Smartwatches like the Asus ZenWatch 2 are getting more and more popular. Did you know that by 2021, there will be close to 81 million smartwatches sold all over the world? This number is 1.67 times more than the estimates of 48.2 million smartwatches that consumers will buy before the end of 2019.
The Asus ZenWatch 2 is a second generation smartwatch. Since it launched, many manufacturers introduced a long list of smartwatches to the market. Does it make sense to buy the Asus ZenWatch 2 today?
Asus ZenWatch 2
At its very core, a smartwatch is nothing more than a timepiece that has connectivity features. Imagine a traditional watch that can connect to your smartphone or the internet. It can do stuff that old watches cannot, such as allowing you to know if your phone is ringing, what the weather will be like, and all the other information that you can get from your phone.
Some smartwatches merely serve as a second screen for your smartphone. Others work like mini-computers on your wrist. Where does the Asus ZenWatch 2 fall?
Specifications and features of the Asus ZenWatch 2
The Asus ZenWatch 2 impresses with its luxury looks at budget-friendly prices. It also uses Wear OS, or Android Wear, as an operating system, ensuring an assortment of useful features for its users. When it comes to the design of the Asus ZenWatch 2, the Taiwanese manufacturer certainly gives you the power to choose the perfect look for yourself. For instance, there are two sizes available for the Asus ZenWatch 2. You can select from a screen that measures 1.63 inches or 1.45 inches.
The stainless steel case also comes in three colors, such as silver, rose gold, or gunmetal. Further, the Asus ZenWatch 2 uses interchangeable watch bands that can help you mix up your smartwatch's looks. Rubber, metal, and leather bands are available in a variety of colors.
On top of all these design elements, the Asus ZenWatch 2 also offers you dozens of watch faces. You can choose from readily made watch faces that Asus created for its smartwatches. If you cannot find one that you like you can design your own using the FaceDesigner app. This app will allow you to get the watch face design you like that features only the functions you want to include.
The face has a square shape, while the edges are round to make it appear smooth and sleek. There is also a crown on the right side of the watch. This crown makes your Asus ZenWatch 2 look like traditional watches, while also providing you with an intuitive way to interact with your device.
The Asus ZenWatch 2 uses a touch display with very vibrant colors. The 1.63-inch display comes with resolutions of 320 x 320 pixels, while the smaller 1.45-inch screen has a resolution of 280 x 280 pixels. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protects the AMOLED screen, making it scratch resistant and more durable.
The Asus ZenWatch 2 has an embedded microphone and speaker that gives the smartwatch a whole range of features that might otherwise be missing. For instance, you can make or receive phone calls from your wrist. Or you can use the Smart Assistant feature.
The Smart Assistant listens to your voice commands. It will gather the information you need and will show you the essential alerts from your friends on social media. It can also remind you of your flights and meetings, or help you find your way on the road.
You can also use your ZenWatch 2 as a remote button for your smartphone's camera, to find your lost phone, or to unlock your phone using your smartwatch. Lastly, it will remind you to take your phone with you if you are going out of the house.
On top of the voice-related functions, you can also enjoy the ZenWatch Message feature that allows you to send short messages, drawings, and emojis to your contacts. You can do all of these without having to take your phone out of your bag or pocket.
The Asus ZenWatch 2 uses a six-axis accelerometer that can count your steps. It can also track your sleep quality and sleep patterns. You can get progress reports to see how close you are to your fitness goals as well.
The Asus ZenWatch 2 has either a 300 mAh or 400 mAh battery, depending on the display size you choose. The battery gives you enough juice to wear your watch for a whole day. If you are in a hurry, but your smartwatch is out of power, you can rely on the ZenWatch 2's HyperCharge feature. With this feature, you only need 15 minutes to get to a 60 percent charge.
The Asus ZenWatch 2 has a waterproof rating of IP67, making it safe for you to wear in the rain or even if you drop it in water up to 3.28 feet deep.
Ratings and Reviews
Verified buyers love the styling and design of the ZenWatch 2, as well as the features it offers. There are some critical reviews, however. People complained about the warranty, and how difficult it was to deal with the company's customer service. Some people also complained about some features such as the problems when making calls, or the touchscreen suddenly becoming unresponsive.
On Amazon, the ASUS ZenWatch 2 receives a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars. Customers love the fast charging times they get on this watch, as well as the AMOLED screen and a host of features. However, there are complaints about how unreliable the ZenWatch 2 is and its shoddy build. There were also gripes about the warranty.
Notable blogs and review sites, however, give the Asus ZenWatch 2 a generally high rating. For instance, TechRadar rates it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, citing improvements seen in the ZenWatch 2 when compared with the original. Meanwhile, AndroidAuthority.com gives it a rating of 8.7 out of 10 stars, grading the software and performance the highest.
How We Reviewed
To write this review, we checked out Asus' product page for the ZenWatch 2, as well as its specifications sheet. We also checked a variety of sales pages for the device on online retail sites such as Amazon and Best Buy. For a real-life look at these products, we also considered consumer reviews as well as the opinions written by consumer technology sites such as TechRadar, Android Authority, and ZDNet.
We used a similar process when looking at competitors of the Asus ZenWatch 2.
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How It Compares to Competitors
There is no shortage of competitors when it comes to smartwatches. It is a market that is overflowing with devices of various makes, from different manufacturers, and using different operating systems. For the Asus ZenWatch 2, it uses Wear OS as its operating system. How does it compare to the Fitbit Blaze, Apple Watch Series 3, and Samsung Gear S3, all of which use different operating systems?
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The Blaze is Fitbit's first foray into the smartwatch market. But if you look closely, you will realize that the Fitbit Blaze is more of a cross between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker. Fitness trackers are what Fitbit has a reputation for, but the Blaze does not slack off when it comes to smartwatch features.
The Fitbit Blaze is very comfortable to wear, and it has a readable screen. You might also like that the Blaze has optional accessories that make an already attractive watch look even better. It also has a longer lasting battery life, which lasts for at least four days.
Compared to the Asus ZenWatch 2, the Fitbit Blaze will look like a toy. The appearance is really where the Fitbit Blaze falters because of its pop-out smartwatch design. The charging experience is also better on the ZenWatch 2. However, the Fitbit Blaze has a longer battery life and better sensors for fitness tracking than the ZenWatch.
The Fitbit Blaze also uses the company's operating system, which might mean that you might have fewer apps available to you. Being able to download apps is essential to consider because the onboard apps on the Blaze are not that good, unlike the apps you have for the Asus smartwatch.
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A smartwatch review will almost always mention the Apple Watch Series 3 in some way. Apple's third foray in the smartwatch world gives us a watch that also has fitness tracking, music syncing, and cellular connectivity. The Apple Watch 3 has a variety of sensors, including GPS, GLONASS, barometric altimeter, heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and ambient light sensor.
There are very few things that the Apple Watch 3 cannot do. If a feature is on a smartwatch, chances are the Apple Watch 3 has a version of that functionality. Materials used for the Apple Watch 3 include aluminum, stainless steel, and ceramic for the casing, while watch bands come in rubber, leather, and metal.
A majority of the reviewers loved this smartwatch because of how good it looks, as well as improved features and more functionality compared to earlier versions of the Apple Watch.
However, there are complaints about the battery life, which is worse when the GPS is on or when you are making calls. Others found it disappointing that the Apple Watch 3 does not work on Android phones. Plus, it is more expensive than most other smartwatches on the market.
The Apple Watch 3 outshines the Asus ZenWatch 2 in every aspect. There are only two reasons why you will want to buy a ZenWatch 2 instead of an Apple Watch 3. First, the Apple Watch 3 has a price that is two to three times more expensive than the ZenWatch 2. The second reason is that you do not own an iOS phone or tablet.
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The Samsung Gear S3 is the South Korean electronics manufacturer's entry in the smartwatch arena. One of the first things you will notice about the Samsung Gear S3 is its exhaustive list of features. Samsung has made sure that you will find everything you need in a smartwatch in the Gear S3.
This smartwatch allows you to pay from your wrist and can connect to LTE-compliant networks. You might love how the design looks like it involved a lot of research. The Samsung Gear S3 is visually stunning, plus it has a spinning bezel that you can use to interact with the watch.
You can buy the Samsung Gear S3 from a variety of online retail sites. The Samsung Gear S3 sells for a bit costly price.
Compared to the Asus ZenWatch 2, the Samsung Gear S3 is bigger. It has an attractive design, and you can opt for a Wi-Fi or cellular version.
You can even pay from your wrist. But all of those conveniences cannot make up for the Samsung Gear S3's lack of mobile apps. The smartwatch runs on Tizen OS. The use of this operating system means that it might be difficult to find your needed mobile apps.
Pros and Cons
The Asus ZenWatch 2 runs on Wear OS. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor along with 512 MB of memory. With this configuration, it means that it has the same OS, processor, and memory as other smartwatches launched at around the same time. Because Google does not allow too many modifications when a manufacturer uses its operating system, you can expect that the performance of this smartwatch is pretty middle of the road when compared to similar Wear OS devices.
It is for this reason that you will like that you can customize your Asus ZenWatch 2 with exclusive watch faces and mobile apps from the manufacturer in addition to its choices of display size, watch bands, and case colors. You will also love how light the Asus ZenWatch 2 feels on your wrist. You might forget about it after a few hours, but it is there tracking your fitness, acting as your assistant, or just sitting pretty on your wrist.
What may be better
With other smartwatches having a battery that lasts for several days on a single charge, the Asus ZenWatch 2 really pales in comparison. You will need to charge it almost on a daily basis. Design-wise, the Asus ZenWatch 2 wastes a lot of real estate on the watch face by putting a large bezel to surround the display.
What's more, there are concerns that the device has limited compatibility with iOS devices. While you can pair the Asus ZenWatch 2 with your iPhone, you have fewer features to work with.
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Should You Buy the Asus ZenWatch 2 in 2019?
When it comes to features, you expect that the Asus ZenWatch 2 to be similar to all other smartwatches with the same Wear OS operating system. The Asus ZenWatch 2, however, really excels in giving you a beautiful smartwatch. Not only does it have an expensive look at a very budget-friendly price, but it also comes with its own exclusive apps and watch faces.
When you compare it to other smartwatches, you appreciate it even more. When it comes to fitness, the Asus ZenWatch 2 will bow down to Fitbit Blaze. The Blaze has more fitness tracking features that it does quite excellently. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch 3 can rival the premium looks of the ZenWatch 2, but it is very pricey. Further, the Samsung Gear S3 offers more features than the ZenWatch 2. However, its use of the proprietary Tizen OS makes it less attractive because of the limited number of apps available for it.
So, should you buy the Asus ZenWatch 2? Yes, because you will love the Asus ZenWatch 2 and its perfect mix of features, looks, and low price.