Bluetooth connected watches are packing more sensors inside than ever before and that means the ways you can use them to your advantage are changing.
It's not just touchscreen smartwatches that are allowing for fitness tracking capabilities, either, with devices like the Casio G-SHOCK GBA800 hiding the smarts behind mechanical watch hands.
Designed with versatility in mind, this is a Bluetooth connected watch that can accompany you in the great outdoors just as well as general day-to-day wear. But what nooks and crannies are hidden inside, ready for you to explore? Well, read on below for all the details on this watch.
Casio G-SHOCK GBA800: Design
Keeping up with the traditional toughness of its G-SHOCK range, the GBA800 offers a bold, shock-resistant design, and while we would not call the watch small, it is a smaller, mid-sized case silhouette for G-SHOCK, clocking in at 54.1 x 48.6 x 15.5 mm and weighing roughly 61g on the wrist. Make no mistake, this is a Bluetooth connected watch for those who will put it through its paces.
If you're already used to the style of the G-SHOCK collection, then the look of this watch might come as a surprise, with five buttons placed around the bezel letting you control the action you see on the watch face's digital screen. The bottom-left 'Mode' button lets you cycle through options, the top-left 'Adjust' lets you initiate setting mode, the right-sided 'Start' and 'Reset' buttons let you control your multiple timers and stopwatch and the lower front-button lets you activate the high-brightness double LEDs, which illuminate both the digital display and hands.
In order to cater for different wrists sizes and allow for finer adjustments the G-SHOCK GBA800 features a 15-hole strap, and special backwings fitted to the band where it attached to the watch, to prevent it from digging into your wrist during prolonged wear.
There is also a fixed band loop so that it does not float along the strap during your workouts. Color is king, too, with six total variations of the bluetooth connected watch available to pick from: black, navy, teal, white, green and lime green. All come with white watch hands, and you'll receive the same feature set no matter which color you decide.
That includes the shock resistant design we alluded to, which is provided by the relatively lightweight resin case. That means it's perfect for both surviving the bumps and scrapes that come with active jaunts, while still not being cumbersome during every-day wear. If you're the kind to keep your watch on in the water, you're also covered by Casio — the GBA800 range comes with water resistance up to 200 meters.
Casio G-SHOCK GBA800: Features
The G-SHOCK GBA800 may look like a regular watch on the outside, but packed inside are a wealth of smarts that help elevate it above traditional counterparts.
A built-in 3-axis accelerometer helps bring in data regarding step count from the moment you begin to walk, with steps shown on the watch in real-time at the 6 o'clock position. You'll also be able to see the numbers of steps in the hour previous, and a status indicator window in the upper right of the dial showing how far along you are with your daily achievement target. Naturally, this acts a motivational tool throughout the course of your day, and means you don't have to interact with the app in order to check on your steps.
And while its smarts are enabled by its ability to connect over Bluetooth to your smartphone, this is still a watch that doesn't forget about the time. You can use dual-time to switch between time zones (users set a home time and can set another from 300 cities), mix up the 12/24-hour time format and set up to five daily alarms that you can shut off from the wrist with the touch of a button when connected. Daylight savings and other time zone changes are also accounted for automatically, with the time adjusted four times a day.
Although this is a Bluetooth connected watch the GBA800 provides a battery life lasting up to two years on a single coin battery.
Casio G-SHOCK GBA800: Health and fitness
While the GBA800 is made smarter by these features, its big focus is on fitness and health.
And thanks to the 3-axis accelerometer, step count numbers are joined by caloric output data, creating a graph for the wearer to show the location where the data was picked up.
This is then broken down to give an insight into five metabolic equivalent levels (MET), something which is logged and available for the user to refer back to. This is particularly handy for determining which areas of your workout or your general daily activity where you worked the hardest, and can naturally be joined alongside any timer data you did collect to give you a fuller picture of your performance.
The multi-timer tool is able to assist interval workouts, primarily, letting users set up to five different times and keep track of each segment through the status dial at the 2 o'clock position.
Perfect for when out on the track, trail or treadmill and want to split up your workout into a certain number of sprints, jogs and walks. The watch can count you down in up to 20 sets and the dial will let you know when you need to switch between intensity levels.
If you're not keen on training with the timer, you can instead make use of the 1/100-second stopwatch for more simplified tracking of your workouts. Capable of storing up to 200 lap times, the GBA800's stopwatch feature allows you to view up to 10 target times on the watch and then, like with the timer combinations you can set for interval training, reflect on how you performed against them once synced back with your phone.
Designed specifically for when you're making use of these exercise modes, the GBA800 watch hands will also retract away from the digital display, in order to give you an unobstructed view of the 6 o'clock digital display. If you're working out in low light, the LED backlight can also be set to automatically display and give you a clearer look at the time.
Casio G-SHOCK GBA800: App
Integral to your experience with the GBA800 is the G-SHOCK Connected app, which acts as the hub for you to manage and control the features and capabilities of the watch.
Available for both iOS and Android, users can take advantage of all the features mentioned above once connected to the app, such as setting alarms, world time locations and receiving a detailed look at step and calorie data.
Once synced over from the GBA800 watch, step count is displayed graphically on a map every 30 minutes and you can also travel back through your history and see how your calorie burn and step count progresses on an hour-to-hour, daily, weekly or monthly basis.
And while you can receive information related to the timer tool on the watch itself, the G-SHOCK Connected app is where you get to control up to five sections for your intervals training.
Up to 20 sets can be set up in the app, and users can personalize break times, the individual titles of each and call them up according to the day of the workout, transmitting the settings on the watch.
A section of the app is also dedicated to your stopwatch data captured on the GBA800, showing the differences between measurement and target time and the best, worst and average times gathered.
Check out the Casio G-SHOCK GBA800 here.