Asus's ZenWatch has only been with us a couple of months, launching in November after an announcement at IFA in September. It is one of the better looking smartwatches on the market, but its Android Wear platform means it doesn?t really come with any differentiating features and is the same as other wearables on the software. However, the next ZenWatch will add a bit more individuality.
Asus unveiled the 5.5-inch ZenFone 2 earlier this month and it surprised with its affordability and high end specs, a true improvement over the successful original range launched in 2014. However, Asus has more plans to expand the ZenFone 2 range beyond the two handsets launched at CES (the ZenFone Zoom accompanied the ZenFone 2) and that likely means a new mini version.
As well as raising the curtain on the fantastic ZenFone 2 yesterday at CES, Asus also had another new device to show off, the ZenFone Zoom. Unlike the flagship baiting and affordable ZenFone 2, the Zoom is more of a niche device that is focused on photography and it carries a weightier, yet still decent, price tag.
Asus unveiled its new ZenFone 2 and ZenFone Zoom at CES this week and it is obvious that the company is planning to take its device to the next level. After selling 8 million ZenFone units through 2014, Asus said it wants to double shipments of its affordable device in 2015. One top of that, the Taiwanese company is also clearly pushing the ZenFone away from low end into flagship territory.
One of the surprise smartphone hits of 2014 has been the ZenFone range (ZenFone 4, ZenFone 5, and ZenFone 6) by Asus. The Taiwanese company launched the affordable but quality handsets at CES at the start of the year and since then they have sold 8 million units worldwide. Asus will launch the sequels at the 2015 CES event in two weeks' time and plans to sell 15 million units in 2015. The company has issued the first glimpse of the new ZenFone with this teaser.
Not much usually happens in the way of smartphones at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. The early January event is typically a computing/consumer electronics oriented show and many of the mobile big hitters are either absent or pushing other products. Some reports suggest Sony and Samsung will be launching flagships there in 2015, but I do not believe that, and besides there are always some smartphones if you look hard enough.
Asus' ZenFone range is one of the best budget examples on the market and the ZenFone 4, ZenFone 5, and ZenFone 6 all hit a sweet spot at their respective price points. Released at CES earlier in the year, the ZenFone range has been warmly received thanks to solid software, good specs, and an aesthetically pleasing design.
The ASUS ZenWatch has now been launched by Best Buy and is available to consumers in the United States for $229. That means the wearable arrives with the retailer two days late and actually costs $29 more than the original $200 price tag, but is still competitively priced against rival smartwatches.
This may well be the first Holiday Season where smartwatches really take hold, an ideal gift for the tech enthused for sure. ASUS wants a slice of that action with its ZenWatch, a wearable that was launched during IFA two months ago and surprised many by being a premium devices instead of a budget Android Wear product.
Asus is the latest company to come out and reveal its plans for Android 5.0 Lollipop with the news that several of its smartphones are in line for the update to Google's latest and greatest software.