It’s all about rising wearable devices nowadays in Google’s camp, as Samsung, LG and Motorola have joined the Android Wear program, with Asus allegedly ready to spearhead the second wave of releases come September.
Knowing Asus, their eccentricity and constant openness to anything that’s new, different, cutting-edge, it felt right to assume they’ll be at the forefront of innovation in the wearable field. And although the Taiwanese missed the I/O deadline Google likely imposed for rookie Android Wear efforts, they’re rumored to make up for lost time with emphasis on affordability and a compact form factor.
And since tech fanatics seem to scold the G Watch and Gear Live mostly for their extravagant price tags and uncomfortable sizes, it sounds like Asus is really on to something here.
Codenamed Robin (as in the bird or Batman’s sidekick?), according to master leaker @evleaks, Asus’ inaugural smartwatch “aims to be the thinnest device in the category” once it goes official. I.e., in September, based on the rock-solid word of industry insiders quoted by TechCrunch.
Remember, Asus execs themselves confirmed not long ago they were exploring their options in the fledgling market sector, so while this whole report looks a bit sketchy, it’s to be taken with far less salt than usual.
As far as retail costs are concerned, TC’s sources claim Asus could go as low as $99. $149, worst case scenario. In contrast, the Samsung Gear Live is $199, the LG G Watch $229 and the Motorola Moto 360 is widely expected to cost $249.
Sooo how exactly does Asus plan to achieve the dreamy sub-$150 price point? By cutting a few performance corners, we presume, and shrinking the AMOLED display. As a result, they may rely heavily on gesture controls and voice interaction, since the touch area would be significantly narrowed down. Personally, I have no problem with that. The G Watch and Gear Live are a little too fancy for me anyways.
Something simpler, sleeker, cheaper will thus be greatly appreciated, if not for anything else but to boost Android Wear diversity. Who’s with me?