Tech review: Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear sunglasses let you listen to music and take calls

The Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to stream music, lets you answer calls and even call up the voice assistant of your smartphone.
The Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to stream music, lets you answer calls and even call up the voice assistant of your smartphone. PHOTO: HUAWEI

I have been wishing for something like the smart glasses worn by Marvel movie character Tony Stark, aka Ironman, that enables him to control everything in his arsenal. The Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear might be the next best thing.

The result of a collaboration between Chinese tech giant Huawei and South Korea sunglasses brand Gentle Monster, the Eyewear is a pair of smart sunglasses that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to stream music, lets you answer calls and even call up the voice assistant of your smartphone. It is able to do so by having dual speakers and microphones inside each of its slim arms.

While it might not be as advanced as Mr Stark's sunglasses, I think the Eyewear looks much better. It is available in two versions - Smart Eastmoon and Smart Jackbye (version tested). Either design looks great on anyone's face, in my opinion.

Compared to the other experimental and quirky Gentle Monster sunglasses, the review unit looks "safe". But it retains the brand's iconic oversized frame that seems to flatter its wearer. There's a reason that Gentle Monster sunglasses are worn by many celebrities, including Jessica Alba, Gigi Hadid and Tilda Swinton.

Apart from being great-looking, the Eyewear is also very light, at only 45.6g. It has a dust- and water-resistance rating of IP67, which means the Eyewear can withstand light drizzle and sweat. But it cannot endure being thrown into a swimming pool.

The Eyewear comes with an equally great-looking leather case that doubles as the charging dock. At the bottom of the case is a USB-C port, a function button and indicator light. To charge, just place the Eyewear inside the case. It is supposed to add 5.5 hours to the the Eyewear's rated 2.5 hours of battery life.

To pair the Eyewear with your smartphone, you need to download its accompanying app - AI Life for Android devices and Eyewear for iOS devices.

Pairing starts with opening the cover of the charging case with the Eyewear inside. Press the function button for 3 seconds until the indicator light flashes white. Launch the app, scan for the Eyewear, tap on the Eyewear dialog window in the app and the pairing is done.

By default, double-tapping on the right arm will play or pause a song. To call up the voice assistant, double-tap on the left arm. You can change this set-up in the app.

Audio quality is surprisingly good, considering that the sound is coming from the slim arms of the Eyewear. There is a nice balance of the mids and highs. The bass lacks oomph, but I expected that from these minuscule speakers. Also, I like that the music will stop playing the moment you remove the Eyewear.

On the downside, since it does not use bone conduction, others can hear what you are listening to. Not good when you are on an MRT train or in the office.

 
 

I have to dial the volume down to 30 per cent in order for others to not be able to hear the played music. But at this volume, I can barely hear the music too.

In addition, if you are using an iPhone, you will not be able to answer calls using the Eyewear. This function works only if you are using an Android smartphone.


FOR

- Good-looking pair of sunglasses

- Great audio output

- Supports both Android and iOS

AGAINST

- Others can listen to what you are listening to

- Cannot take calls with iPhones

TECH SPECS

PRICE: $590

WATER RESISTANCE: IP67 rating

CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 5.0

WEIGHT: 45.6g

RATING

FEATURES: 4/5

DESIGN: 5/5

PERFORMANCE: 4/5

BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

VALUE FOR MONEY: 3.5/5

OVERALL: 4/5