Casio’s $500 Android Wear smartwatch is designed for the outdoors (hands-on)

Casio announced its first smartwatch for iPhone and Android devices on Tuesday here at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. The Smart Outdoor Watch, officially known as the WSD-F10, is very different from the company’s calculator watches of the 1980s. It is designed for users who love the outdoors and want to stay connected. The watch features a built-in microphone and is water resistant to 50 meters and built to meet US military standards.

The dual layer display features both a monochrome LCD and a color LCD. This helps improve battery life, which is said to last around a day and a half to two days with normal use, and is meant to keep the screen visible in all conditions.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

So what are the smart features? The watch is powered by Android Wear, which means it can display notifications from your iPhone or Android device and provide personalized Google Now cards about the weather, your favorite sports team, and so on. But it’s also not like the other Android Wear watches we’ve seen.

Although it lacks an optical heart rate tracker, the watch includes both a pressure sensor and a compass, which can be accessed by pressing the tool button. You will also be given other useful functions for the outdoors, such as sunrise and sunset times. The “app” button gives you quick access to activity data, changes in atmospheric pressure and other data.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

I got to spend some time with the watch at the company’s press event. Unfortunately it doesn’t include GPS, which is odd considering it’s an outdoor watch, nor cellular capabilities. I was also disappointed to see that the display isn’t a full circle. It features the same black bar as the Moto 360.

Build quality looked strong, but the watch is huge. It is large and bulky, not meant to be worn all day. As I said before, it is designed for the outdoors and to withstand the elements.

The Casio Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10 will be available in April for $ 500 (around £ 340 or AU $ 700).

Follow CNET’s ongoing coverage of CES 2016 here.

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