The Asus ZenWatch 2 is being released this Friday, 10/9, and we’re getting a couple of versions right off the bat. This watch is boasting 2 days of battery life, and the functionality you’d expect from any smartwatch at just $149 (or even $129 at Newegg!). It may not be as snappy as the LG Urbane or the new Motorola 360 v2, but it’s a great price for a solid wearable!
Allow me to explain the differences between the two versions of this watch, there are a few things you’ll have to remember:
- There are a 49mm and 45mm version of the Asus ZenWatch 2
- The larger watch has a 1.63″, 320×320, 277 ppi AMOLED touch screen
- The smaller watchhas a 1.45″, 280×280, 273 ppi AMOLED touch screen
- The cases come in three colors (all stainless-steel), but not all are released yet
Does that make it worthwhile to get the larger version? For looks, yes. For functionality, yes. We are talking about a 2-finger touch display (made out of Gorilla Glass). Unless you’re very concerned about how the watch looks on your wrist, a little extra real estate will go a long way when you get into 2-finger gesturing. Additionally, the sleek styling of the larger watch’s case makes it look really sharp.
From the Google Store there are two different strap variations as well, but they are both $149. From Newegg, there are two strap variations: One leather and one rubber with the rubber-strapped watch costing just $129.
Google Store: A larger watch with a leather strap and gunmetal case (left) and a smaller watch with a rubber strap (right).
Newegg: A smaller watch with a leather strap (left, not to scale) and a larger watch with a rubber strap (right)
Compatibility and features
Like most of the Android Wear watches coming out, this watch works great with Android phones just like you’d expect. It has a pedometer and wellness app built in, as well as support for a bajillion watch faces and a ton of apps already available in the store.
If you’re an iPhone owner and trying to find a smartwatch that’s less than $450 that works with your phone, this is what compatibility you can expect:
- Supported by iOS 8.2+ devices
- Receiving notifications
- Google Now cards
- Voice queries (Google search)
- Limited voice actions
- Answering and dismissing calls
Android Wear is doing a pretty good job targeting the iPhone market, but if you’re willing to drop the cash an Apple Watch is still your best bet.
But those straps suck
No joke. Thankfully they have standard 22mm and 18mm straps (for the larger and smaller watches, respectively). That means that you can pick up your own straps (or use straps that you already own) to personalize these watches without the hassle of hunting down proprietary straps. NATO straps come in 22mm and 18mm, which would be my choice for a strap. An extra $10 purchase takes the whole strap choice out of the decision making for this watch. About time smartwatch manufacturers started aligning with the rest of the watch world!
I want an Asus ZenWatch 2 Now. Bad. Which one should I get?
If you would forgive my shitty photoshop skills, I tried my best to resize the watches so that we could look at them for a direct comparison. My choice is the larger newegg offering. I really like the simplicity of the all stainless look that Newegg has on their watch that is priced at $129, and the screen size looks more proportionate to the size of the watch, even though there is a relatively large black bevel around both watches. I know it comes with a brown rubber strap, but that’s easy to replace with a 22mm NATO strap. I can see how some people may prefer the gunmetal case of the Google Store watch with the detail of the gold crown button on the side of the watch. It’s not my style, but I get it. And that navy leather strap looks much sharper than the other straps to be sure.
We’ll be sure to update this article when we hear from Newegg. Article has omitted all of the “wtf Newegg” content. Everything was sorted out by noon. gg Newegg! If you figure it out first, drop us a line in the comments, FB or Twitter.
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