Asus ZenWatch 2 is the cheapest wearable around

2 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

ASUS’ ZenWatch 2 is dirt cheap and arrives next month.

BERLIN—The features a decidedly Apple Watch-like combination of choices—including two sizes, three case designs, and 18 watch bands—but with a decidedly un-Apple Watch-like price of 149 euros ($180).BERLIN — Rather than join everyone in bumping up screen resolutions, Asus is giving users what they really need: More battery life and better photos.

At the IFA trade show, the electronics company announced a family of new Zenfones, including the Zenfone 2 Deluxe, Zenfone Max, Zenfone Selfie, Zenfone Zoom and Zenfone 2 Laser. After Android Wear was opened up for iOS, and Samsung announced a new smartwatch with a circular dial, Asus has revealed the Asus Zenwatch 2 at IFA 2015, Berlin. In Europe, this new Android Wear smartwatch will cost either €149 (roughly $170) for the larger 49mm model with a 1.6-inch display or €169 ($190) for the 45mm variant with a 1.45-inch display. Less than a year ago, we declared the original ZenWatch to be the first smartwatch we would wear without hesitation on design alone. (The Moto360 was pretty attractive in its own right, too.) The ZenWatch’s stainless-steel case, svelte body, and generally, all-around uncomputery design made it look like a nice fashion item rather than just a grown up calculator watch. Both variants of the ZenWatch 2 have AMOLED displays, Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi support, and a Snapdragon 400 processor combined with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of built-in storage.

Aside from its big battery, the Max is pretty much an entry-level Android smartphone with a 5.5-inch IPS display with an 1,280 x 720 resolution (HD) — mediocre by the standards of today’s flagships. Asus promises over two days of battery life from either watch, but that’s only if you keep it in the ambient operating mode (i.e. using it mostly as a watch). It’ll debut in three colors, silver, gunmetal and rose gold, along with a plethora of rubber, leather and stainless steel straps to help you match your personal sense of style. According to The Verge, “The ZenWatch 2 will be offered in a choice of silver, gunmetal, or rose gold cases, and there’ll be a variety of straps to choose from and interchange — the larger model is compatible with 22mm straps while the smaller one will fit 18mm straps. The screen looks very nice, and appeared crisp and colorful, if not particularly bright (the demonstration watch faces seemed to have automatic dimming timers, so this might not be an issue for the watch screens themselves).

The crown is smaller and less directly integrated into the watch interface than the Apple Watch crown, though it provides a handy jump-back-to-watch-face button. The two watches use the same Qualcomm chipsit and sport 4 GB of flash storage—this is more than enough firepower for what amounts to a pretty simple device.

The 6 means dustproof, and the 7 means they’re good for a quick dip in the pool or a shower—but they’re still not waterproof enough for your diving adventure. It doesn’t seem to have Apple’s neurotic devotion to clean, minimalist design, but it might be able to provide a reasonable approximation for half the price.

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