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Asus ZenWatch 2 review: It convinced me to wear a smartwatch every day

Florence Ion | Oct. 16, 2015
It's a solid, stylish device with a battery that lasts the entire workday.

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Credit: Florence Ion

I’m so happy to have finally found an Android Wear watch I like. The ZenWatch 2 isn’t perfect, but it’s managed to fill the void until other smartwatch makers start catching on that it’s really what a watch looks like that matters most.

Android Wear is still in its infancy, but that’s okay. It’s Google’s job to work on the software and pump it up with features that users will find helpful. And as Google is busy toiling away at that, the manufacturers are taking this time to figure out how to make a beautiful watch. In Asus’s case, it was ahead of the curve with the first-generation ZenWatch, and it’s still there with the second-generation ZenWatch 2.

Pretty, pretty, pretty good

The ZenWatch 2 comes in two sizes: a 1.63-inch version with a 400mAh battery pack, and a smaller 1.45-inch version with a 300mAh battery pack. The latter is meant for ladies, though that wasn’t made explicit when I first went hands on with the device. I asked Asus if they’d send me the smaller version to review and I’ve worn this watch almost every single day since I got it.

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The ZenWatch 2 with the Raw Vegan Blonde watchface.  Credit: Florence Ion

What do I like about the ZenWatch 2? It’s stylish. And even though its chassis is a bit thicker than your average wristwatch, it gets mistaken for the Apple Watch all the time. I also love that the default band is a pinkish neutral, so it matches most of my wardrobe. When I’d wear watches like the gold-toned LG Watch Urbane or the original black-on-black Moto 360, I felt like I was wearing something I’d borrowed from my Dad. With the ZenWatch 2, I feel like I’m wearing a watch that was actually made with me in mind.

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The leather band is actually pretty comfortable. Credit: Florence Ion

The ZenWatch 2 comes in three colors: black, silver, and gold, with various styles of bands. There are ones with milanese loops and different colored leather bands—I’ve seen most in person, though the silver one is what I’ve got on.

zenwatch2 crown 
The crown of the ZenWatch 2 is just a button. Credit: Florence Ion

There’s a crown on the right-side of the chassis that mirrors traditional watches, though all it does it turn the screen on and off (or press-and-hold to launch apps). It’s not as intrusive as the Watch Urbane’s crown, which would often dig into my wrist if the watch band was loose.

 

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