ASUS VivoWatch evaluate: a health watch with fashion and shortcomings

ASUS VivoWatch review: a fitness watch with style and shortcomings

My spouse typically says I am fats, however that is hardly a motivation for me to renew my train routine. Then the ASUS VivoWatch landed on my desk, so I had no selection however to get again on the treadmill on your amusement. To maintain issues brief, it seems that this health-centric smartwatch does have a few compelling options that made me enthusiastic about getting match once more — extra so than the opposite primary (as in no coronary heart price monitoring) health trackers that I’ve lengthy left within the drawer. Additionally, the VivoWatch can pair with each iOS plus Android, and prices slightly below $one hundred fifty in Taiwan, which means it’s going to be going face to face with the equally priced Fitbit Cost HR around the globe. So is ASUS’ first health system value making an attempt? Or do you have to stick with some extra mature choices? Let’s have a look.

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ASUS VivoWatch assessment

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ASUS

VivoWatch

Execs

  • Elegant design
  • Extremely seen coronary heart price zone LED
  • Automated sleep monitoring
  • Nice battery life
  • Steady coronary heart price monitoring

Cons

  • Does not monitor distance
  • No app notifications
  • App nonetheless wants some polish
  • Cannot export knowledge to 3rd-get together apps

Abstract

At $one hundred fifty, the VivoWatch manages to beat the gang by combining a useful function set with a chic design — one which you might simply put on within the workplace. With a little bit of sprucing on the app aspect, it will make a compelling choice for informal runners.

Hardware

ASUS VivoWatch review: a fitness watch with style and shortcomings

In comparison with its $200 sibling gadget, the ZenWatch, ASUS’ newer and cheaper VivoWatch is all about wellness: steps, energy, coronary heart fee, sleep high quality and even UV degree. Except caller ID (with vibration alert), you will not be getting any notifications out of your telephone. In different phrases, the VivoWatch is much less of a smartphone companion and extra of a health wearable. The corporate admits that each the ZenWatch and the VivoWatch “goal distinct consumer teams with extremely crafted, however various options,” thus implying that there is not a lot overlap between the 2 teams.

It isn’t each day that you simply come throughout a sports activities watch with such understated magnificence.

When it comes to design, what you get here’s a curved Gorilla Glass three touchscreen encased inside a barely rounded chrome steel body. It seems just like the larger ZenWatch from afar, besides it comes with a shiny metallic end as an alternative of a brushed one. Over time, I turned a fan of the VivoWatch’s respectable seems: It isn’t day by day that you simply come throughout a sports activities watch with such understated magnificence. However that is clearly subjective, and a few my associates did say they’d choose one thing that appears a bit sportier to mirror its function. On the danger of sounding choosy, perhaps the shiny body might use a brushed end as an alternative to maintain fingerprints off it.

The VivoWatch has respectable safety towards liquids plus mud — IP67 versus IP55 on the ZenWatch, which means it is each mud-tight and has been licensed to stay intact beneath one meter of water for half-hour. For apparent causes, the bundled strap is made out of plastic as an alternative of leather-based, however you possibly can swap it with any normal 22mm strap.

ASUS VivoWatch review: a fitness watch with style and shortcomings

For the sake of extending the battery life to as much as 10 days, the VivoWatch makes use of a mixture of ASUS’ self-developed, actual-time OS referred to as KoodOS; a low-energy processor; and a 1.28-inch, 128 x 128-pixel, low-energy, black-and-white reminiscence LCD. The display works very nicely beneath daylight, and it is also backlit for indoor utilization. To juice up the watch, simply snap the small charging cradle onto the again of the physique and depart it there for between one to 2 hours.

To make use of the watch, you should click on on the house button on the suitable to unlock it. From the watch face, you possibly can swipe horizontally to cycle by means of the heart beat reader, the alarm, the day by day exercise log (for steps and energy) and the UV degree detector (a function additionally discovered on the Microsoft Band and the Samsung Gear S). You may also swipe vertically to undergo the every day train log (complete train time and interval of cardio exercise; extra on that later), day by day sleep log (complete sleep time and interval of consolation sleep) and a happiness index based mostly on a mixture of train high quality and sleep high quality, plus all-day coronary heart price monitoring.

To completely recognize the VivoWatch, you will need to activate its Train Mode, which makes use of a entrance-dealing with LED to point whether or not your coronary heart price is inside the optimum vary (inexperienced) or is just too intense (pink, with vibration alert), in line with your profile. To toggle Train Mode, merely maintain down the house button for about 4 seconds; when completed, you are able to do the identical to give up this session, after which you’ll be able to sync the train knowledge to your telephone over Bluetooth.

Regardless that Mio is the true pioneer of the guts fee-zone LED indicator, ASUS improved upon it through the use of a a lot bigger LED strip for simpler viewing, and that, in flip, turned a motivation for me. On this mode, it’s also possible to swipe horizontally to see a stay chart of your coronary heart price, burned energy and steps, although I tended to only persist with the default stopwatch display.

ASUS VivoWatch review: a fitness watch with style and shortcomings

Now, it is value stating that regardless of its identify, Train Mode can solely monitor one sort of exercise for now: operating. If you wish to monitor particular varieties of workouts, then this is not for you — as is the case with many different health wearables made for informal runners with primary wants. On an analogous word, the VivoWatch does not monitor your distance, so critical runners might need to look elsewhere (we’ll discover some options farther down on this evaluation).

Whereas I did not produce other coronary heart fee screens available to do a direct comparability, I did discover that the VivoWatch’s studying sometimes fell brief whereas I used to be operating, after which went again up once I stood nonetheless, as an alternative of slowly reducing because it was alleged to. My watch was undoubtedly safe on my wrist, though not too tight as per instruction. Perhaps it was the sweat? No concept. Because it occurs, our associates over at DC Rainmaker and CNET discovered the identical drawback with the Fitbit Cost HR and Fitbit Surge, so that is probably a standard flaw on units with the identical sort of optical sensor. The one factor we will do is to be sure that the sensor is clear, and that the watch is worn securely.

If you’re not exercising, the VivoWatch will poke you with a vibration alert for those who’ve been idle for too lengthy, and it will additionally congratulate you once you meet your day by day objective for both steps or energy, which could be set within the smartphone app. Towards the top of the day, the VivoWatch will mechanically monitor your sleep. To date I’ve discovered it to be fairly correct.

Companion app

ASUS VivoWatch review: a fitness watch with style and shortcomings

Earlier than you need to use the VivoWatch, you must first set up the HiVivo app on both your Android or iOS gadget, arrange your profile (together with age, gender, peak and weight) after which pair up with the watch. Each time the watch is paired, the app checks for firmware updates. When it is obtainable, be ready: The replace course of not solely takes at the very least 10 minutes, but in addition requires you to maintain the app lively, in any other case you’d find yourself with an error (a minimum of it did on our Android handset). It was very shocking to come across such newbie hour coming from ASUS, however even all through my testing interval, the VivoWatch’s firmware model went by means of a number of revisions — from a buggy 2.05 to a extra secure 2.eleven — so at the very least it is obvious that the corporate is actively positive-tuning the product.

As you’d anticipate, the app provides you a very good overview of your health parameters within the type of charts, so you possibly can simply monitor your progress all through the day or week. However in fact, you’ll be able to already see your primary every day knowledge on the watch’s fairly sized display. It goes with out saying that your health knowledge is synced to the cloud, so even in case you change to a different telephone, you’ll restore your charts.

ASUS VivoWatch review: a fitness watch with style and shortcomings

The additional bit of information that you simply do get within the app is a chart of your coronary heart price all through the day, and a sign of how a lot of your train was cardio and anaerobic. For many who aren’t acquainted: Until you are an athlete or have particular health objectives, likelihood is you solely need to do cardio coaching only for the sake of staying wholesome, so you will discover the app’s Train Mode chart helpful for analyzing your efficiency. Sadly, ASUS says you’ll be able to’t export the info to 3rd-celebration apps like RunKeeper and Strava, so that you’re caught with HiVivo and its web site counterpart that ASUS continues to be engaged on.

One other fascinating function on this app is the Community part the place you possibly can view your mates’ happiness index, in addition to their exercise time and sleep time. You’ll be able to view this as a aggressive aspect, however there’s additionally a “Like” button subsequent to every identify for a little bit of encouragement. Sadly, I did not have some other VivoWatch customers so as to add, which makes us marvel: Perhaps ASUS ought to think about promoting discounted bundles to couples and households? We’ll let their enterprise people do the maths.

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ASUS HiVivo screenshots

The competitors

ASUS VivoWatch review: a fitness watch with style and shortcomings

You get the Fitbit Surge’s type issue for the worth of the Fitbit Cost HR.

With its $one hundred fifty worth level and pseudo-smartwatch touchscreen, it is easy to put the VivoWatch someplace between the Fitbit Cost HR and the $250 Fitbit Surge. In some ways, ASUS’ system is a greater purchase: You get the Surge’s type issue for the worth of the Cost HR, and it is also prettier — in such a approach you could truly put on it as your on a regular basis watch. The massive coronary heart price zone LED is a pleasant bonus as nicely. Having stated that, hardcore runners might need to pay extra for the Surge’s GPS monitoring to estimate distance, and a few might need to reap the benefits of Fitbit’s strong meals database.

Different equally specced rivals embrace the $200 Foundation Peak, the $one hundred fifty Garmin Vivosmart and the $200 Microsoft Band. When it comes to consolation, it is protected to imagine that the VivoWatch beats the Vivosmart and the Microsoft Band, regardless that they provide extra options like distance monitoring, biking mode and smartphone notifications. This leaves us with the Foundation Peak, which, once more, does not look nearly as good, however the additional value is considerably justified by its help for smartphone notifications and automated exercise monitoring.

Wrap-up

ASUS VivoWatch review: a fitness watch with style and shortcomings

Whereas this can be ASUS’ first try at making a health watch, it is a surprisingly good one. At $one hundred fifty, the VivoWatch manages to beat the gang by bringing in a useful set of options — particularly steady coronary heart fee monitoring and automated sleep monitoring — all wrapped in an excellent-wanting package deal that you may simply put on within the workplace. Excluding the aforementioned app bugs and the occasional coronary heart price studying errors, the VivoWatch has all the appropriate components to get informal runners motivated. However for those who think about your self a critical runner, then you definitely’re in all probability higher off taking a look at GPS-enabled options, in addition to these with tremendous-correct coronary heart price screens — specifically those from Mio.

Provided that the VivoWatch continues to be actively being up to date, we now have a few strategies for ASUS. How a few sleep cycle-based mostly sensible alarm as featured on all Jawbone Up bands? And smartphone notifications can be good as nicely.

Now, should you’ll excuse me, apparently it is “time to maneuver” once more.

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