Asus ZenWatch review

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Smartwatches have a quite bad recognition for being unsightly, mini computer systems that prioritize feature far above form. Tons of that criticism is deserved — just look at the first android wear watches released this summer season. There have been a few vibrant spots within the otherwise dreary international of smartwatch layout (pebble’s steel and motorola’s moto 360come to thoughts), however if you care about how your watch appears, you’re possibly now not wearing a smartwatch.

That’s why i’m enthusiastic about asus’ zenwatch. The $199.99 android wear-powered watch has a slim stainless-steel design complemented by using a pleasing brown leather strap, whole with a fancy metallic clasp. Asus talks more approximately the zenwatch’s heart monitoring, and the temper-dimension capabilities that stimulated its name, but i don’t surely care about any of that. This looks as if a watch i certainly need to put on, regardless of its functions.

Of path, the motive you buy a smartwatch in preference to a traditional watch is for what it does, so proper seems on my own gained’t cut it in this global. A smartwatch desires to do more than a few of factors to earn its name: provide short get entry to to notifications, tell the time, and closing through the whole day without having to be recharged (at the naked minimal), among different matters. You may select from any number of smartwatches to do the ones matters, however if you want some thing that appears true for your wrist on the identical time, you’re going to want to test out the zenwatch.

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Survey the sphere of android wear watches to be had proper now, and also you’ll see numerous plastic and plenty of rubber. The zenwatch is refreshingly devoid of both of those substances. It has an attractive brushed stainless-steel frame with a copper-colored band (asus calls it “rose gold”, however it’s greater like copper to my eyes) sandwiched between the two layers of simple metallic. It’s an amazing look that works with both casual and formal apparel, that’s a rarity in a sea of commonly dorky-looking smartwatches. The zenwatch’s layout reminds me greater ofapple’s upcoming watch than earlier android put on watches.

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The watch itself is thinner than most other smartwatches, and although the zenwatch is larger normal than the pebble steel, it’s not uncomfortably large on my wrist, in contrast to the rather bulky moto 360. It’s nevertheless nearer in length to a huge men’s watch than a unisex layout, so those with smaller wrists would possibly nonetheless find it too massive.

Like the samsung tools stay and lg g watch, the zenwatch has a square show. But the frame around the show is judiciously rounded, and the pinnacle even has a moderate curve to it, softening the watch’s appearance. The display screen is a 1.63-inch, 320 x 320 pixel amoled panel, with right viewing angles and ideal brightness tiers. It’s just like the samsung gear live’s display screen, however works better outside. My most effective real complaint with the zenwatch’s layout is that the border surrounding the screen is a piece too large. I wish asus either made the show large or the watch smaller to put off it.

There’s a single button on the underside of the watch to energy it on and quickly get admission to the settings menu, but it’s now not absolutely designed to be used frequently. The principle points of interaction with the zenwatch — and any android wear device — are through its touchscreen and with your voice.

The zenwatch’s strap is smooth tan-colored leather, with a metallic deployant clasp. You can quick change it for any other band if the color or fashion isn’t your fancy. The folding metal clasp is a pleasant contact: it appears satisfactory, makes the watch clean to tackle and off, and doesn’t harm the strap the equal way that traditional loop clasps do. At the downside, it provides thickness on the factor of closure, so i frequently found the zenwatch uncomfortable to wear at the same time as typing on a computer. The strap is greater durable than the moto 360’s, but it’s nonetheless as pliable and at ease as every other leather-based strap.

The zenwatch needs to be charged every night or it may not make it through tomorrow

The zenwatch doesn’t have wi-fi charging, however requires a clip-on charging cradle for a micro usb charger. You’ll ought to use that cradle each night time. Like maximum android wear gadgets, i was able to get a strong day out of the zenwatch earlier than it needed to be recharged, but no longer an awful lot more. Turning off the convenient ambient display characteristic (which makes the zenwatch practical as an real watch) stretched battery existence into tomorrow, however i used to be never capable of pass two complete days with no need to price it.

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The zenwatch runs the identical android put on software program as smartwatches from lg, samsung, sony, and motorola, and it has the identical set of capabilities and obstacles. We’ve already long past in depth on android wear numerous times, so i inspire you to test out those earlier reviews if you’re not acquainted with it. Basically: you could see all of your phone’s notifications to your wrist, send messages or perform google searches with your voice, or do such things as manipulate your smart lighting with one of the many apps which have been developed. It’s a powerful platform, but nevertheless has a number of usability and reliability problems, which prevents me from recommending it to every body with out reservations.

For higher or worse, the zenwatch’s overall performance is on par with other android put on watches, that means that it’s primarily best, however may be annoyingly sluggish at times. It isn’t as aware of voice instructions as the moto 360, but that didn’t prevent me from sending messages to my wife with out touching my smartphone. Greater irritating to me is the zenwatch’s negative response to the wrist movement to awaken the show.

The zenwatch performs in addition to any other android put on watch

Asus isn’t capable of alternate the primary interface of android put on (google doesn’t permit it), however it did add a few apps of its personal for both the watch and your smartphone. The zenwatch has a number of attractive one of a kind watch faces that supplement its greater fashionable layout. Some of the ones may be custom designed to show extra statistics consisting of step rely, watch battery lifestyles, phone battery life, or cutting-edge weather situations using asus’ phone app. I’m specially fond of the large digital face that i’ve set to additionally show the date, my step be counted, phone battery, and weather. There’s a camera faraway, which turns the watch into a viewfinder in your telephone’s digicam, in conjunction with a compass and a flashlight app that shows a stable coloration at the zenwatch’s display. (that remaining one’s not very useful.)

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The zenwatch supervisor app offers a few unique functions that different android wear watches lack. It lets you set the zenwatch as a relied on tool in your telephone, even in case you don’t have android five.0; sound an alarm at the zenwatch in case you misplaced it inside the couch cushions for a few purpose; or installation an alert on the watch in case you leave your smartphone in the back of someplace.

Asus also gives a fitness and fitness app for both the watch and the cellphone that logs step counts, heart prices, and mood as measured by way of the zenwatch. It’s speculated to be the “zen” part of the zenwatch. The health app wouldn’t paintings on my android 5.0 lollipop cellphone, but the watch element nevertheless measured my steps and vitals.

The larger hassle is the zenwatch just isn’t top for counting my steps or measuring my heart price. Step counts numerous wildly and had been never in sync with the fitbit i put on on my different wrist: now and again they were hundreds of steps higher, now and again they have been hundreds of steps lower than what the fitbit stated. The zenwatch isn’t a device i’d wear at the health club anyhow (the leather-based strap and steel frame pretty an awful lot positioned that out of the question), but it’s now not too much to anticipate reliable step counting for my day-to-day sports and the zenwatch fails in that regard.

Step counts and heart price measurements had been all around the location

Measuring your coronary heart fee on the zenwatch isn’t like with other smartwatches, which use a mild beneath the watch to examine your pulse. As a substitute, you place two fingers at the metal body at the same time, finishing an electrical circuit. Alas, this isn’t any quicker than the alternative approach, and like the zenwatch’s step counter, may be all over the vicinity with its readings. I’m quite positive my heart rate doesn’t shift one hundred beats in step with minute in two mins of standing still, but that’s regularly what the zenwatch advised me.

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For all its faults and imperfect features, even though, if i had to pick an android put on watch to wear every day, the zenwatch would be it. It’s much less costly than the lg g watch r or moto 360, however seems nicer and is greater secure than both of these on my wrist. It’s something i may want to just as without difficulty wear out to a proper occasion as i would to work every day. Even my wife stated it was a pleasant-searching watch, and she hasn’t been too kind to different smartwatches within the past.

I’d love to have more correct step counting and higher battery lifestyles, matters that can probably be stepped forward with software updates. I’d additionally like android put on to be easier to use and more reliable, however that responsibility falls on google greater than asus at this point. The zenwatch makes the first-rate of what’s available with android put on proper now, and i’m able to’t simply ask for extra than that.

If i needed to select an android wear watch, the zenwatch might be it

If you’re going to shop for a smartwatch, you should buy some thing that you are feeling secure carrying all the time. The zenwatch suits that invoice, at the same time as nevertheless doing the matters i want a smartwatch to do. It’s the primary time i’ve been able to mention that approximately an android wear watch, and what makes the zenwatch the android put on watch i’d pick.

video review

Asus Zenwatch

Appropriate stuff  

Terrific looking design
Vivid show
Relaxed to put on
Bad stuff

Misguided step counting
Quick battery lifestyles
Android wear nevertheless wishes work

 

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