ASUS ZenWatch 2 Review: An Affordable Android Wear Smartwatch
Hardware: Design, Comfort, & Battery Life
In comparison to other smartwatches we’ve seen, the ZenWatch 2’s screen has a somewhat lower resolution (280x280, 273ppi). The Samsung Gear S2 (360x360, 302ppi) and Huawei Watch (400x400, 286ppi) both have higher resolution displays, for example. Keep in mind that both of these smartwatches have a price tag that’s at least $130 more than the ZenWatch 2, though.
In day to day use, we felt the ZenWatch 2’s display did its job well and didn’t feel like we were looking at a sub-par display by any means. Other key specifications of the ZenWatch 2, such as the processor, memory, storage, and battery, are relatively similar to other smartwatches that are currently on the market.
The ZenWatch 2 features a rectangular design with a decent-sized bezel surrounding the display. When you press your palm on the ZenWatch 2, the display dims. Even when dimmed, the screen was still easy to read. If you tap the watch, the screen will get brighter.
On the right side of the watch, you’ll find the Power and reset button. And a microphone is located on the left edge of the watch. The charging connectors sit on the underside, touching your wrist.
ASUS offers a number of different watch band options. In addition to ASUS’ offerings though, the company says the ZenWatch 2 is compatible with watch straps that have standard 22mm or 18mm spring bar pins. Because the watch uses a spring bar pin, the bands are easy to swap out. The ZenWatch 2’s design places the wristband near the back of the watch, closest to your wrist. When resting on a desk, the ZenWatch 2 sits flat. It also has an IP67 water-resistance rating, though some bands will be more water tolerant than others, so keep that in mind.
Even though I have the smaller 1.45-inch model on hand for testing, it still felt large on my wrist. To be fair, I have a small wrist which is part of the reason I haven’t adapted to the wearables trend. In fact, finding a smartwatch that will fit my wrist still seems nearly impossible given today’s offerings.
The ZenWatch 2 basically covers my entire wrist and feels bulky. It’s quite likely other users won’t be as sensitive to the size of the ZenWatch 2 as I am, but because it sticks up so high and reaches from one edge of my wrist to the other, I found myself catching the watch on my jacket or sleeve many times during my review.
Our test model came with a 300mAh battery. We generally kept the brightness at about 50% during day-to-day use, and depending on how many notifications and emails we received in a day, combined with the use of various apps, we were able to get a full day of use from the ZenWatch 2 before needing to charge it.