Saturday , August 19 2017

What’s next for the Zenwatch? Jonney Shih talks battery life, simplified OS and chips.

Asus ZenWatch

Asus is talking about a successor to the ZenWatch even before the original even hits our shores. FocusTaiwan reports that chairman Jonney Shih opening up about Asus’ plans for the Zenwatch line going forward at an Asus party marking the launch of the first Zenwatch in Taiwan in late December.

The major claim everyone’s reporting is a desire for 7 day battery life, but Shih tied this desire to a claim that the OS and chipset need to be simplified in order to achieve the battery life outcome. Asus sees the Zenwatch as a companion device to a smartphone rather than a standalone device in and of itself, and thinks it shouldn’t need the chips it needs to do what it does.

They might have a point.

Most Android Wear watches run a SnapDragon 400, pretty much the guts of a mid-range Android phone. GSM Arena points out that both Qualcomm and MediaTek are looking to sell smartwatch-specific chips this year, but even with tailor-made silicon inside it’s hard to imagine a sevenfold increase in battery life for an Android Wear device.

Whether Asus plans to get this battery life increase whilst keeping the Android Wear foundation for its watch isn’t clear.

One of the biggest draws on battery life is the colour LCD screen, so it’s possible Asus intends to use an e-ink or some other kind of low power display in place of the large colour LCD. That doesn’t seem like it’d make for a good experience with Android Wear – at least, not in its current form. It sounds more like a fitness tracker than an actual smart watch to us, and that could be where the simplification lies.

Whether Asus is planning a divorce from Android Wear or a more diverse product line (perhaps something that can pair with both Android and iOS devices?), they’ve announced that they intend to make a followup to the original Zenwatch, currently pinned for a Q3 launch.

What would you sacrifice from your Android Wear device for extra battery life? Tell us in the comments!

 
Source: FocusTaiwan.
Via: GSM Arena.

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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4 Comments on "What’s next for the Zenwatch? Jonney Shih talks battery life, simplified OS and chips."

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SlasheeTheCow
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SlasheeTheCow

Isn’t the main power draw on a smartwatch the screen anyway? More efficient processors aren’t gonna help with that.

Although I guess there’s a reason the Pebble has both a much lower power screen AND a lower power processor, as well as a very simplified operating system.

vijay alapati
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vijay alapati

i think snapdragon must design a separate processor for androidwear devices as we dont needs radio and other stuff as this completely relies on Bluetooth (though wifi might turn up in new versions). make the processor simple and efficient in battery.

David Anderton
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David Anderton

Go the E-ink

Phill Edwards
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Phill Edwards

Great to hear a manufacturer is taking battery life seriously. That’s the massive elephant in the room at the moment.

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