ZenFone 5 AH-14

ASUS Launch the ZenFone 5 and ZenWatch in Japan; to Go On Sale in November

October 29, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

ASUS has been shipping their ZenFone line of products throughout Asia for some time now and they recently introduced the ZenFone 5 4G, which carries the model number of A500KL. THis is the ZenFone 5 that we recently reviewed, and were fairly impressed with. Now, ASUS is looking to expand their presence by moving into Japan, a very competitive market that not even homebrands like Panasonic could break into in any meaningful manner. So, how does ASUS expect to do just that? Well, they’re launching an unlocked version of the ZenFone 5 4G and they’ll also be launching the ZenWatch, which will go on sale in late November in the country.

For a quick refresher, the ZenFone 5 features a 5-inch 1280 x 720p display and it’s powered by a Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, rather than the Intel CPU that was in the previous model, and it’s got an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera around the back, 2GB of RAM and either 16 or 32GB of internal storage. Talking about pricing, the ZenFone 5 4G will cost 26,800 Yen for the 16GB model and 29,800 yen for the 32GB model, without tax. For a device that comes with Android 4.4 KitKat and a fairly thoughtful software experience in the ZenUI, that’s not too bad a price, but it is SIM Unlocked, so you’ll have to think about your service afterwards, but it is nice to see ASUS move into the Japanese market like this.

Another product that everyone have been looking forward to is the ZenWatch, ASUS’ first attempt at an Android Wear watch, and rather than chasing the circular Dragon, ASUS have gone with a square design. Still, this is one good-looking watch, and it features the same Snapdragon 400 in most other Android Wear devices, 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM. With a leather strap and a brushed aluminum frame, it’s almost more of a timepiece and ASUS is promising some sort of extra software on top of Android Wear to take advantage of the heart rate monitor included. As for pricing, the ZenWatch is said to cost around $275, which isn’t too far from the €199 price tag that they announced during IFA 2014 back in Berlin last month. While some are reporting that this has already gone on sale, it’s said to be available from “late November”.