Casio G-SHOCK Smartwatch Review: Gee, Shockingly Bad Timing
. Did you know that one of the most famous watch brands in the world owes its existence to an accident? Nearly four decades ago, Casio engineer Kikuo Ibe dropped and shattered a treasured timepiece passed down from his father.. He was so affected by this that he decided to make a watch so durable. It couldnt be broken by dropping it. In 1983, after building two hundred prototypes Ibes team released the first Casio G SHOCK and in the thirty eight years since these robust wristwatches have ringed the wrists of special forces operators, Air Force, pilots, even astronauts.. It took until 2021 for Casio to merge that legacy of durability, with a feature set complete enough to be called a smartwatch, and the result is this GSW H1000.. Under other circumstances, this would be a stellar starting point for a new chapter in G SHOCK history., But in watches more so than most things. It really is all in the timing, and sadly theres never been a worse time to build or to buy a Google powered smartwatch. INTRO Before we get to the platform. Lets talk about the hardware that does such a good job of setting. This G SHOCK, apart. Casio, drew heavily from its ProTrek Smart series here. A line of Wear OS watches that I used to find almost comically large and which are utterly dwarfed by this Kelvin timeline. Monstrosity.. The G SHOCK corrects the most glaring flaw of the ProTrek Smart by adding a heart rate sensor, while preserving the dual layer display that Casio first brought to market in 2016.
. It works just the same way as it does on the ProTreks and on some TicWatch models from Mobvoi when the main 1.2 inch LCD times out a secondary LCD flashes to life above it showing time date, step count and battery life in large monochrome, segments., No matter How bright or readable color smartwatch faces get none of them will ever be as effortlessly visible in all lighting conditions, as this one., When you run out of battery power its this display that takes over in Timepiece Mode, to give you an estimated additional 30 days of Dumbwatch duty. Charging is familiar too a magnetic pin pops into a pusher sized plug at the ten oclock position, taking the watch from empty to full in a pokey three hours., I miss the charging light from the ProTrek, as well as the slightly sharper display the changeable Bands and the sportier colors, but Casio did bring over an awful lot of ProTrek DNA on the software side. From basics like the compass, altimeter and barometer to my personal favorite tool watch feature tide tables for major waterways. And now that there’s, a heart rate sensor, you Get an activity hub to track a variety of workouts, as well as a companion app on the phone to manage that exercise tracking and if you want overlay your stats on a custom video.. As you know, thats, not really my bag. But for what its worth? The step counts were consistent with other wearables.
I use every day. And the apps are sensibly designed so that, while you’re exercising the touchscreen is disabled, making excellent use of those meaty pushers on the side., Those buttons factor in to the G SHOCK’s over the top quotarmored industrialquot sort of aesthetic.. The materials are high quality with a titanium backplate, aluminum 2 oclock pusher double buckle tongues on the band and mineral glass over the watchface Casio wouldnt tell me, which brand of glass. Its comfortable to wear too, with these soft rubber spacers doing a great job of filling. What would otherwise be huge gaps between skin and band., And even though its double the mass of Samsungs Galaxy Watch 3, it somehow doesnt feel it. About the only thing. Id change from a physical standpoint is the height at about 20mm. The casing towers so high. Above the touchscreen that tapping it really does feel like youre reaching into the watch.. An active crown or rotating side button would have helped with this, but its omission makes sense here, given the focus on durability and water resistance., The watch is rated to 20 bar or about 200 meters of depth. Far deeper than most buyers will ever see hopefully., But given all the added space Casio had to work with here, there are some missed, opportunities., Theres, no NFC so forget about paying for your coffee with your watch.. Also absent is automatic brightness, which adds a small but irritating extra step once or twice a day.
Theres a microphone but no speaker., Bluetooth and WiFi, but no cellular. And then there’s battery life. This much casing volume would suggest an enormous power reserve, but the G SHOCK is a one and a half day, smartwatch, possibly two and a half. If you disable some of the more power hungry features and stay away from apps that use the GPS.. Also, you know how Ive been saying: Wear OS has gotten a lot more responsive over the past year. Well, you wouldnt really know it by using the G SHOCK.. The initial setup tutorial was very slow, recalling the worst of watches from 2019 and before.. One morning my alarm went off on time, but I couldnt dismiss it. I had to restart the watch. That old chestnut the disconnecting for no good reason reared its ugly head on one afternoon. And lag and stutter is common throughout the interface. Despite the three quarters of a gig of RAM onboard., Casio wouldnt tell me what processor powers the G SHOCK, so I cant confirm this, but Device Info 360 revealed a system on a chip with specifications consistent with a Samsung Exynos, 9110 or similar. Processors like that. Do well for Tizen based smartwatches, like the Galaxy Watch, but Wear OS is heavy.. In my experience it needs either a full gig of RAM and a Snapdragon 3100, preferably 4100, to really shine.. If the G SHOCK really does have a three year old old, dual core Exynos at its heart, thats, not a great sign for its long term viability.
. Of course, you might say none of that matters because of the news that Google and Samsung just dropped earlier in May, which single handedly put a hold on nearly all Wear OS smartwatch recommendations until the fall. That news after the break. SURFSHARK A At its 2021 IO Developers conference Google announced its partnering with Samsung to co, develop a redesigned version of Wear OS, one that will finally address some of the platforms, longstanding issues. Thats, great news for the entire smartwatch community, but probably only for those who buy watches released after the new Wear Os debuts later this year., As of today, Google hasnt, said any existing watches can be upgraded to the new platform, and when I asked Casio, I got a TBD stay tuned response from them as well. That platform reboot has made it very difficult to recommend buying any Wear OS smartwatch right now. About the only ones Id even consider are those with the very newest chipset thats, the Snapdragon 4100 from Qualcomm or watches you can get at a deep discount. So you wont feel as nasty a sting if they dont last. As long as you want them to. Well, this thing costs 700. On its own, that wouldnt necessarily torpedo it really it’s an enthusiast brand, so it’s similar to, for example, Montblanc in that youre, paying a luxury tax of sorts just for the name. And in the G Shock portfolio of aggressive, assertive designs, …, this armored chonkster fits right in.
. I have no trouble believing it could pass at least two of the three so called triple ten qualifications that all G SHOCK watches are supposed to bear 10 bar water resistance and survival from a 10 meter drop 10 year battery life on this model is probably a Stretch. But it doesnt have a guaranteed update to the new Wear platform, and if the silicon at the heart of it really is as old as it seems, its highly unlikely itll get one. Until those questions about its longevity are answered. Im afraid I cant recommend this one, no matter how cool it looks.. This review was produced following seven days with a GSW H1000 review sample provided by Casio, but, as always, the manufacturer had no editorial input or early look into this content. Nor did it pay a fee for its production.. Please subscribe to theMrMobile on YouTube and the socials, so you dont miss a followup, should Casio ever commit to an update that would warrant a re review of this device.