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For as comfortable as we are with smart tech, wearables (outside of smartwatches) have always been a hard sell. Google Glass was a bust, and augmented reality products remain an extremely niche product category. While AR glasses are still very much under-the-radar, the successors to Google Glass are making strides in terms of tech and adoption rate.
Now, Razer is entering the fray with the new Anzu Smart Glasses. Razer sent pair of these smart glasses to SPY for review, and they made a solid first impression.
Spy Reviews the Razer Anzu Smart Glasses: What We Liked
Razer is most notably known for its gaming products but has started to branch out into more lifestyle-based products in recent years. The Anzu reflects this new ethos and packs plenty of features into the smart frames for gamers and non-gamers alike. Like other smart frames, the Anzu is a slightly oversized frame with rounded and square styles. The frames’ arms are a little chunky, as they contain speakers on both sides to produce low latency, open-ear audio. Also in the arms are dedicated touch panels that control the audio functionality. The touch panels took a little bit of time to get used to, but once I figured out how to operate them effectively, the Anzu worked well.
The frame features a discreet microphone inside it, allowing you to talk to activate the voice assistant or even take calls while wearing the Anzu. The device comes with blue light filtering lenses to wear while working at a computer and polarized lenses (with 99% UVA/UVB protection) for when you’re outside. I could tell my eyes were more relaxed after wearing them during the workday, which is excellent for those looking for a pair of blue light glasses with some added features. The lenses are quick and easy to replace, making the Anzu great to have with you at all times. Plus, with the included IPX4 design, the glasses are sweatproof, which can make them handy to wear while on a run.
You can easily pair the Anzu with your phone or computer via Bluetooth, and the included low latency gaming mode makes it easy to ensure you hear your game audio without any hiccups while wearing them. There’s a lot of value in these smart glasses for $199.99, which is a cheaper price point than many Bluetooth sunglasses. Plus, the five hours of audio playback is on the higher-end of battery life for smart glasses.
Razer Anzu Smart Glasses: What We Didn’t Like
My biggest issue with the Anzu is that the glasses do eventually become uncomfortable after a few hours of wearing them. The thickness of the arms is the primary culprit here, as I felt a lot of pressure on the sides of my face wearing them for an extended period. I’m someone, even at home, that has a tendency to get up and move around every few hours, so it wasn’t too bad to take the frames off while I stretched, but if someone wants to use the Anzu for a full eight hour day, they might find it challenging to do.
Additionally, the open ear functionality can get pretty noisy to nearby people if you’ve got the volume turned up. Using the Anzu with my office door closed makes that a non-factor, but I had to kind of crank the volume a bit to compensate for the hollow-sounding audio. I’m not anticipating world-class audio playback with smart glasses, but I do get the sense if I were to wear the Anzu in an open-office environment that I might disturb my coworkers with the playback. That’s less of an issue when I went running with the Anzu, as I welcomed the chance to hear street noise around me.
Finally, while Razer did a fine job overall with the design of these smart sunglasses, they’re not going to win any fashion awards. Style is a secondary concern with wearables like this, so this is a very minor complaint. That being said, we hope future iterations of these glasses are slimmer.
Razer Anzu Smart Glasses Verdict: A Strong Start to Razer’s Wearables
There’s plenty to recommend about the Anzu even in its first generation, even if I do have some quibbles with the device. I’m fully convinced future iterations of the product will address some of the issues and become a more well-rounded product. But those who want a wearable with tons of features for a compelling price will find a lot to love in the Anzu, assuming they’re comfortable knowing its limitations.
If you’re an early adopter, owning a pair of the Razer Anzu Smart Glasses is a major flex. Everyone is going to want to know more about your new sunglasses, which actually cost far less than your average pair of designer sunglasses.