Casio have launched their 3rd WearOS PRO TREK watch, here we take a good look at the WSD-F30 and, with a following wind, I should be able to review this by next month.
What is it and who is it for?
The Casio PRO TREK Smart WSD-F30 runs the latest version of Google’s WearOS operating system so it is a properly-‘SMART’ watch, with lots of the connected features that come with close integration with smartphones.
It’s a large-format navigation watch built to ‘military’ standard MIL-STD-810G and, as such, it targets outdoor usage and those of you who generally like to get involved in adventure-based exploration by foot, canoe or bike. However there is no onboard optical heart rate. From a techie point of view this indicates that there could be better news on the battery front but it also indicates that Casio are steering clear of some of the markets that Suunto also target with the Suunto 9 and that Garmin also targets with its INSTINCT and FENIX 5X models – ie the F30 is NOT PRIMARILY INTENDED for sports people.
Options & Box Contents
I don’t want to dwell too much on what’s in the box. After you’ve chosen one of the 3 colour options you also get a magnetic charger.
However there is also another, sneaky optional extra – the WSA-BX1 band. This is an extra long band for allowing you to wear the F30 over the sleeve of a thick winter jacket.
As well as the familiar Google MAPS that comes with WearOS you also get Mapbox. Further compatibility with apps like VIEWRANGER gives premium access to routing and to USGS & Ordnance Survey mapping, with similar options for other countries.
Out-of-the-box you get the ability to use your smartphone to download more than a day’s worth of hiking per offline map segment on to the watch, based on your current location. You can store 5 of those offline maps on the watch. I’ll have to check exactly what other offline maps (on your smartphone) can be accessed eg through ViewRanger or Google Maps but I’d imagine it will be pretty good.
The F30 has onboard support for GPS and GLONASS satellite systems.
There are pros and cons with Wear OS. The ‘pro’ is that you get an awesome-looking and detailed screen but the con is that WearOS eats battery for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Casio have addressed this is a rather innovative manner with two screen layers – the beautiful, battery eating colour OLED touchscreen and the other battery-saving monochrome LCD.
Using that clever combo, Casio claim the following use-case scenarios for their 3 battery modes
- EXTEND Mode – 3 days/2 nights with 8 hours of map display and GPS recording PER DAY. Bluetooth and WiFi are disabled
- MULTI Mode – 1 month with GPS, WearOS and the colour screen disabled. The monochrome display does shows other sensor info.
- NORMAL Mode – Up to 1.5 days of full usage though enabling GPS will lower this figure.
The full recharge time is 3 hours.
So I’d say that looks ‘usable’ for most people. The comeback will be that the Garmin Fenix or Suunto 9/Spartan have longer battery lives. However the key tradeoffs those two each make is with SCREEN RESOLUTION and the SMART-CONNECTIVITY from WearOS. Plus I don’t think USGS/OS maps are available with either Garmin or Suunto.
YOU have to decide which of those tradeoffs are most important for you
Casio PRO TREK Smart WSD-F30 Specifications
The F30 is slightly slimmed down from last year’s F20 model.
|Bezel diameter||52.9 mm||49.1 mm||-3.8 mm|
|Case length||61.7 mm||60.5 mm||-1.2 mm|
|Case wide||57.7 mm||53.8 mm||-3.9 mm|
|Case thickness||15.3 mm||14.9 mm||-0.4 mm|
With the Apple Watch 4 (42mm) coming in with a screen size of 390×312px you can see that Casio’s 390x390px is good for this type of watch. Also note the WiFi connectivity that’s normal with WearOS and that the weight of 83g, whilst not lightweight, this is still fairly light for a watch of this type.
|Water Resistance||5 bar (50 meters)*1|
|Environmental Durability||MIL-STD-810 (United States military standard issued by the U.S. Department of Defense),*2 low-temperature resistance (-10°C)|
|Display||1.2-inch dual layer display
Color OLED (390×390 pixels) and monochrome LCD
|Touchscreen||Capacitive touchscreen (anti-fouling coating)|
|GPS||Compatible (including GLONASS and Michibiki)|
|Color Maps||Compatible (supports offline use, can save up to five offline maps)|
|Sensors||Pressure (barometric air pressure, altitude) sensor, accelerometer, gyrometer, magnetic compass|
|Wireless Connectivity||Bluetooth® V4.1 (Low Energy)
Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n)
|Buttons||MAP button, Power button, TOOL button|
|Charging Method||Magnetic charging terminal|
|Recharging Time||Approx. 3 hours at room temperature|
(When GPS Not in Use)
|Normal use (color display): 1.5 days, roughly
Multi Timepiece Mode (timekeeping and sensors only)*3: 1 month, roughly
(Varies according to use)
|Size of Case||Approx. 60.5 mm×53.8 mm×14.9 mm (H×W×D)|
|Weight||Approx. 83g (including wristband)|
|OS||Wear OS by Google|
|Operating Environment||Wear OS by Google works with phones running Android 4.4+ (excluding Go edition) or iOS 9.3+. Supported features may vary between platforms and countries.|
The rugged looks and build quality of the Casio PRO TREK Smart WSD-F30 will appeal to many of you.
The F30 seems like it has pressed several of the right buttons hard enough to make it a sensible purchase. Sensible, that is, if you are aware of the trade-off between battery limitations vs. a great screen and lots of connectivity-goodness through WearOS apps like ViewFinder.
Price, Availability & Discounts
It’s available now with stock arriving in some shops at the time of writing. The prices are $398, £450, Eu399 – and yes the UK price does seem out-of-line and I would hope it is quickly adjusted
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