When developing their smartwatches, most manufacturers now focus on design and functionality, including a music player, contactless payment, and sometimes the ability to use it as a standalone device with LTE support. ASUS in the development of VivoWatch BP was guided by slightly different priorities and went to the side of health monitoring functions, while not forgetting about such an important thing as battery life. They were presented back in 2018 at the Computex exhibition. In fairness, it’s worth remembering that the company still had the ZenWatch line, which was aimed at a larger audience.
What is interesting about ASUS VivoWatch BP?
Of course, ASUS VivoWatch BP has the entire standard set of a modern wearable fitness gadget: the watch can count steps, calories, measure heart rate, track sleep and receive notifications. But, more interestingly, the watch can track blood pressure trends using the built-in ECG and PPG sensors, analyze the general condition of the body based on a number of criteria and give general advice on exercises and activities (HealthAI function). In addition, there is a built-in GPS module for building routes during outdoor activities. They promise that from one charge the watch can work up to 28 days. There is IP67 splash protection.
What is in the box?
ASUS VivoWatch BP comes in a medium-sized cardboard box in bright colors, without any special design frills. Only the most necessary information. Inside there is a clock, an impressive charging dock, a MicroUSB cable, and documentation.
What does the ASUS VivoWatch BP look like?
ASUS VivoWatch BP cannot be called a “stylish accessory”, as most modern smart watches are usually positioned. They look very specific. They are made primarily of matte plastic and have an elongated shape with rounded corners. The entire front panel is covered with glass, but the touch screen occupies a relatively small part of the surface.
To the left of the screen is a round metal ECG electrode. It protrudes slightly above the surface. A little lower – sensors for photoplethysmogram (photocells). This whole design will work with similar sensors on the back of the watch.
On the right side is the only mechanical button to activate the display.
On the opposite side, there are contact pads for connecting to a charging dock.
On the reverse side, there are two large metal plates that are responsible for measuring the ECG. And in the middle, between the plates is an optical FPG sensor for measuring heart rate, as in most modern smart watches.
The strap is made of medical silicone and has a width of 20 mm. I will not argue, but it seems that it can not be replaced. In any case, if such a procedure is possible, it is most likely through a service center. A standard buckle clasp with holes is used. There are many of them and the adjustment range is large. I think it’s suitable for any hand.
ASUS VivoWatch BP is thin, lightweight (only 45 g) and comfortable to wear comfortably. The degree of protection they have is only IP67, so they are not afraid of splashing water and light rain. You can’t swim in them. Yes, and take a shower, I suspect, is also not worth it. In appearance it is somehow generally difficult to evaluate them: ASUS did not pursue the goal of making them beautiful. They look strange, but not too striking due to the black color of the case.
What about the screen and hardware?
This is perhaps the shortest and most boring section of this review: ASUS VivoWatch BP has practically no additional functions, so no productive filling is needed. Moreover, ASUS does not provide detailed information. The watch uses a square color display with a diagonal of 1.26 inches, the type indicated is LCD. This is a color transflective screen, that is, in bright light it mainly reflects, and the backlight is needed only in the dark. Brightness can be adjusted. Its main advantage is very high energy efficiency.
The clock works on a proprietary OS, so there is no question of any gigahertz or gigabytes. Of the wireless modules, interfaces, and sensors, there are Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, an accelerometer, ECG and FPG sensors.
What about charging and battery?
One of the important advantages of watches is their autonomy. ASUS does not talk about battery capacity, but promises 28 days of operation. Of course, this indicator can vary significantly depending on the frequency of use of GPS and so on. But, in any case, it will be extremely difficult to land them in less than 2 weeks.
The gadget is charging from the docking station of a very unusual shape. Charging occurs quickly, according to personal feelings, an hour and a half.
What about the interface and features?
To get started, let’s figure out the interface of the watch itself. Functions are turned over by horizontal movements, vertical – additional pieces within individual functions. The main screen is a watch in different variations. There are five of them, they change in vertical movements and differ in appearance (digital, arrow), as well as additional information displayed. For example, steps, calories, heart rate, battery charge and so on.
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Scrolling from right to left opens the functional tabs: steps (and if you swipe vertically with calories, touching the chart by the hour), sleep for the current day (and the “comfortable sleep” indicator, it’s hard to say), messages (you can’t answer), and starting exercises ( There is a choice between the street and indoor activities, as well as information on steps, calories, etc.), a section with settings (including brightness, language, goals and reference materials), a section with an alarm clock, timer and stopwatch, heart rate monitor and pressure measurement. According to personal measurements, the heart rate monitor has very good accuracy, the error does not exceed 5%.
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Of course, the most interesting is the measurement of pressure and PTT index ( pulse transition time for measuring blood flow in the human body, determining the emotional state ). It is worth immediately answering one important question: no, ASUS VivoWatch BP is not a compact tonometer on the arm. Moreover, for adequate operation, the watch needs calibration using a stationary tonometer. You need to make several measurements and enter them manually in the application. And to maintain accuracy, such calibrations will need to be repeated from time to time. And at the same time, anyway, the error, of course, will be.
So why is this needed? The answer is written by ASUS itself on its website: for around-the-clock tracking of the tendency of changes in blood pressure and analysis of the state of the body. Simply put: to understand what happens if you have problems with pressure and you feel worse, but you don’t have a tonometer at hand. By accuracy, the scatter of percent is 7-8. Although I believe that accuracy can be improved by more regular calibration (I had the opportunity to make only one run with several measurements):
To fully work with the watch, the Asus HealthConnect application is used (there is both for Android and iOS). It looks pretty concise, so to speak. There are 3 main tabs (below): health information, device and settings. Health information is presented in the form of square blocks-widgets, by clicking on each one you can get more detailed information with graphs by day and week. There is a separate item ” Relief level”, which is calculated along with pressure, but what practical benefit is difficult to say. In the exercise section, you can see maps with your routes. There are a number of indicators that are entered manually, including blood sugar, of course, weight, age, gender. Also Separately, you can keep a schedule with reminders for taking medications. There is a thing called HealthIA, which on the basis of all indicators gives recommendations on activity and sleep (you need to use it for at least a week to get the data).
Also, with the help of the application, the firmware is updated, the language is set up, and more. The application is not the most “friendly”, but you can figure it out. His only problem is that at times there are oddities with synchronization and data is not transmitted the first time.
In the dry residue
Asus VivoWatch BP is a rather specific and niche gadget: it is difficult to recommend it to someone who is just looking for a “smart” watch with a heart rate monitor. Rather, the target audience is a bias towards people who are more closely monitoring their health. For example, athletes, people with poor health and older people (they just point directly to the official ASUS website). Asus VivoWatch BP is not a stylish accessory, but rather a tool for continuous monitoring of heart rate, pressure, sports activities, medication tips and so on. They cope with these goals, and this helps with long battery life and an easy-to-manage interface of the watch itself (the application is another story). Watches will soon be on sale for 6000 UAH.
5 reasons to buy ASUS VivoWatch BP:
extremely simple clock interface;
the presence of ECG and FPG sensors;
long battery life.
2 reasons not to buy ASUS VivoWatch BP:
you need more functional and more stylish smart watches;
strange and not the most convenient branded application.