Asus has announced the successor to its ZenWatch Android Wear smartwatch at Computex 2015, bringing a number of refinements, as well as two size options.
The original ZenWatch was acclaimed for its design and it was by far one of our favourite Android Wear smartwatches, so the ZenWatch 2 has some high hopes resting on its head.
We have put the ZenWatch 2 up against its predecessor to see how the devices compare and what the differences are. Asus has released most but not all the specs for the ZenWatch 2 so we will be updating this feature as we discover more about the nitty gritty details.
ZenWatch 2 has a more refined design and better customisation
The Asus ZenWatch 2 comes in a 22mm strap size and an 18mm size, following in the footsteps of Apple by catering for those with slightly smaller wrists. The 22mm strap model has a face that measures 49 x 41mm, while the 18mm model measures 45 x 37mm. In comparison, the original ZenWatch measured 51 x 39.9mm, meaning both ZenWatch 2 models are smaller.
The weight or thickness of the ZenWatch 2 watches has not been detailed yet, but the ZenWatch hit the scales at 75g and measured between 7.9 and 9.4mm. As Asus has said the ZenWatch 2 refines the ZenWatch design and the overall bodies of both models are smaller than the original, we would expect slimmer and lighter measurements when the full specs are released.
The biggest difference in terms of design however, is the choice of finishes that comes with the ZenWatch 2 models, as well as the addition of a metal crown for interacting with the device. Asus has introduced three stainless steel case finishes comprising rose gold, gunmetal and silver, as well as 18 strap options that include a range of materials and colours. The new model seems to be the Apple Watch of Android Wear.
Both ZenWatch 2 models are IP67 water resistant, which is a slight bump up from the IP55 rating of the ZenWatch. Asus wanted to make the ZenWatch 2 something you wear all the time, including in the shower.
Both AMOLED display
Both ZenWatch 2 models will offer an AMOLED display but Asus has yet to announce their resolutions and sizes.
The ZenWatch featured a 1.63-inch display with a 320 x 320 pixel resolution, which delivered a pixel density of 278ppi.
Given that the physical body size of both the ZenWatch 2 models is smaller than the original, we suspect a slightly smaller display will be on board with more than likely the same resolution.
Potentially same hardware but new charger for ZenWatch 2
Under the hood, the ZenWatch 2 models feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Asus hasn't detailed the specifics but we suspect it will be the same 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 chip that the ZenWatch arrived with.
The original device came with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, which is likely to be the same for the ZenWatch 2 models.
The ZenWatch 2 battery has also yet to be detailed, although it was heavily rumoured to be better than the ZenWatch's 1.4Wh in the run up to the announcement. While we don't know the battery capacity, Asus has said the ZenWatch 2 will come a new magnetic charger that attaches to it to improve battery recharge times. The larger model will come with a "power cradle" that allows users to attach an extra 1200mAh battery, making the device slightly thicker but the smaller model doesn't offer this option.
Software enhancements for the ZenWatch 2
The ZenWatch 2 models will be powered by the latest version of Android Wear, which has recently had a big update to add a range of new features. The ZenWatch will also receive this update so nothing should be too different here.
Asus has said the ZenWatch 2 will improve on every aspect of the original ZenWatch experience though, by offering "new functionality that takes the wearable experience to the next level".
The Remote Camera function that enables users to see through their smartphone camera lens on their watch face has been improved by offering faster performance and a further reach. The ZenWatch 2 will also offer the ability to switch between front and rear, as well as zoom.
There is also a re-designed Wellness smartphone app to work with the ZenWatch 2, enabling it to become a "full-featured activity tracker".
As with most succeeding devices, the ZenWatch 2 out does its predecessor, but not necessarily in terms of specs and more in terms of the design.
The ZenWatch 2 is smaller, more refined and it offers a great deal more choice than the original when it comes to customisation.
With the different sizes, strap options and case finish choices, as well as the software enhancements, the ZenWatch 2 is the clear choice between these two devices.