Berlin debut for the Asus ZenWatch
By Paul Ridden
September 3, 2014
Asus has today announced the ZenWatch, the company's first wearable powered by Android Wear. The 7.9 mm-thin smartwatch features a 2.5D curved glass face that's said to cater for more natural and responsive swiping gestures. As well as pairing with any smart device running Android 4.3 or higher courtesy of Bluetooth 4.0, the ZenWatch can also act as a "wellness manager."
The ZenWatch sports a 1.63-inch, 320 x 320 resolution AMOLED display housed in a stylish stainless steel case with a rose-gold colored band between the steel layers. The smartwatch includes a special version of the Asus ZenUI user interface, with the option to choose from a number of interchangeable watch faces to fit the mood or occasion.
It serves up call and message notifications and event reminders from a paired device. Users can remotely unlock a smartphone using the wearable, cover the display to mute an incoming call, and locate a misplaced paired device. It can also be used as a remote viewfinder and shutter release for the paired device's camera.
At the heart of the 39.8 x 50.6 x 7.9 mm (1.56 x 1.99 x 0.3-in), 75 g (2.65 oz) ZenWatch beats a Qualcomm APQ8026 SoC, the same chip that takes care of business for LG's G Watch and Samsung's Gear Live smartwatches. There's 4 GB of onboard storage, 512 MB of RAM, and a 369 mAh battery.
The smartwatch also has personal fitness functionality thanks to the inclusion of the company's Wellness app and a 9-axis integrated sensor. It will take on the role of pedometer, let users know how many calories they've burned, keep tabs on the wearer's heart rate and monitor personal fitness goals.
Asus Design Center Vice President Mitch Yang confirmed that pricing in Europe will be €199 (about US$260, though no mention was made of Stateside availability).
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