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Asus Zenwatch review – Android Wear for the masses

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £200
inc VAT

Asus proves square smartwatches can be sleek - the Zenwatch one of the best Android Wear devices around


Pedometer: Yes, Heart-rate monitor: Yes, Display size: 1.63in, Resolution: 320×320, OS support: Android 4.1+, Battery life: 1-2days


Google still has a big say on what manufacturers can do to Android Wear, but that hasn’t stopped Asus adding a few unique features to the ZenWatch through its own companion app. ZenWatch manager lets you customise the pre-installed watch faces with different colours and useful background information like watch battery, number of steps walked and the current weather. It can also toggle the built-in compass, force the watch to vibrate in case you’ve taken it off and can’t find it and set up an SOS message for your emergency contacts. 

Asus Zenwatch - Compass

We aren’t convinced that the ability to turn the screen white for a rudimentary flashlight will benefit anyone, however; your phone will almost certainly be nearby and that will have a bigger, brighter display, if not an LED camera flash.

Asus has several other watch apps, which have to be downloaded separately. The highlight is definitely Wellness, a health and fitness tracker that displays your daily step goals in a much more user-friendly way than Google’s own limited Fit app. The remote camera watch app, which puts your smartphone camera’s viewfinder on your wrist and lets you trigger the shutter remotely, is also a welcome inclusion and has a few more options than the basic Android Wear version.

Asus Zenwatch - Remote Camera

Even with these tweaks and additions, Android Wear feels snappy and responsive on the Zenwatch. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage are all fairly standard Android Wear internals, but it’s great to see Asus adding extra functionality without compromising on performance.

Otherwise, the ZenWatch matches every other Android Wear device in terms of features and functionality. Google’s steady stream of improvements and the Android 5.0 update have improved the operating system significantly since we last used it, with many of our complaints having been addressed. You can now hide notifications from the main watch face without dismissing them altogether, or undo an accidental dismissal. Recently used watch apps appear at the top of the list when tapping the screen, rather than being buried in alphabetical order, and the music controls are much improved too. 


Android Wear is rapidly coming of age, and manufacturers have realised wearables have to look good before customers will get on board with the technology. With the Zenwatch, Asus has proved that’s possible without mimicking traditional watches completely; the square screen works in its favour and lets it stand out on your wrist, but without the brash styling of LG’s chunky G Watch R. Battery life could certainly be better and the chunky screen bezels are a little underwhelming, particularly when sat side-by-side with the Moto 360, but as a whole package we prefer the Zenwatch. It looks fantastic, will last a full working day and has an impressive amount of built-in features. If you can cope with daily charging, it’s the Android Wear device to buy.

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Heart-rate monitorYes
Display size1.63in
OS supportAndroid 4.1+
Battery life1-2days
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Part codeWI500Q

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