Asus' ZenWatch series has gained a small but dedicated following since the original version was released thanks to the gadget's understated style and low price. The second watch in the series is now available on the US version of the Google Store, and unless we're mistaken, it's the first time the Android Wear device has been available for purchase in the country. The price is $149.99, quite low compared to competing Wear devices, and it's shipping now. Before today it was marked as "coming soon."
The ZenWatch 2 uses the ubiquitous Snapdragon 400 chipset with 4GB of storage and half a gig of RAM. While the design doesn't include extras like a heart rate monitor or speaker, it can be forgiven a somewhat Spartan spec list due to its low price. You also get a choice of two sizes and colors: the larger watch with a bronze-colored body and a blue band is 49.6 x 40.7mm, while the smaller model with a steel body and white band is 45.2 x 37.2mm. That's quite large compared to standard wristwatches, but pretty standard for Wear at the moment. The bigger model gets a 320x320 AMOLED screen and a 400mAh battery, while the smaller one uses a 280x280 screen and a 300mAh battery. Both models have Gorilla Glass and an IP67 water resistance rating. Strangely both sizes have the same price, despite earlier indications that the smaller model would be cheaper.
Ryan Whitwam called the ZenWatch 2 "the first true entry-level Android Wear watch" in his full review, praising its long battery life, leather band, and low price, while lamenting the chunky build and bezel of the larger model and somewhat mushy crown button. At the moment both the larger and smaller ZenWatch 2 models are shipping in 1-2 business days from the Google Store. We are expecting a European launch sometime this month, along with a wider retail release and metal band options, so keep an eye on your local Google Store and other retailers if you're outside the US.
- Google Store