Today, few people have not heard about various kinds of “smart” watches and bracelets, which are created as accessories for smartphones and tablets. However, few representatives of the smartwatch family can boast not only of a durable and durable body, but also of long battery life. Still, devices running Android Wear have to be charged at least as often as the smartphone itself — every other day or two. But watches are getting smarter not only from the gadget side, but also from the regular watch side. For example, in recent years, Casio G‑Shock has received more and more functions, while maintaining the original proprietary design and reliable construction, and most importantly, high autonomy.
- mechanism: quartz;
- body: plastic;
- glass: mineral;
- backlight: yes;
- dust and moisture protection: 200M (scuba diving);
- functions: clock, alarm clock, timer, event notification, music remote;
- battery: up to 2 years of operation;
- features: synchronization with a smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0;
- dimensions: 55 x 51.9 x 18.3 mm;
- weight: 66 grams.
The watch is sold in a medium sized white cardboard box. At first glance, it makes a modest impression, but inside there is a hexagonal metal black box, which is lined with foam rubber that secures the watch itself.
In addition, detailed instructions and a warranty card with service addresses are included.
Perhaps the most famous Casio series is the legendary G‑Shock, which is easy to use, reliable and highly durable. They can be found on the hand of a teenager and an accomplished man, an office worker and a military man.
The tested model is presented in bright red color, there are modifications in purple and black casing. The strap is made of plastic and is moderately rigid. The watch fits comfortably on your hand, the weight is moderate, and the inside is covered with a metal plate. Despite the fairly light weight of the “shocks,” the watch itself is quite massive, and narrow sleeves can become a hindrance.
There are four large buttons on the case that are responsible for navigating the menu and activating the backlight. Also, a separate button on the left starts connecting the watch to a smartphone, and there is also a rotating key on the right, rare for a G‑Shock, as in a regular mechanical watch. Depending on the selected operating mode, its purpose changes: adjusting the volume, switching tracks, selecting equalizer parameters, setting the time and other tasks.
The watch’s screen is covered with glass, which did not show any scratches during testing. G‑Shocks are designed to withstand drops to the ground from heights of over 10 meters. It is also stated that this model works at a depth of up to 200 meters. It was not possible to test this in practice, but there is no reason not to trust Casio.
The device in operation
The watch is paired with the G‑SHOCK+ application, which is available for free download to owners of smartphones running iOS or Samsung. The following devices are officially supported: iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, GALAXY S5, Note 3, S4. G‑SHOCK+ does not have a tablet version, so the interface is designed exclusively for phones. The manufacturer notes: in the background with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the watch does not yet work correctly, the problem will be fixed in the near future. The test involved an iPhone 5s with iOS 8.1 and the G‑SHOCK+ application. The manufacturer pays a lot of attention to working with the application, recommending regularly checking for updates in the software store.
To establish a connection between the watch and the smartphone, you need to turn on Bluetooth in it and press the large button on the left side of the watch. Of course, it is better to install G‑SHOCK+ on your smartphone in advance in order to enter all the necessary settings into the watch.
You can transfer current time and date data from your smartphone to your watch. You can turn off the sound of the buttons so that pressing is not accompanied by a beeping sound. Thanks to the backlight, all data on the screen is clearly visible at any time of the day, even in bright sunshine.
The additional G‑MIX application is responsible for listening to music. The lower right button is used to select the required operating mode. The watch has built-in equalizer profiles, and among the ready-made settings there are also custom scripts to fine-tune the sound. There are a couple of dozen profiles in total, which allows everyone to find their preferred settings for listening to their favorite song. You can enable cyclic or random playback of tracks and albums, as well as fast or slow playback. The watch remote also works with the standard iOS music app, but in this case you will need to remove G‑MIX.
The G‑MIX itself has a Casio-style design rather than the minimalistic iOS design. This is confirmed by convex virtual control buttons. In the center there is a small round window where the track cover can be seen. The program also includes a ready-made set of sounds, something like a beat machine. If you quickly turn the switch on the side three times, the tracks begin to fast forward or backward, depending on the direction of rotation.
The watch makes sure that the owner of the smartphone does not lose his device. If the watch does not “see” the smartphone, a warning signal sounds; there are three built-in melodies to choose from. To find your smartphone, you need to disconnect the connection between it and the watch, and then hold the lower right button for a few seconds. The device will start playing the specified sound, and it will be easier to find.
The watch also has a rather unexpected option — a music detection function that works using the well-known SoundHound application. You need to click on the top left button, after which the search starts from the watch. If the composition has been recognized, its name is displayed at the top of the screen, where space is allocated for a line that can hold up to 17 characters. All the information cannot appear on the screen at once, so we get a creeping line. Naturally, without a smartphone, the watch will not be able to find a song, and the device must be connected to the Internet, so this is a kind of duplication of the function of a mobile device.
Of course, the watch also fulfills its main role — it is responsible for indicating the time, showing data for different countries. The time of 300 cities in all time zones of the Earth is stored in memory. The screen in standby mode shows the current time; you can turn on the white backlight, which will help out at night. At the same time, with the help of simple navigation through the menu, it is easy to get data about the day of the week, turn on the timer or stopwatch.
The watch has many functions, but, oddly enough, such a smart device cannot notify about events such as SMS, calls or messages from social networks.
The manufacturer stated that using Bluetooth in the watch for about two hours a day will drain the battery within two years.
Of course, first of all, the watch must show the time. It is also clear that this new product can do this very well. In addition, Casio GBA-400 can display a lot of useful information. Finally, they are smartphone friendly. The watch will work as a music remote control, and at the same time make sure that the phone is not lost. All that remains is to teach them to notify the owner about new events in the connected gadget — and the price of 11,5 dollars will not confuse anyone. In general, Casio’s range of watches with Bluetooth is simply huge, here you can find the extreme G‑Shock, the sports STB-1000, or the timeless classic Edifice EQB-500. So everyone can easily choose a solution for themselves in the design they like.
You can buy a Casio GBA-400
- protection from water, shock;
- music remote control functions;
- search for music from the watch.
- support for a small number of Android devices;
- There is no event notification function.