Casio G-Shock GSW-H1000 review: bad timing
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Casio G-Shock GSW-H1000 review: bad timing

Though the Put on OS watch market has been dominated by the likes of Fossil for a few years now, Casio has quietly carved out a distinct segment for itself as a purveyor of extra rugged gadgets. The Japanese firm first launched its Smart Outdoor Watch all the best way again in 2016 and has continued to iterate on the concept with Professional Trek-branded fashions.

All this time, although, there was one apparent query. Why hasn’t Casio made a G-Shock smartwatch?

G-Shock is among the most iconic watch manufacturers on this planet and has lengthy had a powerful affiliation with streetwear tradition. In contrast to, say, Tag Heuer, whose Swiss luxurious all the time appeared like an odd match for smartwatches, many G-Shock fashions are each standing symbols and comparatively accessible digital items on the identical time. It doesn’t make a lot sense for most individuals to spend hundreds of {dollars} on a smartwatch that can possible be out of date in a number of years, however there are many G-Shocks that price underneath $100. Absolutely that is the proper model for smartwatches?

Effectively, right here’s the G-Squad Professional GSW-H1000. It’s Casio’s first really sensible G-Shock watch — except you depend some earlier fashions with restricted Bluetooth performance — and it’s obtainable now for $699. That’s a excessive worth for any smartwatch, and this one struggles to justify it.

G-Shocks are available in a number of sizes and shapes, and the GSW-H1000 is unquestionably towards the bulkier, extra rugged finish of the lineup. It feels extraordinarily effectively made, has 20-bar water resistance, and is completely big. It’s not likely the form of watch I might usually put on, however I do fairly like the best way it seems to be. Then once more, my spouse instantly laughed at it and stated, “You’ll should be much more into streetwear than you truly are so as to pull that off.” Which, ouch. However perhaps which means Casio has pulled off the G-Shock look?

Model is, after all, subjective, and I believe this watch achieves what it was going for. However should you’re into the subtler, extra slimline G-Shocks just like the recently popular GA-2100, simply know that this very a lot isn’t that. Whereas it was snug sufficient on my wrist, I’m undecided I may advocate it to folks with smaller frames.

In reality, the GSW-H1000 isn’t all that completely different to Casio’s prior Pro Trek Wear OS watches. The main target is extra on health than mountaineering this time round, however the bodily proportions are related and you continue to get the compass, altitude sensor, barometer, and GPS connectivity. (One main omission is any type of NFC, so there’s no cellular funds help.) The proprietary barrel charger is as awkward as ever, and Casio can be nonetheless making use of a dual-layer LCD that may lengthen battery life as much as a month in its primary monochrome timekeeping mode.

Beneath that monochrome show is a totally round 1.2-inch 360 x 360 LCD display. It feels fairly small relative to the remainder of the watch, but it surely isn’t tough to make use of, and I like that it doesn’t dominate the watch’s design. The larger downside is that it simply doesn’t look nice in comparison with the OLED panels utilized in most smartwatches — it’s fairly low in distinction and isn’t simply seen in shiny daylight. The monochrome layer, nonetheless, could be left on on a regular basis and is rather more glanceable should you don’t want to make use of it for something difficult.

One slight oddity with the GSH-H1000 is that Casio included only a few watchfaces. You solely get an information-dense digital face, a primary analog possibility, and one which matches the format of the monochrome LCD. That latter setting was my favourite as a result of it felt much less jarring shifting between always-on and lively show modes. Clearly, you may obtain no matter watchface you want from the Play Retailer, but it surely’s clear that Casio designed this watch across the dual-layer mode.

The sense that that is extra of a curated Put on OS product extends to the software program, which is constructed round a devoted Casio app that you just activate with the bottom-right button on the watch. This handles options just like the barometer and altimeter, in addition to letting you entry G-Shock Transfer, a fitness-focused app that you need to set up in your cellphone alongside the bottom Put on OS app, which is a barely awkward course of. As soon as arrange, although, G-Shock Transfer could be linked to Google Match and helps a ton of actions — from paddleboarding to fishing — and I discovered it labored effectively for monitoring my bike runs.

The unlucky factor about this watch’s software program is that Casio introduced it proper earlier than Google and Samsung came out with the Galaxy Watch 4 and Wear OS 3, which is the most important refresh Google’s smartwatch platform has obtained in a number of years. From Casio’s viewpoint, it may not be a crucial improve. A lot of your interplay with this watch is thru Casio’s personal customized software program, and if that’s what you’re shopping for it for, the underlying OS isn’t fairly as vital because it is likely to be with a Put on OS Michael Kors. Even battery life issues are mitigated considerably due to the dual-layer display — I acquired a few days’ use out of this watch simply in dual-layer mode.

Personally, although, I would love my smartwatch to be purposeful as a smartwatch, particularly if I’m dropping $699 on it. I’m not about to dual-wield this factor with an Apple Watch, in any case. And Put on OS 2 is absolutely simply not match for function at this level. That’s why Google essentially abandoned it with Wear OS 3, which lifts options from Samsung’s a lot better Tizen-based watches. Casio’s customizations work effectively sufficient by themselves, however I do know what I’d relatively have operating behind the scenes. There’s no phrase from Casio on whether or not this watch will get an replace, and I wouldn’t financial institution on it.

The GSH-H1000 arguably has extra going for it than every other Put on OS 2 watch ever made. The construct high quality is nice, it has real model cachet, and Casio has completed loads of work to enhance the software program and efficiency. In case you’re a G-Shock fan who’s been ready for a smartwatch and you’re keen on this specific design, then hey, that is it.

But it surely’s costly, the styling is divisive, and it’s come at a extremely bad time contemplating the launch of Put on OS 3. Contemplating all of that, it’s onerous to think about this being the best look ahead to many individuals. I do suppose Casio is onto one thing right here and I’ve principally loved carrying the GSH-H1000, however I’ve to suppose there’s going to be a extra broadly interesting G-Shock smartwatch someplace down the road.

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