January 7, 2014
by Ariel Adams
One of the most interesting workout watches so far this year is the STB-1000 “Sports Gear” collection of Bluetooth-enabled watches by Casio. These seem to be an answer to the question of “can I combine my fitness tracker with something that tells me if I have a new text message?” Casio extends the functionality of their existing Casio G-Shock Bluetooth watches with the features of a fitness watch that connects to dedicated fitness apps on your iPhone (only).
Hate the idea of having to charge your watch all the time but feel the need to be constantly connected while running or cycling? Unlike most Bluetooth-enabled smartwatches, the Casio Sports Gear STB-1000 uses a 2 year rated CR2032 battery versus a rechargeable battery that needs daily attention. Sadly the Casio Sports Gear STB-1000 does not feature solar battery charging at this time. Using Bluetooth 4.0, the Sport Gear watches are meant to be worn on your wrist while your iPhone is attached to your body. The watch is able to directly connect with a handful of special apps (available in the App Store) both from Casio and third-party developers that use the phone as the fitness tracking device. The watch is able to display key information such as distance traveled, heart rate, cycling cadence, and speed (depending on the app). Of course you can also use the native features included in the Casio watch such as the stopwatch (chronograph), timer for up to 120 laps, and more.
The Casio Sports Gear STB-1000 is a follow-up to the existing STW-1000 sport/running watches from Casio. Though in design and features it very much feels like a Casio G-Shock. Having said that, Casio has positioned it more towards the fitness audience than the durable watch market. In addition to using Bluetooth to connect to fitness apps such as ABVIO and Wahoo Fitness, the Casio Sports Gear STB-1000 can control your iPhone’s music player as well as display incoming notifications about calls and messages. I keep mentioning the iPhone, because as of right now I believe that iPhone iOS 7 is the only mobile operating system the Casio Sports Gear timepieces are compatible with. Android compatibility may come in the future.
In addition to beeping and notifications on the screen, the Casio Sports Gear STB-1000 also features “vibe alert” which means the watches slightly vibrate when new notifications come in. With an upcoming Casio Watch + App it will be further possible to control the watch’s functions and settings through your iPhone – which is something new for Casio I believe.