Asus ZenWatch vs Samsung Gear S

Each month, we see a week or two of intense hype around wearable devices. Last month, it was at the beginning, when IFA Berlin was underway and all you could see on the internet was the Moto 360, Samsung Gear S, LG G Watch R, Sony SmartBand Talk and Asus ZenWatch. While most of the hyped smartwatches have already been launched, some remain in limbo still. The LG G Watch R launch date will supposedly be between November 3 and 7, while the Asus ZenWatch will also be launched sometime in November. The Gear S will supposedly come earlier than expected, in the following weeks of October.

Since two of the upcoming smartwatches will be rectangular in shape and only one with a round design, we thought we might analyze what the rectangular Asus ZenWatch and Samsung Gear S will be bringing to the table once they are officially launched on the market. Remember that both these smartwatches are high-end devices which will surely impress anybody who wears them. If you are not into the whole round watch face trend going around and would rather skip buying the Moto 360 or LG G Watch R (which is really expensive, too), then the Asus ZenWatch and Samsung Gear S are among your next best choices.

The Gear S has a 2 inch screen with a 360*480 Super AMOLED display, powered by a 1 GHz dual core CPU, backed by 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal storage. The Gear S supports 2G, 3G, Bluetooth and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. A 300 mAH battery will be providing the juice for the Gear S, said to last for up to two days on a single charge. Since the Gear S also features a 3G connection of its own, you won’t have to carry your smartphone around in order to make use of the timepiece, which gives it a substantial advantage compared to most of the other smartwatches on the market. You can find the standard 9 axis sensor on the smartwatch, as well as a heart rate sensor. The watch will run on Samsung’s own Tizen OS, with Opera Mini, Nokia HERE maps, Financial Times fastFT and Spritz right out of the box. The device also has an IP67 certification, making it water- and dustproof.

The design of the Gear S is more techy tan elegant, with a curved screen and either bangle or strap type bands. Samsung has also partnered with Swarovski and Diesel to make one of a kind limited edition watch straps, especially designed for the Gear S smartwatch. Those designer bands actually look great, although we don’t know how much they will add to the price of the Gear S, which will probably retail for a whopping $530. That’s the price UK retailers are currently listing for Samsung Gear pre-orders. That’s almost three times as expensive as the $180 Asus ZenWatch. Wow.

The Asus ZenWatch has a smaller format than the Gear S and looks a bit more elegant thanks to its leather strap and metallic body. I personally like the Asus ZenWatch more because it looks more like a traditional watch than any other smartwatch with a rectangular screen. I also find the minimalist design pretty classy and can say that the Asus ZenWatch is currently the only watch I would actually wear at all times. The Moto 360 and LG G Watch R are not too shabby either, with their round watch faces, but the problem with those is that they are much too big for women.

The Asus ZenWatch is pegged for a (restricted) November release, with just a few watches available at first. Stocks should be replenished by next year though, so we suppose that the ZenWatch will be widely available by the time the Apple Watch hits the stores. The Asus ZenWatch will be running Android Wear and will sport an AMOLED display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 encased in a rose gold aluminium body. Asus’ own ZenUI is said to be featured on top of Android Wear and will automatically unlock your phone. Tap Tap and Find My Phone are going to be pre-loaded on the device, as well as a remote camera trigger. Much like the Moto 360, you can cover the display and the call it’s displaying will be muted. The Presentation Control feature will also enable the Asus ZenWatch to be used in presentations. A wellness manager will also be included, measuring steps, calories, activity duration, heart rate, exercise intensity and relaxation level.

The Asus ZenWatch is powere by a Snapdragon 400 CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz, backed by 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal storage. The AMOLED display measures 1.63 inches and has a 320*320 resolution with 278 ppi pixel density. There will be a 9 Axis sensor and a Bio sensor built-in, along with Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB port for charging and a microphone. The battery will be a 1.4 Wh one and the watch will be IP55 certified. Even though the Wellness app is said to measure heart rate, there is no mention of a heart rate sensor.

Although the specs on both watches might change by the time they hit the market, they’re pretty much confirmed already by both Samsung and Asus, and it seems like the Asus ZenWatch would be a better choice, in my mind. I would rather choose the Asus ZenWatch because it is cheaper, it runs Android Wear and thus has much more access to various applications in the Google Play Store, and because it’s smaller. The Gear S definitely wins thanks to the 3G connection and stand-alone nature of the timepiece, but it seems a bit too expensive for my taste. Nonetheless, the Gear S would be the perfect smartwatch for fitness buffs who don’t want to carry a smartphone around when they are exercising.