ZenWatch 2 runs Android Wear Asus-style


— 6:08 PM on September 2, 2015

Asus has crafted the follow-up to its ZenWatch, the ZenWatch 2, and it comes in two face sizes: 1.63" and 1.45". The company not-so-subtly indicates that the bigger version is meant "for him," while the more petite one is "for her." There's no accounting for taste, but both watches look stylish enough to my eyes:

These smart timepieces are made of stainless steel in three colors—black, silver, and "rose gold." There's a crown button on the side that's supposed to let owners interact with the watch "intuitively." 18 straps should let wearers tailor the watch to their own unique styles. With the Asus FaceDesigner app, owners can download their choice of 50 watch faces or roll a design of their own.

The ZenWatch 2 charges with a magnetic connector on the back of the body, and Asus claims that 36 minutes of juice are good for a 50% charge. The company says the larger version's 400-mAh battery is good for 66 hours in "Ambient Mode," while the smaller ZenWatch 2's 300-mAh battery will last 57 hours. Heavier use might drain those cells quicker, though.

And now for the tech specs. Much like the original ZenWatch, these new baubles run on Android Wear. The screen is a 1.6," 320x320 AMOLED unit protected by a curved sheet of Corning's Gorilla Glass 3. The smaller version has a 1.45", 280x280 screen instead. These watches get their brains from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 APQ 8026 SoC clocked at 1.2 GHz with 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of eMMC flash handles any local storage needs.

The ZenWatches communicate with the outside world with Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi. The physical dimensions are 2" x 1.6" (50 mm x 41 mm) for the larger model, while the smaller one measures 1.8" x 1.5" (45 mm x 37mm). Both models are IP67-certified, meaning they're moderately dust- and water-proof.

Asus says the ZenWatch 2s will be available in October in Europe, but there's yet no word on a stateside release. Pricing is set at 169€ ($191) for the larger one, and 149€ ($167) for the smaller version.

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