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Asus unveils revamped ZenWatch 3 smartwatch

Asus’ new Android-powered ZenWatch 3 goes circular with a two-day battery

Casting a large circular shadow over IFA 2016, Asus has officially unveiled the latest in the ZenWatch range, the aptly titled ZenWatch 3. The customisable Android-powered smartwatch has ditched the square watch face of the previous version, now actually looking more like a watch and less like a mini phone screen attached to your wrist.

Crafted from stainless steel, the ZenWatch 3 is available in leather- or rubber-strap designs, in either dark brown or beige colours. You can even change the colour of the watch face too, with Gunmetal, Silver and the ever-popular Rose Gold configurations. It’s always nice to see some choice when making your decision, and Asus is offering plenty.

The hardware has been upgraded to the speedy Snapdragon 2100 processor this time around and it also has superfast recharge times. Not that you’ll be charging it too often, as the ZenWatch 3’s new processor uses 25% less energy than the Snapdragon 400 it replaces. That being said, Asus says you’ll be able to go two days without charging your ZenWatch 3.  

The 1.29in AMOLED 400 x 400 display is pin-sharp, with a reasonably impressive pixel density of  287ppi. It looks pretty splendid, even if we haven’t quite had the opportunity to go hands-on with it just yet but once we do, we’ll be sure to let you know.

As you can expect, the ZenWatch 3 can be used as a mouthpiece for calls when you’ve connected it to your phone, and can display notifications too. Fitness enthusiasts will be able to use it keep tabs on their fitness regimes, with the ZenFit app keeping tabs on your steps throughout the day for instance.

From the offset, there isn’t much difference software-wise compared to other Android Wear watches, although we may see some subtle improvements to the formula when the smartwatch finally releases.

If you’re intrigued by the ZenWatch 3 as much as I am, you’d be pleased to hear Asus plans on launching it in the US and Germany sometime in October, followed by a global rollout shortly after. It should be out for Christmas, so it might be one to put on Santa’s list. There’s no word yet on pricing, but you can expect it to cost around the region of £150, considering last year’s model retailed for around the same price.