Finally got my hands on the ASUS ZenWatch 2 for two whole weeks. Life with a Smartwatch is always good, especially when you don’t have to whip out your phone to check for a message or notification, but the ZenWatch 2 does come with its quirks.
The ZenWatch 2 that is under review here would be the Sparrow variant coupled with a classic dark blue leather strap. The Sparrow is the larger option which has a 1.63” watch face as compared to the other variant named Wren which has a smaller 1.45” watch face.
What would first delight most is that the ZenWatch 2 is compatible with both Android and iOS Smartphones - not many Smartwatches are that compatible especially when they themselves run on either operation systems.
Setting up the ZenWatch 2 to pair with my Android Smartphone was simple enough. All it took was a quick download of the Android Wear and ZenWatch Manager mobile application via Google Play, and a quick sync between the Smartwatch and your Smartphone - which took less than a few minutes.
The ZenWatch Manager mobile application allows you to customise your preferred watch face, which is something that other Smartwatches out there do not have. Chose from a wide array of different designs and have the freedom to choose what you want your watch face to display – whether you want to know about the weather, steps taken, etc.
I feel that the size of the ZenWatch 2 Sparrow, is best suited for those with a larger wrist as it can get a little chunky for those with a smaller wrist. Controls are relatively simple, there is only one button on its right side and everything else is controlled via touch.
However, the ZenWatch 2 does come with a few quirks. Sometimes, the watch is not responsive to touch or motion and I would have to repeatedly tap the screen or its side button to turn the watch face on. Also, sometimes when I put the watch on ‘Mute’ it does not respond to that command, and would still function on its default mode.
Battery Life: Even with a certain amount of excessive fussing and playing with the ZenWatch 2, a single charge lasted me almost 2.5 days – which is refreshing considering the other Smartwatches last less than 1.5 days.
Leather Strap: To be honest, the leather strap is much better than the Samsung Gear S2’s. It does not crinkle as badly and neither does it feel poorly made.
Screen Versus Body Ratio: Although the screen is large enough, ASUS could have done better with the screen to body ratio. There is an obvious thick border around the screen – a waste of wrist space?
Charging Cable: The cable would sometimes come loose even though it is supposed to be magnetised and we had to angle the watch in a certain manner just to charge it (it could or could not be the review set that we got our hands on).
Responsiveness (or maybe a lack thereof): Did I also mention that it doesn’t respond to my commands? Hmm …
The ASUS ZenWatch 2 is a great Smartwatch for those who are looking to try owning one – especially since it has a very attractive price tag. It fulfils all the basic functions of any Smartwatch and has the really great feature of letting you customise your very own watch face. However, the unresponsiveness for certain commands can get a little annoying over time that a software update of sorts would most likely help solve.
Availability And Pricing
The ASUS ZenWatch 2 is now available in Singapore and come in two variants, Sparrow (1.63”) and Wren (1.45”). It is available in three colours, Silver, Gunmetal, Rose Gold and they both retail for US$163 (SG$229). Their interchangeable watch straps (rubber, leather and stainless steel) are available at US$28 (SG$39).
For a more in depth information on the ZenWatch 2’s internal specifications, read all about it here.
By Geralyne Kaye / December 16, 2015 1:01PM GMT+8 Singapore
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