Just in case you thought the only smartwatches to consider for gifts were the ones out in stores, Asus is ready with a sequel to its classy ZenWatch model.
Called the ZenWatch 2, its a smartwatch that doesn’t bring with it a special name, but it will change the formula slightly of the ZenWatch we saw earlier in the year, with two sizes being offered depending on the size that matches your wrist.
That means there will be both a 1.43 inch model with s 280×280 display (273 pixels per inch) and a 1.63 inch variant with a 320×320 display (278 pixels per inch), and while the screen sizes are different, the overall design and technical side of things underneath isn’t a dramatic change.
For instance, both are reminiscent of the previous ZenWatch, relying on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 clocked at 1.2GHz, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage. That’s pretty much bang on what the ZenWatch first-gen offered, and Asus is even keeping things close, with Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 with slightly curved 2.5D glass part and parcel of the package.
Most of the changes appear to be from an interface point of view to make the watch a little sleeker and friendlier, while customisable watch faces have been brought along for the ride.
A more “watch face” inspired take on things is also part of the redesign, with Asus bringing a metal watch crown to the build to make the entire thing look more like a watch, with a magnetic charger used to charge the device overall.
Water resistance is also part of the design now, boasting IP67 protection, allowing Asus to say that you can shower or exercise with it on, though you may want to change the leather strap to something more useful for sweat.
Google’s Android Wear is the operating system of choice for this one, pretty much expected, but thanks to the changes of Android Wear with supporting iOS (iPhone) out of the box, as well as Android, it’s now open to more phones, meaning iPhone owners don’t have to wait if they want to grab a ZenWatch.
And given there are a few prices of the ZenWatch, that seems intentional, with the leather strap edition starting from $299 while the metal edition will go for a $369 starting point.
Harvey Norman will get the Asus ZenWatch 2 first from December 1, with an online Asus “eShop” also getting it alongside. Hopefully we should have a review soon, too, so if you’re keen, expect a write-up around the corner.