The Asus ZenWatch 2 is probably one of the most feature rich, Android Wear smartwatch that's affordable too!
Asus ZenWatch 2 is the company’s second-generation smartwatch, which isn’t much different from its predecessor. It gets the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2 GHz CPU bundled with 4GB of RAM and 4GB of storage. In fact, even the appearance of the watch for that matter hasn’t changed much, which makes it rather hard to spot any difference from the first Asus ZenWatch. But it’s not just about specs or the looks. The new generation features subtle, yet significant improvements over its predecessor. There are more personalisation options, and perhaps the affordable sub-Rs.10,000 price tag must just be enough to make the ZenWatch 2, a worthy alternative. Let’s find out how in our review?
- Asus ZenWatch 2
- 2 Pin Wall Charger
- Proprietary magnetic USB/Charging cable
- User manual
The Asus ZenWatch 2 is a good looking smartwatch. The leather strap, the stainless steel case, the metallic case underneath, and the crown button, all make the smartwatch look beautiful. That said, the size of this thing is pretty massive. The bezels of the ZenWatch 2 make it look unnecessarily huge, and wearing it for long certainly feels intrusive and uncomfortable.
Besides its chunky frame which is easily one of its weak points, overall, the ZenWatch 2 is a fairly attractive smartwatch for the asking price.
Hardware and Performance
Specifications on the ZenWatch 2 aren’t anything exciting on paper. You get a 1.63-inch 320x320p AMOLED screen, which is pretty decent but could have been brighter. I usually found myself squinting at watch’s display outdoors. It’s not as sharp either, as the OLED display always appears slight grainy.
Powering the ZenWatch 2 is Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz processor bundled with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage, pretty standard for any entry level Android wear. The overall performance is pretty satisfactory, but not very smooth as the Zenwatch 2 at times feels sluggish.
Besides, the smartwatch is also devoid of a continuous heart rate monitor, which would certainly be a bummer for somebody looking for a smartwatch with fitness tracking features.
On the brighter side, the new ZenWatch 2 offers improved battery life and gets an IP67 rating. Thanks to a larger 400mAh battery on board, the smartwatch can last for over two days of general usage. I was able to get a couple of days without having to connect it to the bundled magnetic wall charger. Moreover, it takes just about 30 mins of charge to get enough fuel to last you an entire day.
And with the addition of a rubber interior layer, the ZenWatch 2 gets IP67 dust-and-water-resistance. The screen also gets Gorilla Glass 3 protection which means you don’t have to treat the watch as a rare antique. All this makes the ZenWatch 2 a great smartwatch for outdoor or physical activities.
Besides Bluetooth 4.0, the ZenWatch also comes with a built-in Wi-Fi which means there’s no need to keep the phone connected at all times to receive notifications.
Another area where the ZenWatch 2 does well is its ability to answer/make calls directly from the watch. While it may not be useful for everyone, but very few smartwatches currently have the capacity to make and receive a phone call – especially given the price point. For someone who’s always walking around and taking calls and texting, I found this feature rather useful as it negates the need to carry your smartphone at all times. No worries about missing a call here and sprinting to your room as you just answer from the watch.
The Asus ZenWatch 2 gets the latest Android Wear OS which gives it many exciting features. There is a raft of app choices and Google Voice seems super handy on a smartwatch. You get access to Google Maps, Google Music, along with all the alerts and notifications through Google. All convenient features of Android are essentially your wrist with the ZenWatch 2. You can check your WhatsApp, track your steps, stay updated with news and more with Android Wear.
Besides, Asus has also added its proprietary set of apps, which includes a fitness app along with a watchface designer to add some more zing. That said, these pre-loaded apps from the company don’t offer or do anything different that third party apps don’t do better.
- Great Build Quality
- Android Wear
- Ability to make phone calls
- Improved Battery Life
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Bezels are too large
- No Heart Rate and GPS
Despite a few flaws, you’ll have a hard time finding a more feature-rich Android Wear watch for the asking price. The ZenWatch offers the looks, build quality, battery life, Android Wear features, and more for just under Rs. 10,000. The Pebble Time is a great smartwatch around the same price point, but if you want Android Wear, that big OLED screen, and the ability to make/answer calls – the ZenWatch 2 is an absolute best bang for the buck.