Casio has launched a new G-Shock smartwatch, and it’s got Garmin in its sights with a big focus on fitness.
It’s called the Casio G-Shock GSQUAD GBD-H1000, and unlike previous efforts from the G-Shock range, it’s a true fitness power house.
On board is GPS (including GLONASS support which boosts accuracy and connection speed), a heart rate monitor as well as altitude/barometric pressure, compass, temperature and acceleration sensors.
As you’d expect from a G-Shock it’s all about toughness, so there’s 200 metres of water resistance just to take it to the likes of Garmin, which mostly feature 50 metres, and have a handful that max out at 100 metres water resistance.
And the features don’t end there. The H1000 will estimate VO2 Max by blending data from the heart rate and GPS, although there’s no word yet on which algorithms are doing the hard work. However, aerobic training effect and anaerobic training effect are on the list and those are two fixtures of advanced Garmins such as the Fenix 6 and Forerunner 945.
Then there’s the battery life. 14 hours of GPS tracking is the stated longevity, which puts it up with midrange Garmins. That’s fairly impressive, although given it weighs in at 110g – the Fenix 6 is 83g – there’s a slight mismatch. However, if you just use it as a watch without getting GPS, you can get a year of battery life according to Casio.
And that’s the fact about the G-Shock BGD-H1000. It’s a big piece of watch – but then from the purveyors of the enormous Pro-Trek and 30 years of G-Shock before that – is it any surprise?
There are a few points we’re not sure about here.
The first is the OS. We’re assuming there’s a custom Casio OS doing the lifting here – a departure from Wear OS which runs on the Casio Pro-Trek series. That’s probably a good thing, as Wear OS immediately nullifies battery life which seems to be a key part of the H1000.
The next question mark is over the app. It’s all well and good having a GPS, VO2 Max reading wearable – but only if the app is up to scratch. More on that as we get it.
And finally, price. We have no idea on that either. The Fenix is the lazy comparison which starts at around £500. We’ll have to wait to see how it stacks up.