The conflict for your wrist is not going to wind down anytime quickly: We have already seen the industry’s biggest gamers take a stab (in some cases, a number of ones) at perfecting their wearables. Firm is not quite as prominent as other names on that list, however that just makes its $200 ZenWatch all of the more interesting The Taiwanese firm — probably best known for its quirky phone tablet hybrids — has put together an inaugural smartwatch that is dripping with style. Actually, it is the 1st smartwatch I have worn that is ever attracted random compliments from passersby (in 2 nations, no less), not to point out the 1st one that did not make me really feel like an entire nerd while wearing it. Alas, it takes greater than only a sweet face to make a smartwatch value owning.
Specs-wise, the Asus ZenWatch does not attempt to overstep its rivals at the moment, seeing that it sports a 320 x 320, 1.63-inch AMOLED display – just like that of the display utilized by the Samsung Gear Live. Protected with curved Corning GG3 (Gorilla Glass 3), it matches the subtle contour of the casing to offer it a uniform, seamless end. Making an attempt to visualize things is not a problem due to its pixel density count of 278 ppi, so we are capable of reading the time, notifications, messages, and far more with ease.
Relying on an AMOLED display, it bears the entire characteristics of the display technology – like its wide viewing angles, deep black color, and that iridescent glow at nighttime. However, it is still a bit tough to read out under direct daylight, so we are frequently utilizing our different hand to protect it. For a square-shaped display, the ZenWatch has sufficiently likable qualities however, it does not have that same stage of appeal and attraction we get from the LG G Watch R’s round screen.
Every Android Wear watch operates like pretty much any other. It linked to an Android smartphone via Bluetooth. Smartwatch users swipe and tap to navigate the interface, talk to it to enter text and conduct searches & obtain vibrating notifications on the wrist. On the Asus ZenWatch, it is all very fluid and works well.
The ZenWatch differentiates itself with 14 custom watch faces in addition to the built-in Wear ones. These include useful analogue and attractive faces, digital ones with more info similar to steps and different time zones, and faces that combine both.
A ZenWatch Manager app on the cellphone helps customise the watch faces and provides options for muting the phone, finding the watch and setting an alert if the watch and phone are separated.
Some of the useful additions is a smart unlock setting that retains the smartphone unlocked if the watch is linked. The function was added into the newest version of Android 5 Lollipop, however for smartphones still on KitKat or lower it is an important asset.
Asus’s Wellness fitness monitoring app works well sufficient for heart rate monitoring, fortunately as it can’t be uninstalled. Up by Jawbone comes pre-installed for monitoring steps, however can be disabled.
The ZenWatch lasted just below two days on average throughout my testing. It may just about last 2 days on some events, however on others barely a day and half. I believe that if you could fully disable the bundled apps and relied solely on the built-in Google apps together with Fit for heart rate monitoring it might consistently last 2 days, but I’ve no way to check that.
Most Android watches last about a day and a half per charge, with the exception of the Sony Smartwatch 3 that lasts about three.
The Android watch slots into a gray plastic charging cradle with a microUSB port, which works well sufficient while a small button on the underside of the watch turns it on.
Asus ZenWatch Review: Specification
- Body: 50.6 x 39.8 x 7.9-9.4 mm
- Weight: 75 g
- Display: 320 x 320 pixels, 1.63 inch
- Memory: 4 GB, 512 MB RAM
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
- Battery: 1.4 Wh
The Asus ZenWatch prices $200, which makes it one of the costlier Android watches, matching the Motorola Moto 360, however is cheaper than the LG G Watch R and more than the Sony Smartwatch 3.
ASUS’s 1st Android watch is likely one of the most stylish we have seen and feels nice on the wrist, to boot. Sadly, it suffers from an erratic heart monitor, mediocre battery life, and an unsightly bezel surrounding the display screen. In the end, though, the ZenWatch’s balance of appears, efficiency and relatively low worth make it a worthy choice for anybody who needs an Android Wear device and does not need to wait for all those 2nd-gen models to come out.