Meta’s new Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses review

I managed to get my hands on the hottest new tech product in Australia.

Here are my thoughts on the new Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses.

What’s new

Readers may remember Meta’s first attempt at smart glasses: Ray-Ban Stories.

As I wrote in 2021, the stylish sunglasses came with a pretty good camera and sound system and were good value for money.

The new Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are the next generation.

You can still take photos, videos, phone calls and listen to music on the glasses. They’re just so much better in almost every way.

First of all they are lighter, which is a big deal. The designers had to fit quite a bit of equipment into the glasses, including the camera and audio system. The new design is noticeably lighter, making them much more comfortable when resting on your nose.

Another big improvement is the audio updates.

The camera is better too. There’s now a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a five-microphone system.

You can use voice commands to take photos and videos, and even broadcast live on Facebook and Instagram.

Battery life is improved, with a full charge lasting up to 36 hours. Charging takes place inside an elegant case.

Meta has released a number of different colors and designs including Wayfarer, Skyler and Headliner.

The new ‘Skyler’ style frames were announced by Meta in April 2024 and are now available in Australia.

The best thing about the glasses is the ability to use Meta AI and interrogate what you are looking at. For example, you might look at a landmark and say, “hey Meta, what am I seeing?” and will provide an answer. The uses are almost limitless and include translating foreign signs and helping you write photo captions.

This technology is being rolled out in the US and Canada and is not yet available in Australia.

When it arrives, it will be fantastic and especially useful for people with low vision.

My experience

I recently vacationed in the Davao region of the Philippines and used the glasses to document some of my experiences.

It was hot, dusty and sweaty – the mercury exceeded 40°C every day – but the glasses survived.

As I wandered around the incredible lush mountains and stunning white beaches, eating delicious Filipino delicacies, the glasses came with me.

I found it to be a great way to show my friends and family a perspective of the Philippines, almost exactly the same way I saw it.

Plus, having the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses allowed me to wrangle my kids and take photos at the same time.

The new camera on the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses meant that most photos and videos were in focus, even though I made sure to stay still while shooting.

Although I found that photos didn’t come out well in low light since there’s no flash.

I also took the glasses with me for a swim while visiting the garden city of Samal Island, and the water-resistant glasses survived intact.

Alongside it, just like the old design, is an LED capture light that alerts other people that you’re using the camera, designed to stop people from using the camera surreptitiously.

What are they for

For people who need glasses with corrective lenses, the new Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are a great way to add more technology to your life.

You can easily sit on the train and have a conversation with someone, with a microphone picking up your voice and the speaker directing the noise to your ears so people can’t hear you.

You can also connect to Messenger, WhatsApp and your phone and send and receive messages using voice control, with messages read aloud.

I also used glasses to listen to music.

For everyone else, it’s best to use them as sunglasses, again with all the benefits of smart glasses.

Pricing starts at $449, which is cheaper than most phones. The glasses are available on meta.com and ray-ban.com.

I think the glasses are a big win for consumers. I was impressed with how Meta was able to make some great improvements while keeping the look sleek and the price low.

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