In a recent review, we take a closer look at the third-generation Amazon Echo Frames, specifically the Carrera Cruiser model, exploring style, functionality, and whether the improvements justify the hefty price tag.
The Echo Frames have undergone a style transformation with the latest release. Available in various shapes, including round, cat eye, square, rectangle, and “modern” rectangle, users now have the option to choose between clear, prescription, blue light filtering, and sunglass lenses. The collaboration with Carrera adds a touch of flair, offering more options but at a higher cost.
|Starting Price (in ZAR)
|Blue Light Filtering
While style is a crucial factor, the review highlights potential comfort issues. The lightweight acetate construction, weighing 46.3g, is a plus, but for those with a low nose bridge, slipping glasses may become a persistent issue.
The Echo Frames aim to provide a seamless audio experience, acting more as open-ear headphones than traditional smart glasses. The promised improvement in bass is noted, but the audio quality is deemed satisfactory rather than outstanding. The persistent issue of audio leakage, especially in quieter spaces, remains a drawback.
|Positive, but not on par with premium alternatives
|Noticeable, especially in quiet environments
One of the defining features is the integration of Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant. While convenient for certain tasks, the review questions its practicality on the go. Commands might feel clunky, and the need for a stable Bluetooth connection and the Alexa app running in the background may limit offline usability.
The Carrera Cruiser model, retailing at a substantial R6,500, raises eyebrows. The review suggests that, despite style improvements, the Echo Frames fall short in justifying the price compared to competitors like the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses and Bose Frames.
|Price (in ZAR)
|Echo Frames (Base)
|Ray-Ban Meta Smart
|Bose Frames Tempo
The Echo Frames boast improved battery life, enduring a typical 60–80 minute commute with approximately 30% battery remaining. Charging time, however, is criticized, taking about 2.5 hours and featuring an unconventional stand design.
|5 hours with 30% remaining
|50-minute call drained 20% battery
|2.5 hours, but a less intuitive stand design
In conclusion, the Echo Frames 3rd generation makes strides in style and audio but still falls short of being a must-have gadget. While the variety in styles is appreciated, the high price, combined with comfort and functionality concerns, may leave potential buyers contemplating whether these frames are a sound investment.
Whether the Echo Frames become a staple accessory or remain a niche choice depends on Amazon’s continued efforts to balance style with practical functionality. For now, consumers seeking a seamless blend of smart glasses and open-ear headphones might need to weigh their options carefully in the evolving market of wearable tech.