The G-Shock series has been one of the best known from Casio for over 35 years. At the time, the watches intended for outdoor use had to have a battery life of at least ten years, a water resistance of 10 bar and a shock resistance from 10 m drop height. Over time, the series changed and now has with the G-Shock GBD-H1000 a Smartwatch offshoot that complements the concept with a variety of sensors and GPS. The watch is already available in four colors. The price recommendation is given by Casio at 399 euros. In the price comparison, the watch is available from 388 euros .
Extreme in many ways
The very first sight and even more the first time you put on the GBD-H1000 shows what the watch is made for. The rough, heavy and well-known design shows that it is a G-Shock. With dimensions of 63 × 55 × 20.4 mm (H × W × D) and a weight of 101 g, the watch is a colossus. The external appearance takes a lot of getting used to, especially with regard to the height of over 2 cm. The wearing comfort is in no way inferior to that of a conventional watch. On longer tours you can already notice the high weight.
Even if the GBD-H1000 is not a “full-fledged smartwatch”, the water resistance up to 20 bar water pressure should be emphasized. If other smartwatches allow swimming at maximum, the Casio, on the other hand, is even suitable for free diving. However, the manufacturer does not provide any precise information on shock resistance and only describes “ that the watch can withstand a lot without being damaged. The shockproof housing offers protection in the event of an impact and vibration ” .
Solar support as a highlight
Represented in the wristwatch segment for some time, solar charging functions in the smartwatch sector have so far been few and far between and can only be found in the outdoor area. Even if the GBD-H1000 is not a smartwatch as such, the translucent display is heading in the right direction. A pure solar charge is not yet possible or is only possible with great difficulty, but this (supportive) option would be extremely conceivable for the future smartwatch market.
In reality, the solar charging function is extremely practical and is primarily aimed at users on longer hikes or outdoor tours. In order to save enough energy for a one-day use, the watch has to spend 9 minutes in free, direct sunlight (50,000 lux) or 14 hours in artificial office lighting (500 lux). According to Casio, the G-Shock needs 3 hours in free sunlight to carry out a charge from the battery level “Low” to “Mid”. In order to load from “Mid” to “High”, another 26 hours must be estimated.
However, the subject\’s general battery life is also remarkable. For the time display, pedometer and notification function, a full battery charge would suffice according to Casio for 12 months. In training mode, i.e. with permanently activated GPS and heart rate measurement every second, the G-Shock is certified for a runtime of up to 14 hours. In everyday testing, the GBD-H1000 has a runtime of five to six days, with permanent heart rate monitoring and automatic display lighting, but without GPS.
Not much can be said about the rest of the system. The unknown hardware is sufficient to operate the trivial system smoothly. The monochrome, passive display offers little comfort, but that in the target segment is rather secondary anyway, since functionality and runtime count. The energy-saving display is easy to read from all angles – the readability is even better in direct sunlight.
The G-Shock GBD-H1000 has no technical frills and has to be operated with five buttons. The result is a jumble of double assignments, both for the buttons and for the ads. Each button has two functions, which still allows a reasonably good handling. However, each of the eight “main displays” has other modes for displaying other data. Here, at the latest, the user is not spared the need to access the operating instructions. Even after a few days of getting used to it, the instructions should always be within reach.
The range of functions of the watch is almost as spartan. It is only aimed at runners, and this becomes clear at the latest when it comes to the functions. If smartwatches offer a wide range of training modes and sports, the G-Shock only offers interval / tabata and running training. In addition to automatic start detection, the watch also has an automatic start / stop function and some other additional functions, including automatic lap detection. Based on the training goal and interval, the user can have automatic training plans created with the Casio Move app, for example. The interval training is simple and indicates the next interval module by means of sound. The intervals and repetitions only have to be defined beforehand.
Although kept simple, the G-Shock offers a host of sensors. In addition to location using GPS, GLONASS and QZSS, the watch also has a barometer, a thermometer, a heart rate and an acceleration sensor on board. It also has an algorithm for measuring oxygen saturation in the blood.
For a watch that should be detached from the smartphone, fine and good, there would not be the sometimes enormous deviations. The probably biggest carver of the G-Shock was noticed immediately after the first days of wearing. After dozens of tested smartwatches, rough empirical values are now available for a “normal” working day. In steps, an average day usually counts between 8,000 and 9,000. Smaller deviations would not necessarily be noticed here, but the Casio GBD-H1000 analyzed about 11,000 to 12,000 steps on almost all “normal” days, which made us wonder. With the direct step analysis of 1,000 steps counted, the first thought was confirmed – the watch measures extremely wrong steps with analyzed 1,227 steps.
The other sensors aren\’t exactly at their best either. At a room temperature of 22 ° C, the integrated thermometer measures 30.5 ° C. After calibration to the factory setting, the value even rises to 31 ° C. The only remedy is manual calibration with direct entry of a temperature. The same scenario with the altimeter . Unattractive and extremely complicated due to the complex menu navigation.
Only the optical heart rate measurement and the digital compass measure reliably and without incident. The Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000 measures the heart rate in three test phases almost identically to the Polar H7 chest strap used to determine a reference value.
Heart rate measurements, in s / min
G Shock GBD-H1000
The GPS compass measures in the free environment with a deviation of approximately ± 1 ° – a good value. In contrast, the deviation is much larger at a good 60 ° in closed rooms. Here the signal does not seem to be strong enough or interference factors such as electrical devices affect the result. There is no navigation function.
The smartphone app is not worth mentioning
A watch that is primarily made for self-sufficient use without a smartphone really doesn\’t need a state-of-the-art app, but it should at least be revealing. The Casio-Move app looks like it has been cobbled together quickly and offers little added value compared to the displays on the watch itself. All vital parameters can also be viewed on the watch, and sometimes even in diagram form.
The app is used to create training plans, map viewing of the route covered and a more detailed view of the parameters. The latter is particularly difficult, since the diagrams shown are very rough and cannot be selected. For example, tapping a chart tip is not possible. It can also be guessed at what time it was, since the time axis only shows 0:00, 12:00 and 0:00. All times in between can only be guessed.
Users who do not want to use the app can also link the recorded data to an external app (Apple Health, Strava or Google Fit).
The Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000 is an exotic that is primarily aimed at runners. The outdoor capabilities such as water and shock resistance are impressive, as is the grandiose display, which gleams particularly well outdoors with perfect readability – and that shines even in direct sunlight. The supportive charging by solar energy could be pioneering in the whole smartwatch segment and is also the figurehead of the watch.
It is still difficult to come up with a comprehensive conclusion for such a special gadget. For outdoor tours, where not much is needed, or for professional runners, the watch can certainly bring advantages. The GBD-H1000 is absolutely nothing for smartwatch fans who see them as a smartphone extension or replacement on their wrists, or for sports enthusiasts of various sports. The messages are too rudimentary, the sporting diversity is too rare.
Generally speaking, some adjustments are still required – above all the partly inaccurate sensor values, in which the step analysis in particular is completely outside the tolerance. On top of that, the user has to find his way around the menu for a while and should never put the manual too far away or even dispose of it.
ComputerBase received the G-Shock GBD-H1000 on loan from Casio for testing. The manufacturer did not influence the test report and there was no obligation to publish it. There was no NDA.