Asus ZenWatch Review

Introduction


Several companies are already in the business of winning that piece of real-estate on your wrist, courtesy of Android Wear. One of them in particular, Asus, is hoping to entice consumers with its attractive ZenWatch - one of the latest entrants in the Android Wear space. Adorned with a $199 cost, it’s undoubtedly one of the more competitively priced models that are available right now, but does it have enough goodies to really differentiate itself from the motley crew we’re exposed to already?

The package contains:

  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Charging cradle
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

Design


Asus isn’t a stranger to meticulous designs - they’ve taken great pride in really being attentive when crafting its products. With that in mind, it’s not all that surprising to find the Asus ZenWatch is receiving that same level of premium craftsmanship we see in some of its high-end products. Quite simply, the ZenWatch is arguably the best looking Android Wear smartwatch at the moment.

Why’s that you ask? Well, it has that perfect mixture of premium quality materials and a solid foundation with its construction. Circular watches have been the rage of late, evident by recent entrants like the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R, but the Asus ZenWatch makes square shaped watches hip once again. Out of everything, its attractive quality is pronounced thanks to the rose-gold-colored band that’s sandwiched in between two steel layers, which is the foundation of the casing. From a cursory look, the casing appears almost flat, but there’s a subtle curve to it that contours nicely along our wrist.

We can certainly say that the design is clean, one that doesn’t have any sort of buttons, crowns, or anything else to mesh with its slick lines. In fact, the only things that break up its design are all found in the underside of the ZenWatch – they include the pin connections, screws, and single power button. We know, it’s something that’s common amongst smartwatches, but the charging process still requires us to utilize the included proprietary charging cradle. Needless to say, it would’ve been sweet to see this receive the same wireless charging treatment like the Moto 360.

As for the strap itself, it’s a nice complement with its genuine stitched-leather material, but the clasp juts out to the point that it can sometimes get caught up or attached to articles of clothing. Thankfully, it uses the standard 22mm strap, which makes it incredibly easy to remove and replace it with another one. Style is undoubtedly plentiful with this one, but we can’t forget that the ZenWatch has a water resistant rating of IP55, which is good at protecting it from minor splashes and whatnot, but don’t expect to go diving beneath the water with it on.

Smartwatches in general have this distinction of looking a bit too techy, like those calculator watches of yesterday (and even today), but the Asus ZenWatch’s pristine, elegant look elevates it to rival some of today’s sophisticated timepieces. We really have few complaints about its design, and in some way, it takes the crown away from the Moto 360 for being the best looking Android Wear smartwatch to date. Throw in its manageable size into the mix as well, and it certainly has the potential to appeal to both men and women who want to make a fashion statement.


Display


Specs-wise, the Asus ZenWatch doesn’t try to overstep its rivals at the moment, seeing that it sports a 1.63-inch 320 x 320 AMOLED display – similar to that of the display used by the Samsung Gear Live. Protected with curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3, it matches the subtle contour of the casing to give it a uniform, seamless finish. Trying to visualize things isn’t an issue thanks to its pixel density count of 278 ppi, so we’re able to read the time, notifications, messages, and much more with ease.

Relying on an AMOLED screen, it bears all of the characteristics of the display technology – like its deep black color, wide viewing angles, and that iridescent glow in the dark. However, it’s still a bit tough to read out under direct sunlight, so we’re frequently using our other hand to shield it. For a square shaped display, the ZenWatch has enough likable qualities, but it doesn’t have that same level of appeal and attraction we get from the LG G Watch R’s circular screen.

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17 Comments

1. fouadqr

Posts: 326; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

The best looking smartwatch

2. greenelektron

Posts: 537; Member since: Sep 10, 2014

Functionally, this watch is capable already. I am just waiting for a watch at the $100 price point. Hoping for that one on the next gen smartwatches.

3. sgodsell

Posts: 7204; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Hmm, a Snapdragon 400 CPU, 512mb of ram, 4gb of storage, an AMOLED 320x320 touch display, Bluetooth 4(LE), lots of sensors, latest Android Wear OS. Good luck on that $100.

4. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

It screams cheap looks. Yuck.

7. androidwindows

Posts: 216; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

You need your eyes checked. That thing looks gorgeous. A lot of reviewers also think so.

9. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

No IMO it's ugly. The bezels are huge. And normally that wouldn't be a problem, but the bezels are also ugly. It looks stupid when the screen is blacker than the bezels. Also the part where the straps attaches to the device looks very cheap. Also the back cover looks very cheap. Also the leather band itself looks very cheap.

8. androidwindows

Posts: 216; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

youtube.com/watch?v=WW_K91qV59I

5. irellemot

Posts: 109; Member since: Nov 29, 2012

This thing looked soooo much better in the earlier renders than it does in real life. Glad I got my Moto 360 and didn't wait for this.

6. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

agreed. Frankly im quite disappointed.

12. JayFiveAlive

Posts: 67; Member since: May 30, 2014

Same, though I got the G Warch R. The Zen definitely looks way worse in the photos above than it did with the PR photos. Eep!

10. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1817; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

I'll stick with my smartwatch 3 for now. With GPS and nfc in tow it's future proofed for right now. Plus I easily get 2 1/2 days of battery life on this thing. And I don't need a cradle to charge it.

11. orielwindow

Posts: 109; Member since: Sep 23, 2010

Had my Zen Watch for about 3 days before I returned it. "not connected" "try again" over and over...what's the point of Google Now on your phone if it hardly works? (And I had plenty of connection so it wasn't about being in a bad area or anything) There was precisely one time in the car when it worked correctly....after a friend helped me get it to the point that I could respond to incoming text messages (had to install Google messaging on my Note 4 to replace the samsung text app in order for the watch to respond to text) I was able to respond to my partner's text while driving. Any other time it just wouldn't work correctly, froze, or whatever. I liked the looks of it but just couldn't see paying $200 for something that wouldn't work consistently and really didn't save me many steps from just picking up the phone.

13. MEeee

Posts: 412; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

I owned this ZenWatch, Moto 360 & Gear 2. ZenWatch and Moto 360 have no speaker, can't reply to messages unless I use Hangout. Features on Android Wear are nowhere near the Gear 2 Tizen. Returned both and went back using Gear 2.

14. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Get the gear s

15. SpencerK

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 25, 2014

I have one, and so far I'm really enjoying it, I think it looks nice and the function has been fine.

16. hotcaptain

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 02, 2014

i'd still stick to the conventional watches! fossil watches, GO GO GO

17. farniz7

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

How can I buy it from uae?

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