The Asus ZenWatch 2 is the most affordable smartwatch yet

At S$229, you have no reason to say this smartwatch is too expensive to strap onto your wrist

You probably aren’t keen to get a smartwatch yet. Not when the likes of the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S2 cost in the range of S$400 to over S$1000.

That barrier to entry is finally broken by Asus with the ZenWatch 2. Available in Singapore from 14 November, the Android Wear smartwatch is priced at S$229, making it the most affordable smartwatch to date.

“Smartwatch prices are still high and not many people know how to use them,” said Leo Tseng, country manager, Asus Singapore.

Tseng highlights that smartwatches, according to research firm GfK, are priced between US$299 to US$349, which makes it less appealing for users to pay this much for something they’re not familiar with. “People still don’t know how smartwatches can help their lives. By making the price attractive, we hope to set the standard and attract new users to adopt a smartwatch,” he added.

Specs-wise, the ZenWatch 2 has quite an impressive hardware list. Two watch sizes, the 1.45in Wren and 1.63in Sparrow, are housed in a silver casing with a khaki leather strap or gunmetal casing and navy blue leather strap respectively. Additional strap options are also available, costing S$39 each.

In terms of hardiness, the ZenWatch 2 is equipped with a durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display, a boon for those who constantly hit their watches while they work. On top of that, its IP67 water-resistant housing means you won’t find a dead watch if you forget to take it off the wrist while you’re in the shower.

Deeper within, the ZenWatch 2 is armed with a suite of apps to enhance the user experience. This includes a FaceDesigner app that lets you create unique watch faces and a Remote Camera function. The latter turns the watch screen into a viewfinder for your smartphone’s camera, allowing you to take overhead shots and frame your shots with the smartwatch rather than stretch your neck upwards to look at the phone’s screen. Fitness tracking is also built in, with the Wellness app monitoring your activity through the watch’s built-in pedometer and other activity sensors.

If you’re not reading every notification and thoroughly abusing the ZenWatch 2, it’s rated with a two-day battery life. Charging is done through a magnetic connector that latches on easily to the watch, and brings the battery from zero to 50% within 36 minutes.

One last thing, the ZenWatch 2 plays nice with both Android and iOS devices. Pair it with an Asus smartphone and you’ll discover a deeper integration with the ZenUI. A little reminder of your next appointment via What’s Next or what you’ve put off and require your attention later with Do It Later makes the ZenWatch 2 more than just a simple notification accessory.