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With the Casio G-SHOCK G-SQUAD GBD-H2000, the boundaries between smart G-SHOCK and smartwatch continue to merge. Is Casio’s new fitness tracker a serious alternative to established smartwatches?
G-SHOCK: The Next Generation – G-SQUAD
In the minds of most of us, G-SHOCK models are now known for their unique position within the watch world. This was previously quite strictly divided into segments. On the one hand, there were the classic, mechanically driven wristwatches. In the 1970s, manufacturers were faced with challenges for the first time with the triumph of the quartz watch. Smartwatches kicked off the next revolution just over 10 years ago, even though “real” watches have since found their niche and mean so much more to their owners than just being used to tell time.
The G-SHOCK models have successfully filled the gap that exists between the camps and combine the best of both worlds. A watch is still a watch. However, it takes advantage of the smartphone via Bluetooth connection without immediately enslaving itself.
But Casio also seems to have realized that there are enough people who like to wear their smartphone on their wrist and track their sleep, steps, calories and so much more. There are limits to the G-SHOCK as we have come to know it so far. But there’s also the G-SQUAD (called Move in the US), Casio’s answer to Apple Watch and co. Within the line, another variant was introduced with the GBD-H2000. The company’s German press release states:
“G-SHOCK launches the newest member of the sporty G-SQUAD line. The GBD-H2000 supports multiple sports and features an even lighter weight to ensure more comfortable wear. The new watch will be available in four color options.
The rugged GBD-H2000 is equipped with GPS functionality and six sensors to support a wide range of sports activities, yet is 38% lighter than its predecessor, the GBD-H1000. G-SHOCK achieves the lighter weight by developing a more compact case with integrated GPS and carbon fiber reinforced case back. The result is an even more comfortable fit on the wrist. The new watch is equipped with GPS functionality and an optical sensor to measure heart rate, as well as a compass, altitude/air pressure sensor, thermometer, accelerometer and gyroscope (rotational movements). These high-end technologies enable measurement of distance, speed, pace and more to support activities such as running, cycling and swimming.
In addition to these activity measurements are also included functions for training analysis. Algorithms developed by Polar Electro Oy, a pioneer in the industry that has perfected the art of personalized advice in fitness, sports and health for almost 50 years. The algorithms are used to measure the load on the heart and lungs, analyze the ratio of energy consumed separately by carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and monitor sleep. Pairing the watch with the dedicated CASIO WATCHES app allows users to view the watch’s workout data in more detail and access activity logs, tips for improving sleep, and more Miniaturized solar cells* use even artificial light for power and guarantee time display even when the battery is dead.
* When charged for about eight hours a day under fluorescent lighting indoors (500 lux) and when charged by a window on a sunny day for two hours a week (10,000 lux).
The case, bezel and strap are made of biomass plastic, an environmentally friendly material produced from raw materials of castor seeds and corn.”
Comment: the terrain of the smartwatch from the G-SHOCK family is well-defined. Casio has built a high-performance athlete aimed primarily at people who enjoy being active, reaching and ideally exceeding their limits. This much should be clear: anyone who buys a Casio G-SHOCK G-SQUAD GBD-H2000 is getting a fitness trainer, not an entertainment animator for the couch. Casio explains further how the fitness program looks exactly:
Support for multiple sports
“The watch supports eight different activities: running, cycling, open water swimming, pool swimming, walking, trail running, gym workouts and interval training. The watch is equipped with GPS functionality and an optical sensor that can measure heart rate, as well as a compass, altitude/air pressure sensor, thermometer, accelerometer and gyroscope (rotational movements). Depending on the activity selected, these high-end technologies allow the user to measure heart rate, distance and speed, as well as record swimming style, number of lanes and more.”
PolarTM algorithms for training analysis – fitness level and cardio workload
“Evaluates fitness level based on maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) during running, measures cardio and pulmonary workload as a function of exercise duration and intensity and provides a variety of other data.”
“Calculates carbohydrates, proteins and fats as a percentage of calories burned. Useful for determining energy intake during exercise periods and exercise intensity to meet goals.”
Sleep recovery level
“Records sleep to assess how well the user is recovering mentally and physically overnight from workouts and other demands of the day. The CASIO WATCHES app provides detailed information and advice, including sleep stage charts and tips for the day.”
Few smartwatches have watched us in such detail when we exercised. According to the promises, the Casio G-SHOCK G-SQUAD GBD-H2000 will know our body exactly. In the unbroken fitness trend, such a watch will become an indispensable gadget for measuring and visualizing success. However, I find the technology that powers the functions at least as exciting.
“Use USB charging for workout features like GPS tracking and heart rate monitor, as well as smart features like notifications and step counters. The time display is powered solely by solar energy, even when the battery is dead. “*.
* When charged for about eight hours a day under fluorescent lighting indoors (500 lux) and when charged by a window on a sunny day for two hours a week (10,000 lux).”
“The GBD-H2000 is 38% lighter than its predecessor the GBD-H1000, due to its more compact body with integrated GPS antenna and carbon fiber reinforced body base. This design also provides an even more comfortable fit that does not impede arm movement.”
Use of biomass plastics
“The bezel, case and bracelet are made of biomass plastic produced from castor bean and corn. Made from renewable resources, the biomass plastics are said to help transition to a circular economy.”
The unique selling point par excellence is the sustainability concept. Here you can see that the manufacturer is a leader in the field and is at least partially committed to environmentally friendly solutions. Thanks to solar-assisted charging, the GBD-H2000 apparently needs to be plugged in much less often – at least in everyday use. And who would have thought it possible a few years ago to make a watch from corn. In any case, the use of biomass plastic is more resource-friendly than mining metals. I can only get an idea of how ergonomic and lightweight a watch really is when I wear it on my wrist.
The GBD-H2000 is equipped with the following functions, among others:
● Charging via USB + solar assisted charging.
● Heart rate measurement
● Activity tracking
● Monitoring mode
● Training Log
● Training and sleep analysis
● Blood oxygen content measurement
● Gyroscope (rotational movements)
● Magnetic sensor/pressure sensor/thermosensor
● Calorie indicator
● Digital compass
● World time (38 cities)
● Timer & Alarm
● 20 Bar water resistant
What I think of the Casio G-SHOCK G-SQUAD GBD-H2000
How the press release and the reality differ from each other, that would have to be found out in a watch review. My initial assessment based on the information presented is already positive. Especially for athletes, the G-SQUAD GBD-H2000 could offer great added value. Many functions and an activity-oriented design could become useful especially for the professional sector. The price of 399.00 euros is attractive in any case. The Japanese smartwatch thus leaves its competitors behind.
This watch will be available in stores from March. There will be four references. All the important links can be found below!