There has been an influx of wearable technology devices in the market for the past two years. Although adoption rate was not as fast as expected, this news did not deter manufacturers from innovating and coming out with new wearable technologies. Today, we are going to focus our review on smart/lifestyle connected watches. Specifically, we will review the ASUS VivoWatch and compare it to other alternatives in the market.
ASUS VivoWatch differs from the rest of the wearable technology watches out there. Even though it is connected to your smartphone device via bluetooth and boasts a LED watch display, it does not mean that it functions fully as a smartwatch. There can be advantages and disadvantages that comes with this design decision, which we will spend time talking about in the rest of the article.
The ASUS VivoWatch does not fail to uphold the name of ASUS. With a dedicated design team, ASUS was able to create a watch that actually looks quite stylish. Its slightly curved Gorilla Glass 3 is encased within a shiny frame that exudes pure professionalism and class. The use of this material was well thought about, putting away the idea of “smartwatches are for geeks”. Moreover, the VivoWatch is also tested to be scratch proof, making it really durable and practical choice as a daily wearable.
Moreover, the whole watch is in fact IP67 rated. This means that the ASUS VivoWatch is waterproof and of course weather proof. This feature actually allows fitness tracking to be done even when the user is doing water activities, something that was previously not thought about too much.
The watch strap is also made of a rubbery plastic material which felt decently comfortable. As the VivoWatch is also made to track the user’s physical activities, this material ensures that the whole device stays sweat proof and generally, water proof.
This sums up the physical appearance of the ASUS VivoWatch. It is sad to say that this piece of fine technology piece would attract males more than females as clearly indicated by its design.
The ASUS VivoWatch is in fact more of a sports lifestyle watch than an actual smartwatch. In terms of its features, it is clearly divided into 2 areas, namely smartphone notification and lifestyle tracking. To access these features, users can simply interact with the watch with its touch screen, or simply press the physical button at the side to enable different kinds of modes/actions.
The ASUS VivoWatch remains “Smart” in some sense as it is connected to any compatible smartphone. Basic notifications such as messages and calls are forwarded to the watch via bluetooth technology.
1. Message Notifications
The ASUS VivoWatch runs on ASUS’ very own KoodOS. On top of the OS, many individual applications are preinstalled and integrated to work well with the watch’s hardware.
|UV Ray Tracker
|Heart Rate Monitor
ASUS VivoWatch tracks the user’s daily habits and lifestyle. Specifically, the user’s health is monitored by looking at his/her heart rate, sleeping statistics and physical activities monitoring. To encourage users to lead a healthy lifestyle, ASUS has came out with “Happiness Index”, which combines all these data and recommends the user to do certain tasks to feel “Happier”.
I was impressed with the accuracy of the data that was captured by the ASUS VivoWatch, specifically when it was tracking my sleep. With clearly thought about algorithms and prerequisites, the watch is able to know when the user has fallen asleep, and the quality of the sleep by tracking the number of turns the user has made.
By holding onto the button on the ASUS VivoWatch, users will be able to enter sports mode, which keep the watch active, tracking on the vital signs of the body to determine one’s fitness. It is extremely interesting to see the watch telling you if you are really doing your best. A LED light at the bottom of the display will light up green when you are doing aerobic exercises. When you are pushing yourself to the limits the a red LED will light up. This is done by tracking the heart rate, and really good way to find out how much further a sportsman really can go.
ASUS HiVivo App
All data are synchronised to the ASUS HiVivo Application which is made specifically for the VivoWatch. The application stores all history data captured from the watch and showcases it in a very intuitive user interface. With the graphs and graphics from within the application, users will be able to find out interesting facts about their lifestyle and health.
With a Operating System that was built from the scratch up for the ASUS VivoWatch, we can really understand how much effort is put into hardware and software integration, so as to give users the optimal experience. We found that KoodOS despite being a very simple operating system from the watch, serving specific purposes, it was able to optimize every aspect of the watch and put the hardware of it to advantage. Because of these, despite having a very small battery capacity built in and always connected to the smartphone via bluetooth, ASUS VivoWatch is able to last more than one week on a single charge.
Additionally, as the watch does not come with all the complicated ideas that today’s smartwatch brings together, I found it really easily to be accepted. I did not find the watch annoying, unlike many Android wear devices which had many additional rarely used application. The ASUS VivoWatch engineered with quality and does its work extremely well, not forgetting that it is a watch. As a watch, it should be able to have long battery life and of course, show the time. In fact, the ASUS VivoWatch never switches off its display and time is always shown on the screen.
On the other hand, there were some things that I thought that could be improved.
As of now, there are only 2 watch faces available for download from the ASUS HiVivo application. We hope that there will be more watch faces made available for download soon, as it will make the watch a lot more interesting. Users will then be able to choose a watch face that suits them the best.
On a side note, as ASUS VivoWatch is connected to the phone via bluetooth, it could possibly make sense if it was able to do more features like controlling of the phone’s music player or even rejecting a call. It is hoped that such new features will be rolled out in the later firmware updates.
The ASUS VivoWatch comes with a small cradle that allows the charging of the watch. It is understandable that in order to allow the watch to be IP67 rated, there should be no charging ports on the watch itself. This could be the reason of the charging cradle solution that ASUS has decided to go with. The existence of the small charging cradle did not seem user friendly, as it would be much easier if charging could be done directly on the watch itself. Furthermore, if users were to lose the charging cradle, that may also result the ASUS VivoWatch to be useless.
I was skeptical in owning the ASUS VivoWatch at first as I thought that it was just another smartwatch. However, after spending nearly two weeks with the watch, I am glad to say that the ASUS VivoWatch is a keeper.
The ASUS VivoWatch is able to perform exceptionally well at the core basics of what is is supposed to do. The user interface was also relatively intuitive, and I was able to get started with the watch without much reading into the instructions manual. The watch is also beautifully crafted and looks great on the wrists of any male. The material used for manufacturing of the watch also makes the watch sturdy and weatherproof, allowing the watch to be worn in any kinds of terrains and situations.
Moreover, due to the simple features that the watch brings, I believe that many users will be able to find the watch to be a pleasure companion. It is not intrusive to one’s daily life and complements one’s lifestyle very well. I have already replaced my old watch with the ASUS VivoWatch as it is really a good watch for daily usage and has already well integrated into my life. I enjoy the additional features that the watch brings.
To make the product better, ASUS should have had more design options for the watch, so as to also attract female buyers. If ASUS made the colour of the watch straps customizable, it could have possibly capture the attention of female buyers as well.
The ASUS VivoWatch could be a great Christmas gift for your male friends this Christmas.