Fancy a smartwatch with a rose gold look but don’t want to fork out the arm or the leg? Asus might have you covered, provided you’re already using an Android phone.
One of the gadgets announced last year at IFA has just been highlighted for release in Australia, and it could bring some interesting competition to the smartwatch world in our country with a premium look and a price sitting below many of the other gadgets we’re seeing.
It’s called the “ZenWatch”, and while it won’t likely bring you zen and peace, it does fit in with the Asus “Zen” range of products, which includes relatively thin and metal-encased laptops and smartphones, and a tablet or two, if we recall.
This device is obviously not a phone or a tablet, or even a laptop computer, with the design focused on being a watch. Inside this watch, you’ll find bits and bobs similar to what is currently inside other smartwatches, with 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, Bluetooth, and a small battery.
The screen here is a 1.63 inch square display running the resolution of 320×320, which might not seem much, but will provide 278 pixels per inch of clarity, which isn’t enough to go pixel peeping, but we doubt you’ll be bringing the watch so close to your eyes that it’ll become an issue.
Interestingly, we’re seeing Corning’s Gorilla Glass used on the display, something not every smartwatch gets.
From a spec point of view, the ZenWatch is more or less spot on with everything else we’ve seen, and running Android Wear and requiring an Android 4.3 smartphone or higher, makes it a very similar proposition.
Asus is also including other features it hopes will differentiate it, that said, including one that unlocks you phone simply by touching the watch face, another to mute a phone call by covering the ZenWatch, and to even control both the phone camera and PowerPoint presentations using the watch, which could make it a little more interesting to work with.
The company has apparently also partnered with Jawbone for this one, including the Up tracker loaded on from the beginning for people who want to track their fitness, though in fairness, Jawbone’s Up for Android Wear can be downloaded to any Android Wear watch.
At least one thing is specific, and that’s the style, with a rose-hold coloured band thrown between two layers of stainless steel, and connected up with a 22mm leather strap that can be easily changed for something else.
Pricing on this one comes in at $289 with availability in April, well below another watch coming out in April, and even below the other Android Wear competitors, potentially making the choice of a smartwatch very interesting for consumers next month.