The WSD-F30 smartwatch from Japanese watchmaker, Casio, is part of the Pro Trek Smart Collection. This watch review will focus on how Casio updated its only smartwatch collection product. It will also discuss where Casio seems to be going in its connected smartwatch journey. Casio began making connected smartwatches in 2010 with the WSD-10, followed by the WSD-20 a year later. Casio’s Android Wear-powered smartwatch is the WSD-F30.
The Android Wear Smartwatch for Hiking & Adventure
Casio officially included the WSD-F20 into its hiking and outdoor adventure-theme Pro Trek product family, naming it Pro Trek smart. Consumers must know the specific niche Casio intends to target with their smartwatches. Although I don’t know the details of every smartwatch on the market, I know that the WSD-F30 is Casio’s niche. It’s a durable, long-lasting watch for outdoor use, running the Google Android Wear OS. While there are many smartwatches from other companies like Samsung, Apple and Garmin, none of them fit this niche.
Casio is well-versed in the Pro Trek line of hiking watches, once called the Pathfinder in the US. With a smartwatch, the possibilities and features of an adventure watch are endless. The WSD-F30 is a smartwatch that I try to ignore all the Android Wear features, save for Google Fit or Google Maps. Instead, I focus on Casio’s software for the Pro Trek Smart smartwatch line, including the WSD-30. GPS sensors and the sophisticated software that can access that information are two of the biggest benefits of smartwatch platforms. You can also store maps natively on the WSD-F30, which allows you to perform various map, waypoint and navigation tasks directly on the watch without relying on an Internet connection.
Casio appears to have created the WSD-30 with the idea that the wearer would be outside traditional cell phone reception areas. One example is the ability to store map data natively. Power-saving features can extend the watch’s battery life from one to two days to approximately a month. This is possible because Casio’s dual-screen technology was used in the WSD-30. Although this is not new technology for Casio per se, it is for its smartwatches. It is designed with a full-color OLED screen at the bottom and a transparent monochromatic top.
This watch has an attractive, useful, always-on display that only uses the top screen. The watch can save power by showing you the time at once but does not require the main screen to charge the battery. You can choose to turn off certain functions or extend the battery life of your WSD-30.
The dual-screen system was a great idea. However, I do not think Casio’s user interface design makes the most of it. Casio may have introduced dual-screen technology to save battery life, but they aren’t taking full advantage of how the screens can be used together for different displays.
New, more wearable and refined case design
Casio claims the Pro Trek Smart WSD-30 is compliant with US Military Spec MIL STD-810G for environmental durability. The case is also water-resistant to 50 meters so you can swim with it. It has several openings for sensors, such as the onboard barometer. The durability rating is impressive. Although the watch does not have a heart rate monitor, I believe Casio will add this to their future products. Other products are available from the brand that considers more useful for fitness and exercise. The Pro Trek Smartwatch is not intended to be a fitness tool. It is meant for adventure and navigation. This doesn’t mean that you can’t train with the WSD-F30, but it does indicate that Casio isn’t yet ready to include a heart monitor in its toolkit.
The OLED touch screen display measures 390×390 pixels and is bright and crisp. It is not sapphire at this price, but it is still a beautiful display. I don’t miss the incomplete circle screens that were available for Android Wear devices back in the day. The screen was responsive, although pinching and pulling on the 1.2-inch screen required delicate finger gymnastics. Casio includes three pushers, but the core of Android Wear is the need to interact with the touchscreen.