ASUS has been in the shadows of the big players for a long time, that’s just how it is when Apple and Samsung exist. However, ASUS certainly hasn’t just given up. They made one of the best smartphones ever in the ZenFone 2 and they put out consistently good laptops. They also joined the Android Wear revolution with the original ZenWatch which was a nice take on the boring shape of most of the first generation Android Wear smartwatches. As a big fan of the first ZenWatch, I’m rather excited for the ZenWatch 2 with the incremental improvements. Let’s dive in!
The ZenWatch 2 keeps the basic shape and design cues as the first one. It’s has a square screen but rounds the edges so you get a more pleasant aesthetic. It actually comes in two sizes now which seems to be a very popular option for smartwatches these days because apparently most technology journalists have tiny wrists. So thanks for accommodating my tiny wrists. Not really. But thanks anyways, it opens up the market to more than just thick wristed men.
The ZenWatch 2 also fits normal watch bands that can changed at will. However, it seems to only come with a rubber band so I’d recommend swapping out as quickly as possible for a proper leather or metal band. Otherwise, the ZenWatch 2 looks quite premium; you could easily wear it with a proper business outfit and most people wouldn’t notice the difference.
What It Does
The ZenWatch 2 boasts a pretty decent AMOLED screen, almost as good as the Huawei Watch in pixel density, and the color contrast is excellent because of the AMOLED technology. No ambient light display sensor here but the battery life is still good enough to last at least a full day of usage; it’s closer to one and a half days but it still means you’ll need to charge the ZenWatch 2 every night.
It runs Android Wear which just means that you get the same software experience as other Android Wear smartwatches. However, ASUS does have a specific companion app suite for the ZenWatch 2. It’s called the ZenWatch Manager and it has a couple of quite useful apps like a remote camera app as well as a watch face builder app which lets you build a watch face from scratch. All in all, the ZenWatch 2 offers a surprisingly feature packed and powerful mobile package for only $149, a full $100 less than the next cheapest option on Google’s online store.