(Pocket-lint) – Casio’s journey into the world of sensible watches began a great few years in the past. From the start it went for a special method, offering a watch with a dual-layer show to increase battery life whereas all the time providing the power to see the time.
Whereas it will have made sense to launch beneath the G Shock model first, as an alternative it opted to go together with its hiker-focused ProTrek line. However lastly Casio has now launched a Put on OS watch within the G-Shock vary. So, is it any good?
- 20-bar water resistance (to 200m)
- Hole core guard construction
- Magnetic charging port
If somebody says the phrase ‘G-Shock’, there’s an excellent probability you may have a psychological picture of a chunky spherical watch. Whereas it has different kinds beneath the model, that is arguably the traditional G-Shock look.
It is massive, spherical and options these iconic shock absorbers protruding all the way in which across the show, guaranteeing that it will absorb any influence and defending that watchface.
As is customary for many Put on OS watches, the G-Shock has three bodily buttons, all on the best aspect of the watch, every with its personal preset perform. The center, as all the time, launches the Put on OS app view, itemizing all put in apps. The highest button is your Begin button – you press it to launch into an exercise. The underside button launches Casio’s personal perform interface, giving it a little bit little bit of a special edge in comparison with different Put on OS watches, however we’ll get into extra of that later.
We weren’t significantly satisfied by the design of the buttons. They’ve fairly a spongey high quality, particularly the center button, so you aren’t getting that reassuring click on you may crave, letting you already know that you’ve got, certainly, pressed a button. And since the interface on display would not all the time reply immediately, that may be a little jarring to start with.
The opposite aspect of the case options protruding parts that appear to be they may very well be buttons, however aren’t. The central protrusion is the sensor for altitude/barometric stress. The underside is simply spherical plastic with no perform. The highest one is the exterior charging port – which is magnetic, and means you cost the watch whereas it is resting on its aspect, quite than resting on its underside (the latter being bodily unattainable due to the design of the strap; it actually cannot lay flat, for the reason that strap all the time springs upright).
The strap is a nice change from the Pro-Trek models though. Rather than have a plastic-like, hard feeling material, this strap is far more supple. It’s flexible, yet strong, and the double hole-punches spread across most of the length of it give versatility in ensuring it’ll fit most wrists.
There’s only one loop holding the strap in place though, which we often found would slip down towards the clasp, even with its protruding elements fitting into the strap holes. That means you might need to get used to that strap sticking out a bit at times.
On the underside of the watch is quite a plain metal plate with a small protruding mound, which plays host to the optical sensor for heart-rate monitoring.
The one feeling you do get from the watch design is that it’s really sturdy. Not only is it designed to absorb shock, but it’s also water-resistant to high levels. It can withstand pressures up to 20 bar, which translates to around 200 metres down. One for the divers, then.
On the whole, this smart G-Shock is generally comfortable to wear, although not quite comfortable enough to want to wear it at night. It is a big, chunky watch after all. And we’d often find we’d want to take it off on hotter days, or after a workout, when we were sweating. At those points, we could definitely feel it was there on our wrist.
Display(s) and interface
- 1.32-inch fully round TFT LCD display, 320 x 300 resolution
- Monotone LCD secondary display
Casio has stuck to its guns when it comes to display tech, and we’re glad of it. It’s different to most other smart watches on the market. You get the full colour display for smartwatch shenanigans, but also a second LCD layer that’s on all the time – much like a traditional digital watch.
The result is a watch that lets you see the time, all the time, without draining significant amounts of battery. Other watches tend to use their own OLED-based panel to have an always-on feature, but this method usually means battery life is nowhere near as long-lasting as it could be.
It’s also much easier to see the Casio’s time display when outdoors in bright daylight. The primary screen isn’t so good in that instance, though, as it seems a relatively low contrast and low brightness panel. It’s a TFT-based LCD panel, which explains why.
It’s a customisable experience to a degree as well. The secondary monochrome LCD can either have a black background and white digits, or a white background and black digits. With the main colour display, Casio will let you choose from three styles: digital, analogue and dual layer. The last of these essentially mimics the look of the monochrome digital panel on the main screen, so the appearance is that it seamlessly wakes up. Of course, there’s a plethora of third-party options available to download from the store.
As for the interface on the screen, for the most part it’s the same as any Wear OS watch. Swiping left gets you to your widgets for info such as the weather and fitness tracking. Swiping right gets you to Google’s Snapshot view for a quick glance at any important info. Swiping up is for notifications. Swiping down takes you to quick settings.
Where Casio differs from others is in offering a ‘Casio App’. Launching this – by pressing the bottom button – delivers get a bespoke interface that lets you launch features like your activity tracking history and details of your runs/sessions. Here you can also customise the style of the watchfaces, quickly launch the heart rate scanner or into the ‘Timepiece’ mode.
Tracking activity and battery life
- GPS and heart-rate monitors
- Pressure sensor
- Timekeeping mode for extra long battery
The G-Shock Move was the primary Casio watch to supply a health targeted app for related smartphones. However when it first got here out it was restricted to say the least. Good for runners and nobody else.
Now the app helps extra actions, that are additionally constructed into the watch, so you possibly can observe extra than simply your operating classes. It’s going to deal with biking, biking, stand-up paddle boarding, and even fishing, amongst others.
That stated, we’re frequent runners, so naturally that is what we used it to document. And usually talking, the monitoring was fairly correct.
We took it for runs alongside our each day Garmin Fenix 6 simply to see how the 2 in contrast, and when it got here to distance, cadence, tempo and elevation, the 2 yielded very comparable outcomes. As one instance on an extended straightforward run, over 11km, the 2 watches had been solely about 50m aside in distance. Equally, there was a metre distinction in elevation, and solely a few seconds per kilometre distinction when it got here to calculated tempo.
It was solely within the presentation of information through the run now we have any actual complaints. As a substitute of displaying the gap travelled as the primary graphic, or no less than one in all them, it reveals you the time, tempo, and heart-rate – with none technique to customise that.
As soon as again from a run it is simple sufficient to sync with the smartphone app, though we often had points with connecting, and needed to swap Bluetooth on and off once more to reconnect as a way to sync.
One plus level right here, nevertheless, is that you would be able to hyperlink the Casio Transfer app to Google Match and Strava if you’d like, in order that your operating information is saved in cross platform apps and companies, you are not simply locked into Casio’s system.
That is one good thing about being a Put on OS watch too. You may, as an example, determine to obtain Strava (or different third-party apps) on to the watch and use that to trace your runs, without having Casio’s system in any respect.
The one evident omission for a Google-powered watch, nevertheless, is GPay. There is not any contactless fee of any form as a result of the Casio would not have NFC.
It does, nevertheless, have an attention-grabbing functionality referred to as Sensor Overlay. This data the information in your watch and is ready to flip it right into a graphic which you should utilize on high of video or pictures of the exercise.
For a Put on OS watch, battery life is respectable too. Once more, that is due to that dual-layer show. Somewhat than barely scrape via two days, the G-Shock manages three fairly comfortably.
Throughout exercise, we seen a 90 min outside session with coronary heart fee and GPS that it misplaced one thing like 18 per cent battery. Roughly estimating with rounding up, that implies round 450mins, or seven hours whole for stay monitoring.
With a full battery, that is probably sufficient for many actions, even an extended hike up a mountain, and greater than sufficient for even the slowest rivals to finish a marathon.
So who’s this for? Put merely, it is for G-Shock followers who need to get in on the smartwatch market. Plus, it is a respectable look ahead to monitoring actions like operating and strolling. It would not do a number of the Put on OS issues all that properly – as an example animations and response are a little bit sluggish and laggy – plus the primary show is sort of small and missing in vibrancy. But it surely nonetheless does what it units out to do.
More often than not – due to that secondary digital display – it feels identical to utilizing a correct digital G-Shock, however its hiding its smarts beneath, supplying you with that additional flexibility to get smartphone notifications, reply to messages, and observe your on a regular basis health.
It isn’t the most affordable watch on the planet, however for the primary time it is a correct sensible G-Shock – and which may be all it ever must be.
Casio’s ProTrek line affords very comparable options to the brand new G-Shock. It additionally has the dual-layer show, Put on OS software program, and comparable battery life.
Garmin Fenix 6 Professional
If being a G-Shock or a ‘correct’ smartwatch is not the massive draw right here, however you need a implausible look ahead to sports activities and exercise monitoring, there aren’t many as completed because the Fenix 6 sequence from Garmin. Plus, the battery life is far longer-lasting and it handles cell funds.
Writing by Cam Bunton. Enhancing by Mike Lowe. Initially revealed on .