24 Hours With The Asus Zenwatch 2

While I’m definitely a tech geek, I tend to be more interested in useful and worthwhile. But, I’ll go with cool and this could be fun now and then. I’ve had some extra birthday money sitting around, and there’s just about nothing else I’m interested in or need. At least that’s fun. I could get a new Kindle, but, I don’t really need. New tablet? Nah. Mine’s not particularly fast, but, I do not use it that much. I have plenty of bluetooths. So, I figured maybe I would give a smartwatch a chance. I’ve been using a Fitbit Charge since around Christmas, and I love it. Lightweight, keeps track of steps, and alerts me to calls. It can be hard to feel the vibration from the phone through a case on my belt, and often too loud to hear the ring tone.

Most smartwatches are too big and/or way more than I wanted to spend. $200 is my limit for what is essentially a fun toy. The Samsung Gear S2 is a nice size, but, too expensive and not Android Wear, which is also a requirement. The Motorola 360’s are nice, and the Sport has a nice price range at $199, but, it is too big. I have thick wrists but not really wide wrists, so, a 42mm round is about my limit. Most are bigger.

I really liked the price range of the ASUS Zenwatch 2’s, which come in two sizes: 1.63 and 1.45. They are slightly rectangular watches. I tried the 1.63 a few weeks ago, but, it was way too big. The nice thing was that it is one of only two Android Wear watches with a speaker, so you can have a speaker phone conversation. Alas, I returned it.

Since, I’ve been waiting for Best Buy to have the 1.45 size one in stock. I picked one up Wednesday morning. Sadly, no speaker, but, then, I do not like speaking on speaker phone in the first place. So, no biggy, considering the price of $149 (plus an extended warranty). I’ve been playing with it since. It is a very nice looking watch, and the design is pleasing. I have a lot of watches, and some of my favorites are square.

Here’s the problem: it is not all that comfortable. The watch band attachment points, like so many smartwatches, are in the middle of the watch rather than at the bottom, so, it kinda sits up. It’s not really that thick. I have other watches as thick. But, it feels weird. Width across my wrist is good, though.

Trying to look at it and use it is problematic. When you turn your watch to look at it, how much do you turn your wrist? So that you are looking dead on at it? Or mostly at an angle? Correct, at an angle. So, with an AMOLED screen, it can be difficult to see and tap (this kinda applies to all smartwatches with this type of screen).

And it is very difficult to see in the sun, which I am in a lot. I tried using it to keep score while walking 9, and it was tough. How easy is it to see your phone in the sun? Boom.

It lost connection 3 times today, which seemed to happen when I received a call while testing that. Most likely it was interference with the Fitbit. So, I disable the Fitbit, and the phone rang twice before the Zenwtach 2 started ringing. Rather defeats the purpose of using it to make sure I am getting notifications.

It was unable to use the phone to pinpoint my location in the GPS app (which is the Google one). However, it was cool that I could do an “OK Google” and tell it to navigate to Sheetz, the phone would set it up, and I could see it on the watch, which would vibrate as a turn was coming up. There are lots of cool things like that you can do.

It was also unable to properly connect with the MyRadar app (if you like awesome radar, get this on phone) most times.

Customization is rather cool, though. I put an app on it to see all my texts. I had one which allowed me to see what was on the camera, so, I could put it over my shoulder or under something and see what was going on. No, not pervy. I had to reset the garbage disposal with a hex wrench, and used the camera to see the spot to put it in (stop. Not pervy). I could see things like Google’s Keep, which I use a lot. I had a calendar. Helpful things. And some great clock faces. One was using a weather program with a NY Giants logo.

If you don’t mind wearing a smartwatch loose so you can rotate it, it might work for you. Of course, if you are getting a little older and have trouble focusing in (I wear contacts for distance, and have zero problem with close up with them out and not wearing glasses, but, with them in? Yikes), things are small and difficult, especially at an angle.

I might look at the Fitbit Blaze with its updates for notification (what I need is text and calls) or the Fitbit Charge 2 when it is released.

Another option is a Pebble. Since they use a paperwhite type screen, much like Kindles, you can see them in the sun.

I don’t want to totally trash Android Wear and other smartwatches. They just aren’t for me at this time.

Do you use one? What’s your opinion?

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One Response to “24 Hours With The Asus Zenwatch 2”

  1. JGlanton says:

    I’ve got no use for such a thing. I don’t even like wearing a normal wristwatch, though. As a non-visual navigation aid, it interests me. But that could be done by a little earpiece prompter like Hillary uses in case she gets questions that are harder than “what color are the seats on your new airplane?”.

    I know three women who wear iWatches 24/7. They’re constantly distracted by them. You can’t eat dinner or watch a movie or enjoy the sunset without those things buzzing and flashing and interrupting conversation. The little bastards buzz under the pillow while I’m trying to sleep. For important 3am news, like her friend’s step brother’s cousin got a new tattoo. I have learned to ignore them during sex, because, sex. At first it was awkward, like when deep in the passion zone and holding her wrists when suddenly “Oh, you got a text”. But now it’s just background noise. You can use them to check how many orgasms she had. So there’s that.

    I’ll wait for the day when the whole phone is replaced by the watch.

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