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May 12, 2016

Unboxing & Review: ASUS ZenWatch 2



Wearable tech nowadays ranges from a basic smart band that keeps track of your fitness activities and vibrating notification to higher end counterparts that come with a touch display that can do all sort of fancy feature that you can probably think of. 


We have the successor of the ASUS ZenWatch with us today courtesy of ASUS Malaysia, the ASUS ZenWatch 2. It ships with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage in total, and is available in several different models i.e rubber strap, leather strap and a metallic strap that retails at RM649, RM699 and RM899 respectively.

Specifications

Unboxing

The ZenWatch 2 ships in a rather simple packaging and the only part of the box that you'll probably need to look at is the top of the box, where the image of the product is printed on , and the side of the box where a sticker will highlight the features of the ZenWatch 2 are located at. 


The included accessories are pretty simple, a magnetic USB charger, Part & Feature Guide, Quick Start Guide and a Warranty Card. 


The ZenWatch 2 has a 1.63-inch, 320 x 320, slightly pixelated 278ppi density AMOLED touch display that goes quite well with its somewhat stylish design. While the design is something rather subjective, but we find that the bezel is rather thick and it would look even better if ASUS were to increase the size of the display.


The ZenWatch 2 we have here is the metal strap variant in which we personally think, the best looking among the 3 different variety of straps offered, not to mention the heaviest too.  


The metal strap looks exceptionally good for men, but it's not too much of an ideal choice for outdoor activities due to its extra weight and non-flexible characteristics.


At the back of the watch, you'll find the built-in speaker that is convenient for notification, receiving calls, etc and the magnetic charging port that is specially designed to make charging easier as the magnetic charging cable will only attach to the charging port in the correct direction. 

Software / App

Android Wear 

To pair the ZenWatch 2 with your Android phone, you can get the Android Wear App from Google Play Store to get things done easily. You'll find some basic apps that goes just well with pretty much any Android phone to fulfill your needs.


While there's already a lot of essential features such as email, reminder, social media, etc that works just right as soon as you paired both the ZenWatch 2 and your Android phone, there are some feature that requires the installation of the necessary app to get it working, i.e: Google Fit for fitness tracking.

Google Fit

The Google Fit allows you to track your workout progress, calories burned, total steps walked and even have those statistics displayed with ease. 

ZenWatch Manager

Similar to the Android Wear, the ZenWatch Manager comes with a rather fancy UI to spice things up a little with some recommended apps that are specifically made for the ZenWatch just for you to further utilize what the ZenWatch 2 are capable of. 


You can customize the ZenWatch 2 by selecting your preferred watch faces, icons to display on the watch faces and some other feature which we find very useful, especially for the FoneHelper that comes very handy in all sort of situations.

FaceDesigner

FaceDesigner is one of the recommended app that allows you to customize your very own watch faces apart of those in the list that is ready for use. 


ZenWatch Wellness

If Google Fit isn't something you're looking for, there's the ZenWatch Wellness that pretty much does the same thing such as setting the goal, activity tracking in detail. 

Final Thoughts
Be it the rubber strap, leather strap or metal strap versions, the ZenWatch 2 is one stylish looking device to own. In our opinion, ASUS should really consider reducing the size of the bezel on the display to fit a larger display.

The usability is definitely there, as we are able to do more with the ZenWatch 2 other than being just as a fitness band. Receiving calls, reading emails, messaging and others social related action is made easier as we realize that we don't have to reach for your phone deep down inside the pocket that often to respond to all of these like how we used to do. 

As for the battery life, the ZenWatch 2 comes with a built-in 380mAh battery that will last for around 2 days or so on idle, when it's fully charged. If you're using it frequently, it'll last you for around 1.5 days at most. Not too shabby but it all depends on how much expectation you have - it's an Android wearable that comes with a touch display and all sort of feature that you won't be getting on a basic smart band with battery life that will last for 7 days. 

So it all comes to this question again: Is the ZenWatch 2 a worthy device to own? It's not the best Android wear around for sure, but for the build quality and feature it can offer at the price of RM899, we'd say that it's a pretty reasonable deal, until something else comes about.

Pros
  • Clean packaging 
  • Good build quality
  • Magnetic charging cable
  • Rich in feature 
  • Comes with 3 different variety of straps 
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Water-resistant and easy to clean
Cons 
  • Could have larger display instead of the thick bezel
  • Poor battery life
  • Connecting to charging cable during the initial setup is rather troublesome

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