So you are looking for a Ray-Ban Stories review? I bought a pair last week when the announcement was made and they arrived 3 days earlier than planned! Here is my initial RayBan smart glasses review.
Update on 9/20/21 – updating Ray-Ban smart glasses review to include issue with overheating
It’s been a while since we’ve done a tech review here at Digital Mom Blog and as soon as I saw the viral tiktok of these Rayban smart glasses, I knew what I needed to do. Rather than sharing my favorites funny memes, today I bring you a Ray-Ban tech review.
This all started when my brother sent our family group chat a video featuring these new Rayban Wayfarer sunglasses that recorded video. I am pretty sure, he sent the video in sarcasm. Jokes on him, now his sister AND his wife bought a pair.
Ray-Ban Stories Review
Here is everything you need to know about the Ray-Ban smart glasses, including this mom’s thoughts on uses, what I like, don’t like and everything in between. Buckle up for this full Rayban Stories review.
Facebook and Ray-Ban Smart Glasses
First things first, these smart glasses are a collaboration between Facebook and Ray-Ban. What does this mean? Both Ray-Ban and Facebook created this product. The iconic frame designs are by Ray-ban. The technology that powers the Ray-Ban Stories was created by Facebook.
I know some of you hate Facebook (Facebook quitting memes for those of you FB quitters.) In order to export your videos and photos, you will need to use the Facebook View app (more on this later).
Don’t fret. Videos and photos taken with Ray-Ban Stories are NOT automatically exported to Facebook, just Facebook View app and not until you choose to pair and sync the device and smart frames.
Similar to what Facebook is doing with the Oculus Quest 2 – Facebook View app does require you to have a Facebook login to use the app. So if you do not have a Facebook account, you will need to have one in order to export your photos from the smart sunglasses. (Worried about your Facebook data? Learn how to download Facebook data.)
Mark Zuckerburg mentions in the Ray-Ban x Facebook video
With Ray-Ban Stories, you can stay focused on what you are doing. And you don’t have to choose between being on your device or being fully present. We believe that this is an important step on the road to developing the ultimate augmented reality glasses.Mark Zuckerburg
While I chose the iconic Ray-Ban Wayfarer black sunglasses as my Ray-Ban Stories frames, there are multiple styles and options available. You can even have prescription lenses put into the frames making your Ray-Ban smart glasses your daily eye frames.
Here are the available Ray-Ban Stories styles.
- Wayfarer – the iconic frames
- Round – round frames
- Meteor – stylish frames
Each smart frame style is available in green, black, blue or brown. There are also multiple options for lenses, including having your prescription lenses added to the smart frames.
Wondering how much do Ray-Ban Stories cost? The price starts at $299. If you are ordering basic smart sunglasses, like my Wayfarer’s – you are looking at $299. If you add in prescription lenses, this is where it can get pricey.
Depending on the type of prescription lenses and the lens thickness, your price will vary.
Single Vision Thin Lenses add an additional $240 to the price ($539 total.). Progressive Extra Thin Lenses add $315 to the price ($614 total.)
Progressive Thin Lenses add an additional $375 to the price ($674 total.). Progressive Extra Thin Lenses add $450 to the price ($749 total.)
This is just the start to the pricing variables. You can add lenses such as a Transitions lens that allows you to have traditional eyeglass lenses that change to sunglass lenses for approximately $619.
If you are wanting to purchase just the Rayban Stories sunglasses, you can order thru Amazon Prime and receive quickly.
- Ray-Ban Tech Enabled Smart Frames
- Charging Case
- Type-C to Type-C USB Charging Cable
- Soft Glasses Pouch
- Quick Start Guide
- Safety & Warranty Guide
What are Ray-Ban Stories? Why should I want them? Let’s learn about this new technology and the features of these smart glasses:
- Take Photos – capture photos hands-free without your smart phone
- Record Video – record videos hands-free from your eye’s perspective
- Play Audio – listen to your favorite Spotify playlist or podcast
- Take Phone Calls – or don’t if you don’t take calls (IYKYK)
- Touch Controls – with a touch – you can pause your song, take a photo or record a video.
- Audio – Using open ear speakers on the inside arms of the frames, you get rich voice and sound quality to listen to audio, record video audio or for phone usage.
- Voice Control -Using Facebook Assistant Voice Control – you can activate the smart sunglasses hands-free.
- Charging Case – Your smart frames are charged in the included Ray-Ban leather portable charging case.
- Social Sharing – Using the Facebook View app, if you opt to share your videos socially – you can easily do so to Facebook, Instagram, What’s App,or FB Messsenger. You can export to your phone ‘s camera roll if you want to upload to another social platform, such as TikTok, Pinterest or Twitter.
- LED Light – A Small LED light above the camera on the front of the glass frame’s lights up to let people know that the camera is on.
- Power Switch – On the left inside arm of the frames is a power switch that lets you turn on and off your smart frames. When the power is OFF, all connectivity is off. No mic or camera access is available. When turned off, your Ray-Ban Stories act as normal sunglasses or frames.
Camera automatically adjusts to the light around you for high quality captures. Here are the Ray-Ban Stories camera specs:
- Dual 5MP Camera – With 5 megapixels, 2 cameras gives your content new depth and dimension.
- Photo Quality – 2592×1944 pixels
- Video 1184×1184 pixels – 30 frames per second
- You can take up to 30 second videos
These smart glasses have 3 built-in microphones allowing you to capture sound in all directions.
Memory / Storage
You will be able to store approximately 30 30-second videos or 500 photos encrypted on your glasses until you are ready to download to the Facebook View companion app.
The frames charge in the included Ray-Ban charging case. Battery life is appears to be around 6-7 hours with regular use (stat is from my first day’s usage.)
Facebook View App
As mentioned, to export videos and photos from Rayban Stories smart frames, you will need to download the Facebook View App. Exporting and sharing to various social media profile is super easy with Facebook View app.
You will need a Facebook login to access the application. Your photos and videos will not be shared on the Facebook platform unless you specifically share your videos and photos to the platform. Same goes with the other social networks that Facebook owns (Instagram, Whats App) or any outside social network.
The Facebook View App has a ways to go as far as interface design. It does feature some easy to use photo editing options to make any desired quick edits.
Digital Mom Blog’s Thoughts and Opinions
So now that we know the specifics to what this new technology is, what is it like to actually use them? Are Ray-Ban Stories practical? Are they worth the price? Here are my thoughts after the first day of using them in real life.
I have to admit, I usually go thru 12 pairs of sunglasses each year. We are in Texas, it’s always hot and sunny (until it’s not, cue the Texas Winter memes.) That said, I typically buy CHEAP sunglasses. These Rayban Wayfarer smart glasses are not cheap. In fact, I could probably buy 50 pairs of cheap sunglasses for what I paid for these.
Side note: in case you missed it, the Ray-Ban stories price is $299.
Not Your Knock Off Wayfarer Sunglasses
The first thing I noticed when opening the Ray-Ban box is the quality. From the leather case that the smart sunglasses arrive in, to the actual build of the Ray-Ban Wayfarer glasses – these are lux. Especially in comparison to the several knockoff cheap Wayfarer sunglasses in my purse and car.
Initial Device Pairing & Setup
Setup was super easy. Like most technology products, after you first pair the Ray-Ban Stories, you will need to update the software. This process is easy.
After you have paired your devices and upgraded, there is a simple tutorial showing you how to use all of the features of the Ray-Ban smart glasses. This was a great how-to and over. Also, before purchasing – I somehow missed the part where these sunglasses can play audio and you can take phone calls with them as well.
Photo & Video Quality
Taking photos and video is super easy. The quality is decent. You are not going to get iPhone or DSLR quality photos and videos from the Ray-Ban Stories. But you will get photos and videos that are good enough for social media and capturing memories in an instant.
I Wear My Sunglasses At Night
I unboxed these in my car, as I was waiting outside for my kids’ to finish their basketball practice. Naturally, wanting to use these – I found myself wearing the sunglasses until I went to bed. This led to my husband singing me “I wear my sunglasses at night” over and over.
Honestly, with the green lenses – it didn’t feel extra dark (definitely not something I would normally do, but wearing at night definitely does say MOOD.)
Awesome Audio Quality
Something that surprised me with the Ray-Ban Stories is the awesome audio quality. I was not expecting audio, but I have to say it’s a VERY cool feature. While I don’t see myself taking phone calls with the Ray-Ban smart glasses, I will be using these for listening to audio on the regular.
My daily normal audio is me using my Apple Airpods Pro. The sound is amazing on the Airpods Pro, especially the outside noise reduction. So it’s unfair to compare the audio quality of both of these technologies. (Which BTW, if you are in the market for Apple Airpods Pro – there is a price drop!)
That said, they each have a purpose – and when I am going on a walk or outside, unless I need the Airpod Pro noise cancellation – I can see myself just using the smart sunglasses for my audio listening.
Something to note – others can hear your audio (there is no in-ear speaker. The audio speaker for the Ray-Ban Stories are on the backside of the sunglass arms – playing right next to your ear allowing optimal sound.) I kind of felt like a parade listening to my Spotify playlist while walking around the house, wearing the Stories. Just something to note.
Overall, I am impressed with the Ray-Ban Stories battery life. Yesterday, I wore my smart Wayfarer sunglasses for over 5 hours and right before I went to sleep, the battery life was at 40%. (Yes, I wore these to bed. I told you the audio was good! Great for listening to TikTok’s with!)
The Ray-Ban leather sunglass case that comes with the smart glasses acts as a battery – similar to your Apple Airpods case. So you can charge up the case and it acts as a battery pack.
The Ray-Ban case uses USB-C to charge.
Looking thru the couple dozen videos and photos I have taken the last day with the Stories smart frame, the perspective is different. It’s a bird-eye’s view of the moments and memories that you are capturing.
As a mom, I appreciate capturing moments, and now the content/media I create using these smart frames will be from an angle and perspective, different from that of using a smart phone or DSLR.
Prescription Lenses in Ray-Ban Stories
The only regret, and this is on me – I need to get my eye’s checked for a new prescription. Ray-Ban Stories can come with prescription lenses. You need to know your prescription when ordering though and I know my last prescription is way off so just went with the generic green lenses and black wayfarer style.
Feels Like Normal Sunglasses
I was worried that the Ray-Ban smart glasses would feel clunky wearing. We all saw the SnapChat Spectacles and Google Glass. Both of these smart glasses that have predated Ray-Ban’s are obviously smart glasses. These smart frames are lightweight.
With the classic Ray-Ban designs, Facebook and Ray-Ban geniusouly created smart glasses that don’t look or feel like the other smart glasses that have hit the market. That said, I do have some privacy concerns in regards to the weirdos of the world.
Privacy and Creeps
With these smart glasses looking so much like normal glasses – it is hard for anyone else to tell when I am taking a photo or video.
The only indicator that I am taking a photo or videoing is a TINY white LED that lights up when videoing or taking a picture. When I say tiny, it’s barely noticeable and most likely my hair would be covering part of the light.
This is a concern as we all know the world is filled with creeps and weirdos. Devices like this are already available but not marketed to the masses as such. This is just a part of technology us as a society is going to have to adapt to.
Just like how everyone has a smartphone now, allowing video to happen in an instant – you can now not have to hold up a phone to video or take a photo of something. Simply saying the words “Facebook, take a video” while wearing the smart glasses, you are videoing up to a 30 second clip.
Facebook is well aware that people are leary of their data and privacy policies. You can adjust your privacy settings and what not in the Facebook View app.
In addition to the normal issues, MIT Technology Review makes a good point on Why Facebook is using Rayban to stake a claim on our faces.
Quirks and Bugs
Seeing this is the first edition of the Ray-Ban Facebook smart glasses, naturally there are going to be quirks and bugs. Here are a few things that are annoying or maybe I just haven’t learned to adjust yet.
- Ray-Ban Smart Glasses Overheating – including this update on 9/20/21. Over the weekend, I had 2 incidents with my ray-ban’s overheating. I’ve emailed support for more details – will update as I know more. The problem resolves itself but is annoying to say the least.
- Size of Videos and Photos – there isn’t a way to adjust the size/crop of videos and photos taken.
- Works with Any Voice – my sarcastic son thought he would be funny today and said “Facebook, take a video” while I was wearing the glasses. And well, Facebook did take a video. The technology is not anywhere near where it needs to be to differentiate whose voice is saying what. (Amazon Alexa’s voice technology is getting there!)
- Accidental Photos and Videos – I can already foresee having to clean up photos and videos that I take on accident. It is super easy to trigger photos or videos, like when I touched my hair. This isn’t a huge issue but is annoying.
Are They Worth It?
So far, I would say yes. The ease of use, in addition to being a product that is usable not just a novelty sets Ray-Ban Stories apart from other ventures into creating smart glasses. This product sets a high bar and standard for anyone else wanting to get into the smart glasses space. Wearable technology is here.
Funny, earlier this summer, I had mentioned to my husband I think I was ready to be a grown up and buy nice sunglasses. So the timing of these coming out paired well with my desire for a pair of quality sunglasses. Win and win.
Every morning, putting on my Airpods and Apple Watch is now apart of my normal routine. As I would typically wear sunglasses, adding the Ray-Ban Wayfarer Stories to the routine feels normal as well.
I do think the Ray-Ban smart frames are going to enable us to capture more things. Whether that is good or bad, is subjective. The 10 seconds it takes to pull your phone out, unlock, open your camera app and hit record can now simply be done instantly by saying a command or by touching the arm of your glasses. Again, depending on your opinion of technology, this could be good or it could be bad.
If you are like my husband, and save up Amazon gift cards for a gift for yourself – good news! Amazon sells these for the same price as elsewhere and are available via Amazon Prime.
At the end of the day, making products and wearable technology that feel normal and not challenging are the wearable technologies that will be successful. I feel like Ray-Bans and Facebook did just that with these smart glasses.
More About Ray-Ban Stories
Want to know even more about the Ray-Ban Stories? Let’s answer some questions you may have about these smart frames:
How Do I Take a Photo?
Here is how to take a photo with Ray-Ban Stories. Simply tap and hold the button on the right arm of your frames. To take a photo hands-free – you will need to have Facebook Voice Assistant setup. Once setup, you can say “Facebook, take a photo” to take a picture.
How Do I Take a Video?
Here is how to take a video with Ray-Ban Stories. Simply tap the button on the right arm of your frames once. To record a video hands-free – you will need to have Facebook Voice Assistant setup. Once setup, you can say “Facebook, take a video” to start recording a video.
The video will record for 30 seconds unless you want a stop it. To stop recording a video, simply press the button on the frame’s arm again.
When Did Ray-Ban Create Wayfarer Sunglasses?
Random fact, Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses launched in 1952. The design is iconic and timeless.
How Much Heavier Are Ray-Ban Stories Than Normal Ray-Bans?
Ray-Ban says there is only about a 5 gram difference in weight when comparing Stories to the traditional Ray-Ban frames.
What Countries Can I Buy Rayban Stories?
Rayban Stories are available for purchase in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Italy and Australia. More countries will be announced soon.
What is the Ray-Ban Stories Warranty?
The limited warranty for Ray-Ban stories is 1 year in the US and 2 years in the EU. There are a variety of specifics with this warrant that can be viewed here.
Are Ray-Ban Stories Waterproof?
No! Unfortunately, Ray-Ban stories are not waterproof. Nor is the charging case. Neither are designed to resist water splashes.
Are the Lenses Interchangable?
No, unfortunately the eye glass lens option that you choose at purchase is the lens that will need to stay with the smart frames.
How Do You Restart You RayBan Smart Frames?
To restart your smart frames, with your glasses on – slide and old the power switch to the right for about 12 seconds until the notification LED starts blinking white.
Release the power switch, then wait until the notification LED turns green.
Where Can I Buy Ray-Ban Stories
Ray-Ban stories are available at Amazon.com thru Rayban or in-person at authorized Ray-Ban dealers (such as Lenscrafters.)
Who Owns Ray-Ban?
Ray-Ban is owned by Luxottica. Fascinating, Luxottica owns the majority of the eyeglass industry. Watch the 60 Minutes on Luxottica.
Can I Return Ray-Ban Stories?
Yes, you can. Ray-Ban does not give specifics to the return policy / timeframe. Make sure that you delete all media from your smart frames and favorty reset your Stories before returning.
Make sure to keep all boxes that you receive your smart frames in as Ray-Ban wants you to return your smart frames using that specific box.
Can I Use Multiple Facebook Accounts With My Raybans?
No, you can only use 1 Facebook account with Facebook View and Stories. You will need to do a factory reset of your smart frames in order to change the Facebook account associated with the frames.
Do You Have a Promo Code?
No, I don’t have a promo code for a Ray-Ban Stories discount. While not a promo code or discount, but here is a suggestion on how to buy these. Cash in any Amazon gift cards and purchase the smart glasses on Amazon.
I hope this honest Ray-Ban Stories review gives you new insight into what these smart frames are and if they are something that is worth your hard-earned money to purchase.
Like I say with parenting – what works for me may not work for you, and that’s okay. You do what’s best for you.