Today at a press event during Computex, ASUS announced many new Android products, and I'm guessing you'll be intrigued by at least one of them.
Let's get to the headliner: the big news with the ZenWatch 2 is that it now comes in two sizes - 37mm and 41mm (width). The smaller 37mm sports an 18mm strap, with the 41mm having a larger 22mm band. Both have AMOLED dipslays with Gorilla Glass 3, IP67 dust and water resistance, magnetic charging cables, and use unspecified Qualcomm processors (likely still a Snapdragon 400). The ZenWatch 2 has a crown now, too, which ASUS says adds functionality, but isn't exactly specifying how just yet. It's also not clear if the smaller ZenWatch 2 has a smaller screen, or if the case is simply shrunk down a bit.
There will be a variety of first-party straps to choose from, with rubber ones in blue, orange, red, and taupe, leather in khaki, brown, gray, blue, and orange, and a stainless steel band in silver, gunmetal, and rose gold. There will also be a Swarovski Professional leather strap with embossed diamond pattern and, you guessed it, Swarovski crystals. I'm guessing availability of all these bands with vary a lot depending on where you live. The watches themselves will be offered in three finishes matching the stainless steel bands (silver, gray, rose gold).
The new magnetic charger allegedly offers drastically improved charge times and "effortlessly attaches" to the ZenWatch 2, not that we have any illustrations just yet. The remote camera app has been updated, too, and there's a new "next-gen" Wellness app to track your activity. Availability and pricing were not announced.
The next product on the block was ZenFone Selfie which, you guessed it, is basically a ZenFone 2 with a big fat front-facing camera for maximum selfitude. Aside from the camera, the major difference here seems to be the chipset, with ASUS having moved to the increasingly popular Snapdragon 615 octa-core chip on this device, as opposed to the Intel Atom in the ZenFone 2. The front-facing camera has an f/2.2 aperture and 88-degree field of view with 13MP of resolution.
The same 5.5" 1080p IPS display is on board, and the phone will come in seven colors (which, again: availability will vary by market). Release date and pricing were, again, unannounced.
ZenPad S 8.0 rounded out ASUS' Android announcements at the event, and it actually seems pretty decent (even if the looks are... interesting). A quad-core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 (also found in the ZenFone 2) with 4GB of RAM, a 2K IPS display, and a rather impressive 6.6mm thinness. Other details include 16 and 32GB storage models, 5MP front and 8MP rear cameras, GPS, USB Type C connector (!), 15.2Wh battery, and a weight of 299g. Apart from a mention of a "Z Stylus," an accessory that will do stylus things, there was also a battery-boosting ZenCase and a predictably large color selection. A "normal" ZenPad 8.0 and ZenPad 7.0 were also announced, but technical details were scant. If you want to do some digging, the model numbers are: Z370C/CG/CL (7"), Z380C/KL (8" non-S), and Z580C/CA (8" S). Android 5.0 with ZenUI will be on all three. Oh, and there's also a 10.1" version that we have basically no details on other than it will have a detachable keyboard, presumably Transformer Book-style.
Models with and without LTE/mobile data connectivity are expected, and for the third time, still nothing on pricing or availability. The images above depict the standard ZenPad 8.0 (Z380C) on the left, and the ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C) on the right.
Quite a set of announcements from ASUS this evening, or rather, this afternoon at Computex.
Computex, Taipei, Taiwan (1st June, 2015) — ASUS today announced ZenWatch 2, a stylish and personalized wearable device powered by Android Wear and produced in partnership with Google. Crafted with absolute attention to detail using high-quality materials, ZenWatch 2 is a precision watch that serves as a smart companion to Android smartphones, providing wearers with timely information at a glance and letting them get things done with a simple touch or voice command.
ZenWatch 2 is designed to be a truly personal device that wearers can customize even further to express their unique sense of style. Available in two sizes and three stainless-steel case colors, with 18 different strap material and color combinations, and instantly-changeable and customized watch faces along with an app that lets wearers design their own, there is truly a ZenWatch 2 for everyone.
ZenWatch 2 builds upon the original ZenWatch, offering an even more refined design, an improved user experience, and the introduction of completely new functionality. ZenWatch 2 now includes a metal watch crown, enhancing the user experience by a providing new way to interact with the watch. It also comes with an all-new magnetic charger that features effortless attachment and dramatically improved battery recharge times.
Combining sophisticated sensors with all-day comfort, ZenWatch 2 works together with the all-new Wellness smartphone app to serve as a personal activity and fitness manager to help users keep their lives in balance and achieve personal fitness goals.
Fine watch craftsmanship
ASUS ZenWatch 2 continues the tradition of fine watch craftsmanship with its impeccable, detail-focused design and high-quality construction. ZenWatch 2 features a durable stainless-steel case available in two sizes —— and attractive Silver, Gunmetal and Rose Gold colors to comfortably fit anyone's wrist and sense of style. A metal crown adorns the case, echoing traditional watch styling and providing a convenient new way to interact with ZenWatch 2. The watch crystal is designed with a gentle curve for an elegant look and improved usability by providing a smooth surface for easy and responsive swiping gestures. It is made from tough Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 for protection against scratches and damage.
ZenWatch 2 is available with a wide-range of straps in a variety of materials and colors for further personalization. A tough yet supple rubber strap comes in Blue, Orange, Red, and Taupe colors, and is the perfect choice for athletes, people with active lifestyles, or those who like a more casual look. A soft, premium leather strap is available in Khaki, Brown, Gray, Blue, and Orange colors, providing an elegant look that fits any situation. A stainless-steel link bracelet comes in Silver, Gunmetal or Rose Gold colors to perfectly match ZenWatch 2's case colors for a bold, luxury watch look and feel. ASUS has also partnered with Swarovski® Professional to produce a gorgeous leather strap with an embossed diamond pattern and tastefully accented with Swarovski crystals.
Complementing its physical design, ZenWatch 2 comes with instantly-changeable software watch faces. The variety of available designs lets users easily customize their watch to fit any style, mood, or occasion, such as using a traditional, elegant watch face for work or a night out, or changing to a more playful design for use during leisure time. Wearers can even create their own custom watch faces in the new Watch Face Land app for a truly personal and unique ZenWatch 2 experience.
ASUS ZenWatch 2 is powered by the latest version of Android Wear and serves as a smart companion for Android phones by extending functionality and providing wearers with a convenient window to view incoming calls, messages, notifications, and other important information, without having to remove their phone from their pocket or bag. ASUS ZenWatch introduced many exclusive features including deep ASUS ZenUI integration, FoneHelper, activity and fitness tracking, and Remote Camera. ASUS ZenWatch 2 improves upon every aspect of the original ZenWatch experience and offers completely new functionality that takes the wearable experience to the next level.
Enhanced Remote Camera — one of the most popular features of ZenWatch — lets wearers display their smartphone's camera viewfinder remotely right on their wrist. This frees them to take photos from creative angles where the viewfinder would be difficult to see, such as when holding the phone overhead at a concert or other crowded event. Remote Camera is also useful for group photos, letting the photographer compose the photo, release the shutter, and check the final result while being included in the shot. Remote Camera has been improved for ZenWatch 2, offering faster performance, more range, the ability to switch between the phone's front and rear cameras, and zoom capability.
In addition to software improvements, ZenWatch 2 has numerous hardware design improvements that enhance functionality and provide a more convenient user experience. With an IP67 water-resistance rating, ZenWatch 2 is designed to be worn all day, everyday, even in the shower or during exercise. An all-new magnetic charger effortlessly attaches to ZenWatch 2 and offers dramatically improved battery recharge times.
Next-gen Wellness app
Comfortable to wear all day and built with sophisticated sensors, ASUS ZenWatch 2 works together with the completely redesigned Wellness smartphone app to provide a comprehensive solution for managing fitness and overall wellness.
ZenWatch 2 is a full-featured activity tracker that provides additional tracking functionality tailored for activities such as running and cycling.
The next-gen Wellness app lets ZenWatch 2 wearers view all of their activity information in one convenient location. It displays progress towards goals as well as activity summaries with attractive graphs that are easy to interpret and analyze, and can be used to set future fitness goals.
ZenPad is a series of premium tablets that combine refined styling with incredible entertainment and productivity capabilities to redefine the tablet experience and bring true luxury to consumers. Available in three sizes — the 7-inch ZenPad 7.0 (Z370C/CG/CL), the 8-inch ZenPad 8.0 (Z380C/KL) and ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580C/CA) with optional Z Stylus, and the 10-inch ZenPad 10.1 (Z300C/CG/CL) with an optional keyboard — and offering models with Wi-Fi, LTE/3G connectivity and phone functionality, there’s a ZenPad to suit any kind of user.
ZenPad is crafted to provide exceptional entertainment experiences. It has an expansive HD IPS display featuring the exclusive ASUS VisualMaster suite of visual enhancement technologies — including ASUS Tru2Life and TruVivid — that brings advanced image-processing found on high-end TVs to a tablet for the first time and provides comprehensive visual optimization. ASUS Tru2Life analyzes each pixel in an image before it is displayed and performs an intelligent contrast and sharpness adjustments to boost dynamic range, revealing even the smallest details to ensure an incredibly realistic viewing experience.
ASUS TruVivid improves screen clarity, brightness, and touch responsiveness by transforming the conventional four-layer display design — composed of cover glass, a touch panel, air gap, and an LCD module — into a two-layer, fully-laminated design that eliminates the air gap, resulting in higher optical transparency for brilliant color and improved brightness.
Complementing its stunning display, ZenPad is the world's first tablet to integrate DTS Premium Sound™ technology for incredible audio. The built-in DTS-HD coder-decoder (codec) provides high-fidelity sound from all types of multimedia content, and lets users play back or stream movies and music with up to 5.1 channels of DTS surround sound to a connected audio system. ZenPad also includes DTS Sound Studio™ to transform stereo audio into virtual surround-sound that users can enjoy either through ZenPad's speakers or using headphones for immersive entertainment experiences at home or on the go.
ZenPad 8.0 (Z380)
ZenPad 8.0 features clean lines, embossed-leather patterning, and premium styling influenced by fashion accessories such as clutch bags and wallets for a luxurious appearance unique among mobile devices. Ergonomic rounded edges make ZenPad 8.0 comfortable to hold and carry, and its polished metallic frame adds a bold visual accent.
ZenPad 8.0 is the world's first tablet to feature an innovative interchangeable cover design that lets users easily customize their tablet with functional back covers. These can provide extra features and additional color options, while perfectly matching ZenPad 8.0's looks. Zen Clutch is a zsophisticated carrying and protection solution for ZenPad 8.0. Zen Case is another stylish accessory that lets users outfit ZenPad 8.0 in their choice of five sleek or vivid colors and features a fine leather texture. Audio Cover brings immersive 5.1-channel surround sound to a tablet for the first time. Power Case extends ZenPad 8.0's battery life, giving users up to 15 hours of usage to easily get them through their day or even the longest international flights.
ZenPad 8.0 is available with LTE/Wi-Fi connectivity and phone functionality (Z380KL) or as a Wi-Fi-only model (Z380C).
ZenPad S 8.0 (Z580CA)
ZenPad S 8.0 offers the premium ZenPad experience, delivering ultimate style and beauty together with extreme performance. Featuring a gorgeous, Zen-inspired design that fuses aesthetics with functionality, ZenPad S 8.0 is crafted with clean lines, a metallic finish enhanced by an exquisite hairline pattern, and brilliant diamond-cut edges. Just 6.6mm thin and weighing only 298g, it is extremely thin and lightweight, making it perfect to take anywhere and comfortable to hold and use for long periods of time.
ZenPad S 8.0 is equipped with a 2K QXGA (1536x 2048) IPS display with a wide 178-degree viewing angle and an incredible 324ppi pixel density for a stunning, beautifully-detailed viewing experience. It also comes with ASUS Tru2Life Plus, which includes all the benefits of Tru2Life and also improves video with fast action scenes by reducing blur, resulting in for smooth, detailed motion. ZenPad S 8.0 takes tablet performance to the next level. It is powered by a 64-bit Intel® Atom™ Z3580 processor and is the world’s first 8-inch tablet with 4GB of RAM, delivering blazingly fast performance when running the most demanding games and apps, and offering incredibly smooth multitasking.
ZenPad S 8.0 can be used with the optional Z Stylus, making it the perfect device for creative expression. Designed especially for ZenPad S 8.0, Z Stylus provides a natural writing and drawing experience that's as easy as using a pen. With pinpoint accuracy and sensitive multi-touch technology, Z Stylus is perfectly suited for creative tasks such as sketching, painting, and even design work. It supports up to 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and up to a 1.2mm writing tip.
ZenFone Selfie is a unique smartphone designed to capture the best possible selfies, quickly and simply. Featuring front and rear 13MP PixelMaster cameras with dual-color, dual LED Real Tone flash, ZenFone Selfie captures beautiful, natural-looking selfies in gloriously high resolution. The rear camera features a large f/2.0 aperture lens and laser auto-focus technology to ensure near-instant focusing for clear, sharp pictures — even in low-light conditions where traditional cameras struggle.
ZenFone Selfie includes the brilliant ZenUI Beautification mode for live digital cosmetics. A few taps is all that’s needed to soften facial features, slim cheeks, and enhance skin tone to add vibrancy, and all in real time — injecting instant verve into any composition. ZenFone Selfie also has Selfie Panorama mode, which exploits ZenFone Selfie’s f/2.2-aperture front lens and 88-degree field of view to capture panoramic selfies of up to 140 degrees. With Selfie Panorama mode enabled, selfies become a party with all friends included — plus the ability to capture panoramic scenery for stunning backdrops.
ZenFone Selfie has a large 5.5-inch screen that fits in a body that’s a similar size to that of most 5-inch smartphones, for a maximized viewing experience in a compact body that fits comfortably in the hand. It has a high-resolution 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS display with a wide 178-degree viewing angle and staggering 403ppi pixel density that renders every image in eye-delighting detail. ASUS TruVivid technology brings color to life in brilliant clarity, making selfies and other photos look their best. Tough Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 covers the display to help protect against scratches and drops.
ZenFone Selfie features the industry’s first octa-core, 64-bit processor for the perfect balance of multimedia performance and battery efficiency — the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 615. This extraordinarily powerful chip equips ZenFone Selfie to provide the very best multimedia and entertainment experiences, carefully balancing high performance with superior power-efficiency.