Where the GBD-H1000 G-Squad added GPS tracking and oHR to G-Shock watches, the just-announced GSW-H1000 G-Squad Pro will go a step further and run on WearOS. By the looks of it, it will combine the sports features of the GBD and the WearOS outdoors features of the ProTrek Smart.
Casio bringing out a G-Shock that runs WearOS is a very peculiar step.
G-Shock watches are renowned for their ruggedness and durability. This is also what they are explicitly made for.
WearOS is not particularly rugged.
It is popular (and hated) not just as a smartwatch system, but also to provide some kinds of fitness and sports features, but its usually-short battery life is a problem for sports, let alone outdoor pursuits.
Suunto has shown that quite a bit can be done with the system (and is still adding to that), but the brand also caught quite some flak from fans who couldn’t quite wrap their heads around a Suunto that didn’t easily last for day-long outings.
Casio has stated that the G-Squad Pro is expected to last 1.5 days in “normal use” with color display, set to automatically switch to monochrome display. Sports tracking, then, should not be able to run for more than a few hours.
On the other hand, it will be possible to use the watch in “multi-timepiece mode” using timekeeping and sensors with data displayed on the monochrome LCD screen only for roughly 1 month.
ProTrek Smart Heritage?
This use of a dual-layer display as well as the various sensors and Casio WearOS apps is very interesting to me.
Casio looks to have given up on the ProTrek Smart WearOS watch; the last model, the WSD-F30 was released at least two years ago and doesn’t look like it will receive the H-MR2 version of WearOS anymore.
I had fun traveling around China with that watch, and the apps (for altimeter, compass, sunrise/sunset,…) and the (also, offline) maps on it are what got me to like WearOS for travel and outdoors – and “microexploration” – use in the first place, even with the problematic battery life.
It’s been getting long in the tooth, though, with no more changes to the system, be that apps from Casio or updates to the WearOS system (except for some security patches).
The heritage of this WearOS ProTrek seems to be getting migrated into the G-Squad Pro G-Shock, though.
The sensors, the apps, the dual-layer display… it all feels very familiar from the ProTrek Smart.
The G-Shock Difference
A G-Shock with WearOS, odd as it may also be, is quite the statement.
The trend in watches for sports and fitness is towards cleaner looks and minimalistic designs; watches that are easily wearable all the day, for sleep tracking through the night, and from a bike commute straight into a boardroom.
A G-Shock is definitely not that.
Most of the time, those are watches one can barely – or simply cannot – fit under a shirt sleeve. (Only one major exception comes to mind, the “CasiOak” G-Shock.)
That makes them all the more interesting as style pieces that stand out. Literally and figuratively.
The Most Capable G-Shock Ever
But now, WearOS changes the game quite tremendously.
- oHR (optical heart rate) sensor,
- air pressure/altitude sensor,
- gyrometer, and
- magnetic compass sensor,
- with GPS,
- with a color TFT LCD (and second layer monochrome LCD screen) touchscreen, and
- with WearOS providing smartwatch capabilities as well as Mapbox maps,
this G-Shock will be plenty capable for sports, ABC functions, sunrise/sunset display (probably), tide graph, as well as notifications from one’s smartphone and all that.
It’s going to be a tank – but with a cockpit view straight from the future.
- Case size: H 65.6 W 56.3 D 19.5mm
- Weight: 103g
- WearOS by Google
- Chipset undeclared
- Expected battery life 1.5 days in normal use with color display (automatically switching to monochrome); 1 month when only using “Multi Timepiece Mode” (disabling WearOS)
- Recharging time 3 hours; charging by magnetic charging terminal (on the upper left side of the watch, same as on the ProTrek Smart) … which means that recharging while recording an activity should not be a problem
- Display: 1.2 inch dual layer display with color TFT LCD (with 360×360 pixels) and monochrome LCD; capacitive touchscreen with anti-fouling coating
- GPS including GLONASS and QZSS
- Color maps (from Mapbox / OpenStreetMap) with support for offline maps
- Shock-resistant and water resistant to 200m
- Sensors: barometric pressure / altitude, accelerometer, gyrometer, magnetic compass, optical heart rate sensor
- Microphone (for Google Assistant)
- Vibration motor
- Wireless connectivity: BTLE 4.2 and WiFi
The G-Squad Pro (GSW-H1000) is expected on the market in May 2021, with a suggested retail price of USD699, GBP599, EUR699.