Tech brands are quick to jump on trends started or popularized by their competitors, and the current smartwatch phase is no exception. There used to only be one or two options if you wanted a piece of technology on your wrist, but as time progressed, choice only became a problem because there were too many. However, some decided to target specific markets – there’s that for the style-concious, then there’s that for the fitness-minded. In this unboxing, we take a look at ASUS’ foray into the fitness smartwatch category with the ASUS VivoWatch.
Upon lifting the cover of its white, cubic, elegant-looking box, you’ll solely be greeted by the ASUS VivoWatch. Tucked in the compartments of its packaging is a docking station and a micro-USB cable, both for charging. Of course, there’s documentation, but who reads them anyway?
Once the watch is out of the box, everything else is pretty straightforward. You place the watch in the dock and plug it either on an outlet or a USB port to power it up. Once it does, you’re ready to use it.
The ASUS VIvoWatch is the very first smartwatch I’m reviewing, so I really can only compare it with the more popular ones like the Apple Watch, which I also have a very brief experience on. But comparing it to the Apple Watch is like comparing apples to oranges. The VivoWatch, though a smartwatch, is fitness-centric. In fact, the correct term for it is a sportswatch. Nevertheless, the VivoWatch sports (pun intended) an understated elegance that other fitness smartwatches don’t really have.
It looks like a normal digital square-faced watch, but it’s display, like most smartwatches now, is touch responsive. It’s how you navigate through the watch’s proprietary interface, aside from the single home / dismiss button you’ll find on its right side. The display is a monochromatic 128×128 panel. It’s not the sharpest, but its bright under direct sunlight. It’s also power-saving since the display only refreshes the pixels that are needed, which also helps back up the claim of up to 10 days battery life.
The VivoWatch was released in 2015, and initially it didn’t support notifications for third party apps like Facebook and Viber, but after numerous updates, thankfully, it finally does. All apps, no matter what type of notification, appears on your wrist. It’s not the best experience to read on a display this small and low res, but it will remind you of old Nokia displays such as that on the 3310.
The Accompanying App
The VivoWatch works on both iOS and Android devices as long as you have the HiVivo app installed. It’s where all the data you collect through the watch is displayed – steps, distance covered, calories burned, pulse rate, sleep patterns, even something called the “Happiness Index” that measures your happiness based on your physical activities.
The app’s interface for both platforms are similar. There are a few perks for the Android counterpart like additional watchfaces, but the difference ends there. Navigation is familiar and all you need to do is scroll and tap.
Pairing the watch on your phone is as easy as connecting an external speaker. You turn on your phone’s Bluetooth, search for the watch and pair. It sometimes asks for a pairing key, but that’s the most challenging part. Pairing is smooth 95% of the time. The rest of it is a case of hit and miss.
We’ll be putting the VivoWatch to the test to see how well it fits into the lifestyle of someone who doesn’t really do much physical activities.
Stay tuned for the complete review soon!