Asus just made their much-rumoured ZenWatch, powered by Android Wear, official at IFA 2014. Mitch Yang, Vice President of Asus’ Design Centre, took to the stage during the company’s presentation sporting the watch on his wrist.
With a focus of high quality materials, the ZenWatch features a stainless steel body with a soft stitched leather strap with the familiar “quick release” clasp that seems to be popular with Android Wear device manufacturers. It’s not known yet weather you’ll be able to replace the leather strap with your own.
The ZenWatch certainly gives a good first impression with its shiny metallic design, and Asus does seem to have nailed the leather strap. This could be a good stakes-raiser for future straps shipping with other Android Wear devices.
The watch’s screen is behind 2.5D curved glass, which should satisfy those (like me) concerned with the boxy design and nature of the current crop of devices. Asus says that the curved glass will increase usability and provide a smooth and responsive touch experience.
While the glass is curved, the back of the watch doesn’t appear to be. The curved front continues as seen above, to the attachment points for the straps, which end up a little below the body – this should make the watch a little more comfortable to wear than the G Watch currently on my wrist.
The ZenWatch also features a number of enhancements over existing Android Wear devices with Asus drawing attention to using the watch to unlock your phone, “Tap Tap” – a double-tap function that sounds an alarm on your phone, a remote camera shutter, the ability to mute an incoming call by covering your watch control presentations.
There’s also a “What’s Next?” view which tells you your next appointment, and a “Wellness” app that’ll use the 9-axis sensor to track your activity as well as logging your heart rate, exercise intensity and also your relaxtion level.
It’s not clear yet which of the software features will rely on Asus’ ZenUI Android customisations found on its own products and which will work independently of an Asus host device.
At 199 EUR (AU $280) the ZenWatch is actually coming in above the first generation of Android Wear devices (the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live). It’ll be up to consumers to decide whether the premium look and materials on offer will swing them in Asus’ direction when the device launches.
Specs, courtesy of Phandroid:
- Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 processor with 1.2GHz CPU
- OS System: Android Wear
- Memory: 512MB RAM
- Storage: 4GB EMMC
- Display: AMOLED1.63″, 320×320, 278ppi touch display
- Cover Lens: 2.5D curved Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
- Sensor: 9 Axis Sensor , ,Bio sensor
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
- USB Port: Micro USB on Charging Cradle
- Audio: Built-in microphone
- Battery: Polymer 1.4Wh
- Water Resistance: IP55
- Colors: Silver and rose gold color layering, Brown leather strap
- Size: 50.6 x 39.8 x 7.9-9.4mm
- Body Weight: 50g
- Strap Weight: 25g
We can see from the specs that the watch is indeed waterproof and dustproof, although with an IP55 rating. It’ll also charge in a cradle, much like the LG G Watch.
Local release & pricing information hasn’t been announced by Asus’ Australian arm, but we’ll be watching out for information in the coming days.