Sachin Patil

Sachin Patil

Free Software Developer | GNU Emacs Hacker

Asus Zen Watch 2(WI501Q) review
Published on Oct 18, 2019 by Sachin.


Figure 1: ASUS ZenWatch2 WI501Q

After 3 years(I brought it on Oct 22, 2016) of use I’m finally writing a review of my ASUS Zenwatch2. This was my first smartwatch and I spend a good amount of time to convince myself to buy it and the device never disappointed me. I choose to have the one with 1.63“ dial. It comes with all sorts of features mentioned here and syncs pretty well the any Android phone.

The photos you see were taken today and as seen the device is in very good state after regular use. I wear it everyday during my evening walk just to see the distance covered and the calories burned ;-) Of course the strap in the photos is not the original strap that came with the watch(the original leather strap is still intact and occasionally switch to it). This one with white stitches on black leather suits even better with the watch.

If you want to look at the specs, I have put them below:

Brand Asus
Class ZenWatch 2
Model WI501Q
Android OS version 7.1.1(unofficial update)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz
Battery 380mAh
Storage 4GB eMMC Flash
Memory 512 MB RAM
Dial shape Square
Glass Cover Lens: 2.5D curved Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Display AMOLED 1.63“, 320x320, 278ppi Touch Display
Sensor 6-Axis (A+G) with Sensor-hub
Audio Built-in microphone & speaker
Communication Bluetooth 4.1 + WIFI
Device name ASUS ZenWatch2 6207
Lug width 22mm
Strap material Genuine Italian Leather
Dial material Some sort of metal
Android Wear version update)


Figure 2: Dim screen mode(Always-on Screen).

I never used the stock ROM which came with the watch. Soon after it arrived, I flashed it with AsteroidOS. You can read the entire post here. AsteroidOS has very good community support and most of the features works. It is worth trying.

I think what made me stick to this watch was I flashed it many times and simultaneously switched between Wear OS and AsteroidOS whenever I was bored. I still love using adb to sneak into the device and with AsteriodOS you can even SSH into the watch. Below are few lines of bash history:

 1: psachin@nubia:$ ssh ceres@
 2: The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
 3: ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:LxNXmUOedFlgPA+PHbPRW8kzHETwXtrAhdtQRE6x5gj.
 4: ECDSA key fingerprint is MD5:9b:12:8c:54:20:b0:a8:15:65:14:a7:c7:cd:e2:5a:75.
 5: Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
 6: Warning: Permanently added '' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
 7: Last login: Mon Jun 12 17:12:55 2017
 8: Could not chdir to home directory /home/ceres: No such file or directory
 9: ceres@sparrow:/$ journalctl --no-pager
10: Hint: You are currently not seeing messages from other users and the system.
11:       Users in the 'systemd-journal' group can see all messages. Pass -q to
12:       turn off this notice.
13: No journal files were opened due to insufficient permissions.
14: ceres@sparrow:/$ journalctl --no-pager -q
15: No journal files were opened due to insufficient permissions.
16: ceres@sparrow:/$ sudo -s
17: -sh: sudo: not found
18: ceres@sparrow:/$ su
19: root@sparrow:/# journalctl --no-pager
20: -- Logs begin at Mon 2017-06-12 17:12:41 UTC, end at Mon 2017-06-12 17:16:33 UTC. --
21: Jun 12 17:12:41 sparrow kernel: Booting Linux on physical CPU 0x0
22: Jun 12 17:12:41 sparrow kernel: Initializing cgroup subsys cpuset
23: Jun 12 17:12:41 sparrow kernel: Initializing cgroup subsys cpu
24: Jun 12 17:12:41 sparrow kernel: Initializing cgroup subsys cpuacct

You can look at the full logs at https://pastebin.com/EkQG9QYV

What I love about this watch is that I have a precise timekeeping device with all the complications like Day-Date, Battery status, Second timezone, Step count on a single screen. With Bluetooth ON and Always-on screen turned off, the Watch goes up to 2 days on battery. On Airplane mode and Always-on screen turned off, the Watch stay for more than 5 days with less than 10% battery. If Battery Saver on, it stays for 7 days. This is a reliable device for travel because you don’t have to worry about the regional time change. The watch syncs with the Phone and auto adjust to the destination timezone.


Figure 3: Settings are available with a press of the crown button.

With the HyperCharge, the watch is 100% charged in less than 60 mins. The only issue I face is I need to cleanup the charging contacts from time-to-time as they easily loose contact with the charger points due to sweat and dirt.


Figure 4: Charging contacts at the back. This was clicked with the original straps.

I’m currently using an unofficial update. ASUS ZenWatch2 is quite a piece and in my experience with continuous experimenting & flashing the watch, I can say that the hardware is very stable. The Battery performance is quite incredible till now. I must say that the device has served me well.