When I think of Casio watches, I think of the old school digital watches. But their catalog of timepieces goes much deeper, and their iconic G-Shocks are far more than just what you see in department store displays.
Likewise, Garmin isn’t the only watch company aiming for the outdoors and hiking market, because Casio’s Android Wear watches are picking up new colors and watch faces, perfect for exploring the world outside your living room.
Apparently, the G-Shock line has some serious smarts for those who need them; the “Master of G” line is designed for outdoor use when you need more than just a tough watch. On the low-end, these watches contain a compass, but as you move up to more expensive watches with more features, the G-Shocks start to live up to their rugged exterior with temperature sensors, barometric pressure sensors, compasses, even GPS, as well as a companion app to manage all this data. Casio’s taking this to the next level with the “Rangeman GPS Navi”, G-Shocks that will not only measure temperature, pressure, and distance but also use the watch and app to create 3D maps and set destinations on hikes/climbs/lost wanderings.
All this isn’t cheap, at $800, but that puts the Rangeman prices not much higher than the Garmin fenix 5 line, which offers similar features. However, the Casio G-Shocks are more like watches, have longer batteries, and in my opinion are more attractive, and for what they do the price is right in line with the market. Look for these in April, which, if you live in the Northeast, should be around the time you can walk outside without your eyelashes freezing.
If you’re less of a traditional watch person and more of an Android Wear fan, Casio has your back, too. They already make a rugged, outdoors focused smartwatch called the Pro Trek, and they’re adding a new color design based on crystalline fluorite, which is used for outdoor gear and some types of glass. [It’s also apparently used a lot in the metaphysical crystal circles, as Google helpfully taught me, but that doesn’t apply to the watch, presumably.] Aside from this new crystal/white color, they’re also adding a new watch face that can show up to three calendar events, a map, and analog hands. The “Journey” watch face will be available for the original Pro Trek as well, so if you’re more interested in the black/black with green accents/bright orange colorways, you’re covered. Pro Trek watches retail for $500, so, again, right in line with smart GPS/outdoor use watches.
Casio has some really compelling outdoor watch options already, and the new Rangeman GPS and Pro Trek both add to an already impressive lineup!