Amazon decided to opt out of including visual augmented reality features or adding a camera for its new Echo Frames line, including the new Carrera Cruiser model (3rd generation), but instead focused on making stylish-looking glasses that are lighter and include Alexa and open-ear headphones.

Out of the latest reviews, some have said they would prefer to use earbuds over the new Echo Frames, but on the tech side, the new Amazon glasses do have a built-in, tiny microphone to connect with Alexa, which is designed to detect the user’s voice specifically and the voices of passersby, according to Google.

Additionally, Alexa is getting an upgrade reportedly in the coming months but with or without the upgrade, users can ask Alexa to turn on playlists, call a best friend or turn off the lights with Alexa-enabled smart lights with the new glasses.

The battery is also said to last longer (up to 6 hours), and Amazon claims the bass got a boost with “three times more bass” than the second-generation Echo Frames.

Currently only available in the U.S. for US$389.99 (A$588) the Carrer Cruise models deliver a lux, celebrity look vastly different from the first pair of Amazon Echos (see below photo).

%name Are Amazon Echo Frames Worth $588?

The regular Echo frames are $269.99 and offer a wide range of styles like round, cat eye, square, rectangle, and “modern” rectangle. There are also multiple colours, and fits, which allow users to choose options such as clear, prescription, blue light filtering, and sunglass lenses.

The Echo Frames are very different than the original Google Glasses, Snap Spectacles and Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, in that the Amazon smart glasses are more simplistic without a camera, screen, or any way to know from first glance these are ordinary glasses.

Some reviews say that the controls are relatively easy to navigate with the left arm having a volume adjuster and the right side having two action buttons, one to take or decline calls and the other puts the Frames into pairing mode, or mute Alexa. The back action button pressed twice allows users to play their personalised playlist on the music streaming service of your choice.

%name Are Amazon Echo Frames Worth $588?

Despite some slight upgrades and a stylish look, the Echo Frames might not be the right options for cost-conscious buyers when there are other similar frames that are cheaper with similar offerings such as battery life and better sound quality, such as Bose Frames Tempo and Soprano, at prices $100-150 less.

Some of the changes Amazon made especially regarding style is a necessary improvement but that might not be enough to make these devices stand out from the competition, or shift users away from their wireless earbuds.

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