Smartwatch segment

Asus ZenWatch 2: Affordable price and sensitive screen

Priced from $229, the watch comes in two display sizes and with three finishes. The crisp display is protected by a curvy Gorilla Glass surface.
Priced from $229, the watch comes in two display sizes and with three finishes. The crisp display is protected by a curvy Gorilla Glass surface.PHOTO: ASUS

At $229, the Asus ZenWatch 2 is probably the most affordable smartwatch in the market. This Android Wear piece comes in two display sizes - 1.63 inches (320 x 320 pixels) or 1.45 inches (280 x 280 pixels) - and with gunmetal, silver or "rose gold" finishes.

It fits a standard 22mm or 18mm strap, which can be found in most stores, so buying a replacement strap is a breeze. The square watch face, with its stainless steel case and rounded corners, is reminiscent of the Apple Watch.

The display is bright and crisp, and is protected by a smooth, curvy Gorilla Glass surface. The screen is sensitive enough to let you swipe through notifications and e-mail with ease. The crown button on the right is used to power up and reset the watch.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: From $229

    CASE MATERIAL: Stainless steel

    COMPATIBILITY: Android 4.3 or higher and iOS 8.2 or higher

    WEIGHT: 60g

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN 4/5

    PERFORMANCE 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY 5/5

    OVERALL 4/5

The watch is IP67 water-resistant, but swimming with it is not recommended.

It is compatible with Android smartphones and iOS devices, but some apps like the Asus ZenWatch Manager are available only on Android. The ZenWatch Manager lets you mute calls by covering the face and unlock the phone by touching the face.

You can customise the face using the 50-plus designs available on the watch, or download the FaceDesigner app to create your own. There is no heart-rate monitor, and you cannot speak into the watch during calls.

On a full charge, the battery averages two days.

Trevor Tan

  • Verdict: For those looking for a decent and very affordable smartwatch, the Asus ZenWatch 2 is the best choice.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Affordable price and sensitive screen'. Print Edition | Subscribe