Casio G-Shock GBD-200 review: A perfectly balanced hybrid smartwatch

Casio G-Shock GBD-200 on the wrist, with hand in a pocket.

Casio G-Shock GBD-200 assessment: A wonderfully balanced hybrid smartwatch

MSRP $149.00

“The GBD-200 is a true hybrid smartwatch that goes easy on the tech and overboard with durability, which combined with a slim case, a comfortable strap, and no battery to charge makes it ideal for all-day, everyday wear.”

Execs

  • All-day consolation
  • Dependable, informative notifications
  • Very sturdy

Cons

  • Solely fundamental health monitoring

Casio has been making linked G-Shock watches with fundamental health monitoring for some time underneath its sporty G-Squad moniker, and over the previous 12 months has been experimenting with smarter variations, full with a everlasting telephone hyperlink to allow notification help, and most just lately a full Put on OS smartwatch too. The brand new GBD-200 brings collectively the health monitoring and everlasting Bluetooth connection to create an all-digital G-Shock hybrid smartwatch.

It’s not the primary G-Shock with this performance, however it’s the first to place all of it inside a modestly-sized sq. case. It’s a vital change, and it has been expertly matched with simply the correct quantity of tech. We expect that is how hybrid smartwatches needs to be, and right here’s why it succeeds.

Design

Casio has added health monitoring and full Bluetooth connectivity to a number of watches already. Each the older GBD-100 and newer GBD-H1000 G Shock watches embody the performance, however the design of each means they’re not ideally suited to all-day, on a regular basis put on. It’s an issue as a result of smartwatches, whether or not they’re hybrid or full touchscreen watches, supply most of their advantages whenever you put on them all through the day.

The Casio G-Shock GBD-200 display.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The GBD-200 is actually the primary linked G-Shock you’ll be pleased to put on all day, and no matter your wrist measurement too. It’s 58 grams and 15mm thick, and for comparability, the 44mm Apple Watch Sequence 6 is 36 grams and not using a strap and 10.7mm thick. It’s modestly sized for a G-Shock, doesn’t get caught in your cuff, might be worn tightly with out discomfort, and appears nice in most conditions. It’s not too sporty, and the completely different time display screen choices permit a level of personalization.

The sq. case is constituted of resin and connected to a really delicate and versatile urethane strap, full with wrist guards connected to the lugs to assist hold the watch centered in your wrist. The mix of all these elements makes the GBD-200 very wearable certainly. I’ve worn it each day for greater than per week now, and never as soon as felt the necessity to take it off as a result of it was annoying or too sizzling.

The Casio G-Shock GBD-200's case back.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

Casio is well-known for its sq. watch fashions, however the GBD-200 has taken on a design all of its personal. The resin case has a central cut up operating across the aspect to point out off the internal resin part’s coloration, the Begin button is recognized by its crimson stripe, and the sunshine button has a slight texture to it. Naturally, it’s shockproof and has a 200-meter water resistance ranking. Sturdiness like this issues. The watch took some knocks and obtained fairly grubby after I did some backyard work, so I washed it off underneath the faucet, and now it appears to be like nearly as good as new.

I washed it off underneath the faucet, and now it appears to be like nearly as good as new

I’ve a 6.5-inch wrist and the GBD-200 sits completely on it, no less than to my eyes. It’s not ungainly or comically giant, and the sq. case means it ought to go well with much more wrist sizes than the GBA-900 or H1000 watches. Folks with smaller wrists could not recognize the chunky look of the black GBD-200, however in case you’re used to giant watches and might get previous the design (various colours can be found), then it’s by far the best choice out of G-Shock’s present vary of health watches, and the strap is very adjustable.

Casio G-Shock GBD-200 on a wrist.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The stealth black model seen right here shall be joined by a vibrant yellow mannequin within the U.S., with a cool blue mannequin accessible in another areas.

Display screen and software program

The GBD-200 doesn’t have a touchscreen and also you work together with it solely utilizing the buttons on the case. There are 5 in all, with those on the aspect controlling the software program, and the entrance button for activating the backlight. All are straightforward to find however do require a bit of effort to press. Nevertheless, this implies you received’t achieve this by chance.

Like most G-Shock watches it takes a short while to get used to working the watch, because it doesn’t at all times really feel pure, particularly in case you’re used to touchscreens or no watch in any respect. The Mode button cycles via the menu, displaying the interval exercise display screen, the stopwatch, exercise information, and the notification window. An extended press of the Modify button opens a diverse settings menu, whereas a brief press modifications the principle time show’s format.

Casio G-Shock GBD-200 buttons.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The display screen has a “negative” look that means it has a black background and a gray coloration for the textual content and numbers. It’s small in comparison with smartwatches, and there’s no brightness adjustment. The scale means seeing notification particulars isn’t at all times straightforward at a look, particularly if like me your eyesight isn’t completely good. It’s clear and legible even in daylight although, and in case you nonetheless battle as a result of measurement, one of many alternate time layouts options very giant numbers, making it simpler to see.

I’ve examined the watch linked to an iPhone 12 Professional, the place it requires the set up of G-Shock’s Transfer app. Notifications have been very dependable, however don’t count on them to be as glanceable or actionable as on a smartwatch with a touchscreen. There are two phases to a notification. You get a small alert displaying the app and some phrases of the message, which is sufficient to get an thought of whether or not it requires your consideration or not. To see extra you need to navigate via the menu to the notifications web page, then select the message you wish to see in larger element.

It’s plenty of button presses to get so far, and much more to scroll via a person message purely as a result of display screen’s capability to point out textual content, however you’ll be able to see nearly all the knowledge. You’ll be able to’t reply or work together with messages on the watch, however it does warn you to SMS and calls together with app messages. By default, the watch beeps when a message arrives however it’s fairly loud and worsening. It may be turned off within the menu, or changed by a vibration that’s sturdy sufficient to be noticeable in your wrist.

It has been actually nice to put on a G-Shock watch that additionally reveals notifications

The GBD-200 doesn’t present the identical stage of interplay or smartphone syncing as an Apple Watch or different full touchscreen smartwatch, however it does sufficient to be useful. It has been actually nice to put on a G-Shock watch that additionally reveals notifications, because it carefully matches what you get from a health band, together with a telephone finder, with out compromising on model.

Health monitoring

Whereas notification and smartphone help are near what you get on a easy health band, the health monitoring is centered round strolling and operating, and there are not any choices to trace particular exercises or actions like golf, swimming, or yoga. Beginning a run is so simple as urgent the Begin button, and the show then reveals time elapsed, distance, and tempo. Press the identical button once more to cease the monitoring.

That’s about it, other than interval exercise monitoring. This takes some organising, however it does solely must be carried out as soon as. It might probably retailer as much as 20 completely different intervals for a single exercise and the time might be set for every stage individually. It’s a disgrace this could’t be arrange within the G-Shock Transfer app, because it’s long-winded on the watch. It’s additionally straightforward to make a mistake and since the working system isn’t very quick, the trial-and-error facet can get irritating.

Information is synced throughout the app whenever you open it. The Transfer app is very customizable, proper all the way down to the order data is proven on the display screen. Step depend might be seen on the watch face or within the app, the place you additionally get a breakdown of your exercise with calorie burn and distance. I actually just like the watch face that reveals progress in direction of your objective for every day of the week, which helps higher perceive your day by day exercise. The watch doesn’t have a coronary heart charge sensor or its personal GPS, however it will probably take information out of your telephone or one other machine for this. It additionally hyperlinks with Apple Well being, Google Match, and Strava.

Put alongside a smartwatch or health band and the GBD-200’s health monitoring is fundamental, and never very informative. Accuracy is nice and the watch matched the step depend and distance tracked by different wearables. Whether or not the performance is sufficient relies upon by yourself wants. If you need a day by day step depend and a technique to observe a stroll or run, simply to observe your private exercise ranges, it’s completely acceptable. Nevertheless, in order for you deeper evaluation together with information taken from a coronary heart charge sensor, sleep monitoring, or a number of exercise modes, it received’t be the look ahead to you.

Battery and charging

This shall be a brief part, simply accurately for any hybrid smartwatch. The GBD-200 makes use of a single inside battery which Casio says ought to final for a few 12 months earlier than it wants changing in case you use the Bluetooth connection on a regular basis and observe an hour of exercise every day. Use it much less and the lifetime could also be as much as two years.

Not having to cost the battery is a large benefit. The necessity for normal charging has turn out to be extra commonplace even on hybrid smartwatches as they turn out to be extra technically complicated. Casio neatly balances nearly sufficient health monitoring and smartwatch performance with really lengthy battery life. Sure, it could have been nice to see photo voltaic charging on the GBD-200, however this could have an effect on the value.

Value and availability

The GBD-200 prices $149 or 139 British kilos. It will likely be accessible via G-Shock’s on-line retailer and boutique retail shops, in each the U.S. and the U.Okay.

Our Take

The G-Shock GBD-200 is precisely what a hybrid smartwatch needs to be. It appears to be like precisely like a traditional watch — on this case, a particular and fascinating sq. G-Shock — and since it has been made by an skilled watchmaker drawing on many years of expertise, the consolation stage is precisely proper. It has fundamental smartwatch connectivity however manages to incorporate dependable and informative notifications, plus respectable health monitoring offered you don’t need something too in-depth. It does all this with out the necessity to cost the battery, so it’s completely wear-and-forget.

You pay much less for it than you’d for many full touchscreen smartwatches, and it’s equally priced to its closest rival, the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR. Nevertheless, I contemplate it higher wanting, and it’s definitely extra watch-like than the Jorn, which edges extra towards a full smartwatch. That is truly the place Casio succeeds. Many corporations have moved past the normal hybrid smartwatch, getting carried away with including tech with restricted profit. The GBD-200 doesn’t try this, and it’s all the higher for it.

As an alternative, the GBD-200 remembers it’s a G-Shock watch, so it’s very robust and has a long-lasting battery, and sensibly avoids the size-related drawbacks of its different latest hybrid fashions, plus it doesn’t attempt to do an excessive amount of on the tech aspect. It’s sufficient for anybody who isn’t an athlete or hardcore health fan and doesn’t need a touchscreen watch to cost every day. It will get the stability between design and expertise good, making it a real hybrid smartwatch.

Is there a greater various?

There isn’t essentially a greater various, however what in order for you extra tech and health monitoring options? In that case, you have got the choice of Casio’s hybrid linked G-Shock, the costlier $400 GBD-H1000 which has solar energy and a bigger display screen, plus a coronary heart charge sensor and GPS. It’s a a lot bigger and heavier watch although and does want exterior charging in case you use the GPS often.

The $195 Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR together with Fossil’s different Hybrid HR watch fashions even have a coronary heart charge sensor, plus a intelligent E-Ink display screen to point out notifications and different data. They’re a step up from the GBD-200 by way of health monitoring, however the battery life is a few week. What in order for you a full touchscreen smartwatch, or a health band with extra exercise monitoring, with out spending greater than $150? The Amazfit GTR 2e is our advice, or you’ll be able to spend round $60 or much less and get the Honor Band 6, Xiaomi Mi Band 6, or Samsung Galaxy Match 2 health band.

How lengthy will it final?

The GBD-200 meets G-Shock’s typical toughness requirements, so it’s shock and vibration proof and is water resistant to 200 meters. The resin physique could be very sturdy, and the urethane strap could be very securely connected to the case, plus it’s sturdy and versatile. The battery might be changed both by your self when you’ve got the instruments and the data to ensure the water resistance is retained, or by taking the watch to a specialist. The G-Shock GBD-200 will final for years and not using a drawback, even in case you don’t deal with it very properly.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. It’s a extremely sturdy, very distinctively designed hybrid G-Shock watch with simply the correct quantity of exercise monitoring and smartwatch performance.

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