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Hands on with the Asus ZenWatch 2

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Sep 2, 2015, 8:56 AM   by Rich Brome

The ZenWatch 2 is an Android Wear watch available for an unusually low price of well under $200. We checked it out.

Like many smartwatch makers this year, Asus is following Apple's lead in many areas. The ZenWatch 2 comes in two sizes and three colors of stainless steel, with a multitude of strap options. The screen is square.

ZenWatch 2  

Android Wear is a platform that standardizes much of the watch functionality. As this is a more affordable model, you won't find extras like GPS and offline music player. exclusive Asus apps like watch-to-watch messaging seem of very limited use. (You need another Asus watch to talk to, and it's really only useful when you're near that person, and missing a phone or cellular coverage.)

What stands out about the ZenWatch 2 in person is the screen. Unfortunately, it's not in a good way. First, there's a lot of bezel; it's a large watch for such a small screen, regardless of which size you choose, although the issue seems more pronounced on the smaller version.

Second, while I'm normally a fan of curved glass, the curved glass here just contributes a ton of glare. It's much more difficult to see the screen than it should be, and it's all due to the shape of the glass. Apple an others do a better job by curving only the edges and leaving the center flat.

It's hard to beat the price, though. Any Android Wear watch delivers a lot of functionality, and the ZenWatch 2 reaches a good entry-level price without looking like a toy.

About the author, Rich Brome:

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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