Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear II vs Bose Frames Alto
Smart devices are starting to permeate the consumer electronics scene. A week ago, we teased this new smart glasses that Huawei sent us, the Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear II. It’s the second iteration from last year’s Eyewear, and it promises a few new things for those who are into wearing sunglasses or eyeglasses.
If you’re new to the fashion scene, Gentle Monster is a South Korean brand that specializes in spectacles – sunglasses and optical glasses. It has a wide range of distribution in over 47 countries worldwide. They’re a huge brand, and if you’re into KPOP and Koreanovelas, you may have seen stars like Jennie of Black Pink and Son Ye-jin wearing Gentle Monster sunglasses.
Last year, the partnership between Huawei and Gentle Monster gave birth to the Eyewear series, which offers smart and contextual information, and audio Bluetooth connectivity to consumers.
Bluetooth audio spectacles are not new though. A few years ago, Bose started dabbling into this product category and it has been one of their most innovative products so far. Today, Bose has 5 SKUs in its Frame series, and the reviews – so far – has been great.
Today, we’re comparing Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear II and the Bose Frames Alto. These two Bluetooth audio spectacles offer distinct USPs to consumers, and we’re here to share with you our thoughts and recommendations.
Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear II – the Smarter Choice?
There are 4 variants of Eyewear II:
- Smart Myma
- Smart Lang
- Smart Kubo
- Smart Kavana
Myma and Lang belong to the FLATBA series, while the Kubo and Kavana
Apart from bearing the Gentle Monster signature design, Eyewear II is infused with the smart features powered by Huawei. It’s smart, but not the kind of ‘smart’ you are expecting. As it is wirelessly connected to your Huawei smartphone, the contextual and smart information you can get from it is basically coming from the smartphone you’re using. Unfortunately, Huawei AI voice is not available in the Philippines, so this particular feature will only work if you set your region to UK.
Here are ways you can activate Celia, Huawei’s AI Voice assistant, so you can use it on your Eyewear II:
Activation method 1: Press and hold the Power button for 1 second and follow the onscreen instructions to perform voice training to quickly activate Celia.
Activation method 2: Go to Settings > HUAWEI Assistant > AI Voice, select Voice wakeup or Wake with Power button, and follow the onscreen instructions to activate Celia.
The build of the Eyewear II Myma is fantastic. The elastic hinges are made from high-end titanium alloy, which should be able to stand the test of time. The fit is great too, thanks to its arced frame sides. Despite being available in just one size, I didn’t have any problems wearing it. In fact, my wife tried it on and it also fits her perfectly. At the time of this writing, the Eyewear II is still with my wife and I don’t think I’d be able to get it back from her.
Perhaps, one of the reasons why you’re considering getting an Eyewear II is because of sound quality. This is using a semi-open dual-speaker, which is pretty much similar to the Bose Frames. Sound quality is good and registers a balanced sound signature. Sound leak is bearable – as expected from an audio device like this; but since Eyewear II’s volume is not as loud as my Bose Frames, this is best worn in a less noisy environment.
Navigation is one of Eyewear II’s greatest assets. Swipe and pinch gestures are available on this device, and the level of convenience it offers is topnotch. You can even use it to snap photos by tapping the temple.
You can customize the gestures via Huawei AI Life app, but you will only be able to enjoy all its features if you’re using a Huawei Smartphone. You can use Eyewear II on smartphones other than Huawei with EMUI installed, but the features are very limited.
Apart from music, you can also take calls on Eyewear II. The quality is great and the microphone can pass my standards despite sporting an unconventional design.
The Huawei X Gentle Monster Eyewear II is now available for PhP21,990 at Huawei Online Store.
Bose Frames Alto – Sound and Frames, in order.
Alto is already quite a dated spectacle compared to the Eyewear II. The new Frames Tenor and Soprano are Bose’s latest product offerings. The most significant advantage of the newer models is gesture controls, which my Alto does not have.
Unlike the Eyewear II, Bose Frames Alto only has one control button hidden at the lower section of the right temple. This allows users to change music, pause, play, and even take calls. Pressing and holding the button will trigger Siri on iOS or Google Assistant on Android. The latest firmware update of Bose Frames Alto added a new feature, which allows users to increase or lower the volume by turning their head right or left while pressing the button.
Bose Frames Alto has several sizes available, which range from small, medium and large. Fit is obvious according to your size preference and this could be a little tricky when buying this online. You need to be very specific with your size so you don’t end up getting a spectacle that does would not fit very well on you.
Similar to Eyewear II, Bose Frames uses semi-open dual speaker. Bose is known for its excellence in audio products so my expectation was very high. Sound quality is impressive, as expected, and it makes the Bose Frames a worthy purchase.
Bose Frames Alto may also be connected to both Android and iOS. Regardless of your software ecosystem of choice, you will be able to maximize Bose Frames.
Bose Frames Alto is now available for PhP12,510 (discounted price) or PhP13,900 (SRP) at Bose Flagship Store via Lazada.
Why buy Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear II?
Eyewear II offers a lot of cool features to the table, including smart gestures and AI Voice. It’s a great blend of functionality and style at a steeper cost. Gentle Monster is a global fashion brand, and Huawei is undoubtedly one of the best companies that offer smart AI technologies. There is no question that Eyewear II’s higher price point is still considered a bargain for those who want to get the best of both worlds.
Why buy Bose Frames Alto?
If you’re after audio quality and affordability, Bose Frames Alto is your best bet. Its limited smart features and gesture controls are compensated by the great audio quality coming from its semi-open drivers.
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.