Snapchat maker Snap on Thursday announced the New Spectacles, a follow-up on its original pair of camera-equipped glasses which were first rumored to be launching as the Spectacles 2. While industry sources previously claimed the New Spectacles will be debuting this fall, some two years after the original gadget launched, Snap not only introduced them months prior to that rumored timeframe but apparently planned to do so all along, with the tagline of the New Spectacles marketing campaign being "made for summer." That design strategy is most obviously reflected in the improved build quality of the wearable that's now thinner and resistant to water, though its exact IP rating has yet to be disclosed.
The improved connectivity capabilities that were already mentioned by a previously discovered FCC filing are now official as well, with Snap claiming the New Spectacles can transfer your photos and videos to a smartphone — i.e. the Snapchat mobile app — four times faster than before. The ability to take photographs wasn't supported by the original device, whereas users can capture stills with the new one by simply holding its single physical button located on the left side of its frame. The original Spectacles will also soon receive a software update that will allow them to take photos with their gadgets, Snap said. A single press of the button on the New Spectacles will still start recording a ten-second clip, with the wearable being capable of going up to 30 seconds per video should you choose to extend your footage with two additional presses. The New Spectacles ship with 4GB of storage space and a magnetic charge port, with their f/2.2 lens still having a 105-degree field of view and capturing 1:1 HD recordings – 1,642 x 1,642 for photos and 1,216 x 1,216 for videos. Improved audio is now part of the package as well, thanks to the inclusion of a higher-end dual-microphone array.
Snap is retailing the New Spectacles exclusively through its website and Snapchat's in-app store, with the gadget being priced at $150, thus being $20 more expensive than its predecessor. The product is still highly customizable, being offered in three frame color options, all of which provide you with a binary choice between lens colors. The New Spectacles are already available for purchase in the United States, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom, with the Snapchat creator planning on releasing them in thirteen more European markets on May 3.