First there’s the battery life, which manages to chew through itself in the space of a day without any issues.
That’s a low time for a smartwatch, and we can usually get around two days, which isn’t the best life as it is. One day, however, is a little sad, and that’s all this watch gets.
You kind of hope for more as a watch owner, and two days is a start for the others, but the Asus ZenWatch will need a charge nightly, and there’s really no way around it, unless you, you know, not use the smartwatch, which itself defeats the point.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the reliability of the watch is a touch problematic, and that’s because it crashes frequently.
Testing it with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, we found the watch would reset itself often, buzzing on our wrists and informing us that yes, it had in fact decided to restart itself all of a sudden for no apparent reason.
Because that’s just what you want a smartwatch to be doing, which appears to be something that happens when more than one Bluetooth is engaged with the smartphone, say a pair of headphones or a camera.
Other times, the phone would bring itself into the settings menu simply by the way you hold your wrist, and that was — we found — because of the location Asus had thrown the one physical button on the watch. A location of under the watch means that if your flesh ripples, folds, or hits the button just long enough if you’re stretching or flexing your wrist, you will inadvertently hit the button and force it into a settings menu, which itself might explain some of the random resets.
We did try to force this, mind you, and couldn’t, so we have no real explanation for the random resets, but this button location surely doesn’t help.
If you don’t suffer from those reliability issues, you will at one point struggle with trying to get the ZenWatch to wake up.
You’ll flail your arm about, shaking your wrist as if you were drying off those hands, and sometimes you’ll even touch and prod the screen, and the ZenWatch just won’t wake up.
Other times it will, and some times it won’t, providing what can sometimes turn into a thoroughly frustrating experience that again shows how unreliable the ZenWatch really and truly is.
This lack of reliability makes the Asus ZenWatch hard to keep on your wrist, and isn’t especially helped by the combination Android Wear and ZenWatch Manager, which don’t always play nicely with each other.