Best Smart Glasses for 2020
Smart glasses allow you to view information, listen to music, make phone calls and more, without ever taking your phone out of your pocket.
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What to Think About When Buying Smart Glasses
As you shop for smart glasses, consider how you’ll use them, as different models and brands focus on certain features. Some offer high-tech augmented reality, while others solely play music or capture video. Keep in mind that smart glasses with numerous features can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to consider your budget in advance.
You’ll also need to decide whether you want prescription or non-prescription lenses or sunglasses, as some brands only offer one option in their smart glasses.
Best Augmented Reality
If you’re looking for smart glasses that provide the full augmented reality experience, one of your best options in style and price is North Focals. These glasses offer a full-color holographic projection on the inside of the lens, allowing you to read texts, get step-by-step navigation and much more. Plus, North Focals include a discrete ring that serves as a joystick, giving you more control over your glasses.
Even with these high-tech features, Focals closely resemble regular glasses, and they can be outfitted with prescription lenses as well. The first generation Focals (no longer available) were surprisingly affordable at $600, and the brand plans to release its second-generation product in 2020.
Smart glasses sometimes cost more than $1,000, but Amazon promises a less pricey alternative with its Echo Frames. These glasses have Amazon’s Alexa voice-control built into the frames, allowing you to make calls, set reminders, listen to podcasts or control your smart home without lifting a finger. Plus, the open-ear design directs sound to your ears, minimizing what people around you can hear.
The Echo Frames come with a more affordable price tag of $180. But currently they’re available by invitation only and are solely compatible with Android smartphones.
Best for Photos and Video
For those desiring high-quality video on the go, Spectacles by Snapchat are stylish and powerful. These $380 frames feature two built-in high-definition cameras that capture 3D photos and videos at 60 frames per second. They come with four built-in microphones for high-fidelity audio, and you can share the media you capture on Snapchat or export it for other uses.
Best for Audio
You can replace your headphones with smart glasses thanks to the highly-rated Bose Frames. These sunglasses feature built-in Bose speakers that provide rich, immersive sound via open-ear audio, letting you make calls, listen to music and more, while people around you hear practically nothing. They also offer an integrated microphone, giving you hands-free access your phone’s virtual assistant. The Bose Frames come in two designs, both retailing for $200.
Best for Drones
One popular use for smart glasses is to provide live video footage from drones, and the Vuzix Blade augmented reality glasses can help you do just that. When paired with a DJI drone, the Vuzix Blade glasses can show a live feed as well as the drone’s battery status, height, speed and more, without looking down at a monitor. These smart glasses aren’t the most stylish but they deliver big on functionality, making up for their $800 price tag.
Best for Cycling
Another common application for smart glasses is cycling. The Everysight Raptor glasses use augmented reality to provide cyclists with real-time information on speed, cadence, power and heart rate, while also showing smartphone notifications and navigation guidance. The sleek eyewear is designed to be comfortable and aerodynamic, ensuring they only enhance your performance on the road. These smart glasses start at $600, with accessories such as tinted visors and handlebar controllers sold separately.
Many pairs of smart glasses come in one plain design, but Vue Glasses offer more opportunities to personalize your eyewear. This brand makes prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses as well as sunglasses — all starting at $300 — and you can choose from various silhouettes, frame patterns and lens colors. While these smart glasses don’t have augmented reality capabilities, you can use them for voice commands, fitness tracking, audio and phone calls.