August 29, 2018
When it comes to warmer weather, I like to head outdoors with my family. These days, that often takes the form of going off into the woods for a camping trip, which will then also include some forays along hiking trails. When that’s what you have in mind, you want to think about what sort of watch makes the most sense. Sure, a simple mechanical three-hander (say, a dive watch) will get the job done. If you want something more than just to know the time, you need to get into something like what the Casio ProTrek line has on offer. One of their latest, the Casio ProTrek PRG330, bridges the divide between oversized outdoors-oriented watches and causal, everyday digital watches.
Frankly, that was something I did not quite grasp when I first received word of the launch of the Casio ProTrek PRG330. I mean, yes, they did call out that it had a new smaller case size, but unless you are intimately familiar with a lineup, that may not register. Once I had the Casio ProTrek PRG330 on the wrist, it registered, and in a big way. You see, I have had a handful of different Casio watches cross my review desk this year, and this ProTrek slotted right in with what I had been seeing, albeit with a lot more tech in the resin case. By this, I mean that it looked, felt, and wore like many digital watches. Given that many ProTrek models could rightfully be referred to as pucks on the wrist, I think that it was a move in a smart direction.
Sure, we all know – or perhaps are – the type of person that will have a watch for each specific purpose. Going diving? Got that covered. Headed to the gym? Here’s another watch. Oh, going hiking? Here’s a massive outdoors watch. All different from the daily beater. But what about the guy or gal who is totally fine with having one everyday watch and wants to head for the outdoors? What if their “everyday” is being outdoors? That’s where something like the Casio ProTrek PRG330 comes into play. With its more compact size, it would easily fly under the radar. Which, for someone who is mainly an office-dweller during the week, is quite a good thing.
This by no means that the Casio ProTrek PRG330 is any less-capable of a watch than the ProTreks that came before it. No, on the contrary, it actually has an updated version of the Casio Triple Sensor technology, which brings along all the aspects of the altimeter-barometer-compass (aka, ABC) that we would expect from a ProTrek. Also keeping with the outdoorsy theme is how the watch is powered – solar power, in this case. Yes, it’ll charge under a fluorescent light, but there’s really no substitute for those sunny rays. To help that battery last even longer, the screen will shut itself down when it hasn’t been exposed to light for a bit. Makes you think you’ve got a dead watch the first time you see it, but it pops back to life quickly.
If you ever are curious as to what the battery charge level is at, the watch will tell you, with an indicator down on the lower portion of the dial when you’re in the main timekeeping mode. Oh, and speaking of modes, you’ve got a plethora of them here. There are icons near each button that will tell you what they’re doing. At 2 o’clock, that pusher drops you into the compass; 3 o’clock gets you the barometer and thermometer info, and 4 o’clock gives you your altitude. Down at 6 o’clock you’ve got the battery level indicator (there’s a button hiding there, but it’s for the backlight), 8 o’clock cycles through the other “standard” watch modes, and then 10 o’clock is to trigger adjustments (date or time).
That just leaves the hump over at the 9 o’clock position on the Casio ProTrek PRG330, and that is where the sensor technology resides. Given its positioning, that does mean you need to have the watch off your wrist to get an accurate temperature reading. This is fairly standard to all watches with a thermometer, as body heat messes with things. Perhaps one day they’ll be able to compensate for that, but today is not that day. The rest of the sensors, though, really aren’t impacted by being on the wrist; nor is any of the other functionality, like viewing sunrise and sunset data, world time, up to 5 daily alarms, a 1/10th second stopwatch, and a countdown timer. So yes, this is certainly a watch that can cover your needs for just about anything you’d need a watch for.