Asus’ first smartwatch, the ZenWatch was announced in late 2014. The watch is made out of stainless steel with a slightly curved case for a more comfortable fit, emulating the classic style wristwatch style. It even has a genuine leather strap from Italy. It has taken a while, but the watch is now going on sale around the world. Here’s what you need to know.
Updated on 12-19-2014 by Andy Boxall: Added in details of the ZenWatch’s UK launch.
November 9 U.S. release
If you want to get your hands on the ZenWatch, Asus announced it will launch on November 9 at Best Buy. The Android Wear-powered smartwatch has also made its way to the Google Play Store, but regardless of where you buy it, the watch will cost you $200. There’s no word on whether other retailers, such as Amazon, will sell the ZenWatch, though its price point puts it on par with other Android Wear smartwatches.
December 23 release in the UK
The Asus ZenWatch will go on sale in the UK on December 23 for £200, or about $310, making it considerably more expensive than in America. According to Pocket-lint.com, the watch will be an exclusive to high street electronics retailers Currys and PC World. Online retailer Clove Technology has a holding page for the watch, suggesting it may not be exclusive for all that long.
Asus’ smartwatch was originally slated to arrive in stores sometime between late summer and the end of 2014, so it’s arguably still on target. A rumor circulated at the beginning of October warned us the ZenWatch may be in very limited supply at first.
Curved screen, smart looks
The screen made from 2.5D curved glass and looks slightly oval in shape with its rounded edges. The AMOLED panel measures 1.63-inches and features a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels. Asus created many customizable watch faces for you to choose from, amounting to more than 100 combinations.
The ZenWatch comes with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and 512MB of RAM. The watch has 4GB of internal storage, a 1.4Wh battery, Bluetooth 4.0, and is waterproof with an IP55 rating. The ZenWatch is, of course, powered by Android Wear and features what Asus calls “What’s Next” smart notifications. What’s Next is really just Google Now, but with a few added features.
Related: Android Wear vs. Apple Watch
Asus added several cool functions to make the ZenWatch easier to use, including “Tap Tap,” a feature that asks your phone to ring so you can find it. All you have to do is tap twice on the screen. You can also cover the face of the ZenWatch when you need to mute phone calls. Like most smartwatches, the ZenWatch tracks your heart rate, steps, and other fitness metrics. You can use it to control presentations, unlock your phone without swiping, and remotely control your phone’s camera.
Asus has come up with what looks like a winning design for the ZenWatch, but it faces some stiff competition, not only from LG and the G Watch R, but also from the Moto 360, and the Apple Watch when it launches early in 2015.
Updated on 11-07-2014 by Williams Pelegrin: Added U.S. launch date and price for the ZenWatch.
Updated on 10-28-2014 by Andy Boxall: Added in information on the ZenWatch’s possible launch date.
Updated on 09-03-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added more specs and availability for the ZenWatch.
Article originally published 09-03-2014