back to top

Did Casio Get Their New WSD-F10 Smartwatch Right?

Did Casio Get Their New WSD-F10 Smartwatch Right? Watch Releases

Recently at the CES 2016 (the Consumer Electronics Show), Casio debuted what is arguably their first modern smartwatch with the Casio WSD-F10 collection that includes four models ranging in colors that include the green WSD-F10GN, orange WSD-F10RG, black WSD-F10BK, and red WSD-F10RD. Powered by Android Wear, the Casio WSD-F10 collection is designed in the same vein as their popular ProTrek collection of outdoor watches. For consumers, what will mark the Casio WSD-F10 as unique (thus far) is the watch’s focus on durability, internal sensors that combine those traditionally found in smartwatches along with those traditionally found in ProTrek watches, as well as a useful dual-layer screen.

Did Casio Get Their New WSD-F10 Smartwatch Right? Watch Releases

In all, Casio might be a bit late to the smartwatch game as a serious company in the “tech watch” industry, but their Casio WSD-F10 collection is intelligently designed and offers a lot of promise for those keen on how smartwatch technology will do a lot more for them than just give them call and message notifications on their wrist. The Casio WSD-F10 is still in a pre-launch phase, so I won’t really go into the functionality of the watch until we’ve had a chance to test it in the near future. With that said, there is a lot we can glean thus far.

You might recall that, in May of 2015, we published an article I wrote predicting what a Casio smartwatch should be like. At the time, I questioned Casio’s conspicuous absence from the serious smartwatch market, instead focusing on some Edifice and G-Shock range models with light Bluetooth functionality. In that article, I discussed in detail what features I felt a Casio smartwatch should have. So, how well does the Casio WSD-F10 live up to the demand I made back then? Pretty well, it seems.

I argued that the most important things that a Casio smartwatch should have are durability, useful sensors, and long life – as well as a focus on the outdoors. When people think about Casio digital watches, they think of reliability, functionality, and survivability. With 50 meters of water resistance and compliance with military MIL-STD-810 durability standards, the Casio WSD-F10 is just abusable enough to edge out the competition. Right now, Garmin’s Fenix range of smartwatches is probably the number one competitor of the Casio WSD-F10 collection. I am guessing that increased measures of durability will be part of future Casio smartwatches – but this is a good start.

Did Casio Get Their New WSD-F10 Smartwatch Right? Watch Releases

Weighing in at 93 grams, the Casio WSD-F10 isn’t too heavy, but it is large at 56.4mm wide by 61.7mm tall and 15.7mm thick. That is a bit more than many of the brand’s ProTrek models. Of course, Casio isn’t trying to make the watch larger than it needs to be, but people need to forgive the fact that smartwatches like this literally barely manage to fit all the hardware and battery in the provided cases. Not until we have better batteries and smaller hardware will we see any significant decreases in smartwatch size (even though the Apple Watch manages to do a lot in a smaller space).

Advertisement

Let’s talk battery life. First, Casio suggests a total recharge time from empty to full of 2 hours (about right for a battery this size), and rather than a dock, there is a magnetic cable that attaches to the side of the case to charge the Casio WSD-F10. Battery life is estimated to be “more than one day” in normal smartwatch mode. Of course it varies based on usage, but let’s just say that if you are out in the wild using the features with any frequency, you’ll have one day of battery life. The Casio WSD-F10 has another mode called “Timepiece Mode” that turns off the smartwatch functionality and just displays the time on a monochromatic screen. In Timepiece Mode, Casio claims “more than one month” of battery life.

Did Casio Get Their New WSD-F10 Smartwatch Right? Watch Releases

In addition to the touchscreen, the Casio WSD-F10 has three case pushers which are a power button, “Tool” button, and “App” button. I like physical buttons a lot, so the more buttons the better, in my opinion. The color screen is a capacitative touchscreen that is 1.32 inches in size and has a 320×300 resolution. What is interesting is Casio’s use of a “Dual Layer” screen. Here, the color TFT LCD screen sits under a semi-transparent monochrome LCD screen. This allows for a persistent display of the time in order to keep the watch hands-free when you just want to glance at it without using your other hand. In principle, this is likely similar to their use of a two-layer screen that we’ve seen in ProTrek models for years such as the PAW-2000 (reviewed here).

Did Casio Get Their New WSD-F10 Smartwatch Right? Watch Releases

It is this upper monochromatic screen which is active during Timepiece Mode, thanks to its much lower draw on the battery. Again, I also like that this means the Casio WSD-F10 is not likely the type of smartwatch to have a blank screen most of the time. Speaking of the screen, in addition to all the options available in Android Wear by default, Casio will include a range of customizable special dials with not only on new dial designs, but also based on classic Casio watches, pulling heavily from their G-Shock collection. This will be a fun way for Casio WSD-F10 owners to personalize their watch and still maintain its Casio personality.

Did Casio Get Their New WSD-F10 Smartwatch Right? Watch Releases

Did Casio Get Their New WSD-F10 Smartwatch Right? Watch Releases

In addition to a microphone and accelerometer, the Casio WSD-F10 has a series of built-in sensors that Casio ProTrek fans will appreciate. Unlike most smartwatches that simply pull data from the host phone, the Casio WSD-F10 has an internal altimeter and barometric pressure sensor, as well as a compass. No thermometer in this watch, but that isn’t a big deal. Casio has provided for integration with a slew of third-party apps to make use of the data as well as to offer specific functionality for various activities ranging from cycling to fishing and general adventuring, with everything in between.

Casio also ensured that the Casio WSD-F10 would be able to connect to devices using Bluetooth 4.1 as well as WiFi. It is true that more and more Android Wear smartwatches are including WiFi connectivity which a lot of consumers have been asking for. The ability for the watch to have its capabilities expanded using apps is crucial, but I hope that Casio itself ensures a well-curated experience rather than hoping that other companies will help make the best use of its software.

Did Casio Get Their New WSD-F10 Smartwatch Right? Watch Releases

Did Casio Get Their New WSD-F10 Smartwatch Right? Watch Releases

One interesting accessory that Casio also will have available is the EX-FR100 outdoor camera which is meant to be mounted to your body and can be controlled via the watch to take pictures. However, Casio has mentioned limited regional availability of the camera so it will not be available in all countries (officially), including the US. Overall, the Casio WSD-F10 collection of watches looks pretty handsome and well-equipped for the task of taking the smartwatch experience outdoors. The key success metric for Casio will come in with the overall user experience and whether or not the deep functionality of the Casio WSD-F10 smartwatch is merely existent or easily accessible from a user interface standpoint. I look forward to checking out and reviewing the Casio WSD-F10 “Smart Outdoor Watch” when they will be commercially released in the Spring of 2016 for an estimated price of $500. wsd.casio.com

Read more about

Watch Brands

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 4465413408

  • Twinbarrel

    Entering a little late in the smartwatch game isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Let the big guys come out first, find out what they don’t do well or not at all and develop your ‘brand’ new smart watch that is smarter than the others. I believe this Casio plays within a niche within a larger smart watch market but still not a small market.
    I understand that this body camera option is not allowed in every country but since people travel all over the world you just buy them online or on your travels if its that important to you.
    I am just about to purchase my first smart watch because of two reasons; 1. I want to know what they can do; 2. I have seen really cool custom straps for the apple watch.

  • 1 day of battery life in “outdoor” mode, for a Casio, is simply unacceptable.

    • Adam Young

      True, but the smartwatch world (and mobile tech in general) is really held back by battery technology. They didn’t just decide to “stick” with ~ 1 day battery life that’s the best ANYONE can do. If they wanted it to last, say, a week, then they would have to DRASTICALLY reduce functionality. The Pebble can do up to 7 days with an e-paper display, but it does a lot less, and the screen resolution is poor.
      That they’ve got a ~ 1 month low power mode means it won’t be totally useless on longer trips. I think this is aimed at dayhikers, and outdoors people who sleep somewhere with electricity so they can charge their devices. For those who are off the grid for days at a time the Pro Trek series is more for them.

      • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

        True, and this is the exact reason why I am not considering buying any brand of smart watch until the battery life issue is resolved. Bad enough that I need to charge my smartphone each day (or even during the day if I use it).

      • Yes, I know, and I’m not entirely sure they’ll get to solve this anytime soon: with ever hungrier and more powerful processors and larger displays, I don’t see how batteries can keep up.
        They’re certainly doing a terrible job right now!

    • Sevenmack

      Actually, it is just one day of battery life in smartwatch mode. The battery life is far longer for outdoor non-smartwatch purposes. So it is acceptable.

      • For us users of G-Shocks, it really is unacceptable.
        Yes, that’s why I wrote OUTDOOR MODE.
        Also, one month on “watch” mode is unacceptable too.

        • Sevenmack

          But is it? Unless you are camping or hunting for months at a time, you can always charge the watch. If you are engaged in such activities, you wouldn’t buy it anyway because you’re not using a smartphone or a smartwatch; and Casio provides plenty of options for those people.

          So, from where I sit, one month of battery life for outdoor use is fine. For you, it seems not. Since that is the case, I would suggest that you focus your attention to some other watch instead of getting huffy in the comments section of a watch blog.

          • Yeah, I really hate batteries: things that need charge everyday. I have 2 G-Shocks, on one it lasts about 10 years, the other is eternal.

            Yes yes, I realize this is a completely different beast, with android and all. Still hate the damned batteries.

            Also, suggest all you like… to a random poster on a watch blog.

  • I think they got it right. They said it would be rugged but I did not expect it to be this rugged. It looks good, is durable, gives itself a reason to exist, and the dual layer screen is a great idea and a practical feature, but it still suffers from the same problems as most other smartwatches: overdependency on a smartphone (especially considering it’s an “outdoor” watch) and short battery life. Hopefully someday these problems will be resolved and they’ll release a 200M water-resistant G-Shock smartwatch.

  • For a large watch is seems to wear smaller than its dimensions would suggest. Maybe because the buttons are nearly flush or because of the contouring. I think the dual layer display with an always on display is great for a smartwatch. I wonder if the Timepeice mode kicks in automatically based on lack or activity (meaning off your wrist) so the watch would conserve battery when it thinks you are not using it. Solar cells? That would help too I’d think. Nice that it does not look like a robot face G-Shock. It will be interesting to see a full review once its available.

    • WINKS

      It would have been great to see them use their solar technology to extend the battery life at least, with the potential of greatly reducing the frequency of charging it. At lease they realised that their dual screen technology is one of their strengths to be fully exploited, which they seem to have done successfully here. If they are smart, their next version will include in additions to the ABC functionalities of this model, radio wave syncing or GPS to ensure full core functionality independent of the smart watch ones. Casio is uniquely positioned in this price segment to seriously capitalise on the smart watch trend but they need to think outside their usual box and separate themselves from the rest of the pack by using their proprietary know how to create unique products.

  • iamcalledryan

    Are smart watches still a thing?

  • Boogur T. Wang

    On the “fishing” part of things…they refer to it as “Tide Chart(?)” and then show the guy fishing in a lake.
    Sorry, lakes do not have ‘tides.’
    Just a bunch of useless electronic “info” from what I can see.

    I like Casio brand – wearing an “old school” DW-5600E as I type this. But this is just too much pf nothing to get anything close to excited about.

    Also, my wardrobe contains nil spandex.

    • JimBob

      What, no Lululemon in there?

    • Victor Marks

      There was a separate fishing screen, separate from the tide chart, in the press conference. The PR kit materials may have mixed that up.

  • So it has less functionality, battery life, and water resistance than my Protrek, and costs 3 times as much? And won’t connect to my iPhone? What exactly is the target market demographic for smartwatches? People who have disposable income but don’t want to spend any of it on either a nice watch OR practical piece of technology, but instead an amalgam of two things that are neither?

    • WINKS

      Android wear now connects to iPhones.

  • SuperStrapper

    My current pathfinder has been used heavily for about the last 7 years, and has required exactly zero battery changes. Thanks to the solar charging function. I would never consider this as a replacement and when I head out into the bush I never have a phone in my pocket (I hope I don’t need to explain this further…). I love Casio but I don’t understand how this could hope to usurp the position that the protrek/pathfinder ranges have, being the absolute best in breed for fully functional and reliable rugged ABC watches.

    • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

      The target consumer group must be a selected segment of the deskdivers who want to show off how outdoorsy they are with a watch that is actually pretty crap outdoors…

    • JimBob

      I have an older pre-solar mode (c. 2003), and I need to replace the batteries every time I haul it out for a trip. 3 batteries in there too. I doubt it is still waterproof. I recently bought a newer version with solar charging, but have not used it yet.
      The UI on these older triple sensor watches is just awful. Some kind of phone-linked UI for configuration would be a godsend.

      • SuperStrapper

        I’ll be the first to agree that Casio’s UI/UX is questionable, but I have to give them credit that they have always stuck with it. Pathfinders and Gshocks that are released now operate in th same general manner that vintage ones do. So once you get it on one watch, you’ve got a base understanding for all others, and then you’re down to the nuances of each particular module.

        • JimBob

          I have to look up the compass calibration procedure every time, so UI consistency won’t help me there.

          • SuperStrapper

            If you have to look up the same instructions for the same piece of equipment continually, it’s not equipments fault.

          • Hacker4748

            Why not?

          • JimBob

            I manage to recalibrate all my other electronic compasses without resorting to the manual, so I blame Casio’s UI asshattery.

          • Victor Marks

            Sure it is. Had they designed in any way easier or more memorable, you wouldn’t have to look it up a second time. Had they done it properly, you wouldn’t need to look it up the first time.

          • SuperStrapper

            I remembered it just fine, without having to continually reference the manual. I guess I’m a savant, considering Casio obviously went out of their way to make it difficult.

  • Steve Bowden

    I am not authorized to release this information, but I’m going to anyway. You see, Casio has kept secret the ‘Fifth Watch’ in this collection, The ‘WSD-F10COL’. This iteration of the Casio Smartwatch will, when inserted into the correct orifice, provide a 24/7 colonoscopy that live streams headshots of your favourite polyps to Instagram , Youtube and Facebook, while a tranquil voice pays compliments to your peristaltic waves as they pass by.

    • realFunky303

      You Sir, just won the Internet ^^

      • Steve Bowden

        Thanks very much. I plan to treat the internet with respect, and a severe paddling…she’s been such a bad girl.

  • wallydog2

    So much for a Robert Frost walk in the woods.

  • Julius Swerving

    Until someone can solve the battery-life and must-pair-to-a-phone issues, I see no value in any of these “smart” watches, including the apple watch. My Protrek will take care of my needs. I was initially intrigued, but not so much anymore.

    • bradavon

      It seems they go hand in hand. They’re no including GPS etc… as it kills battery.

      I’m waiting for an e-ink Android Wear watch. It’s only feasible way I can think of getting decent battery life.

      • chphotovideo

        have you looked into the pebble watch?

  • Shinytoys

    Solar power the unit and sync it with a satellite for accuracy, and I’m in. Until then, I’ll hang with my Pro Trek for everyday wear. Viva la Casio….

  • JimBob

    I think that price point is a mistake for Casio. Looks good though.

    • The price is on par with their JDM pro treks (actually on the lower end of that line price-wise). Considering the non-apple competition this feels like a bargain. Mind you without solar power I will not be buying a smart watch but this is not bad at all.

  • funNactive

    Interesting adventure watch.

  • Emilio2000

    Very limited ABC features. Still nothing for skiers or snowboarders. Many new models arrive, but there is never any improvement in the altimeter. All Casio watches still measure altitude at a 2 minute interval. I can ski down a 500 foot hill in a minute and get on the chairlift that will take me up a few hundred feet in the next minute, and all the vertical in between will never be recorded.
    This WSD-F10 watch has no solar power, and it is less waterproof than most G-Shock and ProTrek watches. It looks nice, but it’s another disappointment for those of us who are waiting to see some improvement in the altimeter function.

  • Matt

    I’m a huge fan of Casio watches. But the Garmin Fenix 3 is light years ahead of this watch!

  • MD Monir Hossion

    call 01795062044

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.