On test at OVERDRIVE: Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20 smart watch
Casio has made a name for itself by providing stellar digital watches that last and don't cost a small fortune. Of its various lines, the G-Shock and Pro Trek lines have been developed for those with a taste for the outdoors. However, with the advent of smart watches, traditional watchmakers are now trying to ensure that their honest timepieces do not lose relevance. Enter the Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20 - a smart watch built for the outdoors with tools to match.
Who is Casio?
Casio Computer Co Ltd is headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, and founded in 1946. It is known for producing the first electric compact digital calculator, as well as for being an early digital camera innovator in the 1980s and 1990s. Its other products have included calculators, mobile phones, digital cameras, electronic musical instruments. The company is also known for its affordable electronic keyboards for musicians. But most of all, I can remember the time when a Casio watch was synonymous with digital watches. Their G-Shock line of watches has been a staple with those involved in sports and outdoor activities. For more serious outdoor applications, Casio has its Pro Trek line.
About the WSD-F20
The Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20 smartwatch is the second Wear OS (Android) smartwatch from the Japanese company. It succeeds the previous year's WSD-F10, by adding built-in GPS, using which you can access maps even when offline. Offline maps means the WSD-F20 is serious about its GPS tracking abilities. There are also various tools including a compass, found on all Pro Trek watches. On this one though, they are all displayed on different animated screens.
A 1.32-inch round touchscreen display is recessed into a chunky black bezel and big metallic orange casing. Exposed screw heads on the face, and three large buttons to its right make up the body and give it a rugged feel befitting an outdoor watch. A wide, textured soft-touch resin strap completes the image. This is no ordinary runner's watch and its design shouts this message out.
The WSD-F20 leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to its outdoor image. Its substantial size, colours, material choice all show that it is aimed at people with an active lifestyle. Casio states that the WSD-F20 has also been tested to a military specification and features water resistance to 50 metres.
However, it completely avoids the clean-look fascia that most smart watches are going for these days. It boasts its new built-in GPS functionality right on the bezel in bold. The default display screen shows animated analog hour, minute, second hands overlaid on an outline map of your current location. This definitely catches the eye.
To use most of the smart watch functionality as well as the GPS and maps accessed from the bottom right button, you need to connect it to your Android smartphone using the Wear OS 2.0 app and syncing your Google account. There are various watch faces to choose from, but there is some lag when you switch from the Pro Trek tools (top right button) to the Android menu (centre right button) or the maps.
There are a lot of features here and I intend to test each of them out in a suitable environment before reporting back. With the Maharashtra monsoon hitting its stride, that should not be difficult. Stay tuned to OVERDRIVE for the full review.