Asus’ ZenWatch delves into wearable tech: what do the critics think?

zenwatch

Not content sticking with laptops, tablets and smartphones, Asus is broadening its horizons and is moving on to wearable technology, starting with the ZenWatch.
The Asus ZenWatch pairs with an Android smartphone to serve as a personal wellness manager. Despite its high-tech capabilities the ZenWatch resembles a rectangular-faced and traditional-crafted watch and even comes with a premium, stitched-leather strap.

It might look like an elegant piece of premium watchmaking, but how does Asus’ bold move into wearable tech fare with the tech press?

An Apple Watch likeness

According to Tech Crunch, the ZenWatch is the closest the Android camp have come to resembling an Apple Watch. It is however, you may be pleased to learn, by no means a clone.
The ZenWatch’s pros are, according to Tech Crunch, its great design which is “among the most striking and unique Android Wear devices available.”
We have to admit, with its curved face with Gorilla Glass 3 surrounded by a polished rectangular stainless steel rim, clasped together by a quality leather strap, the ZenWatch possesses retro appeal.
Latest Gadgets is not however a fashion review site and whilst it might look good what can the ZenWatch actually do?
Well you can get notifications from your Android smartphone. Something Engadget refers to as an “incessant flow of information in the form of Google Now cards and notifications.”
The Engadget review of the ZenWatch is also quick to highlight Asus’ wearable device boasts “impeccable voice recognition”, has a tap-and-swipe friendly navigation and all the other bits we’ve come to expect from a smartwatch.

The ZenWatch Manager

Though it’s from a separate Android app known as the ZenWatch Manager which all these “other bits” lean on. As Engadget informs, from the ZenWatch Manager you can customise the colours on the watch face and fire up extras, such as a warning alert that warns you when wondered too far from your phone.

The Wellness manager uses a built-in bio sensor which enables the phone to measure relaxation levels and then report back a relaxation score to its user. Based on that score, the watch then proceeds to provide the user with tips on how to reduce stress and increase relaxation and wellness.

Via the Wellness app, you can set activity goals, such as a target number of steps each day. The ‘wellness’ stats are then presented to the user in a weekly summary.

And the downsides?

One downside of the ZenWatch, according to Pocket Lint’s review, is that there is no direct charging available. Instead, it needs to be attached to a “limpet-like charging base that connects to the back.”
The Verge is also quick to point out the ZenWatch’s lack of wireless charging capabilities. Not only this but, like most Android Wear devices, it needs to be charged pretty much every day.
Whilst on the whole The Verge believes the ZenWatch performs as well as any other Android Wear Watch, the tech review site is certainly not shy in mentioning the watch’s annoying attributes.

According to The Verge’s review, the Asus smartwatch can be “annoyingly slow” at times, isn’t as responsive to voice commands as the Moto 360, and has a poor response to the wrist motion to wake up the display.

Though The Verge has to admit, despite its faults and imperfections, if they had to choose an Android Wear watch to wear every day, the would choose the ZenWatch.

zenwatch-side

And being this feature-rich and well-designed, for £199.99 we might be inclined to agree.

The Zenwatch is available now. Visit Asus to find out more.