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Asus ZenWatch 3 revealed at IFA – but should you wait for the Apple Watch 2?

Asus has revealed its latest Android Wear smartwatch, the ZenWatch 3, at IFA 2016 in Berlin. Here’s what you need to know about the new wearable, including whether it looks like a rival to the Apple Watch 2.

As widely expected, the Taiwanese manufacturer introduced the latest ZenWatch during its press conference at the annual IFA consumer electronics show. The follow-up to the well received ZenWatch 2, the new Asus smartwatch features some significant design tweaks, looking more like a traditional watch with its handsome round face and classy strap.

The ZenWatch 3’s display is a 1.39-inch AMOLED job protected by Gorilla Glass, while under the hood there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor that apparently uses 25% less power than its predecessor, resulting in a claimed battery life of up to two days. It also features Asus’ HyperCharge fast-charging technology, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of on-board storage.

The stainless steel casing measures less than 10mm in depth, with the device coming available in Gunmetal, Silver, and Rose Gold – all three flavours sport a discreet rose gold bezel. Rubber and Italian leather strap options are available, while wearers can choose from more than 50 pre-installed watch faces, or make their own with the built-in FaceDesigner app.

Three crown buttons sit on the right-hand side of the watch face allowing you to toggle through different functions, which include a handful of basic fitness features under the firm’s ZenFit activity tracking banner. The device is water-resistant with an IP67 rating, so while presumably shower-proof, it doesn’t appear to be be suitable for swimming.

Priced at €229, or presumably £209 (UK-specific pricing has yet to be confirmed), it will likely be about £50 less than the cheapest Apple Watch model, so is it worth waiting for Apple to debut its new smartwatch before deciding which to buy?

Absolutely. We’re expecting big things from the Apple Watch 2 and iPhone 7, so it’s worth exercising a bit of patience, as Apple is almost certainly going to reveal its second-gen smartwatch next week.

Thereafter, it’ll likely be a case of whether you’re Team Apple or fall into the Android Camp, as well as how much you’re prepared to spend on a wearable. The Apple Watch 2 will inevitably be one of the priciest smartwatches on market, so if it impresses as much as last year’s model, Asus’ new ZenWatch may well offer more bang for your buck – if you can do without the iconic logo, that is.

OPINION: I’m taking the Apple Watch 2 very serious – and you should too

Watch: Wearables and fitness buying guide

Are you sold on the ZenWatch 3 or waiting to see what the Apple Watch 2 offers? Let us know in the comments below.

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