It’s 2021 and we are more health conscious than ever. Since the pandemic started in 2020, I see many of my friends are getting more worried about their health. I have friends who asked me about smartwatches and fitness bands these days. Since I have been reviewing those items lately, there are a few watches and bands that I have recommended but what I’m about to review here is something better.
ASUS VivoWatch SP is made for the health conscious individuals out there. It is a full blown health tracker and so far it is one of the most accurate heart rate monitors out there. Functions aside, the ASUS VivoWatch SP also looks great. I simply love the look and design of the ASUS VivoWatch SP, making it suitable to wear while working out or simply going out for a fancy dinner. It has a sporty look and at the same time, it’s elegant.
So here’s my full review on the ASUS VivoWatch SP.
I’m quite surprised that the ASUS VivoWatch SP came in a rather large box. But it’s a nice box. Inside, you will immediately be greeted by the ASUS VivoWatch SP itself. It wowed me because I didn’t expect to see it immediately but the feeling was good. I simply love the watch strap. It is made of soft medical grade silicone and I especially love the clasp.
Okay, there are more items to check out in the box. Beneath the watch, you can find an extra watch strap. Since the ASUS VivoWatch SP comes with a quick release strap, you can easily replace it with your strap of choice. But I very much prefer this strap because it looks and feels good. Also to note, the replacement strap is shorter, that means those with smaller wrist will be able to use this to have the perfect fit. How thoughtful.
There’s also the charger and cable. Of all the smartwatches that I’ve reviewed, the ASUS VivoWatch SP has the most unique looking charger. It uses a clip-on type. The clip hangs on to the watch so you will have to take off the watch in order to charge it. But the charging time is quite short. To get from 10% up to 100% takes less than an hour. And the 200mAh battery can last for about 4 days on full use and a week or so on standby.
Right at the bottom of the box are the warranty info and the user manual. This is probably the thickest user manual that I have ever seen for a smartwatch. So much info available to get you started. When it’s this thick, you will know that the ASUS VivoWatch SP has so many functions.
Back to the watch itself. The ASUS VivoWatch SP has a rounded face and the casing is made of matte aluminium. Around the top edges, it is reinforced with stainless steel to give it a more premium look. On the right side of the case, you can find the PPG (Photoplethysmography) sensor at the top and a single button at the 4 o’clock position. On the left side, there’s the metal ECG sensor to aid the sensor at the back of the watch to read your heartbeat. More on this later.
Now at the back of the watch, you can find the sensor right in the middle with a metal plate surrounding it. This metal plate helps in detecting your heartbeat when the watch is reading your pulse. And then the right side of the sensor is where the charging pins are located.
Now we have a look at the display. At first glance, it looks like it has a full rounded watch face but when you turn on the watch, you can see that it has the “flat tyre” design. It means that the bottom part of the rounded circle is straight, making it look like a flat tyre on a car. This doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I hardly notice it.
The ASUS VivoWatch SP is using a high-reflective colour LCD display. If you’ve been using those cheaper smartwatches that come with LCD or OLED screen displays, you may not like the display on this ASUS VivoWatch SP at first. Let me tell you what I think of this display.
High-reflective colour LCD displays are not meant to be bright and sharp. On the upside, it is extremely power efficient. It is best used outdoors where it’s bright and sunny. The display is really good under direct sunlight or in bright areas. How many times have you experienced looking at your OLED display smartwatch but you’re unable to see the display properly due to the glare? Well thanks to the high-reflective LCD on the ASUS VivoWatch SP, that problem is eliminated.
While indoors or in low light areas, you can still see the display clearly – thanks to the backlight that lit up when needed. There are 5 levels of screen brightness that you can choose from. I set it at number 2. But I honestly prefer to use the ASUS VivoWatch SP when I’m outdoors. Which also means I can be active and go for a jog to keep my health in check.
Now that’s another great function with the ASUS VivoWatch SP.
Health/Fitness Tracking and Functions
First and foremost, the ASUS VivoWatch SP is made with health in mind. ASUS VivoWatch SP is a great wearable health tracker that also offers 24/7 health and fitness monitoring functions. It works hand-in-hand with the ASUS HealthConnect App that you can and should install on your mobile device. The app will sync all your health and fitness data from the watch to track your daily activities and health monitoring.
The 3 sensors available on the ASUS VivoWatch SP works really well. In my opinion, the sensor on the ASUS VivoWatch SP worked better than some of the smartwatches and trackers that I’ve reviewed recently. The overall reading is more accurate.
Health functions that are available on the ASUS VivoWatch SP are heart rate monitor, Pulse O2 sensor to calculate the oxygen level in your blood, Body Harmony Index to get the body’s sympathetic and parasympathetic response to show your stress level and sleep quality monitor. Other features like activity tracker for your daily fitness can also be monitored.
You can access all these functions from the watch itself. The watch will be on standby after a minute of idle, which means the screen will be locked to avoid any accidental touches. Simply press the side button to unlock the screen and you’re good to go.
Swiping left or right on the screen is quite responsive. There are 10 screens in total, each has its own up or down swipe to access more options for that feature. Like when I swipe to the left screen, it shows the PTT reading function. Swiping up will reveal the last reading I did with more details to it. Same goes with the Body Harmony, Pulse O2 and Heart Rate monitor features. Basically, every single screen has its own up and down swipe options.
To use the health tracker function is pretty simple. First you have to wear the watch (duh). And then you swipe towards the function you want, say the PTT. At this point, you will have to also place your right index finger on the PPG sensor (top right side of the watch) and your right thumb on the metal ECG sensor. This will aid the rear sensor to give a more accurate reading of your heart rate, pulse and so on. Just wait for it to reach 100% on the display and you’re done. This data will also sync on the phone app so you can easily track your reading on a daily or hourly basis.
Using the ASUS VivoWatch SP is very straightforward. What you see on screen is what you’re getting. You can easily and quickly select any functions to use. If you’re going outdoors for a jog, just swipe the screen to the exercise screen, select outdoor or indoor and you’re good to go. You don’t have to actually select a certain activity to get started. Another great feature when using outdoor exercise feature is that it can also track your GPS location. Location is quite accurate.
Unfortunately during this MCO lockdown period, I am unable to take the ASUS VivoWatch SP out for any activities as I am also working from home. It would be nice to take it out for a jog or even hiking at a mountain range. Since the ASUS VivoWatch SP also comes with a gravity sensor, GPS and altimeter, it would be great to be at the high ground to fully test it out. Maybe next time.
Another feature that you will get on the ASUS VivoWatch SP is the notification. Just like many and all the other smartwatches, the ASUS VivoWatch SP is able to receive phone notifications as well. You can see all your messages and emails easily but you cannot reply directly from the watch itself. It will only let you see the message, no more. That is fine by me because I dislike replying to any message from the watch itself. Too many typos in my experience.
As for the watch faces, there are 8 watch faces that you can choose from. At least you won’t be spoiled by too many choices like I had with some other smartwatches. Needless to say, some of the available watch faces are quite nice and informative.
I simply love the ASUS VivoWatch SP. I love the premium look to it, I love how it feels on my wrist and I love the health tracker features. The accuracy of the health tracker is by far one of the best I’ve used.
Some people may not like the reflective LCD display on the ASUS VivoWatch SP. I’m sure most of the current smartwatch enthusiasts would go for the more modern OLED display for that gorgeous vibrant colour display but I honestly love the reflective LCD. Best of all, the reflective LCD uses less battery power so the ASUS VivoWatch SP battery can last much, much longer.
My only qualm is the ASUS HealthConnect app. The setup is good. I can also sync and connect the ASUS VivoWatch SP to my phone without any hiccups. But I am unable to keep the connection intact. I mean, most of the time the watch gets disconnected and I have to manually reconnect again. I think ASUS really need to address this issue quickly. I understand that they are aware of this problem and probably fixing it now. So I’ll wait for the app update.
So who is this watch for? If you’re a health conscious person who needs to keep your health in check, this watch is definitely for you. The heart rate tracking function works really well. And you will also love the premium look of the watch itself when it’s on your wrist. Extremely comfortable for me, and should be for you too.
If you’re thinking of getting one for yourself, head over to ASUS Malaysia website for more info on how you can get one. It is retailing for RM1,499.00 for the Malaysian market.