First thing’s first: Yes, Casio makes smartwatches. In fact, the company has already released two of them. Its newest Wear OS watch is designed for going off the grid, with an industrial strength case, lengthy battery life and the ability to download maps offline so you never get lost with built-in GPS.
The Pro Trek Smart WSD-F30 is a niche smartwatch, there’s no getting around it. Few people need a device with military-grade design and specially designed apps for surfing, horse-riding, skiing and more. But some smartwatch buyers are in the market for exactly what Casio is promising.
The latest Pro Trek sports a new display overlay, which can show you data from the watch’s sensors, including atmospheric pressure and altitude. That display is layered over the time. In multi-timepiece mode, the WSD-F30 can last a month without charging, even while pulling in data from the compass or barometer.
A new Extend Mode helps the new Casio eke out three days on a charge. The watch will default to a monochromatic face, but a colorful display can be called up with a button press. This is useful for hiking excursions or quick camping trips.
On a normal day, Casio says the WSD-F30 will last about 1.5 days on a charge.
Aside from the usual suite of Wear OS apps you can download to any Android smartwatch, Casio worked with nine popular sport apps, including the trail mapping app ViewRanger, swimming app MySwimPro and golfing app Hole 19, to optimize their apps for the WSD-F30. The entertaining running app Zombies, Run! is on the latest Casio with basic controls like pausing and resuming a run. Next year, Zombies, Run! on Casio will let you change your run settings on your wrist.
New Wear OS Features Coming Soon
Casio's third-gen smartwatch is one the first we’ve seen with the new Wear OS features rolling out this month. There are three major changes coming to Android smartwatches. For Casio’s new watch, the advanced fitness features rolling out to Wear OS are particularly relevant. Soon you can swipe left to start a workout or view progress toward your daily goals, rather than calling up Google Fit from the app tray. Two new health goals are also coming to Wear OS, starting with Casio’s watch: move minutes and heart points, which is a measure of how much you’re exercising your heart.
Google is also making it easier to view and respond to notifications; the update allows you to view grouped notifications and dismiss them with a swipe, and also reply quickly.
And perhaps most importantly to Android watches as whole, the Wear OS upgrade will turn Google Assistant from a voice-activated helper to an always-present textual assistant that serves up information about your day according to what Google knows about you. That could include basic info like weather reports, but also deeper tidbits like when to expect the package you ordered from Amazon (thanks to the delivery notification in your Gmail inbox).
All of the new Wear OS features will arrive to Android watches running Wear OS at the same time as an over-the-air update. However, you'll have to wait until January 2019 to pick up the Pro Trek WSD-F30, which will cost $549 when it becomes available in stores.