Asus ZenWatch 3 review: Good design doesn’t compensate for slow performance
With the ZenWatch 3, Asus ditched the rectangular exhibit from prior products for a classic round exhibit.
Concentrating more on structure than options, the ZenWatch 3 appeals to a more vogue-mindful viewers – but what is it like on the wrist?
Notice: Android Use 2. is now out there for the Asus ZenWatch 3 in the British isles. We’ve current this assessment with our ordeals of the new program.
ZenWatch 3: British isles selling price
The ZenWatch 3, regardless of its high-finish, high-class appear, costs £249 in the British isles. Although that may perhaps seem to be pricey, it is truly worth bearing in mind that the likes of the Apple Look at Sequence 3 costs £329 as does the Huawei Look at 2, although they offer you options that the ZenWatch 3 lacks – but we’ll occur to that down below.
In fact, if the Asus ZenWatch 3 is equivalent to any smartwatch on the industry at the instant, we’d align it with Fossil’s £249 2nd-era Q Marshal, featuring the two a equivalent appear and equivalent options.
You can buy the Asus ZenWatch 3 from Amazon in the British isles, but also examine out the best smartwatch specials
Design and style and establish
The Asus ZenWatch 3 is fingers-down the finest hunting ZenWatch so much. The enterprise has occur a prolonged way from the days of the cumbersome rectangular 1st-era ZenWatch, and now delivers a high-finish round smartwatch that wouldn’t appear out of place next to classic luxury wristwatches. In fact, we’d go as much as to say that the Asus ZenWatch 3 is a person of the finest-hunting smartwatches ever.
The 3rd-era ZenWatch employs an ‘annular solar eclipse design’ with a diamond-minimize bezel encompassing the beautiful one.39in exhibit. What does that imply? The structure mirrors the appear through an eclipse when the moon addresses the centre of the solar, leaving its outer edges visible.
It is a unique appear for a smartwatch and it adds to the all round high-class appear, in particular when the colour of the bezel matches tiny aspects on the watchface (textual content colour, widgets, and so forth). It is the small matters that count, proper?
The physique is made from 316L stainless steel that was cold solid to make it eighty two per cent harder, and is complimented by classic Italian stitched leather-based straps. Although the straps had been to begin with quite stiff, the leather-based softened around time and grew to become incredibly snug to put on. There are three physique colors out there – Gunmetal, Silver and Rose Gold – every with unique straps, although these can be switched out for any 18mm strap for an extra level of customisation.
It is not only the common structure of the Asus ZenWatch 3 that would make it so desirable, while. It is impressively skinny at 9.95mm and weighs only 48g, building it snug to put on and not far too major or cumbersome for people of us with skinny wrists. It also options IP67 drinking water resistance, which means it can endure for up to half an hour at a depth of 1m.
The ZenWatch 3 has three buttons modelled just after the crown identified on mechanical wristwatches. They offer you shortcuts to a variety of options of the smartwatch: the leading button is customisable and can launch an application or purpose, the center button supplies a range of features, together with access to the Google Assistant and settings, whilst the base button switches on Eco Mode, a mode that extends the battery lifetime of the smartwatch.
Annoyingly for lefties who put on their watch on their proper wrist, there’s no choice to flip the monitor 180° so the buttons are on the left.
Fascinated in one thing a small unique? Take a appear at our pick of the finest smartwatches of 2017.
Characteristics and specs
The ZenWatch 3 has a one.39in AMOLED exhibit which equates to all-around 287ppi and is a person of the brightest, most vivid displays we’ve noticed on a smartwatch regardless of featuring the similar 400×400 resolution as the likes of the Huawei Look at 2. It is also shielded by Corning’s curved Gorilla Glass 3 2.5D, giving the exhibit a scratch-resistant include.
Of class, becoming a smartwatch, there are a lot of watchfaces out there for ZenWatch 3 house owners. In fact, Asus delivers six themes (Luxurious, Digital, Simplicity, Sport, City and Youth) and a range of 50 watch faces in just that are special to ZenWatch house owners.
Outside of that, you have an whole library of generic watch faces out there for smartwatches managing Android Use, and if which is not enough, Asus supplies a FaceDesigner application for Android end users that lets end users to structure a new watch confront with widgets, from scratch.
In terms of processing ability, there’s Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon Use 2100 processor which is optimised for use in smartwatches, featuring improved overall performance and battery lifetime when in comparison to the more mature Snapdragon four hundred processor. It also has 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage for songs.
What does that imply in terms of real-planet overall performance? Although there are no benchmarks we can operate to quantify its overall performance, it is not the snappiest smartwatch we’ve utilized – even with the Use 2100 processor.
Even before we current to Android Use 2. it was generally quite laggy and you identified you accidentally tapping on the erroneous purpose due to the lag.
After updating, this grew to become even worse to the stage where by it could consider ten 2nd to launch the Google Assistant and a pair of seconds before everything occurred just after a button push or faucet on the monitor.
Both way, it makes the watch incredibly disheartening to use: you want you hadn’t bothered seeking to set that timer or reminder,
In terms of battery lifetime, there’s a 340mAh battery. Just before Android Use 2. we identified would last all-around 36 hrs before demanding a charge, but just after this dropped considerably. Now, battery lifetime is unpredictable. One working day it could last to 11pm, but on other days it could conk out before 7pm.
And that is not basically down to heavier use: at times with really mild use the battery will die early, and equally, it can last a comprehensive working day even when you use it to track workout.
The fantastic information is that the magnetic charger options Asus’ individual HyperCharge technological innovation that supplies sixty per cent of charge in only 15 minutes, substantially quicker than a lot of rivals. There is also a battery pack out there that’ll lengthen battery lifetime by forty per cent, in accordance to Asus, although we have not been capable to examination it.
There is Bluetooth four.one and Wi-Fi for standalone connectivity when out of range of the smartphone, although you’ll have to hook up to the Wi-Fi community applying your linked smartphone before it’ll hook up itself.
There is not substantially else that the Asus ZenWatch 3 can do. Like the ZenWatch 2, Asus made the decision versus together with a coronary heart amount keep an eye on just after strike-and-miss success with the 1st-era watch, and nor does it element GPS for correct health and fitness monitoring. It is obvious from these omissions that the ZenWatch 3 is directed more at the vogue-mindful than the health and fitness-targeted.
It is really a disgrace that just after the update to Use 2. the absent coronary heart-amount keep an eye on is rubbed in your confront when the freshly included Google Assistant tells you to talk to it “What is my coronary heart amount?” to which it responds ‘This watch doesn’t have a coronary heart amount monitor’.
In terms of health and fitness monitoring, Asus’ ZenFit application will quickly count steps and encourages you to stand frequently, but with no HR keep an eye on or GPS it truly is very poor at examining your all round activity, so the Google Suit watchface is a person you may in all probability under no circumstances use.
See also: The finest activity trackers 2017
As pointed out above, Asus has released Use 2. for the ZenWatch 3. You can browse about Android Use 2.0’s new features but suffice to say right here that it is substantially improved around its prior edition.
Notifications are much better taken care of (while nevertheless not beautifully) and, of class, you get the Google Assistant. Configurations are a lot easier to access and you can reply to messages applying the miniscule on-monitor keyboard or by producing letters with your finger (a bit like on the Apple Look at).
Applications can now operate independently of your telephone, but you may nevertheless need to have a Wi-Fi connection of class: there’s no LTE edition of the ZenWatch 3.
Finally, while, until Asus fixes the sluggish overall performance of Use 2., you happen to be not likely to be capable to appreciate the new options.
Some end users have explained that disabling the often-on monitor improved responsiveness, but that is not our working experience and even if it truly is a little bit much better, it truly is nevertheless not practically fantastic enough.