Gunnar MLG Phantom Eyewear Review

In this day and age, we are surrounded by screens. We wake up with them, spend the day with them, and in some cases go to sleep with them. Televisions, computers, laptops, tablets, e-readers, smartphones – screens are everywhere, and whether we would like to admit it or not, they are taking their toll on us. Which is why it is so necessary for this Gunnar MLG Phantom eyewear review.

Darwin Would Be Ashamed

This “screen life” we live is relatively new. From an evolutionary standpoint, it is safe to say that our human eyes are not yet accustomed to the constant staring, the artificial light, and the need to focus and refocus on screens near and far. Our eyes are working extra hard, for prolonged periods of time, in order for us to seamlessly glide between these screens, while still retaining a clear image.

The relatively new digital age may be affecting us more than we know.

The relatively new digital age may be affecting us more than we know.

Our eyes are indeed hard workers, but the human body cannot be taxed indefinitely. At some point, our eyes begin to exhibit symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS is a relatively new term, used to describe the medical condition which affects those who spend many hours looking at digital screens. The important things to note is that this does not happen only to gamers or office workers.

Some statistics:

  • There are more than 10,000,000 visits to eye doctors every year for CVS related problems
  • If you spend more than 2 hours daily in front of computer, you have a 90% chance to develop CVS
  • Without proper vision correction, worker productivity can decrease by as much as 20%
  • Computer eyestrain is the first computer related complaint
  • Workers in western countries spend 6 hours using a computer, what gives 1548 hours yearly

CVS is Hard to Detect

Computer vision syndrome is real, be wary of the symptoms.

Computer vision syndrome is real, be wary of the symptoms.

The effects of CVS are eye fatigue, dry eyes, headaches, shoulder and neck pains, blurred vision, and eye irritation. There are other symptoms, but these are the ones most people complain about.

One possible solution to the problems which CVS presents is using computer glasses. These are glasses which are engineered and designed to diminish the harmful effects caused by the screens we use. One such provider of computer glasses in GUNNAR Optiks.

GUNNAR has a line of products consisting of computer glasses, gaming glasses, reading glasses, and outdoor glasses – all designed to reduce glare, reduce (and in some cases eliminate) eye fatigue, increase the contrast, improve color, and generally decrease the amount of strain that is being put your eyes. GUNNAR Optiks computer glasses come in many different models, which come in a variety of combinations:

Features such as Asian fit or adjustable nose pads

Full or semi-rimless frame type

Medium, narrow, or wide fit

Oval, rectangular, or square frame shapeFrames made of stainless steel, nylon polymer, aluminum/magnesium alloy, or acetate.

Lenses sport an amber or crystalline tint, for minimizing high energy damage from artificial light. The crystalline lenses are for those wish to stay with true light, and not compromise the integrity of the colors they are seeing.

The Different Styles Are:

Computer styles – made for those who spend long hours in front of screens.

Gaming styles – these are similar to computer glasses, but are specifically designed for gamers. Several models were even designed by Razer, who is renowned for its advanced gamer technology. The uniqueness of this style is that the glasses frames are compatible with a headset.

Reader styles – these are models which incorporate the amber tint, air current protection, and protective lens coating. They are available in +1.00, +1.50, and +2.00 power.

Crystalline styles – these are models which do not feature the amber tint on the lenses. A perfect solution for visual artists who require true color in their work.

Prescription styles – styles for those who want to wear their GUNNAR glasses as a normal corrective device. The lenses are personalized by prescription, and are then inspected by optical lab specialists before shipping.

Outdoor styles – models which are designed for outdoor use. They block all harmful UVA and UVB light, and combine style and science to deliver a pair of sunglasses which is a cut above the rest.

Gunnar MLG Phantom is #1

Of the gaming glasses, one very popular model is the Gunnar MLG Phantom. This model is advanced gaming eyewear at its best, and it is helping countless gamers, professional and amateur alike, remain at the top of their game, even after long hours of play. This model is the result of a partnership between major league gaming (MLG) and GUNNAR.

The Gunnar MLG Phantom is the premiere gaming glasses.

The Gunnar MLG Phantom is the premiere gaming glasses.

MLG is a professional gaming league, organized and founded in the United States in 2002. MLG hosts professional gaming tournaments and events around the US and Canada, and has even been involved in the development of accessories, games, and gear.

The gaming gear section of MLG includes headsets, audio mixers, controllers, and even an anti-perspiration lotion meant for hands. MLG’s latest collaboration is with GUNNAR, who came up with the ultimate gamer glasses.

The Phantom gamer glasses are designed to be there for you, at times when you need to be at the top of your game. Gaming can be very stressful and straining as it is, so there is no reason to put any extra strain on your eyes.

The GUNNAR Phantom glasses are state-of-the-art. They look good, they feel good, and they get the job done. After some time of using these glasses, you will find it impossible to play without them. Some of the Phantom’s features are:

Adjustable silicone nose pads, for a customizable fit

Stainless steel frames, which may appear to be flimsy at first but are actually incredibly durable (the flimsiness is due to the temples’ ergonomic design and flexibility)

Interchangeable temples, which provide a variety of personal design options

No screws, welds, or other points of breakage on the front. It is a one-piece construction

Phantom sports very large lens coverage, as well as a headset compatible, highly wrapped configuration. In plain English, what this translates into is that the wearer gets the best possible visual experience. This enables the wearer to play longer, and protect his or her eyes in the process. The glasses also have the MLG logo on the side of the frames.


Lens width: 57 mm

Nose: 16 mm

Temple: 132 mm

Weight: 25 grams

Once You Go Computer Glasses, You Never Go Back

These glasses do take some getting used to, but once you get into the habit of wearing them, you will not be able to go back to playing without them. The softer colors, higher contrast, and nonexistence of glare are really a game-changer, literally. Obviously, GUNNAR could not state that this product will help people become better players. That would be inaccurate and misleading, to say the least. However, the fact of the matter is that these glasses have the potential to make people better gamers. It won’t turn a novice into a professional, but it will help both of them play better in the long run. It does this because the screen becomes a little brighter, and the eyes sustain less damage. Gaming just got a lot more user-friendly.

The Phantom gamer glasses come with a 30-day money back guarantee, an easy exchange policy, and a limited 1-year warranty. GUNNAR works hard to ensure their customers’ full satisfaction. It has retailers and distributers all over the world (nearly 50 countries!) and it manages to deliver top quality eyewear to everyone who wants it.

The Gunnar Guarantee doesn't pull any punches.

The Gunnar Guarantee doesn’t pull any punches.

Another piece of good news is that these glasses can be ordered with a medical prescription. If you are a glasses wearer who still wants to enjoy the full benefit of this amazing technology, simply choose the “Shop Rx” option at the GUNNAR website. The prescription lenses cost more, but when you put on your glasses, you will see exactly where that extra money went.

Cons, Well, Con

These glasses have many pros, and only one con (which may prove to not be a con for at all). The GUNNAR logo is printed on the top of the left lens in some models. At certain angles, and with certain lighting conditions, it is possible to see a bit of the logo in the peripheral field of vision. However, this does not apply to all models, nor does it apply to all individuals. Some users have mentioned this as a con, while others have never even noticed it.

The packaging of the Phantom includes a carrying pouch which doubles as a lens cleaner. Which, by the way, is another thing which some would see as a con, though I do not. The Phantom’s lenses are made with very advanced and patented technology, and while they have tons of advantages, one thing which some may see as a disadvantage is that they smudge easily. Because of this, they require cleaning more often than your run-of-the-mill pair of glasses or sunglasses.

What Would You Price Your Eyes At?

One other thing which may some see as a disadvantage – albeit a one-time one – is the price. This is something which I disagree on. I believe that if you are a gamer, or if you are simply working with screens a lot (regardless of gaming), you should protect yourself. The eyes are simply too important to neglect. The long-term effects of subjecting our eyes to so many different screens on a daily basis have not yet been established. The short-term effects, which are the symptoms of computer vision syndrome, are spreading and becoming more and more common. Investing some money in yourself and your health is vital, and highly recommended. Some people may say: well, simply stop staring at computers all day. This claim could be true for some, but there are individuals who work with computers for a living, and who stare at a monitor for many hours a day. Sometimes, they stare at two or even three monitors, daily. This is part of why cases of CVS are becoming so common. People are at their desks all day, and are not taking the proper precautions or steps to stop the CVS symptoms from occurring.

Many times, the symptoms of CVS present themselves, but only temporarily. Usually, the eye pains/neck pains/eye fatigue/headaches stop once the patient ceases to sit in front of the screen. But, if the patient does not seek treatment, and if they continue on with their screen-intensive lifestyle without caution, there is no telling how long it will take all the symptoms to come back, and how long they will remain. There is always the possibility that the symptoms will develop into a chronic condition if not treated properly.

This is why I believe that shelling out $60-$99 is not the end of the world, especially when dealing with gamers, who spend many hours at the computer or game console. Like the old saying goes: the important thing is your health. This is a new age, which requires new technology. Eye protection is required and essential. If you are serious about gaming, you should be serious about the way you play the game. Taking care of yourself and your vision is a top priority. In a world where sometimes you don’t even have time to blink, you should know that there is someone out there who has your back.

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