Smart watches has been gaining traction in the past couple of years although none of the models have had a great impact. This year ASUS announced their second generation smart watch, the ZenWatch 2 in India. The ZenWatch 2 comes in two sizes: 1.45-inch (WI502Q) and 1.63-inch (WI501Q). ZenWatch 2 is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC paired with 512MB RAM. It also comes equipped with 4GB eMMC internal storage and offer support for Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi. There is also IP67 certification and there is 300/400mAh battery depending on the variant.
Design wise, the ZenWatch 2 is quite similar to the previous generation ZenWatch and the most prominent change is the new button. This is placed on the right edge similar to watches. If you press the button, it wakes up the screen and this button is also used to power off or on the watch when you press and hold it. You can even bring the menu using long press.
The build quality and finishing looks good and it is pretty compact as well. The straps are at 22mm or 18mm depending on the variant and it comes with leather straps and the quality looks impressive. The display has large bezels and we feel there is so much space wasted in the form of bezels. If you look at the Moto 360, ZenWatch 2 might look a bit out-dated in the design department. At 60gms, the ZenWatch 2 has also improved in the weight and now it feels lighter.
On the display front, we have an AMOLED display, which are sharp, bright, and detailed. The touch response was also quite good. As we said before, the display size looks a bit small when you compare the size of the dials.
ASUS ZenWatch 2 runs on Android Wear 5.1.1 and there aren’t any scope for customization as Android Wear does not allow for it as of now. So the interface looks more or less similar to any other Android Wear powered smartwatch in the market. It comes with all the features in Android Wear, but lacks the heart rate sensor. You can install third party apps and pair the device with Android smartphone with Android 4.3 and above with the Android Wear app available in the play store.
One of the interesting aspects of the watch is the number of watch faces included by ASUS. There are a handful of beautiful watch faces available which allows you to get that customized look. The interface is quite simple to use even for a newbie using the Android Wear.
Talking about performance, the ZenWatch 2 is powered by Snapdragon 400 SoC, with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and Bluetooth 4.1. The performance of the watch was quite good and we hardly faced any issues. You can sync it with Android smartphone running 4.3 and above. There is no noticeable lag while swiping through the menu or settings. Third party installed apps also work effortlessly and we are quite happy with the overall performance.
Once you have paired it with Android smartphone, you get all the notifications on the phone available in the watch. So you can just glance on the watch for the notifications before taking the phone from your pocket. But having said that the motion sensor on the watch had some issues, quite often we had to tap the display to wake it up and it did not turn on the display when you flick the wrist. The pedometer in the watch is used to count steps, and a motion sensor to detect sleep and this gives you an idea of calories burned and how much time you slept.
The battery performance of the ZenWatch 2 is also quite decent. One of the main issues with Android Wear smartwatch is the battery performance. The battery in the W1502Q variant is 300mAh, while the W1501Q variant has a larger 400mAh battery. In our testing, we could get around 2-2.5 days of battery life and this is quite good by Android Wear standards.
The option to remove the strap is also pretty simple and the implementation is very good.
Overall, the ASUS ZenWatch 2 is a good smartwatch to consider for multiple reasons including price, performance, decent looks and battery life.