Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000 aims at Garmin with HRM and GPS

Updated: It's big on specs and...just really big
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Casio has launched a new G-Shock GSQUAD GBD-H1000, and it’s got Garmin in its sights with a big focus on fitness.

Unlike previous efforts from the G-Shock range, it’s a true fitness power house.

On board is GPS (including GLONASS support which boosts accuracy and connection speed), a heart rate monitor as well as altitude/barometric pressure, compass, temperature and acceleration sensors.

Compare: Best GPS sports watches

As you’d expect from a G-Shock it’s all about toughness, so there’s 200 metres of water resistance just to take it to the likes of Garmin's sports watches, which mostly feature 50 metres, and have a handful that max out at 100 metres water resistance.

Update: This story was first published on 26 February, but was updated to include more technical details, the price and release date.

G-SHOCK GBD-H1000: Heart rate and smarts

The Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000 boasts an optical heart rate sensor, although we're not sure (yet) which company's technology they have brought on board.

And the features don’t end there. The G-Shock GBD-H1000 will estimate VO2 Max by blending data from the heart rate and GPS. And we've had word that Firstbeat is handling the advanced metrics, which is great news. Firstbeat powers Garmin and Amazfit heart rate variability, so Casio's data is in good hands.

Analysing HRV allows for a crazy amount of post-workout data such as aerobic and anaerobic training effect are measured from outdoor workouts. This estimates how hard you worked out and the benefit to your fitnrss, which is also represented by an ever-changing VO2 Max estimate. These are staples of advanced Garmins such as the Fenix 6 and Forerunner 945.

On top of that data you'll get Training Load, Training Status and race predictor information.

During a session you can set target heart rate zones, which will appear on screen. You'll of course get a live heart rate readout as well.

All-new Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000 aims at Garmin with HRM and GPS

G-SHOCK GBD-H1000: Battery life and solar

Then there’s the battery life. 14 hours of GPS tracking is the stated longevity, which puts it up with midrange Garmins.

That’s fairly impressive, although given it weighs in at 101g approximately – the Fenix 6 is 83g – there’s a slight mismatch. However, if you just use it as a watch without getting GPS, you can get a year of battery life according to Casio.

Like Garmin devices it utilises an LCD Memory In Pixel (MIP) screen technology, which avoids sapping the battery with snazzy visuals.

It's backlit, and will automatically light up when you twist your wrist.

And the H1000 borrows another advanced Garmin Fenix 6 feature it's solar powered, to supplement its battery using nature's charger. That will keep the time mode going as long as it gets 2 hours of sunshine, or 8 hours under florescent lighting – which should be easily do-able just by wearing.

Of course, if you want the full 14 hours of GPS charge you'll need to power via the USB charger, and 2.5 hours will give you a full battery.

And that’s the fact about the G-Shock GBD-H1000. It’s a big piece of watch – but then from the purveyors of the enormous Pro-Trek and 30 years of G-Shock before that – is it any surprise?

G-SHOCK GBD-H1000: Price and release date

Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000 colors

There will be multiple colorways – as above. Black, black/white, red and black/red.

There are a few points we’re not sure about here. The first is price. We've seen confirmed UK price of £379 and a Japanese price of 50,000 yen – which means we'd expect it to be around $420 USD. But we've not seen an official US price yet.

The Garmin Fenix is the lazy comparison which starts at around $500, so the G-Shock stacks up pretty well. However, the Fenix has a number of advanced sports tracking and power consumption modes that enable it to go in excess of 40 hours – so maybe the Garmin Instinct or Forerunner 945 is a fairer comparison.

Then there's release date: we're seeing 24 April in terns of availability.

G-SHOCK GBD-H1000: Questions

The first is the OS. We’re assuming there’s a custom Casio OS doing the lifting here – a departure from Wear OS which runs on the Casio Pro-Trek series. That’s probably a good thing, as Wear OS immediately nullifies battery life which seems to be a key part of the H1000.

The next question mark is over the app. It’s all well and good having a GPS, VO2 Max reading wearable – but only if the app is up to scratch. More on that as we get it.

This story was updated to include confirmation that Firstbeat was behind the heart rate and VO2 Max algorithms, and more detail on features.

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