Ca­sio WSD-F20

£TBC • ca­sio.co.uk

Android Advisor - - Contents -

As we break in 2017 we have a huge range of choice when it comes to smart­watches. If you in­clude fit­ness track­ers like Fit­bit then there are hun­dreds to pick from and it’s of­ten hard to dis­tin­guish one from the other, let alone which is the best smart­watch for you. Ca­sio has an­nounced a new smart­watch for the out­doors.

Part of the firm’s Pro Trek Smart range, the catchy-named WSD-F20 is a fully fea­tured watch that caught our at­ten­tion as it is one of the first smart­watches in the world to run An­droid Wear

2.0, Google’s long-awaited new watch op­er­at­ing sys­tem. We took the WSD-F20 for a spin at CES.

De­sign

Com­pared to last year’s WSD-F10, the WSD-F20 is a step up in de­sign. Or­ange can be gar­ish on some prod­ucts, but we pre­ferred the colour­ful model to the other stan­dard black one. The or­ange de­tail­ing is nicely sub­tle, with pre­mium feel­ing metal but­tons and screws on the outer rim.

The screen is a 1.32in dual-layer touch­screen LCD. It has a colour TFT with 320x300 pix­els and then a sep­a­rate mono­chrome LCD. Th­ese work to­gether su­per­im­posed on each other, with the time al­ways dis­played on the mono­chrome layer and then apps on the colour LCD. This al­lows a plethora of dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions of modes and func­tions to work to­gether to give you the best pos­si­ble vis­i­bil­ity. It works very well and seam­lessly.

A rub­berised strap with di­a­mond pat­tern de­tail sits flush with the watch it­self, all of which con­tains the clever dual-layer LCD screens. The glass of the screen is anti-dirt coated, while at the bot­tom of the screen there’s a neatly hid­den, wa­ter-re­sis­tant mi­cro­phone.

It all adds up to one ex­cel­lently de­signed, pre­mium feel­ing smart­watch. It is in­evitably large on the wrist though – al­most too large but just about right. In­clud­ing the band the whole thing weighs 92g which is not too heavy at all.

Fea­tures

Like most smart­watches, the WSD-F20 keeps its best tricks un­der the hood. The WSD-F10 lacked

GPS, which is pleas­ingly present on this new model. How it is uses it is very clever. The GPS is low-pow­ered to help bat­tery life and can dis­play full colour maps. Even when your con­nected smart­phone is off­line and out of cel­lu­lar sig­nal, you can still call up maps thanks to the GPS’ abil­ity to call on Amer­i­can, Rus­sian and Ja­panese satel­lites. This gives it a great ad­van­tage over other main­stream watches that ef­fec­tively be­come use­less as map­ping tools when with­out a 4G con­nec­tion.

The watch links GPS data us­ing the award win­ning YAMAP GPS tech with a full colour map on your wrist to ac­cu­rately tri­an­gu­late your cur­rent lo­ca­tion. From there you can do a sur­pris­ing num­ber of things such as plan routes, record spe­cific points and write memos. De­spite the rel­a­tively small dis­play, we found th­ese func­tions quite in­tu­itive though a tad fid­dly. The fact it all works off­line is enough to for­give the slight awk­ward­ness of data in­put.

As well as this head­line fea­ture, there’s also an al­time­ter, com­pass and barom­e­ter on board, all of which can be dis­played one at a time as part of the watch face. You can also set lo­ca­tion, al­ti­tude and more to take ad­van­tage of the dual screen tech­nol­ogy. This is all pro­tected up to 50 me­tres un­der wa­ter.

All th­ese fea­tures add to­gether to make a watch that Ca­sio claims can track a large num­ber of sports and ac­tiv­i­ties, namely trekking, cy­cling, fish­ing, skiing and pad­dling. While we’ve seen most of those on watches be­fore the fish­ing one is in­ter­est­ing as it can give you tips and lo­ca­tion

in­for­ma­tion on the best places and times to find your catch, as well as record when you catch a fish. Of course, we’d have to see this in ac­tion as to whether there’s enough data out there for it to re­ally be use­ful, but it’s cool to see Ca­sio think­ing out­side the box.

Soft­ware

The WSD-F20 has caught at­ten­tion for be­ing one of the first smart­watches to run An­droid Wear 2.0. In our lim­ited time with the watch we found it snappy and re­spon­sive, with some changes to the menu sys­tem that makes run­ning through lists eas­ier. How­ever with the WSD-F20 so heav­ily geared to­wards out­door ac­tiv­ity, it did feel at times a tad hard to find the reg­u­lar func­tions you’d ex­pect of a reg­u­lar con­sumer watch such as cal­en­dar and

mes­sages. If you’re after a no­ti­fi­ca­tion de­vice to browse and send email, this is not the one.

Hav­ing said that it is a fine choice if you in any way lead the ac­tive life. The soft­ware has been ex­cel­lently tweaked, along with the dual-layer screens, to sup­port the many func­tions on of­fer in a rel­a­tively lin­ear man­ner, which is no mean feat.

The bat­tery, with GPS func­tions on Ca­sio claims, will last a full day of use. With­out GPS and in nor­mal time­piece mode, the bat­tery is good for around a month, though ob­vi­ously it’s at its best and most use­ful with GPS on. Still, fea­tures such as the al­time­ter and barom­e­ter don’t need GPS to func­tion and could help you out when trekking.

It will work fully with An­droid smart­phones and even with iOS if you’ve got an iPhone 5 or later, but with lim­ited func­tion­al­ity. Ca­sio couldn’t give us any more de­tail than that at the time of writ­ing.

Ver­dict

Our short time with the Ca­sio WSD-F20 left us im­pressed. It’s hard to make a fully fea­tured out­doors GPS watch look cool, but we reckon Ca­sio has man­aged it – even if it is quite a mas­cu­line de­sign. The off­line GPS mode is a huge draw here, but you’ll need to be near a plug ev­ery evening un­less you want to get lost on the trail.

An­droid Wear 2.0 is present, mean­ing the watch is very re­spon­sive and takes ad­van­tage of the new OS to bring its ad­vanced fea­tures to the fore. At $500 in the US, it’s pretty ex­pen­sive, but then again for what it of­fers it’s a bet­ter choice for the out­doors when com­pared to the Ap­ple Watch or Sam­sung’s Gear S3. Henry Bur­rell

Specifications

1.32in dual layer dis­play Color (320x300) TFT LCD and mono­chrome LCD Ca­pac­i­tive touch­screen (anti-foul­ing coat­ing) An­droid Wear 2.0 Smart­phone with An­droid 4.3 or later GPS Pres­sure (air pres­sure, al­ti­tude) sen­sor, ac­celerom­e­ter, gy­rom­e­ter, com­pass (mag­netic) sen­sor Wa­ter Re­sis­tance to 50m Mi­cro­phone Vi­bra­tor Blue­tooth 4.1 Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) But­ton, Power but­ton, APP but­ton Lithium-ion bat­tery Mag­netic charg­ing ter­mi­nal Two-hour charge time 61.7x56.4x15.7mm 92g (in­clud­ing watch­band)

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