The first generation of ASUS smart watches came out in 2014 and was very good, if not excellent. There weren’t a lot of devices on Android Wear at that time, and ZenWatch stood out among the others due to the rare combination of good design and low prices. At the end of last year, ASUS has updated line – and together with a fitness tracker VivoWatch was born ZenWatch 2.
We’d like to start a story about the new ZenWatch with inevitable – yes, Apple influenced ASUS. This is reflected in the fact that the new ASUS watch, as Apple Watch, exist in two sizes: with a screen with diagonal of 1.63 and 1.45 inches. In fact, these are “male” and “female” versions. For both, you can choose leather, metal or silicone strap. It is said that availability of two versions is justified: ZenWatch 2 with a screen of 1.63 inches is not the small watch, besides it gained some weight.
Let’s start with appearance. The screen, which in first ZenWatch was located exactly in the middle, rose higher, and its frame, hidden under the glass of nice, inconspicuous turned into playing with highlights. In addition, polymer strap does not match the color of any part of the exterior, and the strap material is solid, though it must be worn to shape – one should choose metal or leather strap. But this will not correct the situation in full: the second generation is still inferior in appearance and overall impression to the first. At the same time, when compared with smart watch of many other manufacturers, the design is very good.
The screen is covered with Gorilla Glass 3 and a steel framed border – in the first generation you should put a finger on it to measure the pulse. But in the second version this method was declined – the developers have come to the conclusion that it is not accurate enough; the optical sensor at the heart of new clock did not appear. Frame gently moves to the rear part, made of plastic. On the right side of the device – Home button, on the left – barely noticeable microphone hole, on the back cover – magnetic charging connector. As we have said, the watch is quite large, especially “male” version – you get used to such a size after some time.
In terms of filling ZenWatch 2 are very similar to the first generation: the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with 1.2 GHz, the same AMOLED under the same Gorilla Glass 3. The resolution remains the same in 1.63-inch version, but the version with 1.45-inch screen has a matrix with a resolution of only 280 × 280 pixels. But the degree of protection compared to its predecessor has grown – now it is IP67, that is, you can take watch to the shower. Also, there is now Wi-Fi. Built-in memory has remained unchanged – 4 GB, the battery has not changed too – 400 mAh.
Screen with these characteristics was good in 2014, but now it is no better than Apple Watch display and slightly worse than Gear S2 screen. But ASUS has ace in the hole – using the default settings with display permanently switched the battery almost doesn’t dye. The screen displays a much simplified “wallpaper” of the selected dial – and smart clock can be used as usual, without touching the screen or buttons.