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The Asus Zenwatch 2 is the second Android Wear watch Asus has released. The Zenwatch 2 comes in at about $130-$150 depending on where you buy it from. For that price it’s defiantly worth picking up if you’re looking to use Android Wear for the very first time.
——Design And Hardware——
The Zenwatch 2 suffers from the same issue that all smartwatches have, and that is the way they look. I haven’t seen a single smartwatch that actually looks like a real watch. It also doesn’t help that the bezels on all four sides of the device are huge! Especially the ones on the top and bottom. Another thing that annoys the heck out of me about the design is that from a distance it looks too much like an Apple Watch.
When the watch isn’t under my sleeve someone will see it and ask, “Is that an Apple Watch?” and as polite as I can I will reply, “No.” and explain what it really is. On the front there is a curved Coming Gorilla Glass 3 screen, on the left side there is a microphone, and on the right is the power button.
Out of the box there is a blue “Genuine Leather” band as it says on the back, and a charging cable. Not a charging cradle a charging cable. I wished Asus had included a charging cradle though it would make charging the device less of a hassle. On the inside there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 clocked at 1.2 GHz, an inactive speaker, and a 400 mAh powered battery.
You can buy the watch in two sizes. A smaller one that is being advertised towards women or anyone with smaller wrists. The bigger one is aimed towards men or anyone with bigger wrists. The bigger varient contains a speaker whereas the smaller variant does not.
The Zenwatch 2 has 4GB of flash storage and 512 MB of ram. Like all Android Wear smartwatches they run well, Android Wear. I honestly don’t like the Android Wear operating system. It’s too much like Google Now. I’m not saying Google Now is bad or ugly or anything like that, but it ‘s just that if someone who never used Android or Android Wear they wouldn’t know that one was based off the other.
Personally I think it would be a good idea if they made the Android Wear operating system open sourced, so manufacturers can add their own skins on top of Android wear, so that features that haven’t came to stock Android Wear yet can be present on their watches. By doing so manufacturers could get more consumers to buy their watches over others, but that’s a topic for another time. Knowing Asus there is usually some sort of extra applications that can “enhance” your experience with their product. With the Asus Zenwatch 2 those apps are Zenwatch Manager and FaceDesighner: Watch Face Making.
Zenwatch Manager helps you manage your Zenwatch hence the name Zenwatch Manager. You can customize your watch face by changing the color of the watch face and adding widgets to it as well. FaceDesighner is an app where you get to design a watch face from scratch. From picking a background to the style of hands on the clock. FaceDesigner offers a lot of customization. The extra customization these apps offer are a big plus for anyone who has an Asus Zenwatch 2. This is something that other smart watch manufacturers should definitely have for their watches.
The Zenwatch 2 has a 1.63 inch AMOLED 320X320 Gorilla Glass 3 display. It’s surprisingly easy to read in direct sunlight, and I have to say it can get pretty bright. It’s pretty blinding when in the dark especially when I have to look at it while in bed when it’s pitch black. It isn’t all good though. Sometimes when the watch is in a sleep state for a long time and it wakes up the screen will flash green for a split second before the watch face shows up. I don’t know if I just have a defective unit or what the deal is, but if anyone has a solution let me know in the comments below.
The battery on the Zenwatch 2 is exceptionally good. I usually charge it when I am just sitting at my desk doing school work. I mostly use it as a fitness tracker so when I’m not active there really is no use for so I have it sit on the charger, and my phone is with me at my desk so receiving notification isn’t an issue. However when I am not sitting at my desk working, and I am out and about the watch’s battery last throughout the day, and I use it to track my sleep, so it has to last over the night. When I wake up in the morning the device’s battery is at about 70%, so I charge the battery in little amounts of time twice a day and it goes about just fine.
I hate to say it, but the Zenwatch 2’a performance isn’t all that great. When I first got the watch Android Wear kept force closing, everything would just freeze up. The watch would pretty much become unusable until it restarted itself. It got so bad that I had to do a factory reset, and re sync all my apps to the watch. Fortunately that hasn’t happened again, but the it’s just can get so slow sometimes. There’s lag when I’m just scrolling through my apps! Ir isn’t like that all he time though, sometimes it runs as smooth as ever, but other times it doesn’t. I think that may be Asus’s fault for not properly optimizing the software to work well with hardware. Hopefully things are better in the next Zenwatch.
The Asus Zenwatch 2 is a great low cost Android Wear device, bur it isn’t perfect, but nothing is. Am I right? The Zenwatch 2 has it’s ups and downs in every category. It shines in some areas, and doesn’t in others. If your looking for a bang for your buck Android Wear smartwatch the Asus Zenwatch 2 is the way to go. If you just want to try Android Wear out for the first time without shelling out over 300 dollars then the Asus Zenwatch 2 is definitely the smartwatch for you.