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Asus ZenWatch 2 release date, news and features

Asus ZenWatch 2
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Update: Asus has cut the price of the original Asus ZenWatch in preparation for the launch of the ZenWatch 2 to $149 (£159.99, about AU$210).

The Google Play Store is now also selling the new Asus smartwatch in Navy Blue, size 49mm or Light Aqua, size 45mm.

Asus' first Android Wear smartwatch, the Asus ZenWatch, has only been out for half a year, but it's already announced its successor, the Asus ZenWatch 2.

While the ZenWatch 2 may be hot on the heels of the original, it doesn't reflect poorly on the original – despite it being Asus' first attempt at an Android Wear smartwatch we were pretty impressed with the stylish smart timepiece in our review.

This means we're pretty excited about ZenWatch 2, and while it might not be a wearable that will blow the Apple Watch out of the water, we're hoping for another well built and great value wearable.

If you're just as excited to see what's new with the ZenWatch 2, then you've come to the right place, as we've gathered together all the latest news and information about the device.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Asus' next Android Wear smartwatch
  • When is it out? Now
  • What will it cost? $149 (likely £149, about AU$210)

Asus ZenWatch 2 release date

The Google Play Store is now selling the Asus ZenWatch 2. There's been no word on other locations but expect them soon.

Asus ZenWatch 2 design

The design of the Asus ZenWatch was one of its strongest features, so it's good news that the ZenWatch 2 looks pretty similar – though there are some key differences.

There is now a new crown button on the right-hand side of the ZenWatch 2, which will be used to put the smartwatch into standby mode, and could also be used to control the apps on the wearable.

It's also been revealed that the Asus ZenWatch 2, like the Apple Watch, will come in two different sizes; one measuring 49 x 41mm and comes with a 22mm strap, and a version that's 45 x 37mm and attaches to an 18mm strap.

Asus ZenWatch 2

Each size is available in silver, gunmetal and rose-gold whilst there are a selection of straps available in leather, metal and rubber for both models. According to Asus this means there are 18 different colour and strap combinations for the Asus ZenWatch 2.

Asus ZenWatch 2 display

Asus has confirmed that the Asus ZenWatch 2 will have a curved 2.5D AMOLED display that will be protected from scratches by Gorilla Glass 3.

Unlike recent smartwatches like the Moto 360, the Asus ZenWatch 2 won't come with a circular screen, but will in fact be square like its predecessor.

Asus ZenWatch 2

In fact, the screen looks like it will be exactly the same as the one found on the original ZenWatch, which means we can expect a size of 1.63 inches and a resolution of 320 x 320, which leads to a pixel density of 278 ppi.

That's actually a higher density than the LG G Watch R and the Sony Smartwatch 3, and even the Moto 360. What we don't currently know is if both sizes of the ZenWatch 2 will have the same size screen.

Either way, it's pretty bezel heavy. We weren't huge fans of the bezels on the original and it's disappointing to see the wasted real estate return on the ZenWatch 2.

Asus ZenWatch 2 battery

We have high hopes for the ZenWatch 2's battery life, since Asus chief Jonney Shih, boasted that "as a companion device, its central processing unit and operating system should be more simplified than the current version, so that I can use it for up to seven days on one charge, rather than for just two days."

Although a whole week's worth of battery life is pretty impressive, it's probably going to be more like two days of solid use – but that's still a fair bit better than many other smartwatches on the market.

A battery life of almost four days was also bandied about at Focus Taiwan, and is slightly more realistic, and it's also nearly double the life of the original Zenwatch.

When the ZenWatch 2 does run out of juice, it should prove easier to charge thanks to a new magnetic cable.

A mobile power bank known as the Chargeback will also be included with the larger version of the ZenWatch 2 to help you top up the battery when out and about.

Asus ZenWatch 2 hardware and software

Asus has revealed that the ZenWatch 2 will come with a currently undisclosed Qualcomm Sanpdragon chip to power the device.

It's also getting improved water resistance and is now IP67 certified, compared to the IP55 rating of the original. This means that it will be able to be submerged in up to 1 metre of water for 30 minutes, which should be fine if you're taking a quick swim.

Asus ZenWatch 2

Software-wise Asus is sticking with Android Wear for the ZenWatch 2, along with a number of bespoke apps created by Asus.

These include FoneHelper, health tracker Asus Wellness and Remote Camera.

However remarks by Asus CEO Jerry Shen suggests that the new ZenWatch 2 might not be so heavily reliant on being connected to your Android smartphone.

Asus ZenWatch 2 price

The price of the Asus ZenWatch 2 has been revealed at a very low $149 (£159.99, about AU$210). The original ZenWatch launched for $199 (£199, about AU$252).

As there are two sizes we thought the larger ZenWatch 2 would come in at a bit of a higher price, but this it's actually the same as the smaller watch.

The original ZenWatch offered excellent value for money, and it looks like Asus hasn't strayed too far from that template with the launch of its follow up.

This not only means the ZenWatch 2's launch could be imminent, but it also makes the original ZenWatch a much more attractive purchase.

Matt Hanson

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.