Usually, when we hear the words “smartwatch,” we think of a mini-smartphone that can be installed on third-party applications and with various communication tools, and that can be worn on the wrist. Therefore, when looking at the new watch model from Casio, it is simply impossible for an inexperienced user to recognize it as a smart watch. The GB-X6900B looks almost the same as any other protected watch from the company’s G-Shock series, but, nevertheless, it has every right to be called “smart”, since it has a number of features that are not typical for ordinary watches.

Specifications

  • mechanism type: quartz;
  • screen: transflective segment LCD display;
  • backlight: yes, LED;
  • water resistance: 200 meters (20 atmospheres);
  • accuracy: +-15 seconds per month;
  • functions: stopwatch, timer, alarm clock, world time, calendar;
  • dimensions: 57.5 x 53.9 x 20.4 millimeters, weight 82 grams;
  • battery size: CR2032;
  • Features: ability to communicate with a smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 protocol.

Appearance and ergonomics

The Casio G-Shock GB-X6900B watch comes in a metal box (only instructions are included) and has a simple design: black color, thick, durable and heavy case and a thick rubber strap. The dial is covered with durable glass, and on the bottom side the internal watch mechanism is protected by a metal cover.

The watch has four multifunction buttons on the sides, as well as a backlight button, which is located below the dial.

The strap has many degrees of freedom and is conveniently adjustable, so it will suit both those with very small and very large hands. The weight and dimensions of the device may cause slight discomfort for some users, especially those who have not worn a watch before, so it would be better to try it on and evaluate its comfort before purchasing.

The Casio G-Shock smart watch is maximally protected: the GB-X6900B model has a shock-resistant case that also does not allow dust and water to pass through. Moreover, the device can withstand pressure up to 20 atmospheres, so you can safely not only swim and dive, but also go diving.

Screen

G-Shock GB-X6900B received a transflective (reflecting and emitting light) segmented liquid crystal display, which is visually divided into several zones. The main one is located at the bottom and serves to display the time and other digital information. The second, smallest zone is located in the upper left part and is an indicator of the wireless communication module, displaying its operating mode. The third zone consists of many small dots, similar to pixels, and is designed to display additional information, including text.

By pressing the button under the dial for 1.5 seconds (in the settings this interval can be increased to 3 seconds), the blue backlight lights up – this is more than enough to see the time in the dark.

Device in operation

The GB-X6900B model, even without connection to a smartphone, has the full set of functions of a regular Casio G-Shock series wristwatch: stopwatch, timer, alarm clock, as well as world time and time display in two different time zones simultaneously.

Among the functions of controlling a smartphone directly from the watch, the G-Shock GB-X6900B includes sending commands to a music player and finding a device, which will be especially useful if you have forgotten where you put your smartphone.

But the most interesting feature of the Casio G-Shock GB-X6900B watch is that it can work in conjunction with a smartphone via Bluetooth version 4.0, that is, with low energy consumption.

To do this, you need to download the free G-SHOCK+ application from Google Play (for Android devices) or the App Store (for iOS devices), which will allow you to connect your watch to your device via Bluetooth. In theory, the watch can work with most smartphones and tablets, but full functionality is declared by the manufacturer only with some devices, including Apple iPhone 5, Apple iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S IV and Samsung Galaxy Note III

We tested the capabilities of smartwatches with the Samsung Galaxy Note III.

After pairing the G-Shock GB-X6900B with your smartphone, you can control your watch remotely. The main function of the program is to configure G-Shock. This means that instead of pressing buttons on the watch, you can make all the settings on your smartphone, which are then automatically synced with the watch.

You can set automatic time synchronization on your smartphone and watch, switch its display modes on the latter, set a timer and alarm clock, and also make some other settings, for example, the backlight time and its auto-on.

In the “Settings” section, in special submenus, you can specify which notifications are received and how exactly the watch will react. In the first submenu “Notifications” (Settings -> Notifications) on the main settings screen there are applications for which advanced options for setting notifications are available. These are, for example, Calls, SMS and Mail, for which you can set up a contact filter (notifications will come only from those people you specify) and Twitter (you can separately enable feed and mention notifications).

In the second submenu “Watch Settings” (Settings -> Watch Settings -> Notifications) you can specify how the watch will react to various events: make a sound, vibrate, do both at the same time, or simply show a notification indication on the display.

In the main menu of the G-SHOCK+ application there is a link to the “Music” section: in a special watch mode, you can use three buttons and four for player control functions, including switching tracks, pausing music and adjusting the volume. Unfortunately, we were unable to get this function to work with the Samsung Galaxy Note III smartphone either with the standard music player or with Play Music (although with the latter the watch even shows the name of the track). However, when tested with an iPod Touch 5G, the same feature worked perfectly. I would like to hope that in future updates of the application this error will be corrected, and other functions will be added, for example, control of the smartphone camera release from the watch.

Also, despite the fact that the application displays its icon in the notification panel, clicking on it does not open the program itself, which would be more convenient, but its page in the settings, where the application is offered to be stopped or deleted.

Notifications on your watch

Despite all of the above, the main function of the Casio G-Shock GB-X6900B remains notification of events on the smartphone. As already mentioned, it comes in three types: indication on an additional display in the form of a dancing man, sound notification (the device emits a quiet squeak, standard for a watch), or vibration. For all types of supported notifications, you can choose how exactly the watch will react to them. For example, you can set vibration for E-mail and sound for new SMS messages.

But from personal experience, it turned out that only notification using vibration is effective: the notification on the display can only be seen if you often look at the dial (and if you do this rarely, then there is a high chance of missing an important message), and the sound can easily not be heard on the street or in a noisy room. The vibration motor in the gadget, on the contrary, is powerful enough that it can be easily felt by hand. This is quite enough not to miss a call or an important message, and if you want to quickly dismiss a notification, then the signal from the watch can be easily stopped by tapping its glass twice.

Autonomous operation

In average operating mode, which includes receiving up to 10 notifications per day, a single use of the backlight for 1.5 seconds and operation of the Bluetooth module for 12 hours, the manufacturer promises its watch at least two years of battery life from one non-rechargeable battery. And even if you receive more notifications and use the backlight more often, the battery life of the G-Shock GB-X6900B is unlikely to be less than a year. Agree, impressive for a smartwatch, despite the fact that it does not have a color display or any multimedia functions.

Results

The Casio G-Shock GB-X6900B stands out sharply from other “smart” watches, primarily due to the fact that they were initially created not as a new product, but using a completely different ideology. Namely, an improvement on what has already earned recognition on the market among lovers of rugged watches in this line. This improvement definitely benefited the well-known and beloved watch, but it was not without some shortcomings, in particular in the operation of the companion application for the smartphone. At the same time, no standard functions have been affected, and as a watch, the G-Shock GB-X6900B works perfectly.

The watch will certainly appeal to those who would like the additional ability to quickly receive notifications or control the player from a wearable device, and, of course, those who value high-quality protected watches.

Pros:

  • long battery life;
  • protection from shock, water and dust;
  • flawless performance of all standard watch functions;
  • solid appearance.

Minuses:

  • limited number of smartphone control functions;
  • The G-SHOCK+ application does not work correctly on the Galaxy Note III.

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