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Gadget Review: Why Asus ZenWatch 2 is a smart bet

Backed by stylish design and sturdy body, the Asus ZenWatch 2 is a likeable addition to the smartwatch segment

Asus ZenWatch 2

Design and display (9/10): The ZenWatch 2 can sit well among the most-valued smartwatches today, offering an intelligent mix of style and technology. It’s available in two sizes and colours — WI501Q is slightly larger and available in gun metal; whereas WI502Q (our review unit) is a tad smaller, and available only in silver. You also get a choice for nearly 18 straps in leather and rubber. Asus has made several improvements on its predecessor. The most notable being the presence of a physical button that allows you to wake up the watch and shut it down. It also gets a stainless steel body, which is also smaller now, and carries more bezel around the square display that Asus has retained from the previous generation. Both models get AMOLED display with a curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The WI501Q has a 1.63-inch display with a resolution of 320x320 and 278ppi pixel density whereas the WI502Q gets a 1.43-inch display with a resolution of 280x280 and 273ppi pixel density.

Battery (7/10): The ZenWatch 2 gets 400mAH battery in the WI501Q and 300mAh in the WI502Q and a magnetic charger that attaches to four metallic points at the back. In the WI502Q, the battery lasted a full day on a single charge, which seems sufficient and comparable to other smartwatches, especially with the pedometer on at all times, and the watch connected to a phone to receive all notifications via Bluetooth. However, a longer battery life would have done wonders. The watch supports fast-charging offering 50% power in 40 minutes.

Hardware and Sensors (8/10): The smartwatch runs on Android Wear OS and comes with 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 4GB internal storage and 512MB RAM. The device also gets an accelerometer and a gyroscope, which helps track activities and fitness goals. Sadly, it relies on the phone for GPS, so, carry your phone along to use it for GPS-based tracking or mapping routes for activities such as trekking, cycling, running. It also doesn’t have a heart rate monitor. However, the watch is IP67 certified, which means it’s water resistant and dust resistant. So, you needn’t have to stress out if water gets near the smartwatch.

Usability (8/10): Despite its tracking limitations, the ZenWatch 2 serves as a smart, unobtrusive window to your important communications. You can use the device to answer/reject phone calls, manage mail and messages, receive notifications from important apps and contacts, check agenda and mute phone by covering its face. It can also be used to activate the phone camera from distance, to unlock your phone as well as serve as a reminder in case you leave your phone behind. The Android Wear OS also adds several of our favourite Google services including support for voice search and commands. Needless to say, one of its major merits is its practicality without appearing chunky. It sits pretty on your wrist like a wrist watch should.

Specifications
Display:
AMOLED, 1.43-inch (280x280) and 1.63-inch (320x320)

Processor: 1.2 GHz Qualcomm S400 Soc
Memory: 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Price: Rs 22,999 (online prices are on the lower side by Rs 8-11K)
Available on: Flipkart.com

Overall rating
8.0 / 10

The guide verdict: If you are looking for a stylish smart device that can help with important daily communication needs and manage your tasks without being obtrusive, the ZenWatch 2 is one of the best options around. On the plus side, it has a pedometer to help you count your steps. But absence of built-in GPS and heart rate monitor makes it a poor choice for fitness tracking.


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