- Display: 1.63” AMOLED LCD
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
- Memory: 512MB
- Storage: 4GB
- Operating System: Android Wear
- Dimensions: 51 x 39.9 x 7.9 ~ 9.4 mm
- Weight: 75grams (including leather strap)
- Exquisite watch-like look
- Responsive touchscreen
- Real leather strap
- Battery life
Thin, Mean, Working Machine
A watch is something you use to how time right? Not these days, with the proliferation of smart watches. From smart watches that tells time and a bit more, all the way to supercomputers that can tell when the next moon cycle for your moonlit run. One of the bigger platform is Android Wear, and ASUS is on board with the Google platform, and came out with their own interpretation of the smartwatch powered by Google – the ASUS ZenWatch.
From the box, the ZenWatch looks like a sophisticated watch that fits well with just about any fashion that is currently trending right now. The leather strap reminds you of high-end watches, and the metal construction means that it is robust enough that it can withstand some rough and tumble, but up to a point.
The crux of the device is the touch screen that dominates the front façade of the watch. When we said dominate, it is still a square screen surrounded by a substantial bezel. We wish the display encompasses the whole front panel of the smartwatch, but the design of the watch prevents this from happening as it will increase the cost of the smartwatch.
Inside this seemingly normal looking smartwatch lies the heart of a smartphone. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 is the CPU of choice for ASUS, and this means that the watch has some hefty processing power under the hood. Of course there is a drawback, but that point will be touched upon later.
Thanks to the current Android Wear update, new features has been added to the watch such as gesture controls, better integration with Google Now and so on. You also get more watch faces to be used with the ZenWatch, or if you prefer – you can create your own thanks to the open nature of the watch.
The biggest drawback for the ZenWatch is the battery life. While normal watches can go up to a few months on a battery, the ZenWatch will be gasping for power in under 12 hours. If you disable notifications, you may get another few hours of battery life but that defeats the purpose of a smartwatch doesn’t it?
Sure, the ZenWatch looks pretty, and it actually works well with your Android phone, but it only works with the Android platform for now, and the battery life is not the best.
CHIP CONCLUDE: First from ASUS, the ZenWatch is a great example of a good first cast, but as any first generation, improvements can be made.
(previously published in issue August 2015)