When you think of smartwatches, you imagine Motorola, Samsung, LG, Apple, Huawei — and Casio? That’s right, the electronics manufacturing company that brought you the calculator watch has switched gears and is offering its first Android Wear-powered smartwatch.
Updated on 03-25-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added in places where you can buy Casio’s WSD F10.
Following its introduction at CES 2016 in January, Casio’s WSD F10 smartwatch is now available for purchase at $500. Buyers interested in picking one up can do so through Casio’s own online store, Amazon, REI, and the Google Store.
The Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10 is not unlike the company’s popular G-Shock series of watches, as it’s meant for outdoor use. While Android Wear is the operating system, the watch also has an analog watch mode that should last around a month on a single charge. The watch’s biggest features are that it’s water-resistant to 50 meters, meeting the U.S. military’s MSL-STD-810 standard — which is impressive — and it is packed with a pressure sensor, compass, and accelerometer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a GPS.
The screen is similar to the original Moto 360, sized at 320 x 300p and it has a flat tire, but it’s hardly noticeable. What will be noticeable is the gargantuan watch itself, with dimensions of 61.7mm x 56.4mm x 15.7mm. It’s a rugged, bulky device that comes in orange, black, red, and green.
The device comes with its own set of exclusive watch faces that are pretty busy — but if you’re getting this watch it’s not going to be for any aesthetically pleasing reasons. It’s not unattractive, it’s just not subtle.
Unlike most Android Wear smartwatches, however, Casio’s entry distinguishes itself with a clear purpose. Its dual-layer LCD screen has a monochrome mode that basically turns off all “smart” features, turning it into a basic digital watch that can last up to a month on a full charge. This let’s you utilize battery power for its smart functions only when you’re using those functions.
Along with your standard Android Wear features, what makes the WSD-F10 special is that Casio has developed special “tools” that offer quick access to the device’s sensors — letting you take a glance at information such as altitude, compass direction, air pressure, and sunrise and sunset times. The watch has dedicated buttons to access these tools on the side. And to further support the watch’s purpose, the WSD-F10 will come with preloaded apps including MyRadar, RunKeeper, Yamap, and ViewRanger.
Casio’s Moment Setter+ app can be configured to automatically send relevant information based on conditions such as speed and distance. If you plan to go fishing, it will even tell you when the fish tend to be most active.
Of course, like all Android Wear devices, once paired with your device, the watch can make use of third-party apps that support it. For example, it can offer specific information through other apps about fishing and hiking. And again, as it’s an Android Wear device, it’s also compatible with iOS devices.
Updated on 03-17-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in official launch details