The idea of the smartwatch might have gotten off to a barely sluggish begin, however with Google set to unleash its Android Put on platform this yr, you possibly can anticipate a sizeable surge of public curiosity for many of 2014 and past. Nevertheless, it is necessary to keep in mind that a number of corporations have already launched such units, and a few – Sony and Samsung – are already on their second or third iteration of the thought. Electronics big Casio has additionally dipped its toe into the smartwatch waters beforehand, with 2012's G-Shock GB-6900AA proving to be a strong, if considerably primary, effort. In 2014, the corporate is again with the Casio G-Shock GB-6900B, a timepiece which seems lots like its forerunner externally, however is packing loads of new connectivity beneath the bonnet.
Casio G-Shock GB-6900B Assessment: Design
One of many largest criticisms you will hear relating to smartwatches just like the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Pebble is that they do not truly seem like correct watches; the necessity for a big display signifies that design is dominated by the show, leaving little room for conventional watch parts. That is the place Casio's strategy differs from that of its rivals – as an alternative of making an attempt to suit smartphone-type performance onto your wrist, the Japanese agency has merely retrofitted Bluetooth connectivity to what might fairly simply move as certainly one of its normal G-Shock designs.
Whereas this may appear to be Casio has completely missed the purpose, there's truly a sound purpose for this transfer, at the least from an aesthetic perspective. The chunky and iconic G-Shock design appears sensible, and is extra visually alluring that ninety% of the smartwatches we have seen thus far. It additionally signifies that the unit advantages from the G-Shock's trademark ruggedness, too. The outsized casing protects towards bumps and scrapes, one thing different smartwatches are largely incapable of avoiding, and can also be waterproof.
The face of the GB-6900B has a typical digital show, displaying the time (in hours, minutes and seconds), the date and the precise day itself. There's additionally a small window that exhibits Bluetooth is enabled and related. Urgent the "Mode" button cycles by means of the varied optionally available settings – timer, alarm and stopwatch – whereas the massive "G" button on the face illuminates the watch so you possibly can see the time in the dead of night.
Casio G-Shock GB-6900B Assessment: Software program
By itself, the G-Shock is principally only a watch. And in contrast to different smartwatches, it does not have any distinctive software program put in on it as such. To harness the "sensible" features of the unit you could obtain the official G-Shock+ software in your iOS or Android handset. As soon as you've got downloaded it, the subsequent step is to hyperlink the watch together with your telephone. When a connection is established, the GB-6900B can obtain time knowledge out of your telephone, show caller and SMS info, verify for brand spanking new emails and even management the music participant in your handset. You can even use the watch to find your misplaced telephone by remotely inflicting it to make a sound, assuming it is nonetheless inside Bluetooth vary, in fact.
Casio could be very particular about which telephones will work with the GB-6900B, and on its website solely lists the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Word three and Casio's personal Android-powered G'zOne Commando. Whereas it is potential to hook up with different iOS and Android telephones, efficiency varies wildly. We examined a Nexus 5 operating on Android four.four and located that the hyperlink would randomly drop, and reconnecting the telephone was a cumbersome expertise.
Casio is clearly engaged on these compatibility points, and hasn't absolutely up to date the app to work with Android four.four. For those who're nonetheless on four.three then you might discover issues just a little extra agreeable, however it's however disappointing to find that if you do not have the perfect configuration, the GB-6900B is successfully decreased to little greater than a watch.
Casio G-Shock GB-6900B Evaluate: Battery
One other huge benefit the GB-6900B has over its smartwatch rivals is stamina. Whereas units just like the Pebble and Sony Smartwatch 2 require charging each few days, Casio's providing lasts round two years on a single battery, which can clearly have to be changed when it will definitely dies, simply as you'd with a regular digital wristwatch.
On this regard, the GB-6900B might probably make extra sense for many who crave the elevated connectivity that wearable media can convey, however discover the thought of getting to cost up their watch each two or three days annoying and impractical.
Casio G-Shock GB-6900B Evaluate: Conclusion
Casio hasn't strayed too removed from the idea of a watch with regards to the GB-6900B; apart from sending you notifications and controlling your telephone's music participant, there's little or no performance right here which might be deemed "sensible". Nevertheless, by preserving issues easy the corporate has managed to keep away from a number of the pitfalls which plague "correct" smartwatches – specifically horrible battery life and injury-susceptible instances.
These of you enthusiastic about with the ability to learn emails, set alarms and consider the climate in your wrist are greatest off ready to see what the primary wave of Android Put on units are like, however in the event you'd relatively have a strong watch with wonderful battery life that provides you primary info then that is value a glance, though you could want to discover out beforehand in case your telephone is suitable.
Because of Watch Shop.com for supplying the unit used on this evaluation.