Fitness trackers do not make the best fashion statements. So would it not be great if there was a trendy G-Shock watch that also functions as a step tracker?
Well, now there is. The new Casio G-Shock GBA-800, available in six colours ranging from all-white (version tested) to yellow/black, looks like a typical G-Shock watch with its hybrid analogue and digital display format.
There are the usual hour and minute hands. But a monochrome main display takes up the bottom half of the watch face, while a small circular display - the status indicator - is located at the two o'clock position.
Two buttons are sited on each side of the watch case. A dedicated front button activates the watch's LED lights. Holding down this front button for three seconds will enable the automatic light function. Once enabled, the LED lights will turn on whenever you tilt the watch to look at it - it is pretty neat.
And being a G-Shock watch, the GBA-800 is shock-resistant and water-resistant to a depth of 200m. The watch feels sturdy while the silicone watch band feels secure and comfortable.
Inside the GBA-800 is a three-axis accelerometer that tracks the number of steps taken by the wearer. To look at the steps recorded currently, press the bottom right button to toggle the main display to the steps panel.
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The watch also has built-in Bluetooth, so you can connect it to the Casio Connect app (available on Android and iOS).
To pair the watch with your smartphone, press and hold the watch's bottom right button for two seconds. The Bluetooth icon should appear on the status indicator. Tap on "Register watch in app" in the app to complete the pairing.
Once the pairing is done, you can set your daily steps goal. If you wear the watch and take your smartphone along on runs, the app will be able to log the location, time of the day and calories burnt.
In terms of steps tracking, I found the GBA-800 coming quite close to my calibrated Apple Watch Series 3, exceeding the latter's readings by 4 per cent. Not too bad.
However, I am disappointed that workouts are not properly tracked. For example, a run is recorded only as a workout of how many steps taken and calories burnt. There is no measurement of distance jogged.
I also think it would have been better for the watch to have GPS.
The best part about the GBA-800 is its battery life.
Some fitness trackers need to be charged every five days, while some smartwatches need to be charged every day. But the GBA-800 is expected to last two years on a CR2016 coin battery.
Furthermore, priced at only $189, the GBA-800 is a steal. Some G-Shock models are priced more than that and do not have the capabilities of the GBA-800.
• Verdict: If all you need is a step tracker in a rugged watch, the Casio G-Shock GBA-800 is perfect for you. But if you are looking for an all-rounded fitness watch, you probably have to look elsewhere.