Amazon’s Echo Frames strategy is to skip the visual augmented reality features of other “smart glasses” and deliver regular-looking glasses with the Alexa voice assistant built in. If this sounds like a valuable addition to your life, you’re in luck, as the new third-generation Echo Frames are now available to preorder on Amazon, and there’s a $75 discount available.
What The Verge’s David Pierce pointed out from his preview earlier this fall is that the biggest differences in the new Frames are as much about form as function — this latest iteration is a lighter, better-balanced version than its previous counterparts, with more stylish and colorful options available. Given that the only option in the first generation of the Echo Frames resembled drugstore reading glasses, this is a bigger deal than it seems.
The new Echo Frames also offer a slight boost to battery life, which now lasts a total of six hours on a full charge. A newly designed set of speakers also delivers up to “three times more bass” than the second-generation Echo Frames. There’s a tiny microphone built into each set of Echo Frames that can pick up the user’s voice (and, according to Amazon, is designed not to pick up on the voices of passersby), which allows them to communicate with Alexa. So you can summon playlists with your Echo Frames, turn your Alexa-enabled smart lights on or off, play podcasts, call your mom, just go crazy!
The third-generation frames’ sticker price is $269.99, but Amazon’s “introductory price promotion” adds a $75 dollar discount for early birds who preorder the prescription-ready version. Blue light-blocking Echo Frames have a smaller discount, while a pair of sunglasses are full price. On top of that, Amazon’s collaboration with the Carrera brand lives on — the third generation of the Carrera Echo Frame sunglasses are $389.99 (but only $314.99 if you preorder).
The Echo frames are available in five styles, including blue round, black rectangle, black square, brown cat eye, and grey rectangle. If you order the prescription-ready or blue light-filtering versions, the idea is to bring them to your optician once they arrive so they can be outfitted with prescription lenses. Obviously, that’s not the case with the Echo Frames sunglasses.