Technology Gadgets 18 Jul 2016 ASUS ZenWatch 2 revi ...

ASUS ZenWatch 2 review: superior experience at half the price

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | VISHAL KAWADKAR
Published Jul 18, 2016, 7:18 pm IST
Updated Jul 19, 2016, 3:01 pm IST
ASUS ZenWatch 2 is the most affordable Android Wear smartwatch with pretty good specs.
ASUS ZenWatch 2 with enhanced Android Wear experience
 ASUS ZenWatch 2 with enhanced Android Wear experience
Rating:

The ASUS ZenWatch 2 has sure made its way among the top Android Wearables out there in the market. Offering a classy design with some good specs makes it value for money. The smartwatch comes in two variants, priced at Rs 11,999 and Rs 14,999.

Honestly, the ZenWatch 2 isn’t the best or the most comfortable smartwatch you can own, but is potentially the most promising one falling in this price bracket. But does it have what it takes to challenge the giants in the game? Let’s find out in our review.

 

Design

The ZenWatch 2 retains its rounded square design from its predecessor. The new model trims few millimetres, measuring 49.6mm x 40.7mm. The smaller version of the watch weighs only 60 gm, making it comfortable to pull off.

ASUS ZenWatch 2

The front panel and the multi-functional crown on the right side, gives it an Apple Watch like look. Though the stainless steel finish gives the ZenWatch 2 a premium look and feel, the crown feels a bit hard to press, making it uncomfortable to use.

The watch is IPX68 certified, which makes is resistant to water and dust. But you might want to protect the leather straps from water. The straps are easily removable and can be replaced with any 18/22 mm watch strap.

Display

The smaller variant of the watch sports a 1.45 inch Amoled display with 280*280 pixel resolution and 273 ppi. The colours on the display look vibrant and the brightness of the screen is also impressive. The smaller version isn’t as crispier as the 1.63 inch variant, but you can barely notice any pixilation.

ASUS ZenWatch 2

The screen is protected by a curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3. However, the curved glass makes it more vulnerable to scratches and other damages. The bigger bezels results in a smaller display, which may be annoying for some users.

Overall the colour reproduction on the ZenWatch 2 is decent, but rich hues such as red and green appear to be oversaturated.

User Interface

The user interface on the ZenWatch 2 doesn’t witness a huge upgrade over the earlier version. The watch still works using directional swipe gestures to navigate through the apps.

ASUS ZenWatch 2

The watch comes with few pre installed apps paired with Android wear’s fitness apps and utility tools. The software also includes an SOS feature that allows user to send a pre-written distress message to emergency contacts.

Frankly, the software on the ZenWatch 2 fails to impress us, as it lacks smoothness and is less intuitive.

Performance

When it comes to hardware, the ZenWatch 2 is identical to its previous version and is basic for Android Wear. Under the hood it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2 Ghz CPU paired with 512MB RAM and 4GB of flash storage.

ASUS ZenWatch 2

One of the most noticeable flaw of the device is the absence of a heart rate sensor. Fitness tracking is limited to pedometer to count steps, and a motion sensor to detect sleep patterns.

There were few instances where the watch failed to register the movement of the wrist and we had to tap the screen to activate the watch. Apart from the motion sensor fail, we didn’t notice any issues or lag while playing with the watch.

Battery

The smaller variant of the ZenWatch 2 comes with a 300mAh battery, which can last up to two days if you are a moderate user. We feel the battery life on the device could have been better, since charging it every day will be a hassle. Considering the price of the watch, these flaws are forgivable.

ASUS ZenWatch 2

ASUS sure tried to make the charging process easy by using the magnetic dock which clips on the rear panel of the watch and takes around 90 minutes to fully charge the ZenWatch 2.

Wrap up

Overall the ASUS ZenWatch 2 is good smartwatch, if not great. It’s an upgrade over its precursor and has the potential to give any other smartwatch a run for its money.

It is surely the most affordable smartwatch you can get your hands on without compromising on the Android Wear experience. The ZenWatch 2 can be a good bargain if you look beyond its flaws.

The ZenWatch 2 comes in two sizes, catering both genders and effectively keeping ASUS in the smartwatch race.

It is hard to recommend the device over the likes of Moto 360 (2nd Gen) and the Samsung Gear S2, if you are looking for a better and seamless Android Wear experience. But the ZenWatch 2 surely won’t make a hole in your pocket.

Pros:

  • Good design and build quality
  • Enhanced Android wear integration    
  • Reasonable price

Cons:

  • Low battery backup
  • No heart rate sensor
  • Small display

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