Just about every smartwatch has functionalities that are useful in recording and tracking physical activity — but only Casio has produced a watch specifically engineered for the rough-and-tumble of the great outdoors. Earlier this year, Casio released its WSD-F10 Smart Outdoor Watch, an Android Wear wrist device tested to U.S. military standard specifications and outfitted with a plethora of functions for outdoors enthusiasts. Here is what you need to know about this tough and versatile timekeeper, accompanied by photos taken during its “test run” on a hike through New York’s Adirondack region.
The WSD-F10 model has a hefty but lightweight case, measuring 61.7 mm x 56.4 mm x 15.7 mm and weighing in at 93 grams. It has been tested for 50 meters of water-resistance, meaning it can be worn during rainstorms and in situations that involve contact with water. The watch comes on a soft polyurethane strap engineered to conform to any wrist and to be worn in comfort for extended periods.
On the side of the case are two large operating buttons with a slip-free finish for ease of use even while wearing gloves. The “TOOL” button at the top right is used to engage the watch’s outdoor-friendly functions: compass direction, air pressure and altitude, sunrise and sunset times, tide graphs and activity graphs. The “APP” button in the lower left brings up the various apps, powered by Android Wear, which measure vital stats for such activities as trekking, cycling, and fishing. Users can also load their own apps to expand the watch’s feature set. A built-in sensor on the right side of the watch reads atmospheric data such as air pressure (which can be used to predict the likelihood of rain) and altitude.
The watch’s face, equipped with a capacitative touchscreen, has a 1.32-inch dual-layer display, with both color and monochrome LCDs; color density is 320 x 300 pixels. Users can choose to display apps and data measurements in color or select the monochrome, power-conserving “Timepiece Mode,” which displays only the watch’s timekeeping data, to extend the watch’s battery life to more than a month. Otherwise, the watch’s lithium-ion battery requires a charge of approximately two hours (from the included magnetic charging terminal) roughly once a day. Various other watch-face options are available.
Among the outdoors-specific apps, powered by Android Wear (but not supported by iOS devices), are the following:
- The ViewRanger GPS app, which provides route information, navigation guidance, altitude graphs, location data, and distance to the wearer’s next waypoint; this can be downloaded from www.viewranger.com.
- The Runkeeper fitness app, for mobile running and cycling; used by more than 50 million people, it tracks and records routes for running, cycling, walking, and trekking. (www.runkeeper.com)
- MyRadar, a popular weather app already downloaded by more than 17 million users; it offers real-time updates showing rain or snow near the wearer’s current location and allows them to check forecasts quickly and easily. (www.myradar.acmeaom.com)
The watch can also link to the Casio Moment Setter+ smartphone app, which can be configured to send info based on previously set conditions, including speeds, distances, time of sunrise, break timing, even when fish tend to be most active. The built-in audio mic — which can be used for Google voice searches — can be used even in harsh, rainy conditions. Other Google apps and services, including GMail, Google Maps, and Google Fit, are also supported.
Like all “smart” and “connected” watches, the Casio Smart Outdoor Watch requires a smartphone to connect with, in this case an Android device with Android 4.3 or later or an iPhone 5 or later model with iOS 8.2 or later. Available in red, green, black, and orange, this wrist device for tech-savvy outdoor enthusiasts and weekend adventurers retails for $500.