Casio G-Shock has unveiled a new sports watch with GPS navigation and solar charging.
The GPR-B1000 smartwatch will come in two different models, forming part of the outdoorsy Rangeman series and featuring Casio's Triple Sensor tech to bring compass bearing, atmospheric pressure, altitude data and temperature information to the user's wrist.
The watch's headline feature here is the GPS, though, which can use solar charging to support activities in the outdoors. Casio indicates its standard GPS navigation is usable for roughly 33 hours when the watch has been charged for around five hours, and can resume GPS functions when the watch is held in bright light.
Users will receive one hour of GPS action for every four hours in 50,000 lux conditions, while the digital watch display itself will remain charged thanks to the same solar charging in the background.
In terms of design, we didn't think a watch could get any larger than Casio's ProTrek WSD-F20 Android Wear smartwatch, but we were clearly wrong. The G-Shock GPR-B1000-1 is the biggest watch we've ever put on our wrist. It's absurd – but clearly Casio knows its G-Shock customer, and chunky is what they want.
As for the GPS features, users will be free to turn on navigation to automatically record the run or hike with either four-second or one-minute interval recording.
Routes are set up within the companion app, although from the demo we saw, the mapping quality didn't really seem industry leading. As hikers who often hit pretty remote paths, the route finding seemed to be more of a rough guide than proper tracking of paths.
You tap where you're starting, and then tap out your route. As well as access data to help them navigate back to where they started and even set data points (saving the date and time, longitude and latitude, altitude, atmospheric pressure, and temperature) throughout tracking.
Read this: Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20 review
The route is shown on the watch's tiny screen, with your location and any waypoints marked. You can zoom in and out on the watch, changing the scale and enabling you to see if you've gone off-course. It works in a similar way to Garmin and TomTom's on-watch GPS navigation, albeit on a much smaller and limited screen. It's hardly turn-by-turn navigation, but it's enough to ensure you don't start walking in the totally wrong direction.
As with the rest of the Rangeman series, the GPR-B1000 is designed to withstand harsh conditions. Not only is it dust-proof and dirt-proof, but it can also survive in temperatures as low as -20°C.
The two models of the watch, the GPR-B1000-1 and GPR-B1000-1B, will each hit wrists in April and be priced at $800.
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