Asus ZenWatch 3 in-depth review - Circle of Zen

Asus have bitten the bullet and with the third iteration of their fantastic ZenWatch series have gone with a circular face for ZenWatch 3.

 Asus ZenWatch 3 Review - Circle of Zen
4.5

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,8/31/2016 2:38:29 PM

9

out of 10

Performance

10

out of 5

Look and feel

9

out of 5

Ease of use

9

out of 5

Features

10

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Premium looks | Battery saving features | quick charge | IPX67

Cons:

Size could be a bit big for some

- By Sunetra Chakravarti

Launched at Berlin, the ZenWatch 3 is perhaps the most luxurious product launched by Asus at IFA 2016- they are better known for their affordable range of computing products.

ZenWatch 3 runs on Android Wear and comes with Google Now onboard. However, in a slight departure from the ZenWatch 2, this one has been created with luxury in mind. In hand, the watch looks like a worthy competitor to the new smartwatch that Michael Kors are launching and in many ways like the Huawei Watch.

And they are onto a good thing… The ZenWatch 3 aims at addressing several issues that have plagued smartwatches and wearables in particular since they became a fad.

There is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor onboard with a 340mAH battery which comes with special battery saving features that helps the watch go through two whole day without needing time on the magnetic charger. Although, even when you do actually set it down on the charger, it will not be for long. Asus promise that the ZenWatch 3 can be charged upto 60 percent in 15 minutes and if this is still too long for you, there are battery packs available separately.

It is also IPX67 rated so the watch is dust tight and can last in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. So, ok in the shower, but maybe not for open sea swimming.

Hold the ZenWatch 3 in you hand and the quality of the finish is obvious. I had a very quick look at one with a leather band, there is also a rubber band option available…

The metal on the phone is jewellery-grade 316L stainless steel, and there are three versions available- Gunmetal, Silver, and Rose Gold.

82 percent stronger than regular steel, the metal ensures wear and tear isn't readily visible on the watch and there is a narrow rose gold metal detail sandwiched between two metal bands giving it a really exclusive look and feel.

Instead of the usual one, there are three crown buttons and can be programmed to open apps quickly with the press of a button. There are 50 different watch faces that Asus have created for the watch apart from the usual Android wear options but if you are not happy with them then you can use the FaceDesigner app to plumb together a bespoke one for yourself.

Onboard, there is Asus’s custom ZenFit activity tracking app which promises an industry-leading 95 percent accuracy. I will only be able to verify this once I have reviewed the watch, but it also promises to track a wide range of activities like walking, running, push-ups, sit-ups.

Early verdict

The ZenWatch 3 looks very premium. The battery saving feature and IPX7 rating are thoughtful additions- with a range of design and watch face options available, the watch looks like it could be a quiet winner.

However, the launch date and pricing will be very important while deciding that and if it stays around the £260-ish mark, it could do really well in the Christmas gift market.

 

ZenWatch 3 specifications

Website: asus.com

Price: £TBA (currently priced at Euros 269)

Operating System: Android Wear

Dimensions: Diameter: ≦ 45mm; Height: 9.95-10.75mm 

Resolution: 287ppi

Display: 1.39-inch AMOLED display

Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 2100; 512MB RAM LDDR3

Camera: NA Memory: 4GB eMMC Flash

Battery: 340mAh with quick-charge (15 mins for 60% battery)

Fingerprint sensor: NA

Misc: Battery pack: 200mA (optional); IPX67; available in Silver, Gunmetal, Rose Gold