ZTE’s Axon Watch is no longer a prototype, but annoyingly is still only headed to China

zte axon watch news version 1437477686  1
The exciting Axon smartphone, developed by ZTE, is already on sale and was something of a mystery before that point. Now we know the flagship product is only the first in a line of new mobile devices from ZTE under the Axon name. The company announced a smartwatch called the Axon Watch that it will release in China, and here’s what you need to know about the interesting wearable.

Updated on 10-12-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in final specs, and a release date for the Axon Watch

First revealed in July, ZTE waited several months before officially announcing its final release date, then in October it stated eager buyers would be able to purchase it online from October 27. It’ll be sold through the MyZTE online store, and is only available in China for now — mainly due to the Tencent-backed operating system.

That’s right, the Axon Watch doesn’t run Android Wear, or not exactly. It’s one of the first to run Tencent’s TOS+ operating system. China’s Tencent announced TOS+ in May, and confirmed it would be working with ZTE — among other manufacturers — at the time. Images showing the OS operating on a circular smartwatch appeared soon afterwards.

The Axon Watch also has a circular screen, measures 1.4 inches in diameter, and is covered in Gorilla Glass with a sapphire coating. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor is inside, and the Watch has 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage memory, and connects using Bluetooth 4.1. A 300mnAh battery provides the energy, and the whole watch has an IP67 rating to keep it safe from moisture and dust.

It’s part of a joint project between ZTE and Tencent — a huge Chinese Internet company that owns everything from media services to the WeChat messaging app — and can be operated either with gestures on the touch-screen or by voice. Wearers will be able to review fitness and health data, and it runs a range of apps including ones for taking phone calls and sending messages, including those through Tencent’s WeChat and QQ social network.

ZTE Axon Watch Close

Tencent’s TOS+ is based on Android, but due to Google’s services not being widely available in China, neither it nor Android Wear are suitable for use there. Forked versions like TOS+ are common, and Tencent has also developed its own smartphone operating system called TOS. When ZTE initially announced the Watch in July, it also mentioned a Mini version of the Axon phone would be added to the growing range in the future, but didn’t discuss specifics. The device became official in October.

Returning to the Axon Watch, in its current form the device will inevitably stay in China. However, because ZTE hasn’t released an Android Wear smartwatch internationally yet, the Axon Watch may give us a sneak peek at its plans for the future.

Product Review

Montblanc Summit 2 offers smart functionality but still looks good with a suit

Montblanc’s Summit 2 is the first smartwatch to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. It’s feature packed, with GPS, NFC for Google Pay, and a heart rate sensor, but it also has the classic timepiece look.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.

Built to take a beating and still perform, these are the best hiking watches

A proper hiking watch should track exercise metrics and act as a navigational co-pilot during any kind of hike. Ideally, it'll even have a built-in GPS system and sensors. Here are five of the best hiking watches.

The best Apple Watch deals for December 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

Galaxy Watch vs. Apple Watch Series 4: Which one is the smartest?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Apple Watch Series 4 are two of the best smartwatches available today. But which is better? We put the two watches head-to-head to find out which you should buy.

Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 now available on the Apple Store

The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 is now available on the Apple Store for $150. The sensor strip, which is only 2 millimeters thin, automatically tracks a wide array of sleep data when placed under the user's sheets.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Conquer the cold season with the best heated clothing and outdoor apparel

If you're thinking about going outside this winter, heated apparel is a must. Luckily, we've rounded up some of the best heated clothing, whether you're looking for battery-powered gloves or heated insoles.

Crush your next workout with the best Fitbit for every activity

Fitbits are amazingly helpful tools for setting fitness goals and tracking progress. However, different activities require different metrics. We've gathered a list of the best Fitbits for running, swimming, biking, and other activities.

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.

Google Fit app finally gets a widget, among other new features

Google Fit hasn't received any new features since its redesign. This week, the company is rolling some new tools; users will be able to add a widget to their Android home screen, adjust the intensity of their workouts, and more.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

New Apple Watch begins saving lives one week after getting EKG feature

The Apple Watch Series 4 was updated almost a week ago with a new feature that allows users to take electrocardiogram tests -- and already it seems like the new feature is saving lives.

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.