The original Ray-Ban Stories were a pretty darn cool item – a pair of Ray-Ban glasses that had speakers in them and cameras to take photos and video, but I feel like they didn’t really take off. Partly because they are pricey, partly because they were feature limited. The new generation Ray-Ban Meta glasses take the concept to a whole new level, and promise so much more.

I picked up these Ray-Bans at OPSM, seems like the best and easiest physical place to grab a pair, but don’t expect them to let you try them on – the boxes are sealed and they weren’t keen on a test run, which was bothersome to me as I found the first gen a bit tight on my fat head, so wondered if the larger sized model would be a better idea. Turns out they didn’t stock those anywhere, so I rolled the dice and grabbed the standard Wayfarer design and size – no regrets.

Perhaps given the work that’s gone into thinning out the glasses the fit is just a bit better, but I for one find these easy to wear at all times, not just when I want the cool features. I have literally been using these as my standard issue daily driver Sunnies for 3 months now.

How are the Ray-Ban Meta glasses different to the original Ray-Ban Stories?

Well, to start with the cameras are better. A 12MP still camera (the right lens), and full 1080p video recording (the left eye lens)

Additionally, the speakers are vastly improved – something like 50% louder and 2 times deeper bass.

And there’s a much wider range of styles, lens colours and options.

POV Capture with the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses

Clearly, one of the great features of these glasses are the cameras. Creepy as hell some would say, but convenient as anything I’d say. Something strong about being in the moment rather than through the screen of a smartphone that really does appeal.

I wore these on a sunny day 3rd base coaching my son’s baseball team. I could record every single at-bat he had, without taking my eyes off the game and my job. And without looking like I wasn’t paying attention by holding my phone up to record.

They capture sound and video very well – albeit at a rather wide angle – but it is – frankly – Point of View capture. It’s not meant to be a zoomed view of life.

Photos are recorded with a single press of the button on the top of the right arm of the glasses, video is recorded with a long press of the same.

Even easier, just say “hey Meta” “record a video” and it does.

The voice commands are utterly responsive – there’s no delay to the response or the action, the only downside is looking like a dick talking to yourself.

Downsides of the cameras on the Ray-Ban Meta glasses.

Firstly, the photos are captured in Portrait orientation – In looking through a few that I took, I just thought to myself – why? Why not take them landscape. If it’s a setting, I didn’t see it.

I also think there’s a level of distortion to the picture. Look at the shot of me driving the Cupra above, the bottom of the steering wheel is exaggerated – as is Pete Stefanovic’s leg – it’s subtle, but just a bit off.

Secondly, as pointed out by fellow tech-head and Dubai Tech legend Slorks, the POV is offset. So if you’re recording a video, it’s recorded from the left eye perspective, and even then, to the left side of the left eye. No big deal for the majority of uses, but in some cases this might just frustrate a touch.

Bypassing the Capture Light

One of the key privacy features of the Ray-Ban Meta glasses is the white blinking capture light that shines in the right-eye lens when you are recording video.

For those that think it’s creepy that you can record video with these things, and those who say “just paint over the light” – nope. The software knows. And that’s a big win.

Cover that light up and you get this message on your phone – and audibly in the glasses:

I for one think this is great, but I am still not sure that tiny light is enough to warn folks that you’re recording. I guess if you were standing talking to someone, they’d notice and ask what the hell was going on.

Live Streaming

Perhaps the single greatest innovation in these glasses is the integration with Instagram, and ability to live-stream from Instagram direct from the glasses.

It’s really quite easy. First you open Instagram and start a live stream session. Wearing your glasses you get a prompt on screen and audibly in the glasses to double click the side button to switch to the Ray-Ban Meta glasses, and it happens instantly. The view on your phone updates to the camera on your glasses.

You also get a notification that your glasses have been removed if you take them off – another privacy feature preventing you from starting a live stream and leaving the glasses on a shelf to secretly record someone.

My first test of this was when I went for a walk and just used the glasses. Very simple, very cool.

You even get audible notifications in the glasses so you don’t need to be looking at your phone. For example “Your first viewer has joined – Dan Smith is watching” – nice.

Then if you start to get comments, it will tell you “You got a comment – tap and hold your glasses for number of viewers and most recent comment” You can do this at any time to check on the status of your Live. Again, works great.

This is a really great feature which is under-utilised I think – so much potential here.

Audio Quality – Recording

If you’re keen to know how good the microphones are – well, no better way than to demonstrate:


A test of the audio quality when recording video with thr RayBan Meta smart glasses – not too bad at all!! #tech #gadget #smart #smartglasses #video #audio #rayban #meta #facebook #video

♬ original sound – Trevor Long

Audio Quality – Listening

As for how they are to listen to content, fantastic.

Now to be clear, if you’re on a bus or train, the people around you will know what you’re listening to. But when you’re walking around or at home or anywhere basically alone, they are a great way to enjoy podcasts or music.

No good when mowing the lawns because of the ambient sound, but still, fantastic way to stay engaged in the real world – ie: Traffic – while walking, and also enjoying your content.

Battery life and Power

If you’re a vlogger looking to capture your day, be prepared to throw them back in the case now and then to get charge to get you through the day. Constant captures drain the battery and you’ll get a low battery notice half way through the day.

But in every day use, you’ll rarely get a notification. Given the sleek case is the charger and you put them away when you’re inside and not wearing them, I never found myself on 0%, but there were some days I was going hard on capture, and I noticed the drain.

Of course, if you know you’re just going normal sunnies for a while, you can just slide the power button to off, and enjoy the day.


I really don’t think I’ve touched the surface of what’s possible here.

Meta showcased some cool stuff when launching these, like using the Meta AI to look at something and get an audio description. Very very cool.

But for now, the basic features alone are worthy of the price.

If they add more, it just gets better.

In my view, the Meta AI just needs to be “my assistant”, add things to my calendar, remind me of things, add things to lists, the things that when you’re out and about you have to grab your phone for – take that away and we’re onto something.

Now imagine a generation or three ahead, where these merge in features with something like the Oppo Air Glasses 3, which project information onto the lenses you’re looking through, like navigation, or messages and notifications – that’s something I can get behind.

It’s an exciting category of product.

I can’t recommend these enough, especially if you want to capture those in the moment style memories without grabbing your smartphone.

with Meta AI to spark creativity, get information, and control features — just by using your voice. Meta AI features will be available in the US in beta only at launch.