectacles 2.0. They come as a followup to Snap's first iteration, which were a financial failure for the company. This time around, Snap is selling the glasses directly through Spectacles.com and through the Snapchat app.

What Do Snapchat Spectacles Do?

The basic function of Snapchat Spectacles is to capture short videos and still photos for social sharing. They do this with a camera built into the frame of the glasses. The camera is in one corner, while a light to indicate recording and a button to initiate recording are in the other corner of Spectacles.

Picture of a woman wearing Snapchat Spectacles and blowing bubbles
Capturing blown bubbles with Snapchat Spectacles.  Snap, Inc

You can press and hold the button to take a photo, or tap it to take a 10-second video. Pressing the button again while recording lets you continue recording video up to a total of 30 seconds. The photos and videos are circular and offer a wide field of view, with video resolutions of 1,216 x 1,216 pixels and photo resolutions of 1,642 x 1,642. Thanks to a water-resistant design, Snapchat Spectacles can also be used in the rain or briefly in shallow water.

Snapchat Spectacles allow you to capture up to 150 videos or 3,000 photos on the internal storage, although the battery will need to be charged multiple times to record that much. The Spectacles' battery can capture up to 70 videos on a single charge, and then you can top up the battery by putting the Spectacles into the Charging Case included with the glasses. The Charging Case has its own battery which is large enough to recharge the Spectacles four times.

With photos and videos saved on Snapchat Spectacles, you can use Bluetooth to pair the device with your iOS or Android device. From there, Spectacles can set up a Wi-Fi connection with your device and quickly transfer the photos and videos into the Snapchat app.

From there, you'll be able to edit and share your footage with your Snapchat contacts. Snapchat will also give you the option to export your photos and videos in circle, square, and widescreen formats.

How Much Are Snapchat Spectacles?

Snapchat Spectacles are $149.99 in US. You can order Snapchat Spectacles from Spectacles.com in three colors (Onyx, Ruby, and Sapphire), with multiple lens colors available. Alternatively, if you have the Snapchat app, you can order them by opening the settings menu, selecting Spectacles, and tapping on Shop. From there you'll be able to order a pair of Snapchat Spectacles.

If you wear prescription glasses, you can also order prescription lenses from Lensabl for Snapchat Spectacles during checkout on Spectacles.com. The standard lenses protect again UVA and UVB rays. However, Snap only sells the Snapchat Spectacles in one size.

Previous Versions of Snapchat Spectacles

There are a number of minor differences between the first and second versions of Snapchat Spectacles. The first version originally only allowed video recording, though a software update added photo capturing later on.

a woman wearing the first version of Snapchat Spectacles
The first version of Snapchat Spectales.  Chestnot/Getty Images

The earlier version also had a yellow ring around the camera and light housings which made them more apparent. The housings themselves were also larger, as was the charging case. The first-generation Snapchat Spectacles also came in a different variety of colors, weren't water resistant, and capture video at a lower 1,088 x 1,088 resolution.