When is a smartwatch not a smartwatch? When it's looking out for your health and well-being like the Asus VivoWatch BP. Announced at Asus' Computex 2018 press conference, the VivoWatch BP is the first mainstream smartwatch to offer blood pressure measurements.
Although the company did not disclose pricing or availability, Asus announced several tantalizing specs and features. The biggest, of course, is the blood pressure monitoring. Using integrated ECG and PPG sensors, the watch delivers real-time measurements in 15 seconds.
This is a serious game changer, as hypertension kills more than 9.4 million people a year according to the World Health Organization. WHO also estimates there will be 1.56 billion hypertension sufferers by 2025.
Unlike other watches that track this measurement, VivoWatch BP doesn't make you raise your arm to a certain height. All I had to do to make the magic happen was place my finger on the large metal sensor to the left of the watch face and let the watch do its thing.
Equipped with Asus' proprietary ASUS HealthAI technology, the VivoWatch BP also keeps track of your lifestyle habits and recommends ways to keep your blood pressure at an acceptable level. And like other popular smartwatches/fitness bands on the market, it also tracks your sleep and exercise patterns.
And while it has some medical benefits, don't write the VivoWatch BP off as some ugly medical tool. Asus has worked to give the smartwatch a bit of style. For starters, the watch is 50 percent smaller than a regular blood pressure monitoring device. The wearable has a rather sleek watch face that's protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, and it has a slew of swappable bands made from medical grade silicon. The face is a little wide for my tastes, but I could see myself getting used to it sooner than later.
Aside from the potential health benefits, my favorite thing about the VivoWatch BP is the battery life. Asus claims that it will last 28 days on a single charge. That's head and shoulders over the competition, and I can't wait to get this into the Tom's Guide labs to put it to the test.