Best Buy Review by ThisIsNot
The best Android Wear watch on the market
I've gone through a bunch of Android Wear watches over the last 3 years in hopes of finding the right one. I would either return a model or end up selling one for various reasons ranging from a lack of software updates, poor performance, or the use of outdated internal hardware.
Enter the Asus ZenWatch 3. It is the best Android Wear watch I have used and I plan on keeping it. This was supposed to be the first watch running Android Wear 2.0 but Google has delayed that until February so Asus continued with the ZenWatch 3 launch and it will be one of the first watches to receive the update. Asus has equipped the watch with a new Qualcomm chip, the Wear 2100, made specifically for smart watches. Performance has increased a bit over the last generation of processors while battery life has increased by quite a bit.
The ZenWatch 3 is buttery smooth. I have owned it for almost two months now and not once have I experienced stuttering or freezing. Battery life is enough to get me through the day. I leave the display on (it goes into a darker power saving mode) and the watch is usually down to about 32%-45% by the time I plug it in (about 17 hours). It would be at about 68% by the same time with the display turning off, I didn’t see any reason to enable this feature unless you’re trying to go 2 days without recharging this.
Notifications pop up almost at the same time on the watch as they do my phone, the vibration is strong enough that I always feel it, and the built-in speaker and microphone have surprisingly good quality for their size. There have been times when I’ve taken a call using my watch because my phone was in another room. I could hear everyone clearly and they could hear me without problems.
My main draw to this watch was the design. It actually looks like a watch instead of coming off like one of those square Casio calculator watches from the 80’s. The display is round and it doesn’t have the fat tire look like the Fossil, Michael Kors, and Moto 360 watches do. That is a huge plus that puts this watch above most others. The rose gold accents are nice and the brown stainless steel is durable. I’m not a big fan of the brown leather straps that it comes with but Asus is working on coming out with new colors.
The ZenWatch 3 recharges with a cable that magnetically attaches, this is not a QI wireless enabled watch. I’m OK with that though. The charger automatically snaps into place and it features Qualcomm’s quick charge technology. The watch will reach 60% power (from 0%) in 15 minutes, it normally takes mine about half an hour before it is fully recharged (starting at 35%).
Asus has included a bunch of watch faces and they can be fully customized using their Android-only app. There are a bunch of different options from Google as well. You can also download new watch faces if you don’t like any of the included ones.
There are two features missing from the ZenWatch 3 which are found in others: NFC and a heart rate monitor. I don’t care about the heart rate monitor, I’m not going to wear my watch while exercising as the leather will get ruined rather quickly. The lack of NFC means that the ZenWatch 3 cannot be sued for Android Pay. It’s something I wish they would have included but it’s also something that I won’t really miss.
The ZenWatch 3 may not be the most feature-packed smart watch on the market but it is the best looking Android Wear watch because it actually looks like a watch. The price for this is less than the extremely expensive watches from Huawei, the added feature of the Huawei Watch (the heart rate monitor) isn’t worth the $350 price tag over the ZenWatch 3.
I highly recommend this watch for anyone on the market for an Android Wear smart watch that actually looks like a watch and won’t break the bank.