Given the PC slump, Taiwanese consumer notebook vendor ASUS has been trying to explore new businesses like smartphone and tablet in recent years. Actually, tablet is ASUS’s second largest product category, accounting for 20% of the company’s total earnings last year. To further diversify the business, ASUS debuts its first smartwatch product ZenWatch at IFA in Berlin yesterday to tap the burgeoning market.
ZenWatch features a stylish design with stainless steel case, brown swappable Italian leather wristband and rose-gold-colored band inset. Compared with other smartwatch manufacturers, ASUS puts more emphasis on refining the design and craftsmanship, probably because the products is aiming for people who like luxury watches. Here are specs of the product.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400 with 1.2GHz CPU
- OS: Android Wear
- RAM: 512MB
- Storage: 4GB
- Screen: AMOLED 1.63-inch, 320×320
- Battery: 1.4Wh
- Water Proof: IP55
- Size: 50.6 x 39.8 x 7.9-9.4mm
- Weight: 50g
ZenWatch features a curved square screen, not following round display trend acclaimed by other smartwatch makers like Moto, LG, Geak Watch, and inWatch. But this design could cause users concerns since round dial plate design might better suits people’s aesthetics for a wrist timepiece.
In terms of operating system, ZenWatch is enabled by ZenUI which is based on Android Wear, the wearable platform Google released in March. The adoption of Android Wear OS may be an advantage for ZenWatch to tap other markets, but it could be an obstacle for its inroads in Chinese market. The user experience of Google service-based Android Wear may be harmed in China, since some Google services are blocked here. Chinese smartwatch brand Geak Watch once considered to adopt Android Wear for the second generation of its product, but eventually gave up due to this reason.
Asus is also going for health and fitness features by integrating “Bio sensor” which is used to measure relaxation levels and 9 Axis Sensor to measure steps taken, heart rate, calories burned, etc.
The product is sold for 199 Euros (US$260) in Europe, but the price tag may vary according to different markets. ASUS did not release shipment timetable for ZenWatch this time.
image credit: NetEase