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Best Android smartwatches (December 2014)

Posted by wicked December - 8 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

LG G Watch Sony Smartwatch 3 Moto 360 LG G Watch R Android Wear-3

This year, giving the gift of Android, on the cheap, starts with our list of best Android smartwatches.

Holidays are upon us and that means it’s time think about the stuff you’ll be putting under the tree this year. Gadgets make the coolest gifts for many people, but let’s face it – not everyone can afford the hottest smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Luckily, you don’t need a ton of money to stay on the cutting edge of tech. A nice smartwatch can save the day.

Here’s what you need to know about the best Android Wear watches available right now.

Editor’s note – this post will be updated periodically, as new devices hit the market.

Motorola Moto 360

It’s hip, it’s stylish, and it’s customizable. The Moto 360 was one of the first Android Wear smartwatches announced, and, while it took Motorola more than half a year to release it, the sleek circular device has been well received. Featuring a large circular screen (albeit with the infamous “flat tire” cutout at the bottom), a sleek brushed metal build, and several replaceable bands, the Moto 360 will look good in just about any occasion.

On the inside, the processor is older than the competitors’, while the battery is on the small side – still, the Moto 360 will last a day of usage for all but the most active users, and you get wireless charging. With a variety of cool watchfaces taking advantage of the round screen and more launching constantly, the Moto 360 is a great choice if style is your biggest priority.

Specs

  • Display: 1.56-in IPS LCD 320 x 290 pixels
  • Processor: Texas Instruments OMAP 3
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Battery: 320 mAh
  • Water protection: IP67
  • Weight and size: 49g, 46mm diameter

Read more

Buy Now from Amazon for $249


LG G Watch R

The other circular smartwatch on our list is the G Watch R, and, as LG likes to point out, there’s no cutout here. The full circle screen is beautiful, and everything will look nicer on it thanks to the 245 ppi (higher than the Moto 360’s). While the Moto 360 has a minimalist flair, the G Watch R will appeal more to fans of sport watches, with its beveled engraved ring and aggressively sculpted body.

The G Watch R impresses through its large battery and the Snapdragon processor inside ensures steady performance. The device ships with a nice leather strap, but if you don’t like it, you can easily swap it with any standard 22 mm strap.

Specs

  • Display: 1.3-in P-OLED 320 x 320 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Battery: 410 mAh
  • Water protection: IP67
  • Weight and size: 62g, 46.4 x 53.6 x 9.7 mm

Read more

Buy Now from Amazon for $295


Asus ZenWatch

Asus’ ZenWatch has been one of the nicest surprises in the Android Wear ecosystem so far, thanks to its good specs and stylish design, proving you can make a rectangular smartwatch that doesn’t look geeky. With a smoothly rounded two-tone metallic body and a standard-sized stitched leather strap, the ZenWatch looks sophisticated and timeless.

There aren’t any bells and whistles on the hardware side, but Asus makes it up with the software stack, including some nice watch faces and several interesting Asus features (available through an app) like the ability to double tap the screen to launch a feature. All and all, if you don’t want a round watch, but still want style, this looks like your best option.

Specs

  • Display: 1.63-in OLED 320 x 320 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Battery: 370 mAh
  • Water protection: IP55
  • Weight and size: 75g, 51 x 39.9 x 7.6 ~ 9.4 mm

Read more

Buy Now from Best Buy for $199


Sony SmartWatch 3

Runners, hikers, and cyclists, stop looking, this is the Android Wear watch you need. Sony used its own OS for the previous generations, but embraced Android for SmartWatch 3, and we couldn’t be happier. The Sony SmartWatch 3 stands out through its onboard GPS module, which lets you track your activities without needing a smartphone that weighs you down. Just as easily, you can connect a pair of Bluetooth sports headphones and enjoy your music straight from the watch.

Available in black, white, pink, and lime, SmartWatch 3 looks as sporty as it acts. The rubber strap is non-standard, but at least you can swap it in a few seconds without any tools. The watch is IP68 water resistant and the screen is transflective LCD, which means you can read it more easily in the sun. All in all, a great choice for active use.

Specs

  • Display: 1.6-in Transflective LCD 320 x 320 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Battery: 420 mAh
  • Water protection: IP68
  • GPS, NFC, IR
  • Weight: 45g (core unit)

Read more

Buy Now from Play Store for $249


 LG G Watch

One of the first two reference smartwatches announced in spring, the LG G Watch has conceded the spotlight to its round sibling, the G Watch R. But don’t let that fool you – the unassuming G Watch is still a perfectly capable smartwatch that gives you the exact same core functionality like the other entries in our list of best Android smartwatches.

The G Watch looks… plain, and it’s up to you to decide how you feel about this all black slab with an all black rubber strap. It’s also devoid of any bells and whistles. But what the G Watch lacks in flashiness, it makes up through a good price. You can get it for $150 from many outlets, but we’ve seen prices go as low as $80 as part of limited time promos, perfect for budget-minded buyers.

Specs

  • Display: 1.65-in IPS LCD 280 x 280 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Battery: 400 mAh
  • Water protection: IP67
  • Weight and size: 63g, 37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95mm

Read more

Buy Now from Amazon for $145


There you go – our look at the best Android smartwatches available right now. Missed anything? Tell us in the comments.

ASUS MeMO Pad 8 out this weekend – features Any Pen technology

Posted by Tom December - 4 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

The ASUS MeMO Pad 8 will be released in Japan on Friday 5 December .

The tablet has an 8-inch WUXGA LCD 1920 x 1200 pixel display, is 7.45mm and weighs just 292g.

It also features Any Pen technology, which does away with the need for a stylus and lets any pen do the tapping.

It’s powered by an Intel Atom Z3560 processor and comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB SSD storage.

There’s a 5MP back camera and a 1.2MP front-facer.

Also onboard is GPS, an accelerometer, electromagnetic compass, optical sensor, magnetometric sensor, gyroscope, WiFi support, microUSB, microSDXC and Bluetooth 4.0.

It comes with Android 4.4.2 and is available in white, pink and blue.

It’ll be ¥36,800 (US $306)

Via akihabaranews

Asus ZenWatch Review

Posted by wicked November - 20 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

The Bottom Line

PROS
  • Premium design and build quality
  • Classy appearance
  • Great battery life
  • Beautiful display
  • Competitive price
  • Useful software additions
CONS
  • Clunky charger
  • Inconveniently placed power button
9.0

The Asus Zenwatch brings elegance and class to the Android Wear space at a surprisingly competitive price, which is why we’ve decided to give it our Editor’s Choice Award.

google play

editorschoice_four half stars

While the initial batch of smartwatches may have been found wanting in terms of design, opting for functionality over style, things have taken a turn for the better with the current crop of Android Wear devices at our disposal. The number of options have slowly been increasing over the latter half of this year, with some great devices on offer from various OEMs, including Asus. First introduced at IFA 2014, the first Android Wear smartwatch from Asus certainly has a lot to offer. We take a closer look at this device in this comprehensive review of the Asus ZenWatch!

Design

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While I didn’t find the Asus ZenWatch to be particularly impressive when it was first unveiled, I have certainly come to appreciate the design of this device after having the opportunity to use it for a while. Even though it has a square face, the use of premium build materials does make it stand out. With its stainless steel construction for the body and the clasp, along with a genuine leather strap, the ZenWatch is also not very big or heavy, which means that not only does it really nice, but is also very comfortable on the wrist.

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The bronze/orange color scheme of the strap could make it somewhat hard to match with your wardrobe though, which is one of my issues with the default design.  That said, there is a lot more to like about this watch than not.

First is the fact that it is very easy to remove the straps from the ZenWatch, not requiring a special tool like some other smartwatches out there. All you have to do is pull a tiny lever on the strap and it comes right off, making it very simple to replace the straps. The second is the metal clasp that snaps together on your wrist with a press, which not only makes it easy and quick to put on the watch, but will also not cause any damage to the strap over a long period of time, which you may find happening with the tug and fasten variety you get with the LG G Watch R or the Moto 360.

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Another gripe in terms of the design of the ZenWatch is with regards to the placement of the power button on the back, making it very hard to get to while wearing the watch. Luckily, there aren’t a lot of instances where you need to get to this button, other than to power on the device when it is off. In other hardware, you get a pedometer and a heart rate monitor built in, and the device is protected from the elements courtesy of its IP55 certification of resistance against dust and water. Overall, the Asus ZenWatch certainly ranks among the top Android Wear smartwatches available today in terms of design and build quality.

Display

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The Asus ZenWatch features a 1.63-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 320 x 320. Colors are nice and vibrant, viewing angles are good, and it does get very bright, making it easy to see while outdoors. The screen has a slight curve to it, and your finger just glides across it while swiping or scrolling, making it feel a lot nicer and more natural to interact with. The bezels around the display, however, are extremely thick because of the biometric sensor that is built in, but the deep blacks that AMOLED displays allow for means that dark watch faces do blend in a lot better with the bezels.

Performance

ASUS Zenwatch-22

Under the hood, the ZenWatch packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, clocked at 1.2 GHz, along with 512 MB of RAM. This processing package is standard fare when it comes to the current crop of Android Wear smartwatches, and as such, the performance is along the same lines as what we’ve seen from these other devices. Everything is fast and responsive, with no instances of lag or dropped frames. There isn’t a lot you can do on Android Wear that is processor-intensive, and navigating around the OS, swiping through cards, and interacting with notifications have all been very smooth.

Software

ASUS Zenwatch-6

With Google not allowing OEMs to skin Android Wear, the overall software experience on the watch remains identical to the other AW smartwatches out there. Where they can differentiate themselves is when it comes to custom watch faces, and Asus has some good options on offer. Some of these watchfaces include useful information like the date, remaining battery life, missed calls, weather information, and your daily steps.

There are also a few smartphone applications that Asus has built for the ZenWatch. The ZenWatch Manager allows you to customize the watch faces by changing colors, and choosing what information you’d like to be displayed. You can also use the smartwatch to unlock your mobile device by bypassing the pin or pattern when the watch is close to your phone. You can also cover the watch with your hand to mute alarms or incoming calls, send out SOS messages to designated emergency contacts, find your watch using the phone or vice versa, have the watch vibrate if you stray too far away from your phone, and use it as a flashlight or compass.

ASUS Zenwatch-19

There is even a remote camera application that lets you control your smartphone camera using the watch, allowing you to take a photo by tapping on the display, or by simply twisting your wrist. Asus has also created a wellness app to track your daily step goals, calories burned, measuring your relaxation, and monitoring your heart rate, using the built-in in bio sensor that is hidden in the bezels. It is a tad cumbersome to have to place to fingers around the display, but it does work, and seems to be fairly accurate when measuring the heart rate.

Battery Life

ASUS Zenwatch-10

The ZenWatch comes with a 360 mAh battery, that Asus claims will provide a full day of battery life. In my experience, it was even better, and I was consistently getting at least two days of use even with the screen always on mode enabled. Since this is an AMOLED display, the entire screen isn’t lit up when in its dimmed state, and you can probably push the battery life further by using a watchface with a black background.

ASUS Zenwatch-18

The charging implementation is a little bit clunky though, with the ZenWatch needing a large cradle that the device must be plugged into. There are prettier and more elegant implementations out there, and while the ZenWatch won’t look good sitting on your table while it is charging, it does get the job done.

Pricing and Final Thoughts

editorschoice_four half starsSo there you have it – the Asus ZenWatch! With its stainless steel construction, leather strap, and curved display, the ZenWatch is certainly one of the more classy and elegant smartwatches among what we’ve seen thus far, and while the software experience remains the same on the watch itself, the additional applications built by Asus adds a slew of useful functionality. Of course, the best part is its $199.99 price tag, making the ZenWatch a very strong competitor in the Android Wear space — and one of the lowest priced as well.

 

Wireless Nexus 7 tablets to get Android Lollipop starting in December

Posted by wicked November - 20 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Nexus_7_White_Official

The list of devices already getting Android Lollipop or about to get the update increased a little bit today when an ASUS spokesperson confirmed the “update will roll out for Nexus 7 LTE/3G models around the beginning of December 2014.” Of course we knew the update was coming to the Nexus 7 tablets, especially with the roll out for the WiFi-only versions getting underway last week. Now we know users of the tablets that carry the wireless chip in them will not have much longer to wait. According to ASUS, both the 2012 and 2013 models will get Lollipop.

The Nexus 7 tablets join the WiFi-only versions along with the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 10 tablets in getting an update. We still wait for word on an update for the Nexus 4. Meanwhile, Motorola is rolling out Lollipop to several of their devices and LG is on an aggressive schedule for the LG G3.

source: The Inquirer

Come comment on this article: Wireless Nexus 7 tablets to get Android Lollipop starting in December

Asus ZenWatch Unboxing and Tour!

Posted by Kellex November - 19 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

The Asus ZenWatch, an Android Wear device that is arguably the prettiest of them all, is in house and ready for us to dive into. But before we get to a full review, we first need to introduce you to it through an unboxing and tour.

At $199, the ZenWatch is one of the better deals in smartwatches, though it does lack some features that others boast, like a heart rate monitor. But if you are simply looking for a well-made, premium watch to wear on a daily basis, this may be one to keep on your short list. 

As a recap of the ZenWatch’s details, you are looking at a 1.63-inch AMOLED display (320×320), 1.4Wh battery, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, IP55 water resistance rating, 512MB RAM, and the latest version of Android Wear. The ZenWatch isn’t round like the G Watch R or Moto 360, but Asus has tried to make it look as round as possible through design. That design includes a stainless steel body and clasp, rose gold accents, and a very soft, high-quality leather watch band. This is a great-looking watch.

Enjoy the unboxing, but be sure to keep an eye out for our review.

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Asus ZenWatch Unboxing and Tour! is a post from: Droid Life

ASUS launches mid-tier ZenFone 5 Lite

Posted by wicked November - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

ASUS just launched a dual SIM KitKat smartphone that is set to lodge squarely on the mid-tier market – the ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite (A502CG). ASUS seems to be targeting the market for affordable KitKat smartphones in developing economies, and this phone is “exhibit A” for that intent.

The ZenFone 5 Lite carries with it the same design language as the original ZenFone 5 phones (A500CG, A501CG), but downgraded on some points – including the lower 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2520 processor with Hyper-Threading (four threads) supported with 1GB of RAM. The original ZenFone 5 had a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor and 2GB of RAM.

The screen is also downgraded to a qHD (540×960) display rather than the 720p HD display of the original ZenFone 5. On the upside though, the ZenFone 5 Lite packs a larger capacity battery at 2500mAh. ASUS is featuring 64-bit memory on this phone, which might mean it’s a bit faster than other 1GB RAM phones out there. There’s also a 8MP/3MP camera combo with LED flash. And as mentioned earlier, it has dual SIM capability, but only 3G data (no LTE).

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ASUS launched this new smartphone in the Philippine market at a price point of around USD$125. The intent is clearly to compete in emerging markets, but it is unclear as of now whether ASUS will launch the model in other markets as well. The ZenFone 5 Lite is available in three color schemes – red, black and white.

VIA: Blog of Mobile

ASUS ZenWatch now available, sort of

Posted by wicked November - 17 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The much-awaited ASUS ZenWatch was listed on Google Play last week but only with a ‘Coming soon’ tag. We only learned that it comes with a $199 price tag and with an unknown availability. The next day, the Android team through Android Wear Senior Product Manager Jeff Chang proudly announced that the smartwatch is finally available not only on Google Play but also on Best Buy.

Unfortunately, Google quickly run out of inventory of the Android Wear-running device. Even Best Buy sold out online immediately we don’t where to buy now expect eBay (or god forbid Craiglist) where the product is sure to be listed with a very high price. (I just checked and it’s listed at $300.)

The new Android Wear by ASUS looks more elegant yet ordinary looking you won’t think it’s a smartwatch until you turn on the ZenWatch display to reveal its geekiness. The leather strap and curved display make the watch attractive and comfortable to wear. The curved glass screen offers a smooth surface for easier gestures. As with any smart wearables, the ZenWatch features sensors that track relaxation level, step count, and heart rate among others.

Here’s a rundown of the ASUS ZenWatch: Android Wear, Bluetooth 4.0, 1.6-inch AMOLED touch-screen display, genuine stitched-leather band, built-in rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, and 4GB eMMC memory.

No information when Best Buy and Google Play will offer more units but we’ll watch out for this one.

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SOURCE: Official Android

Lenovo, Asustek bringing lower cost Chromebooks to market in 2015

Posted by wicked November - 15 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

rockchip_logo

Although Chromebooks have only grabbed a small part of the laptop computer market thus far, despite much success in the education sector, the race to bring out less expensive models to entice buyers appears to be heating up for 2015. A new report from Digitimes Research indicates both Lenovo and Asustek are preparing new Chromebooks equipped with Rockchip technology to hit the market at a $149 price point.

Thus far, most Chromebooks have been priced in the $200 – $300 range, so the products from Lenovo and Asustek could set new lows for notebook devices. Both devices are expected to come with 11.6-inch screens and the Rockchip processors, but other details are not yet known. Acer is currently the biggest Chromebook producer and these new devices would be priced 25% lower than the Acer C720 that runs $199. Digitimes Research indicated that in addition to the price pressure this move will create for other Chromebook producers like Acer, it will also put pressure on Microsoft which has been modifying license costs in an effort to stave off Chromebooks’ growth in the market.

Rockchip is a “first-tier tablet application processor (AP) designer” from China. They have worked with Intel on chip design and distribution. They are also a Google-certified solutions provider.

source: Digitimes

Come comment on this article: Lenovo, Asustek bringing lower cost Chromebooks to market in 2015

ASUS ZenWatch now available through the Play Store

Posted by wicked November - 14 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

asus-zenwatch-official_01

Right now, customers in the United States can pick up ASUS’ ZenWatch for $199 from the Play Store. The device is currently listed as ‘in stock’ and will leave Google’s warehouses within 1-2 business days, so if you order today with Standard Delivery, it should be with you by next Monday, November 17.

In terms of design, ASUS’ first ever smart watch sports an aluminium unibody and is essentially a more elegant version of LG’s G Watch. ASUS’ offering comes with a ‘real’ leather strap, which can be purchased in a variety of different colors, including Black, Tan Blue, Pink and Red.

If you like the sound of the ZenWatch and want to pick one up — hit the source link below.

Source: Google Play Store

Come comment on this article: ASUS ZenWatch now available through the Play Store

Asus ZenWatch Now Available for Purchase on Google Play for $199

Posted by Kellex November - 14 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Yesterday, the Asus ZenWatch and its premium metal body with leather watch band landed on Google Play as “coming soon.” Today, the watch is officially in stock and ready for order. It ships in 1-2 business days, which means you could have one by early next week. 

As a recap, the Asus ZenWatch attempts to carry a classy style by using stainless steel, rose gold, and a premium stitched-leather band. It doesn’t have a round display, like the G Watch R or Moto 360, but its 1.63-inch AMOLED panel has been curved to “increase comfort” and provide a “stylish look.” The ZenWatch, at least in my opinion, is one of the better looking Android Wear watches. It also sports IP55 water resistance, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU, Bluetooth 4.0, 512MB RAM, and charges via cradle.

Play Link

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 10.14.32 AM

Asus ZenWatch Now Available for Purchase on Google Play for $199 is a post from: Droid Life