At its core, the Casio G-Shock G-SQUAD line of watches is a sports watch with simple, effective training tools. The series was revamped last year, offering step and run pace tracking, calories burned, and a dedicated stopwatch for interval workouts. Sometimes it’s more useful to be stripped down so you can focus on your watch.
Connecting to your phone via Bluetooth to share some of those metrics, it’s a good activity tracker without all the noise associated with smartwatches — and it’s good for seven years and cheaper than most of the best smartwatches.
However, G-Shock just got smarter. After the launch of the GBD-H1000 series based on Google’s Wear OS, the new G-SQUAD GBD-H2000 (opens in a new tab) line uses Polar’s suite of advanced tracking technologies, as the Finnish sports hardware company shares its fitness tracking algorithms with Casio for the first time.
The GBD-H2000 offers an optical heart rate sensor, built-in GPS functionality (unbelievable for a digital watch!), as well as a built-in compass, gyroscope, altimeter, temperature sensor, and accelerometer. In short, it offers many of the workout and GPS tracking services of a traditional smartwatch, but without the constant noise of apps and notifications.
It also removes a lot of extraneous features to give you only what you need. It features a durable, shock-resistant carbon-fiber case that looks much cooler than your average fitness tracker, and packs an eco-friendly strap made from corn-based biomass plastic instead of silicon.
The watch offers approximately 16 hours of continuous workout use with GPS and heart rate monitoring, and up to two months of battery life in watch mode with heart rate measurement turned off. If you exercise regularly, expect to charge the watch every three weeks or so, depending on how much time you spend in the sun.
Pricing has not yet been officially announced for the US, UK, and Australia regions, but G-Central Blog (opens in a new tab) It will reportedly cost $399 in the US, which translates to around £329 or AU$600.
Analysis: Garmin Instinct Crossover Competitors
When I reviewed the Garmin Instinct Crossover at the end of December, I said it was “the smart Casio G-Shock of my dreams,” loved the rugged adventure aesthetic, and didn’t have the “noise” of a smartwatch in its design. Based on the amount of screenless wearable tech we’ll see at CES 2023, I also predict that smartwatches will generally transform into another screen on our wrists.
Lo and behold, Caso G-Shock and Polar proved me right. GPS is too useful for modern adventure watches to use without them, and Casio has seen this and used Polar’s famous suite of GPS and fitness tracking algorithms in its classic rugged G-Shock frame.
Here’s the real competitor to the Garmin Instinct Crossover: an old-school digital activity watch from the masters of Casio that hides new-style smarts thanks to a partnership with Polar. Watches like the Vantage V2 and Polar Pacer Pro testify to the Finnish company’s fitness credentials, especially with its heart rate and running power metrics, giving Casio a solid foundation of smart technology.
when. . .when G-SQUAD and G-LIDE lines updated last year, I said the revival might “make digital watches cool again.” Well, I think we’ve arrived. We see Casios on the wrists of fashion leaders, Featured on GQ’s style page (opens in a new tab). But what I really want is to avoid another black mirror in my life, a way to continue improving athletic performance without overloading it with information. The Garmin Instinct Crossover is delivered and it looks like the GDR-2000 is nearing completion.