Casio G-Shock GBD-H100: a rugged smartwatch for the nostalgic and the brave

The new model from the traditional Japanese house mixes various nostalgic nods with a design made for war, a powerful solar battery, heart rate measurement and smartphone notifications. It’s a powerful watch for the outdoors but not perfect.

From the 70s and until the beginning of the 21st century, the absolute synonym of digital watches was Casio. The Japanese technology firm has managed to establish itself and establish itself as the leading brand in wristwatches of all kinds: with calculator, music, video games and multiple designs, sizes and varieties, with options for all tastes. Beyond the competition, which had very good options, Casio had it and with a great advantage.

The company was established in Tokyo in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. But it wasn’t until 1957 that its founder, Tadao Kashio, created Casio Computer Co., with the launch of the first compact electronic calculator. And the first digital wristwatch was called Casiotron, in 1974. A few years later, Casio had already established itself as a reliable manufacturer of compact electronic products, such as cameras and entry-level musical instruments – like the electric keyboards, which were increasingly popular – all within reach of the general public.

But these are the wristwatches with which Casio became world famous. First, by introducing quartz models, both digital and analog, then with its wide range of digital watches for all types of users. During these years, Casio has become the generic brand of advanced digital watches at affordable prices all over the world.

But with the turn of the century came the smart phone revolution, and with it, at least until the advent of smartwatches, came the near-zero need beyond design to have a digital watch on your wrist. But Casio never stopped believing in it.

In fact, its sports and outdoor-oriented sub-brand G-Shock is still alive and well, up-to-date with the new technologies available. We recently tried the G-Shock GBD-H100 an attractive bracelet colossus that makes it a great companion for those who love extreme outdoor experiences.


  • Dimensions : 63.0 x 55.0 x 20.4mm
  • lester : 101g
  • Filter : 1.02″ (approx. 26mm) monochrome LED mineral glass
  • sensors : optical (heart rate monitor); accelerometer (step counter); magnet (digital compass); pressure (altitude/barometric pressure); temperature (thermometer).
  • position measurement : GPS, GLONASS, Michibiki (QZSS)
  • connectivity :Bluetooth (iOS and Android)
  • battery life : Between 14 hours (with training function activated) and 34 months (with energy saving function activated).

A wrist tank

Taking the G-Shock out of the box, the size of the accessory is immediately striking. This might be the biggest wristwatch in terms of volume I’ve ever worn, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For those who like to wear bulky bracelets, the weight of which rests on the hand, this model will not disappoint.

Once installed it is impressive. It’s a bit heavy and definitely grabs attention from afar, thanks to its bright red-orange color – which was the one we got to test – although it’s also available in other black-focused colours. This is nothing new for Casio, of course: the G-Shock line has always been characterized by rather robust models. In addition, its protruding case guarantees the protection of the watch against shocks, falls or external threats. In addition, it can be submerged up to 200 meters deep under water, although curiously the watch does not measure water sports routines.

Photo: Alejandro Alaluf.

And this is perhaps one of the most outstanding characteristics of the brand: the Casio design is recognizable from afar: the shapes, its inscriptions, its four imperishable front rivets and even its side buttons are unmistakable for a whole generation, especially those of us who managed to use these futuristic watches in the 80s. This one, mind you, is way bigger than those, and it’s not like you can hide it in a sleeve.

Ultra robust and good connectivity, but outdated interface

The watch is packed with detail in its design, from the markings on its fine resin case with fiberglass, which wraps the watch around its contour, to the non-slip buttons on its sides. The screen is LCD and monochrome, albeit with a high level of contrast in all sorts of lighting conditions, and it looks very good. The urethane strap is soft and at the same time has a good grip. Its various holes improve ventilation and allow fine adjustments that make the watch easier to wear and more comfortable.

It has five buttons distributed on the sides, which must be pressed firmly to activate them. On the right is a button for the light (very old school) and another to go back. On the left are two buttons for navigating through the system’s various modes and screens, and a large button in the center for activating fitness mode.

Obviously, there is a mixture between the classic watch design Outside with the characteristics of the new smart watches. We insist: the watch is big and bulky, a kind of mini robot tank on the bracelet. Bright red in color, all of the watch’s protective bumps stand out, as well as its rivets and inscriptions. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the design targets a very specific niche of users. The adjustment of the watch, yes, is easy, comfortable and, honestly, not as heavy on the wrist as one might imagine. Even if the pleasure of walking around on a daily basis with a watch of this size will be an absolutely subjective question.

As tradition dictates, you have to download the rigor application—G-Shock Move, available free of charge on play store Yes app store — to pair the clock with the mobile phone and have anchored and customizable control over the device. In this way, all the data generated can be better examined, from training plans for beginners to detailed reading of the records and results of an activity. Also, if desired, this information can be viewed in a web browser. But the app is clear and does what it promises, though we’ve seen even more detailed ones in its sample data.

Beyond physical activity data, the watch’s metric features are somewhat limited. Its stopwatch, world time, calendar and alarm stand out, although we’re not going to say these are really new features today. Notifications that can be transmitted from the smartphone to the G-Shock include incoming calls, emails, text messages, calendar notifications, and reminders, among other minor ones. But we can point out that for the first time it includes a heart rate monitor.

But it was in the clock interface that I encountered the most difficulties. It has to be said: it’s not a very user-friendly display and you constantly have to press buttons to “up” or “down” through the menus, a mechanism similar to that of decades ago (and little related to the fluid tactile movement of modern watches). smart). It takes a lot of trial and error to get used to, with a platform that’s actually pretty basic to deliver your information. An obvious and noticeable improvement would be to make the screen touch-sensitive and add color to it in the process.

Solar-charged battery (and can last up to three years!)

The backlight is LED, with automation sensors, and works well on wrist movement. As for its autonomy, the battery of the watch is generous, in particular thanks to its monochrome screen. Indeed, the manufacturer ensures that the battery charge could last up to 36 months if used in the most economical mode, and around 12 if the training function is not activated. Now it’s new.

But the best thing is the solar charging system, with which you can do without sockets and electricity. The full battery charges in approximately eight hours under fluorescent or artificial lighting indoors (500 lux), or in just a few hours outdoors on a sunny day (10,000 lux). As for the traditional charging system, it is compatible with a specific cable (it requires a device with a USB type A terminal) and takes about three hours to reach 100%.

This is how the electrical charge of the G-Shock GBD H-1000 battery is carried out. Photo: Casio.

Practical verdict

The Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000 is large, distinctive, and definitely appealing to those who like to wear bulky, colorful watches on their wrist. It has good general features: a very long battery life, complete with solar charging panels (all smartwatches should charge like this), GPS and all the necessary tools and measurements that a runner or mountaineer is looking for.

But the watch does not decide between being a vintage object brought up to date or truly positioning itself as a smartwatch that wants to compete with similar major brands that have already captivated the market. It’s a very different type of smartwatch to those usually made by tech giants like Apple or Samsung, but at nearly the same price, which doesn’t do it much justice. But for fans of Casio and its sub-brand G-Shock, as well as athletes, fitness enthusiasts and people who frequently spend several days outdoors, this model can become an excellent companion on an adventure.

Note: ⭐⭐⭐★★

*Prices for products in this item are updated as of June 2, 2022. Values ​​and availability may change.

Source: Latercera

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