I spent a weekend with the G-Shock smartwatch — 7 things that surprised me

Casio G-Shock Move smartwatch on wrist.
(Image credit: Future)

I have a confession. I love Casio G-Shock watches and have ever since I received my first DW5600 during my awkward teenage years — I wore it until the rubber began to disintegrate. So, naturally, when G-Shock’s line of fitness-focused smartwatches hit the scene, I was intrigued: Classic Casio charm meets modern smartwatch convenience? Sign me up.

My opportunity to take the new Casio G-Shock Move DWH5600MB-1 smartwatch for a spin finally came this past weekend. And after spending roughly 72 hours wearing it, with 15,000 steps walked, I have more than a few impressions, which will be included in a forthcoming review. In the meantime,  what follows are the seven things that surprised me most about the G-shock Move smartwatch.  

It’s larger than I expected

This shouldn’t have come as a surprise. But I neglected to read the official spec sheet, so, it was. Casio’s Bluetooth-enabled smartwatches are a good bit larger than their standard “dumb” DW5600 G-shock watches. For example, the former is roughly 2.0 mm longer, 0.7mm wider and almost 3mm thicker than the G-Shock model I wear often. It’s also 11g heavier. That said, the G-Shock Move fits my somewhat dainty 7-inch wrist fairly well (i.e. it wears smaller than it is), despite sitting a tad high.  

There’s no way to track bike rides (for now)

Casio G-Shock Move next to a standard Casio watch.

The G-Shock smartwatch (left) shares the same basic octangular design as a standard Casio DW5600. (Image credit: Future)

I was bummed to discover that the only activities you can track with the G-Shock Move are walks, runs, gym workouts and interval training. I tried using the running mode to track a 10-mile bike ride but ended up with limited data. The watch didn’t record distance or pace, just calories burned and heart rate numbers. And even though Casio recently added support for linking Strava to the Casio Watches app, so far, there still doesn’t appear a way to track biking.  

It’s a little uncomfortable to wear to bed

To keep tabs on the quality of my sleep, I tend to wear a Fitbit Inspire 3 fitness tracker to bed. The device is considerably smaller and lighter than the G-Shock Move, so swapping one for the other was an adjustment. While the Move is generally comfortable enough to wear for the length of a day, keeping it on all night long is more challenging. For example, I’ve nearly clonked my partner in the head with the watch, on multiple occasions, while rolling over or adjusting a pillow. 

Battery life is excellent

It’s been 72+ hours since I first strapped the G-Shock smartwatch to my wrist, fully charged, and as of writing, it is still showing a full battery. In that time, I’ve tracked both a 3.5-mile walk as well as the previously-mentioned 10-mile bike ride. I also tested out the pulse oximeter and heart sensor numerous times. This a dual-power watch, by the way. While the fitness and health tracking functions run off power from the internal rechargeable battery, the time and date functions rely solely on solar power. 

The bezel scratches kind of easy

The particular model I’m wearing, affectionately named the DWH5600MB-1, sports a reflective, metal-like bezel, which glimmers and shines in certain lighting conditions, and is just flashy enough for my taste. Unfortunately, it’s also prone to scratches — I already have several small ones and that number appears to be growing. That said, the screen and case remain blemish-free. 

Casio G-Shock Move smartwatch and dog.

The G-Shock DWH5600MB-1 is Belvedere-approved. (Image credit: Future)

The companion app is just okay

The Casio Watches app, available for Android and iOS, is somewhat bare-bones compared to the competition. For example, it isn’t as easy to navigate as the Fitbit app, nor is the user interface as pleasing to the eyes. I also found the workout and recovery data a bit more difficult to parse, let alone export. Finally, the home screen needs to be reimagined: Right now it’s a revolving door of advertisements for new Casio watch models which you have to navigate past every time you restart the app. 

That said, I have had no issues with connectivity or pairing the watch to my iPhone. Setting up the G-Shock Move did take 45+ minutes, though. This was thanks to a laundry list of steps to complete followed by a lengthy firmware update. 

It gets compliments 

In terms of aesthetics, fitness trackers and smartwatches tend to be boring at best and dorky at worst. However, the Casio G-Shock Move smartwatches are a rare exception: good looks in no way take a back seat to functionality. And while I may not be the most fashionable guy in the club, this watch has already gotten me more than two compliments. 

G-Shock Move — final thoughts 

Ultimately, both as a watch nerd and a fitness writer, I’m finding a lot of reasons to keep the G-Shock Move strapped to my wrist. The fitness and health monitoring features are genuinely useful, despite the limited number of physical activities that can be tracked. Beyond that, though, it’s just one heck of a cool piece of wearable tech.  

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Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd. 

  • richardazia
    With the moves app you can change the move once it has been shared with Strava. Does it track the track via the watch app? I realise I can RTFM. (Read the Fabulous Manual). ;-)

    With other watches you usually set the timer or fitness app going and it uses the phone to track the course. Does it behave differently with this watch?