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Spectacles 2.0 Promise to Actually Be Good This Time

Yes, even though Snap had to write off $40 million on the first pair of Spectacles, there's gonna be a sequel  — and they're available now in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom and France.

As skeptical as you might be, the improvements show some evidence that this pair might do better than the original. They had better: at $150, these Spectacles are $20 more expensive than the original model.

Credit: Snap

(Image credit: Snap)

The biggest visible difference is that these Spectacles are smaller. Snap talked to users and discovered that the first pair were too bulky to easily fit in a pocket, and sized down the successor, so you can slip the glasses into a pocket. Their charging case is also getting shrunk.

MORE: How to Use the New Snapchat Like a Pro

The most important upgrade, in terms of usability, is that the photo transfer time should be a lot faster, with downloads to phones moving at a rate that's three to four times faster than they were with the first Spectacles. Annoyingly, the connection process of pairing your Spectacles to the app — something I harped on in my review of the first Spectacles — remains.

One welcome improvement — that should have been there for the first version — is the ability to take a photo with the Spectacles. The original pair's limitation of only shooting video felt like an omission that didn't have to happen. To increase the audio quality of recorded video, Snap added a second microphone.

Snap's pushing the new Spectacles as built-for-the-summer, touting a new water resistance. While there's no advertised IPX rating, Snap does say "You can use our latest Spectacles (Onyx, Ruby, Sapphire) in shallow water! Just don’t keep them submerged for more than a few Snaps at a time," and that they "work great in the rain and snow."

Lenses come in flat and gradient designs, and Snap's partnered with Lensabl so you can buy prescription-strength glasses from their site.

And yes, that's the other big change: Spectacles are no longer an elusive piece of tech that sent journalists and Snapchat fans running around the country. You now simply order them from Spectacles.com.

Before you click Buy, though, consider that we've already seen reports of a $300 model that could come as early as 2019. Spectacles 3.0 would feature dual cameras for "creating three-dimensional depth effects," according to a report from Cheddar.