Both Asus' and LG’s new smartwatches are designed to appeal to analog watch lovers, but they go about it in different ways. While the ZenWatch focuses on a luxury build and premium feel, the G Watch R makes a more obvious attempt to emulate a traditional time piece, with a circular display and classic looks. Read on, as Gizmag delves into the key differences between the two new smartwatches.
Both devices run Google’s Android Wear platform. The software leans heavily on the company’s Now service, pushing notifications, reminders and more to your wrist.
The devices feature built-in microphones, giving them the same Google Now voice control functionality you’ll find on an Android smartphone. It’s worth noting that the watches aren’t fitted with speakers, meaning they won’t talk back.
LG has yet to release stats for the G Watch R, but we’ve estimated its dimensions based on the size of its display. The ZenWatch definitely feels smaller on the wrist, and while LG’s smartwatch is a little bulkier, it does a great job of mimicking the look and feel of a traditional time piece.
Asus’ wearable features a solid, premium feeling build. The device itself is constructed from stainless steel with an attractive silver finish and rose gold detail on the side.
The G Watch R is built mostly from stainless steel, but there’s some aluminum in there as well. The back of the device is plastic.
Both smartwatches are fitted with a standard 22 mm strap, meaning you can easily swap them out for something more suited to your personal tastes.
When it comes to stock bands, the Asus watch wins out with a premium Italian leather offering.
LG hasn’t announced the weight of the G Watch R, but we found that despite its bulkier nature, it still feels light on the wrist.
The Asus product features a silver finish with a rose gold band around its edges. The G Watch R will be available in a choice of black and brushed metal finishes.
Though the LG product’s display may look a little smaller than the ZenWatch’s on paper, they actually provide almost exactly the same amount of screen real estate.
Neither display packs a particularly impressive resolution, but the ZenWatch’s offers 13 percent more pixels per inch.
The ZenWatch opts for an AMOLED panel, while the LG device makes use of the same plastic OLED tech we saw in the company’s G Flex phablet.
The G Watch R’s battery has a similar capacity to the original G Watch’s 400 mAh offering, and according to an LG representative at IFA, we can expect 36 hours on a single charge. That’s similar to what the company says about the G Watch – and in reality, it runs for about a day of standard use.
Asus has only provided a Watt-hour rating for the ZenWatch, which doesn't directly match up with the capacity (measured in milliampere hours) listed for the G Watch.
The LG G Watch R offers the same IP67 dust and water resistance we’ve seen on most recent smartwatch releases. Interestingly, and perhaps because of its luxury watch-first mentality, the ZenWatch only offers IP55 certification, making it a little less durable than its rival.
An IP67 rating means the watch is dust tight and can be submerged in up to 1 m (3.3 ft) of water for 30 minutes, while IP55 means the device is dust protected and can withstand splashes and water jets.
Heart rate sensor
The G Watch R features a standard heart rate monitor on the rear of the device, while the Asus has integrated the tech into the bezel of the ZenWatch, meaning you’ll have to hold a finger on the front edge of the wearable to get a reading.
Both smartwatches are compatible with devices running Android 4.3 and up.
There’s no built-in wireless on either device, meaning you’ll have to link it to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
The LG watch features a single button on its right side which can be long pressed to reach the setting menu. The ZenWatch has a similar (but very incognito) button on the right side of its back.
Both devices are fitted with 4 GB internal storage.
Both watches pack half a gigabyte of memory.
Neither company has announced a release date for their latest wearables, but they’re both expected before the end of the year.
Similarly, there’s no word yet on US pricing, though an Asus representative at IFA did confirm that the ZenWatch will ship for €199 (US$260) in Europe.