When we reviewed ASUS’ ZenWatch 3, we called it one of the most well-rounded smartwatches to date. We docked points for its proprietary wrist strap connector, however, since it took away the ability to use any 22 mm band and strap you wanted. SteelConnect’s Kickstarter campaign hopes to give back that power to ZenWatch 3 owners with its AZ3 adapter.
Makers of several smartwatch adapters, including those for the Pebble Steel, Moto 360, and Apple Watch, SteelConnect decided to turn to the crowdfunding market to fund its latest adapter: the AZ3 for the ZenWatch 3. Similar to its other adapters, the AZ3 works by having folks remove the original watch strap, install the AZ3, and then connect any 22 mm band or strap they have lying around. As such, the AZ3 should solve the one issue that has seemingly been consistent across several ZenWatch 3 reviews.
Before you throw your money at your computer monitor, however, there are a few things to note. For one, SteelConnect contacted ASUS and was not given exact watch dimensions. SteelConnect promises its design comes very close to the original measurement and will confirm following subsequent metal prototypes, but it is a reminder that you are not getting an accessory directly from ASUS.
Furthermore, and this goes for any crowdfunding campaign, you will need to weigh the risks against the benefits. SteelConnect seems to have a solid track record, seeing how the company makes adapters for other smartwatches, but throwing money at a crowdfunding campaign is always a risk.
Even so, SteelConnect has raised just north of $3,200 with a $5,822 goal, so there is interest from ZenWatch 3 owners to use any watch band they want. If you are one such owner, you can plunk down at least $27 to get your hands on the AZ3. If all goes well, the AZ3 will be in backers’ hands in July.