Not much long after Android Wear’s inception, ASUS entered the smartwatch market with the unique ASUS ZenWatch. Although it didn’t quite provide the equal degree of appeal as the circular Moto 360, it marked the beginning of surely one of the most efficient Android Wear lines to-date. Two years and one iteration after its debut, the ZenWatch line goes circular with the all new Asus ZenWatch 3. However, does ASUS’ latest smartwatch provide a better experience than its competitors? Let’s discover out with our complete Asus ZenWatch 3 review.
The Asus ZenWatch 3 comes in three color options: Rose Gold, Silver, and Gunmetal (pictured above). Perhaps probably the most compelling design aspect is the watch face. A circular display is surrounded by an accented, diamond cut bezel, which meets with the device’s housing. In contrast to the Moto 360, the ZenWatch 3 manages to drag this circular design off without a “flat tire.” There’s also an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness.
Encased in a 316L stainless-steel body, the ZenWatch 3 gives off a premium vibe from a materials perspective. Its lugs might appear a bit unusual at first look. However, they praise the rest of the design quite nicely with their subtlety. The wrist strap attachment mechanism is simple to use with its quick release pin, although it’s proprietary so that you won’t be able to use third party bands efficiently. ASUS is planning to sell each leather-based and rubber bands separately, each available in dark brown and beige.
The company has also included three side buttons on the Asus ZenWatch 3, all of that are satisfyingly tactile. Functionally speaking, the bottom button activates airplane mode, the middle button functions as a back button, and the top button can be used to launch an app of your choice.
All issues considered, the ZenWatch 3 provides a distinctive and stylish design. Some might argue that the gold bezel accent is a bit cheesy, but I suppose it suits in nicely with the rest of the watch’s aesthetic.
The Asus ZenWatch 3 features a 1.39″ circular AMOLED display, with a resolution of 400 x 400. Now, it is probably one of the best display on a smartwatch so far. The ambient light sensor allows for auto brightness, too, so that you won’t have to fret about always fine tuning the brightness of the display manually. My only complaint with this is that the ZenWatch tends to decrease auto brightness levels, which could be a bit problematic in bright environments. Hopefully, a software program update can tweak this a bit.
Asus Zenwatch 3 also lacks a proper low brightness mode, so the watch’s “theater mode” only turns the display off completely. Daylight readability is excellent, though, and probably one of the best you’ll obtain from this form factor.
There’s not a lot to say with regards to software. Delivery with Android Wear, the Asus ZenWatch 3 offers a similar core experience to different Android Wear smartwatches. I did discover a few minor bugs while using the ZenWatch 3. The excellent news is that it seems like this watch will probably be updated to the Android Wear 2.0. It means that the software experience will likely improve over time.
Since it’s running Android Wear, the Asus ZenWatch 3 is compatible with both Android 4.3 and above, as well as with iOS 8.2 and higher, although features will differ by platform. Still, for those who’re using an iPhone, this is an excellent and cheaper alternative to the Apple Watch.
ASUS has a ZenWatch Manager app, which provides over fifty different unique watch faces. That’s an impressive variety of options, but sadly there are only a few good ones. Do maintain in mind which you can all the time download third party watch faces from the Google Play store.
There’s also ASUS ZenFit app that tracks steps, exercises, and sleep. I discovered it to work very efficiently overall and was pleased to see that includes Google Fit integration.
With IP67 certification, the Asus ZenWatch 3 is dustproof and water-resistant, which means that it can be submerged in at most one meter of water for thirty minutes. While we wouldn’t suggest taking a shower with it, you won’t have to fret about it getting wet while washing your hands.
For connectivity, the watch primarily makes use of Bluetooth 4.1 to attach with your phone, however also supports Wi-Fi as a fallback. Sadly, it lacks GPS and NFC, so that you’ll be lacking out the apps that use GPS to the potential for Android Pay, which can probably be coming in an upcoming Android update.
It’s also missing a heart rate monitor, which is relatively disappointing considering many competing Android Wear options embrace one. Asus ZenWatch 3 does include both a microphone and speaker, which means that you simply will be capable of place and obtain calls on the watch instantly. In my testing, both functioned about as well as I had expected.
One of many Asus ZenWatch 3’s key benefits over last year’s Android Wear devices is its use of a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100. This chip has been touted to supply better performance and battery life because it’s designed particularly for smartwatches.
The enhanced performance claim seems to hold water, too, because the ZenWatch 3’s performance was excellent throughout my testing. Swiping between cards and panels is very easy, and it’s tough to find a considerable amount of lag throughout the interface. Also, there is a 512 MB of RAM, which is just about normal for Android Wear smartwatches.
ASUS claims the ZenWatch 3’s 340mAh battery ought to last one to two days, relying on your usage. With an average usage, I was able to get around twenty-four hours per charge, which is about average for an Android Wear device. Now, what makes the Asus ZenWatch 3 significantly robust in this class is that it supports quick charging, for as much as a 60% charge in fifteen minutes.
The included charger connects to the watch magnetically and transfers power via the watch’s underside pins; it usually works quite effectively, too. I would have appreciated seeing a longer charging cable, however, because the one included in the box is a bit short.
The Asus ZenWatch 3 is available from numerous retailers for $229. That’s a nice discount for what ASUS has dropped at the desk. It’s very troublesome to not fall in love with the Asus ZenWatch 3 with its lovely design, beautiful display, incredible performance, and robust build quality. For those who’re looking for what is probably going the most well-rounded smartwatch essentially to this point, look no further.
With that said, smartwatches mainly feel like an innovation. As much as I love the Asus ZenWatch 3’s hardware, it’s overall experience wasn’t enough for me to keep using it. However, if you know that the smartwatch concept is for you, the Asus ZenWatch 3 is an excellent choice, and you almost certainly won’t be disappointed.
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