Amazon is keen to get its new Echo Frames onto early adopters’ faces. The company is offering a $75 discount on all three styles.
That means you can buy the prescription-ready frames for $195 instead of $270, the blue light filtering models for $225 rather than $300, or the sunglasses for $255 instead of $330. All three have square or circular designs to choose from, and are available in a handful of different colors.
Like previous models, Amazon’s take on smart glasses don’t try to emulate Google Glass by putting a screen on your face, nor Meta by letting you record your surroundings. Instead, Echo Frames bring Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant to your face, letting you ask questions, control your smart home or play audio from your phone via the tiny built-in speakers.
Of course, early adoption comes with risks and Amazon doesn’t say exactly how long the introductory pricing will last for. While it’s sensible to see what the critics say, our own Kate Kozuch’s Echo Frames 3 hands-on review suggests they’re firmly a step in the right direction.
For starters, the company has made great progress in terms of hiding tech in plain sight. While early editions looked like a cross between a computer and Dollar-store frames, these pass far more convincingly as regular glasses with slimmed-down temples and a generally more understated design.
As well as feeling a bit lighter and more balanced, Amazon has also introduced multi-point pairing. The idea here is that you can jump between your phone, laptop, smart speaker or tablet without having to reconnect every time.
In our short hands-on time, we weren’t able to put the battery through its paces, though Amazon is promising improved battery life with 40% more continuous media playback and 80% more talk time. And while we could give the speakers a listen, the noisy preview environment was such that we could really only conclude that the bass is improved.
But if you’re concerned about bothering neighbors, you’re right to be. Even in said demo area, our test music was clear enough for those nearby to identify the song in question. So not one for public transport, then.
All the same, early impressions point to a big improvement over the previous generation, which got a middling 3.5 stars in our Echo Frames 2 review. “The Echo Frames need to sound a lot better before I’d shell out $250,” concluded our U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Mike Prospero. We’ll find out if the third generation gets our seal of approval soon.