Asus ZenWatch Review

Calls


Unlike the Samsung Gear 2, which can hold calls thanks to its loudspeaker and microphone (even though they're still placed through your phone), the Asus ZenWatch, much like all the other Android Wear smartwatches, will only vibrate when your phone is ringing. You can accept (or reject) a call on it, but that's about it – you'll still need to take out your phone and take up the call on it. In other words, the ZenWatch mostly takes the role of ensuring that you're not missing calls.

Battery life


Battery life, of course, will vary depending on how you set up the ZenWatch. For those wishing to gain as much juice from its 360 mAh Li-polymer battery, you’ll want to set the always-on screen option of Android Wear to off – so that the display turns off completely once it times out. Going with this particular method, as opposed to the always-on mode, we’re able to get the usual one-day of normal usage from a full charge. In fact, we’re normally at around the 30% mark by the time we roll into bed. This achievement, obviously, is pretty much what we find with most Android Wear smartwatches so far. Therefore, it’s very much in that average category.

Conclusion


Before we pass our final judgment, we have to remember the humble beginnings of early Android Wear smartwatches – they weren’t pretty, that’s for sure. With each new model coming to fruition, though, we’re constantly being impressed by the rapid improvement to their designs. For a first stab at it, Asus comes to the tablet with an attractive and premium offering in the ZenWatch. Arguably, it’s the best looking one to date, possibly dethroning the Moto 360 if you have a penchant for square shaped watches.

Considering that Android Wear’s functionality remains consistent between devices, there’s not much separating the ZenWatch from all the others that are in the mix at the moment. Yeah, it differentiates itself, similar to how its rivals do it, by providing us with new watch faces, a different approach to health/wellness, and the way it measures our heart rate. Superficially, however, we wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a step ahead in the experience.

Visually, it’s a sophisticated looking thing that garners looks and questions from bystanders for its impressive construction and premium finish – the hallmarks of any memorable timepiece. However, we’re most satisfied by the $199 cost attached to it. That alone is impressive, seeing that it’s one of the most affordable smartwatches in the Android Wear space at the moment. Naturally, we don’t find any fault in picking it up if you’re adamant about buying one at the moment, but it’ll be interesting to see how its rivals are able to improve with their second-generation offerings.

Software version of the review unit:
Software Version: 4.4W.2
Build Number: KNX01W


Pros

  • $199 price is quite competitive
  • Premium finish gives it a sturdy feel and sophisticated look
  • Leather stitched strap is tough
  • Plenty of useful features thanks to the ZenWatch Manager app

Cons

  • Clasp sticks out and can get caught on stuff
  • Water resistant, but not entirely water proof

PhoneArena Rating:

8.0

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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: 7431; 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: 1831; 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: 438; 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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