I was sent these spy sunglasses by PowerLead for free for a review.
This review is of the UB-339D model:
These sunglasses from PowerLead are far more than just your standard pair of sunglasses, they have an MP3 player and a mini camera in them too!
Inside the box you’ll find a hard case, instructions and a strange looking plug which is a charger. Inside the hard case you will find the glasses along with a usb charging cable, two separate earphones and a glasses cloth to keep them clean.
I’ll start by telling you that although there is a diagram in the instructions and they come in both English and Chinese, there isn’t so much information and the writing is a touch small to read so be aware of this as I ran into an issue I will tell you about.
Charging up the glasses is the first thing you do. Now I’ve taken pictures of the glasses to show you, it is VERY important that you plug the usb charging cable into the correct port/hole on the glasses. You will see the glasses have two holes on both arms, this is to help plug in the separate earphones.
BUT…Make sure you ONLY plug in the usb charging cable into the left arm, the one with the little picture of headphones/usb on it. This will make the glasses charge as normal. I mistakenly plugged my usb charger into the wrong arm, and after just a matter of minutes the usb cable was very hot and there was a distinctive burning smell coming from the usb end itself. So make SURE you plug into the correct port/hole.
You can charge the glasses either via the usb cable plugged into your pc or any usb power socket, or via the strange looking plug. The plug has a usb port on the bottom so just plug the usb cable into that and then you can charge away at a mains socket. I’ve tried both methods and they worked fine. Charging time was about 2 and a half to 3 hours for a first charge.
Once the glasses are charged you can start using them! You will need to provide your own microSD card but all you do is plug it in. You’ll know straight away which way it faces as it will only go in one way and when clicked down will still stick out a bit.
There are 4 main buttons, all operated on the left arm of the glasses (extra easy as I’m left-handed!). The buttons are photo/video, backwards/minus, on/off(play/pause) and forwards/plus.
Turning on the glasses is a bit tricky on my pair as the on/off button has become a bit fiddly. Sometimes it stays pressed down and I have to slightly wiggle it to free it. Not a big deal but still a bit annoying. The glasses will turn on and enter standby mode (but only if you have a micro SD card inserted). Standby mode means there is a red indicator light always on. To turn it off you have to press this button again for a long time.
If you have music stored on the microSD card you insert into the glasses then pressing the on/off button will start the mp3 function. Getting to this mp3 function can be a bit tricky as I struggled the first few times to work out how long to hold down the button to get the glasses to enter mp3 rather than turn off. The key here is to simply not press too often too quickly. The glasses seem to need a second or two to realise what you’ve pressed, so be patient.
The music will play on a loop once you’re in the mp3 function. The on/off button becomes a play/pause button, and you can turn the volume up and track selection up with one button while doing the opposite with the other. Again be patient in working out how long to press to switch the volume, versus the track selection or you may find yourself going to the beginning of a track over and over instead of just getting the volume down:).
Of course to listen to the mp3 function you have to plug in the earphones. Each of these plugs in separately into each hole on either arm of the glasses. The earphones only come with one sized earbud but for me the fit was very nice (and I have smaller ears). It wasn’t the perfect fit though and this is mainly because of how tricky it was to wear the earphones plus the glasses around the head.
My advise – put the earphones in your ears Before you put the glasses on.
The music the glasses produce is actually very nice. I’ve heard a lot worse. There is a very decent beat and the stereo is very good, although if you are looking for exceptional bass then buy some actual dedidicated headphones🙂.
You can take individual photos while wearing the glasses. You wait for the glasses to be in standby mode and then press the photo button once quickly. This will take one photo at that moment. To see whether this function is working you might want to take the glasses off and check the indicator light. It flashes once before being in standby mode again (always on), to indicate a picture being taken.
The quality of the photos if you are standing perfectly still is actually nice and very clear, but you have to be standing still, no movement at all or else the photo comes out like a fuzzy blur.
Now, this is my favourite feature. You have to press the photo button once for a long time to activate the video mode. Then you can walk around filming whatever or whoever you walk into. Bear in mind that the actual camera is situated in the centre of the glasses above your nose, so if you are talking to somebody of the same or shorter height than yourself and filming them, you will see more over their head than their face (By the way, I wouldn’t film anyone without their permission first of course!)
The video feature works quite well and the pictures are certainly clearer when there is slight movement than they are with just static photos, but of course if you are moving around at speed then the movement will be filmed as a bit of a blur. The sound quality also isn’t that great. The microphone on the camera does pick up sound but be prepared to turn the volume up on your pc, tv, or whatever you watch your recordings on.
You can of course take out the microSD card and plug it into a pc or something using its SD adapter but these glasses have a clever feature of being able to plug straight into you pc via the usb cable. When I plugged mine in they automatically brought up the list of recordings on my laptop, and my family had great fun watching back the silly recordings we had made.
Overall this is a good pair of glasses and certainly a fun gift to get for someone. The glasses aren’t the most comfortable to wear and the earphones can be a bit tricky to get in. The buttons can be a bit fiddly and the camera may not be perfect but considering the price for this pair of glasses I still think it’s a great buy. The fun you can have with these glasses is really there, I can especially see some great moments captured the next time I go on holiday or fun at Christmas time! If the glasses were more expensive I would certainly mark them down for quality but considering the whole camera function and mp3 all for around £20, it’s just great! The hard case they come in too is a great addition as this makes them very portable and the case also comes with a clip to attach them to a bag or something.
I’d recommend this pair of mp3, camera sunglasses to anyone looking for a fun gadget! Just make sure you charge them using the correct socket!