Asus showed off a new smartwatch Wednesday that offers an elegant look and embraces the round design that’s become the norm in the world of Android Wear.
A major talking point for the ZenWatch 3 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor, a new processor aimed specifically at optimizing performance and battery life in wearables like this. This is the first round Android Wear watch from Asus, and it comes in three different configurations: gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. The ZenWatch 2 was well received in our review, though clearly the round look is where the company wants to go next.
The watch is 9.95mm thick, which makes it just a bit thinner than the current Moto 360 and Huawei Watch. The 1.39-inch AMOLED screen comes in at 400 x 400 pixels, which comes out to 287 pixels per inch (ppi). That’s slightly better than the Huawei Watch, but it’ll take some hands-on time to really see how sharp and vibrant the display is.
Instead of just one crown button, the ZenWatch 3 has, well, three. One acts like a kind of home button like you find on other Android Wear watches. Another is customizable, and a third is tied in specifically to an Asus ZenFit activity tracking app.
Asus says you’ll get “95 percent” accuracy from using its own tracking service compared to the many alternatives. Be that as it may, it may be off-putting to see a hardware button directly linked to bloatware. Of course, if the step accuracy is actually improved it could be worth trying out, as your step count can vary quite a bit between different tracking apps.
The watch will be available here in the U.S. and in Germany in October for about $255. It’s likely to be in a crowded field of competing watches, so you’ll have a lot of alternatives if you’re looking for a new smartwatch.
Why this matters: IFA is when we start to see the new announcements from companies that want a fresh offering for the holiday season. The ZenWatch 3 looks pretty nice, though it’ll take a more detailed test to see if it should be your new smartwatch since competitors from Motorola, Huawei, Sony, Samsung, and others will soon come down the line with new gear.