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Asus reconfirms work on longer-lasting, non-Android Wear smartwatch

Seven-day battery life is the goal, and a “simplified” chipset, as well as a watered-down OS may need to be employed.

Asus ZenWatch

With the first-generation ZenWatch still pretty fresh, and in some markets as-yet unavailable, you’d expect Asus to take its time before rolling out a sequel. Or hatch a minor update, focused squarely on aesthetical tweaks, like LG’s Watch Urbane.

Then again, ever since company officials started teasing their second wearable stab, we got the feeling they were planning much bigger changes. Controversial, even, with a utopian week-long autonomy pursued at the expense of power and complex software.

Now, it’s just about etched in stone – one of ZenWatch’s follow-ups won’t be running Android Wear. And it’ll swap Qualcomm’s robust 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor for a humbler MediaTek SoC that’s reportedly under development.

It’s unclear if the cited upcoming gadget is one and the same as the VivoWatch recently discovered online, but we can probably discard the already wild guess of it being powered by a Win 10 skin of sorts. At best, it could offer Windows compatibility in addition to Android support, and seamlessly sync up to Lumias for notification-pushing purposes.

Asus ZenWatch-2

As far as the actual on-board software, we presume Asus is eyeing a proprietary set of basic functions, meant to keep the energy consumption to a minimum and, as a side effect, reduce the device’s range of capabilities.

Doesn’t sound that enticing, you say? Reckon a full-on ZenWatch successor with Android Wear and increased productivity would be a much more alluring offering? Not to worry, as Asus Chairman Jonney Shih also confirmed “we will continue to work with Google on Android Wear.”

The even better news is this ZenWatch 2 should break cover in Q2, i.e. by June, with its “simplified” cousin following suit before the first leaves start falling. Quite a bold product roadmap and packed schedule, given a couple of entry-level “wristband-like” Asus gizmos are in the pipeline as well.

Sources: G for Games, Focus Taiwan

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