ASUS introduced its third generation ZenWatch at the IFA trade show on Wednesday. The ZenWatch 3 wearable features a new case design with round display and uses a more energy-efficient hardware platform when compared to its predecessors. The manufacturer claims that its new timepiece can work for two days on a single charge, which is longer than many contemporary Android Wear-based devices. Besides that, it can be charged quicker thanks to HyperCharge technology.

The ASUS ZenWatch 3 (WI503Q) will be one of the industry’s first devices to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC (APQ 8009w) with four ARM Cortex-A7 cores, an Adreno 304 GPU, integrated wireless connectivity (802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS, etc.) and so on. ASUS says that the new SoC consumes 25% less energy when compared to the Snapdragon 400 (which was used for the previous two generations of ZenWatches) and therefore stretches out the battery life of the new device. The new processor is accompanied by 512 MB of LPDDR3 memory, 4 GB eMMC NAND flash storage, six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer as well as an antenna for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The new SoC is not the only improvement under the hood of the ZenWatch 3. The manufacturer claims that the new smartwatch has higher precision activity tracking than predecessors and competitors, which means that the novelty is equipped with improved sensors.

ASUS ZenWatch 3 Specifications
  WI503Q
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100
4×ARM Cortex-A7
Adreno 304 GPU
802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, etc.
RAM 512 MB LDDR3
Storage 4GB eMMC NAND flash
Display 1.39" AMOLED
400×400 resolution
287 PPI pixel density
2-point touch
Display Protection 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Wireless Bluetooth 4.1
Wi-Fi
Sensors 6-axis (G+A), ambient light sensor
Battery 340mAh with quick-charge (15 mins for 60% battery)
Battery life: 1–2 days
Battery pack: 200mA (optional)
Charging Magnetic charging cable
Water Resistance IP67
Color Silver, Gunmetal, Rose Gold
Strap Rubber or leather
Dimensions Diameter: ≦ 45mm
Height: 9.95-10.75mm
Inputs Three buttons, touchscreen
Price €229/$229

Besides changing the hardware platform, ASUS also changed the design of the ZenWatch 3. The new smartwatch comes in a classic round case made of 316L stainless steel that is 9.95 to 10.75 mm thick. Because of the new form-factor, ASUS also had to change the display of its ZenWatch 3 and equipped its device with a 1.39” AMOLED 2-point touchscreen with 400×400 resolution (287 PPI). The case is IP67 water resistant and the display is protected with curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3. ASUS plans to offer three color schemes for its ZenWatch 3 — silver, gunmetal and rose gold, as well as rubber and leather straps. All three versions of the ZenWatch 3 have a distinctive rose gold bezel around the screen to further emphasize the new classic look.

Unlike its predecessors as well as other Android Wear-based smartwatches, the ASUS ZenWatch 3 comes with three buttons. Right now, we do not know what each button does, but the addition of extra two buttons may mean either certain new functions or just improved comfort when using existing ones.

Since the ZenWatch 3 timepiece is Google Android Wear-based, it will be compatible with smartphones running modern versions of Apple iOS and Google Android OSes.

ASUS plans to begin shipments of its ZenWatch 3 this fall. The price in Europe will start at €229 and the price in the U.S. should be similar in USD.

Source: ASUS

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  • zepi - Friday, September 02, 2016 - link

    These look pretty good. How well do android smart watches work with iOS? Are vibration notifications etc for apps nicely configurable and is it possible to read whatsapp / telegram messages on the watch, or is one limited to SMS? Reply
  • RaichuPls - Friday, September 02, 2016 - link

    From my experience, it was severely limited to just displaying notifications that are showing up on iOS currently, with only a "dismiss" option, no other options.

    Only basic watch faces were available, and there's no integration with iOS, IE no setting alarms via "OK Google" etc.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, September 02, 2016 - link

    Still too thick, they are always careful to show images which hide it, but when you see it on someone's hand in real life it looks like they are wearing water meters.

    If the industry had any brains, they'd move the batter away - it can be implemented in the strap - for example those segmented metal staps, and every segment can be a battery cell, with the strap connecting the cells to the watch. This way it would be possible to have much higher battery capacity and thinner watch at the same time.
    Reply
  • Lord of the Bored - Saturday, September 03, 2016 - link

    Problem with putting the battery in the strap is you are suddenly locked to the strap it ships with. One of the reasons I got a Zenwatch 2 was that it used standard watch straps, so when(not if) the strap failed, I could replace it.

    Certainly, metal straps wear far more gracefully than other constructions, but my arms are apparently exceptionally hairy, and the hairs are forever getting caught in the strap and yanked out. As I have no desire to shave my wrists... no metal straps for me.

    Disappointingly, the OTHER reason I got a Zenwatch 2 is that it was square. I like square watches, and am greatly saddened that almost all Android watches are now round.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Saturday, September 03, 2016 - link

    Battery in the strap means you can't swap the strap or use more comfortable (and, depending on the beholder, possibly more attractive) straps of leather or other materials that aren't heavy, cold, hard metal links filled with battery.

    Although if you like the battery in the strap, the Microsoft Band does that.
    Reply
  • hpglow - Monday, September 05, 2016 - link

    You have obviously never seen a decent one. They are a tad thicker than some of my low end Invicta chronographs. I own no smart watch myself due to battery life but of all my co workers that own one I've never said "damn that looks thick" most own apple watches.

    I personally like the form factor of the Samsung Fit2 but I don't need a fitness tracker I just like its dimensionsw.
    Reply
  • sorten - Friday, September 02, 2016 - link

    If you're going to use the IP code for water resistance then you might want to just change the label to resistance. I wasn't familiar with the code until now. The first digit indicates protection against solid ingress protection, with the 6 indicating that it's dust tight. The second digit indicates the level of liquid protection, with the 7 indicating it can handle submersion to 1m depth for 30 minutes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code
    Reply
  • sorten - Friday, September 02, 2016 - link

    Good looking watch. Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Friday, September 02, 2016 - link

    I, for one, am glad that I will have up to 21.6 GFLOPS of compute power on my wrist.

    Adreno 304 on http://kyokojap.myweb.hinet.net/gpu_gflops/

    Glad the display is fully circular without a side taken away. Also, quad-core ... why!
    Reply
  • zepi - Friday, September 02, 2016 - link

    Everybody knows that more cores and MHz equals better. Duh! Reply

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