Casio G-Shock GBD-200 overview: A superbly balanced hybrid smartwatch

MSRP $149.00

“The GBD-200 is a real hybrid smartwatch that goes simple on the tech and overboard with sturdiness, which mixed with a slim case, a cushty strap, and no battery to cost makes it ultimate for all-day, on a regular basis put on.”

Execs

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

Cons

  • Solely primary health monitoring

Casio has been making related G-Shock watches with primary health monitoring for some time beneath its sporty G-Squad moniker, and over the previous yr has been experimenting with smarter versions, full with a everlasting telephone hyperlink to allow notification help, and most lately a full Wear 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 amount of tech. We expect that is how hybrid smartwatches ought 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 more moderen GBD-H1000 G Shock watches embrace 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, provide most of their advantages whenever you put on them all through the day.

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

The GBD-200 is actually the primary related G-Shock you’ll be blissful 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 Series 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, may 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 enable a level of personalization.

The sq. case is created from resin and hooked up to a really comfortable and versatile urethane strap, full with wrist guards hooked up to the lugs to assist maintain the watch centered in your wrist. The mixture of all these points makes the GBD-200 very wearable certainly. I’ve worn it on daily basis 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 scorching.

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

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 facet to indicate off the interior 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 score. Sturdiness like this issues. The watch took some knocks and bought fairly grubby once I did some backyard work, so I washed it off beneath the faucet, and now it seems to be nearly as good as new.

I washed it off beneath the faucet, and now it seems to be nearly as good as new

I’ve a 6.5-inch wrist and the GBD-200 sits completely on it, at the very least to my eyes. It’s not ungainly or comically giant, and the sq. case means it ought to swimsuit much more wrist sizes than the GBA-900 or H1000 watches. Folks with smaller wrists might not admire the chunky look of the black GBD-200, however in the event you’re used to giant watches and may get previous the design (various colours can be found), then it’s by far the most suitable choice out of G-Shock’s present vary of health watches, and the strap is extremely adjustable.

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

The stealth black model seen right here will likely be joined by a shiny yellow mannequin within the U.S., with a cool blue mannequin obtainable in another areas.

Display 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 facet controlling the software program, and the entrance button for activating the backlight. All are simple to find however do require slightly effort to press. Nevertheless, this implies you gained’t accomplish that 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 the event you’re used to touchscreens or no watch in any respect. The Mode button cycles by means of the menu, displaying the interval exercise display screen, the stopwatch, exercise information, and the notification window. A protracted press of the Modify button opens a diversified settings menu, whereas a brief press modifications the principle time show’s format.

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

The display screen has a “unfavourable” look which 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 dimensions means seeing notification particulars isn’t at all times simple at a look, particularly if like me your eyesight isn’t completely excellent. It’s clear and legible even in daylight although, and in the event you nonetheless wrestle 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 related to an iPhone 12 Pro, 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 concept of whether or not it requires your consideration or not. To see extra you must navigate by means of the menu to the notifications web page, then select the message you need to see in better element.

It’s loads of button presses to get so far, and much more to scroll by means of a person message purely as a result of display screen’s capability to indicate textual content, however you possibly can 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 aggravating. It may be turned off within the menu, or changed by a vibration that’s robust 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 fashion.

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 aren’t 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, aside from interval exercise monitoring. This takes some organising, however it does solely have to be achieved as soon as. It will probably retailer as much as 20 completely different intervals for a single exercise and the time may be set for every stage individually. It’s a disgrace this may’t be arrange within the G-Shock Transfer app, because it’s long-winded on the watch. It’s additionally simple to make a mistake and since the working system isn’t very quick, the trial-and-error side can get irritating.

Knowledge is synced throughout the app whenever you open it. The Transfer app is extremely customizable, proper right down to the order info is proven on the display screen. Step depend may 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 each 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 system 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 primary, and never very informative. Accuracy is sweet 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 would like a each day step depend and a technique to observe a stroll or run, simply to watch 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 gained’t be the look ahead to you.

Battery and charging

This will likely be a brief part, simply correctly for any hybrid smartwatch. The GBD-200 makes use of a single inside battery which Casio says ought to final for a couple of yr earlier than it wants changing in the event 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 develop into extra commonplace even on hybrid smartwatches as they develop into extra technically complicated. Casio neatly balances nearly sufficient health monitoring and smartwatch performance with actually lengthy battery life. Sure, it will have been nice to see photo voltaic charging on the GBD-200, however this may have an effect on the value.

Worth and availability

The GBD-200 prices $149 or 139 British kilos. Will probably be obtainable by means of G-Shock’s on-line retailer and boutique retail shops, in each the U.S. and the U.K.

Our Take

The G-Shock GBD-200 is strictly what a hybrid smartwatch ought to be. It seems to be 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 a long time of expertise, the consolation stage is strictly proper. It has primary 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 totally wear-and-forget.

You pay much less for it than you’ll for many full touchscreen smartwatches, and it’s equally priced to its closest rival, the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR. Nevertheless, I think about it higher trying, and it’s definitely extra watch-like than the Jorn, which edges extra towards a full smartwatch. That is really the place Casio succeeds. Many corporations have moved past the standard 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 powerful and has a long-lasting battery, and sensibly avoids the size-related drawbacks of its different current hybrid fashions, plus it doesn’t attempt to do an excessive amount of on the tech facet. 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 steadiness between design and know-how excellent, 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’ve got the choice of Casio’s hybrid related G-Shock, the dearer $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 the event you use the GPS usually.

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 indicate notifications and different info. They’re a step up from the GBD-200 when it comes to health monitoring, however the battery life is a couple of 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 suggestion, or you possibly can spend round $60 or much less and get the Honor Band 6, Xiaomi Mi Band 6, or Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 health band.

How lengthy will it final?

The GBD-200 meets G-Shock’s traditional 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 hooked up to the case, plus it’s robust and versatile. The battery may be changed both by your self when you have the instruments and the information to verify 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 downside, even in the event you don’t deal with it very properly.

Do you have to purchase it?

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

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