Asus ZenWatch Review
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.
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
- $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
- Clasp sticks out and can get caught on stuff
- Water resistant, but not entirely water proof
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