Snap, the company behind the popular Snapchat app, has showed off its latest pair of Spectacles 2 smart glasses.

The original pair of Snap's Spectacles, which debuted a couple of years ago, had a bright look. However, the latest two models - the new Veronica and Nico styles of Spectacles 2 - come with all the same features, but also bring recording quality improvements and a more traditional design.

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What are Spectacles?

Originally, Spectacles were meant to be "sunglasses that capture your world" via the Snapchat photo- and video-sharing app.

The latest version of Spectacles 2 are essentially smart glasses that are designed to work with the Snapchat app. They feature polarized lenses, a traditional look, and come with a black “semi-soft” case instead of the bright yellow hard case. Since Spectacles first debuted, they've undergone a couple transformations. But the new Veronica and Nico styles are available now, for $199, in “limited quantities” at launch.

This autumn, they'll also be sold at select Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus stores in the US and other retailers in Europe. Snap has also partnered with Lensabl again so that you can order prescription lenses for your glasses. Both models are only available in black right now. To be clear, the latest Spectacles (Version 2) include the Nico and Veronica styles, plus the Original styles (Onyx, Ruby, and Sapphire).

All five have the same specs, but different looks.

Spectacles (Version 2)

  • Styles: Nico, Veronica, and Original (Onyx, Ruby, and Sapphire)
  • Water resistant: Yes
  • Video resolution: 1216 x 1216 HD
  • Photo capture: Yes, in 1642 x 1642 HD resolution

Plus, the componentry is over one third smaller, compared to Spectacles 1, and it's added dual microphone recording. The charging case is 20-percent smaller, too, and you can transfer to Memories four-times faster with Spectacles 2 over Spectacles 1.

Spectacles (Version 1)

  • Styles: Original (Black, Coral, and Teal)
  • Water resistant: No
  • Video resolution: 1088 x 1088 HD (standard transfer was in SD)
  • Photo capture: No

How much do Spectacles 2 cost?

Here's pricing for Spectacles 2 styles, as of September 2018:

  • Nico: $199.99
  • Veronica: $199.99
  • Original $149.99
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How are the Spectacles 2 different?

Here are the core features of Spectacles 2 (Nico and Veronica styles):

  • Fullscreen and circle: Spectacles 2 will capture photos and videos in Snap's unique HD circular format, but, when exporting, you can keep it circular or share it in square or widescreen format.
  • HD photos and videos: Press the button on Spectacles 2 to record a 10-second video, or press again to keep recording up to 30 seconds. You can also press and hold to take a photo.
  • Water resistant: Spectacles are designed to take photos or videos "under shallow water", according to Snap.
  • Recharge in one hour: Snap said you can capture and sync over 70 videos on a single charge and recharge in an hour with Spectacles 2 - or power up Spectacles 2 (the original model) with the included Charging Case.
  • Sync and share: According to Snap, when your phone’s nearby, Spectacles 2 will sync wirelessly with Snapchat, so you can easily share moment with friends or export them.
  • Waterproof: According to Snap, Spectacles 2 (the Onyx, Ruby, Sapphire styles) are water resistant and work "great in rain, snow, and shallow water".

How do Spectacles 2 work?

Pair your Spectacles

  1. Download the latest version of the Snapchat app for iOS or Android.
  2. Turn your phone’s Bluetooth on.
  3. If you’re on an Android phone, turn on Location Services.
  4. Open Snapchat and tap the Profile button in the top-left corner.
  5. Tap the gear (Settings) icon in the corner and tap the Spectacles tab.
  6. Press and hold the button on Spectacles for seven seconds.
  7. Enter a name for your Spectacles.
  8. Look for your Spectacles appear in the Accessories List.
  9. Tap your Spectacles’ name. This adds Spectacles to your phone’s Bluetooth.
  10. Wait for the “Pairing Successful” confirmation message.
  11. Start taking snaps!

If you need more instructions, see Snap's guide here.

Capturing video snaps

  1. Press the button on Spectacles once to record a 10-second video snap.
  2. The LED will let you know that your Spectacles are recording a video.
  3. The LED will blink twice when it's done recording.
  4. To keep recording, just press the button again to record for 10 more seconds.
  5. You can press it once more to record for 30 seconds total.
  6. The recordings will show up in Snapchat as three separate 10-second Snaps.
  7. To stop recording, just press and hold the button for about two seconds.

The LEDs on the outside of the glasses will let your friends know when you’re recording. It lights up in a circle and fades when you’re done.

Capturing photo snaps

  1. Press and hold the button on Spectacles to take a photo Snap.
  2. The flash of the inner LED lets you know your Spectacles took a photo.
  3. The LEDs on the outside of the frame will light up, too, to notify your friends.

Viewing video and photo snaps

Once you’ve paired Spectacles to your Snapchat account, import the all the snaps you've taken with them. Snaps will import into the Stories tab of Memories. So, just open Snapchat and swipe up to view them. They will be organised into Day Stories. Each story will be sorted by the day those Snaps were taken. To view snaps, tap on the Day Story circle. This will show thumbnails; just tap on the snap you’d like to view.

While viewing Snaps you captured with Spectacles, you can edit and send them the same way you’d edit snaps captured with your phone. You can also export snaps and stories, though you can only export stories that have 20 snaps or less. Go here for more information.

See our Snap hub for related news. We also have these fun guides: