Categories: Technology
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2023-12-08 7:10 AM

Echo Frames 3.0: Style Surge, Sound Hurdles, and the Pricetag Predicament in Amazon’s Wearable Tech

  • Style Upgrade: The third-gen Amazon Echo Frames offer diverse shapes and lens options, including collaboration with Carrera for added flair.
  • Audio Experience: While boasting improved bass, the Echo Frames remain more open-ear headphones than smart glasses, with noticeable audio leakage.
  • Pricing Dilemma: Despite style improvements, the Carrera Cruiser model's steep price raises questions about the Echo Frames' value compared to competitors.
By Lethabo Ntsoane

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.

Stylish Choices for Every Face: Aesthetic Updates

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.

Lens TypeStarting Price (in ZAR)
Clear LensesR4,250
Blue Light FilteringR4,750
Sunglass LensesR5,200

Striking a Balance: Style vs. Comfort

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.

Audio Upgrade: Bass and Leaks

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.

Audio AspectVerdict
Improved BassPositive, but not on par with premium alternatives
Audio LeakageNoticeable, especially in quiet environments

Alexa Integration: Convenience or Compromise?

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.

Pricing Predicament: Are Echo Frames Worth It?

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.

ModelPrice (in ZAR)
Echo Frames (Base)R4,250
Carrera CruiserR6,500
Ray-Ban Meta SmartR5,300
Bose Frames TempoR3,700

Battery Life and Functionality: A Mixed Bag

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.

Battery MetricsFeedback
Media Playback5 hours with 30% remaining
Call Duration50-minute call drained 20% battery
Charging Time2.5 hours, but a less intuitive stand design

Verdict: Echo Frames – Form Over Function?

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.

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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted: Email: lethabo@rateweb.co.za Twitter: @NtsoaneLethabo