ASUS ZenWatch 2

For a number of months — say, November 2014 to somewhere around March 2015 — ASUS had what we could say was one of the best-looking Android Wear offerings out there. The original ZenWatch brought some curvy style to nerds' wrists (mine included). But it was fairly quickly usurped by the likes of the LG Watch Urbane and the announcement of the Huawei Watch, if for no other reason than the ZenWatch's display just isn't as good.

Now ASUS has returned with the ZenWatch 2. It's still sort of a rounded-square hybrid, promising better battery life, new strap options, and some new software features. Plus there's two sizes to choose from now, for those of us with smaller wrists.

Let's take a quick look.

In some ways — and this rings true for most Android Wear watches — not a lot has changed. The overall look and feel of the ZenWatch 2 is in the same vein as the original. Square face embedded in a rounded-off body. It still looks nice, but still not as watch-like as truly round bodies. ASUS has moved the bottom from the bottom (where it went mostly unused unless you had to reset things) to the side, where it'll be much more useful. This isn't really like a "crown" you'll find on other watches, though. It's sort of just a small plastic button that presses slightly into the inside of the watch, rather than a more piston-like physical button. It's a small but distinctive difference.

The other big change for ASUS is on the software side. Dozens of new watch faces are available, as is a revamped ZenWatch manager app. ASUS has other hooks into other features, too — fitness is a big one. How many watch faces is too many, though?

All and all, though, a good second effort — especially given the €149 price. But you can't help but wonder what ASUS could do if it ditched this sort of hybrid design and went full-on watch in a future release.