ASUS is not a new player in the Wearable space, they already have a winner with the Zenwatch. At the Milan Design Week ASUS has launched the Vivowatch which offers a more lifestyle focused feature set around fitness. The killer features that make this wearable stand out from the crowd are it’s 10 days of battery life and a beautiful monochrome highly reflective Memory LCD display.
A Watch Launch at Design Week Shouldn’t Disappoint – Design
The Vivowatch is a beautiful device, I can see why ASUS decided to launch it at Milan Design Week, it’s unibody stainless steel chassis is sleek and polished looking and the display is crisp with elegant undertones due to its highly reflective nature. Its design offers up a combination of fitness tracker with the elements of a traditional watch. It’s easy to use interface and simple clean watch design will have wide appeal not only to early adopters but to those of all ages who are looking to incorporate fitness and lifestyle tracking into their lives. The device is waterproof, rated at IP67 which means you can shower with it and get it wet but you might want to take it off if you’re going to go for a swim.
The stainless steel bezel is thin and striking, the bezel around display isn’t small but as the display is always black with negative space to display information it isn’t as noticeable as you might think when you take note of just how large the space around the display actually is.
Looking down at the Vivowatch it doesn’t immediately strike me as thick, but it is higher than I would like and design wise, though the band is comfortable, I would change it for something that fits my wrist a little better. For a woman I don’t have the smallest wrists among my friends, so ending up on the last hole of the band guarantees that many women will be needing to switch to a smaller band. The band is exchangeable to any band using a spring bar pin which is a very common style of watch strap. The clasp on the band is plain polished steel and doesn’t offend in anyway.
Design wise the Vivowatch is simple and classic, it’s aim is to fit into the busy lives of people looking for just one device, for me I see it from day to night or from the office to soccer practice. The unisex design will fit into the lives of most people. I would personalize it with a nicer watch strap to suit my style, and the Vivowatch provides a blank canvas that will work in pretty much any direction you want to take it.
What Is Inside The Box?
The ASUS Vivowatch doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles in the box, the charger is small and very form fitting and comes with a micro USB cable, missing is a power adapter (which I’m sure you can grab one of the many you have tucked away in a drawer). Additionally you get a User guide and warranty card which are both in a variety of different languages and in terms of warranty you get 12 months.
A Monochrome Display That Makes You Forget About Color
Sharp’s Memory LCD technology is actually quite cool. Each pixel of the display is controlled individually, when information changes only the pixels that need changing are refreshed. I’m assuming that this is the Sharp display since it’s the only one that I’ve seen that can deliver the paper like quality we’ve got on the Vivowatch. This means that it uses Polymer Networked Liquid Crystal Memory layer (PNLC) which appears between the display’s surface and a layer of pixels that are basically made of a mirrors which deepen the blacks of the display and make the negative space where the information appears look a little shinny. The mirrors save on backlighting and the targeted pixel display change further extends time on a single charge.
If you want to check out our unboxing and initial review video above, you’ll see the display in action outside. We also put it up against the Pebble steel towards the end of the video so you’ll get an idea of how it stacks up against an EInk display.
What Can the Vivowatch Do? Features
The Vivowatch is a lifestyle focused wearable, which means that it’s more about keeping you fit than keeping you connected to your phone. Vivo means Life, so think Life watch when perusing the features list.
The Vivowatch comes with a Heartrate monitor, 24 hour background monitoring of your wellbeing (heartrate included). Sleep tracking is executed perfectly, you don’t need to start and stop it, below you’ll see a nights sleep where I woke up for an hour. I didn’t need to tell it that I was going back to bed, it just figured it out on it’s own. It records how many times you turn over or flip and your heart rate.
Sports mode is executed with a long press on the side, it constantly monitors your heart rate, the only flaw is that you need to tell it when you stop. It would be nice if it sees your heart rate is lower and you aren’t moving that it prompt you to end your session. A step counter is also onboard, an alarm clock which uses vibrations to wake you and if you get a call it will also vibrate.
The only feature that I have yet to really figure out is the Happiness Index (HI), I’m not sure how they can really tell how happy I am. One neat feature around the HI is that if you have friends with a Vivowatch you can monitor each others HI to know that your loved ones are doing well.
Full Review Pending – Initial Comments & Reaction
Since I was only able to use the th Vivowatch for 3 days before writing this I’m going to hold off on publishing a full review. The software isn’t finaly, I got an APK and wasn’t even able to download the app from the App Store. If you’re wondering it will be able to support both iOS and Android, so we’ll have to wait until the HiVivo App shows up for download before we finish up this review.
But after 3 days, I like the experience, waking up the vibrating alarm is the way to go and once I change the strap it is a design that will go with anything. The UI is clean, simple easy to use and will appeal to a wide range of users demographic wise. If you want to track your heart rate and know how much time you are spending in anaerobic vs aerobic in your workouts, this will do. The display is great and it’s something I initially was ready to hate.
This is where i’m going to end it for now, anything lifestyle should be given at least a week to know what it adds to your life. Stay tuned!!