We knew that ASUS was preparing an Android Wear-powered smartwatch, called the ZenWatch, as the company itself was hard at work teasing the gadget. IFA 2014 might officially start only on the 5th of September, but ASUS has kicked off the show with a special event where the company made the ZenWatch official.
The front is taken up by a 1.63-inch AMOLED screen with 320 x 320 resolution, pretty much like on the Samsung Gear Live, among the first wearables to ship with Android Wear. The similarities with Samsung’s offering don’t stop at the screen and resolution, but also extend to the processor: the ZenWatch is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC, clocked at 1.2GHz. Also inside the case you’ll find 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and a 1.4Wh battery. Bluetooth 4.0 is also present, and the entire build is rated IP55 for splash protection.
In terms of design, as seen in the image above, and video embedded below, the ZenWatch is packaged in a curved stainless-steel case, on top of which a piece of curved Gorilla Glass 3 is offering screen protection. The strap itself is made out of leather, with a simple release latch.
The ASUS ZenWatch also comes with a set of preloaded apps and functions, like “Watch Unlock” – allows you to unlock your phone by touching the watch’s face — “Tap Tap” — double tap the watch to execute a predefined function — as well as others (some of which are pretty self explanatory), like “Cover to Mute,” “Find My Phone,” “Remote Camera” and “Presentation Control”.
A heart rate sensor is also present and ASUS’ own wellness manager on the ZenWatch can gather your health data, including heart rate, as well as step counts (from the pedometer).
September/October is when the ZenWatch should be available (late Q3, early Q4), and it will go for at €199, which is roughly $260.