LIVE FROM IFA 2014: Asus kicked-off the press conference schedule with an event where it unveiled its first foray into the Android wearable space, in the form of its ZenWatch (pictured).
As has been the case for several of the most recent smartwatch announcements from rival vendors, its design was hailed as a major selling point. It features a curved glass and case which Asus said “follows the contour of the wrist”, as well as a leather strap and stainless steel detailing.
It offers a number of design options for the watch face. It is also said to bring “some” of Asus’ ZenUI interface, and can work with any smartphone running Android 4.3 or later.
ZenWatch features the usual range of fitness features, such as heart rate monitoring, step count and relaxation level monitoring. Asus also showed it being used as a remote control for a smartphone camera.
Other use-cases included a remote smartphone unlock feature, “cover to mute” control over incoming calls to a paired device, and “find my phone”.
The device is powered by Android Wear, running on a 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor. It has a 1.63-inch touch display.
The mooted pricing – €199 – also puts it on a par with rival devices.
Asus also updated its tablet line, with Derek Yu, senior product director, trumpeting that the company is “the number three in worldwide tablet share”.
It has a 7-inch full-HD display (1920×1200 pixels), 5MP rear and 2MP front cameras, and 16GB or 32GB of memory with expansion slot.
MeMO Pad 7 is also competitively priced, starting from €199.
In addition, Eric Chen, corporate VP, said that Asus’ ZenFone smartphone is set for launch in Europe in the fourth quarter, with LTE support.
He said that the company has already shipped more than one million ZenFone units, despite it being “only available in a few places around the world”.
Previous launches included Taiwan, where there were more than 30,000 pre-orders in the first three hours; China, where an unspecified number of units sold out within two minutes of online availability; and India, where 45,000 devices were shifted within four days.