If you've been pining for an Android Wear smartwatch but are hesitating because of their high prices, here's some good news for you. ASUS is likely to launch its Android Wear band on Sept. 3 at the IFA conference in Berlin, and the watch should be cheaper than rival devices.
The company posted on its official Twitter page a mostly black image with what looks like a rounded square watch face in the background. In the foreground is a quote by Khalil Gibran, "Time has been transformed, and we have changed." On top of the quote are the words, "@IFA Berlin Sept 3, 2014."
This all but confirms the smartwatch that ASUS had previously mentioned in an investors' conference, which CEO Jerry Shen said would be ready for IFA. He also claimed the company's offering would be cheaper and better-looking than rival products. Nothing much else has been revealed.
Existing Android Wear smartwatches available for sale include the LG G Watch and Samsung's Gear Live, which cost $229 and $199 respectively. Both of those devices sport square faces. Motorola's expected to launch the sexy, round-faced Moto 360 in September. The Moto is rumored to cost $250, making it the most expensive of the lot.
Just how much cheaper ASUS's wristband will be is not clear. We also don't know what tradeoffs the company could be making for the lower cost. LG's G Watch costs $30 more than the Gear Live, but the latter carries an onboard heart rate monitor (albeit a finicky one) for more fitness tracking capabilities.
The second half of the year looks set to be an intensely competitive one for companies looking to jump into the smartwatch market. Samsung is reportedly launching a Gear Solo smartwatch at IFA as well that could work without a smartphone. Apple is also rumored to be launching its own band, purportedly called the iWatch or iTime, later this year. The Cupertino company's offering is expected to run a version of iOS and have a strong fitness focus.