Wearables

WSD-F10 the first true smartwatch by Casio

The Casio WSD-F10 is built to withstand the great outdoors and is water-resistant to a depth of 50m.
The Casio WSD-F10 is built to withstand the great outdoors and is water-resistant to a depth of 50m.PHOTO: CASIO
The Casio WSD-F10 is built to withstand the great outdoors and is water-resistant to a depth of 50m.
The Casio WSD-F10 is built to withstand the great outdoors and is water-resistant to a depth of 50m.PHOTO: CASIO

Singapore will be third market, after Japan and the US, for the Smart Outdoor Watch

The Casio WSD-F10 Smart Outdoor Watch is the first true smartwatch by the Japanese timepiece giant. Those G-Shock watches with Bluetooth do not count.

For a company that probably kickstarted the digital watch revolution and introduced rugged G-Shock watches, this Android Wear smartwatch should have come earlier.

Available only in the United States and Japan previously, Singapore will be the third market that this Android Wear smartwatch is available when it goes on sale next week at the Casio Concept Store in Tampines Mall. It will also be on sale during Comex 2016.

In Singapore, only the orange (version reviewed) and black models will be available. There are also red and green models which are sold in the other countries.

As you might expect from Casio and from the product name, this smartwatch is built to withstand the great outdoors. It is water-resistant to a depth of 50m and has passed the US MIL-STD-810G military standard endurance tests for drops, vibrations and other rugged scenarios.

It also has features you don't normally see in smartwatches: built-in compass and barometer and altimeter sensors. But I find the lack of GPS pretty glaring. Since the watch is already quite huge, Casio might as well have added a GPS module.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $699, available from Sept 8 at Casio Concept Store in Tampines Mall

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth

    COMPATIBILITY: Android 4.3 and above; iOS 8 and above

    WATER RESISTANCE: 50m

    WEIGHT: 93g

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The WSD-F10 is a giant watch that easily covers my wrist with its watch face alone. It has a sturdy metal case and a rubber strap that is comfortable to the skin. Despite its size, it is quite lightweight.

It looks good, but shouts rugged outdoor watch from a mile away. Not something you will wear to a cocktail party or black-tie event.

In addition, its 1.32-inch round touchscreen display has a cut at its bottom - similar to the "flat tyre" design of Moto 360. I like the Moto 360 design but there will be purists who prefer a full round face.

That said, I wish Casio designers had used the design of the G-Shock GB6900 watch as a template to go with the flat-tyre screen. It would have been more elegant that way.

Nonetheless, the WSD-F10 has this unique dual layer of monochrome and colour LCDs.

You can toggle between the two layers - to the monochrome display to conserve battery, and the colour one for apps, notifications and other Android Wear features.

On the watch's left, you will find the charging port and the barometric/altitude sensors. There are three buttons on its right - Tool (top), App (bottom) and the home/ back button (middle).

Pressing the Tool button toggles through the screens for compass, barometer, altitude, sunset/sunrise time, tide graphs and daily activity. During the review, the tide screendisplayed only cities from Japan, the US and Europe. I hope this will change when the watch is officially launched here.

The App button is a shortcut button to activate the function you want, for example Weather, or as a remote shutter release with the Casio Exilim FR100 camera.

You need to download the Casio Moment Setter+ to configure the App button. The app also allows you to change the settings of the original watch faces.

I prefer to use the Casio original watch faces, even though I have lots of Android Wear watch faces. It just doesn't feel right to use other watch faces on a Casio smartwatch.

Battery life is mediocre by smartwatch standard, at only up to two days. Frankly, I was half-expecting the WSD-F10 to be solar powered, so it can last longer, especially so when there is no GPS module.

You can activate the timepiece mode, which is supposed to allow the watch to last for a month.

But you lose all the smart features, including the barometer and altitude tools.

•Verdict: It might not be perfect, but not many smartwatches can boast the sensors and usability of the Casio WSD-F10 Smart Outdoor Watch.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2016, with the headline 'WSD-F10 the first true smartwatch by Casio'. Print Edition | Subscribe