ASUS’ new fitness watch is more useful and better looking


As before, sleep is another key focus of the device, although now with an added emphasis on your blood oxygenation levels. Essentially, when you’re asleep, the watch will keep an eye on how much oxygen is pumping through your veins in case you’re not getting enough. A lack of oxygen during sleep can be a symptom of conditions like sleep apnea, which could harm your ability to get a good rest.

Naturally, the VivoWatch SP is not a smartwatch, but Lai said that it will offer notifications for calls and messages, over Bluetooth. Lai also mentioned that smart replies will be available, albeit only in a limited manner, since the watch is running ASUS’ own operating system.

Battery life has been quoted at 14 days, which is down to the fact that the SP uses a low power system-on-chip and a reflective display. While the screen is neither high-res or good in bright light, it apparently saves substantially on power drain — up to 90 percent, according to ASUS. That battery rating also includes five or six ECG tests per day, plus you’ll get up to a day of GPS from a full charge — although if you did, you’d need to recharge the device, pronto.

The VivoWatch is also a prettier device, as is the new strap with itsMarc Newson-inspiredup-and-under strap. But ASUS has also seen fit to use generic, 22-millimeter watch straps with quick-release, meaning that you’ll be able to swap the band for any other on the market.

ASUS says that the VivoWatch SP will be available worldwide before the end of the year, regulation and production hurdles permitting. Unfortunately, the company wouldn’t be drawn on a price, although I was told that the hope is that it’ll be under $300. Given the number of ECG watches popping up that offer more features (often with shorter battery life), it’ll be interesting to see how people take to this.

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