REVIEW – CASIO WSD-F10 OUTDOOR SMARTWATCH

REVIEW – CASIO WSD-F10 OUTDOOR SMARTWATCH

Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smartwatch

$500
Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smartwatch
7.3

Overall Rating

7/10

    Pros

    • Three breakthrough industry innovations earn a standing ovation
    • Top shelf ‘alpha male’ military style product design
    • Great case & watch band color & style options
    • Glove-friendly design sports big, easy to push buttons
    • Good for trekking, hiking, fishing, and outdoor adventuring
    • Sunrise and Sunset times app is useful, with good UI

    Cons

    • No built-in GPS sensor -- this is a major league boffo mistake for an outdoor smartwatch!
    • Flat tire display (similar to Moto 360 Gen 2)
    • Performance of processor and GPU seem sluggish, especially during screen refresh
    • Software implementation is subpar
    • No built-in thermometer as Casio previously has integrated into their Triple Sensor watches
    • Most women would prefer a case that is smaller and not as thick

    VERDICT AND RATING

    Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smartwatch ReviewAfter its appearance at CES 2016, the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch was heralded by a number of tech analysts and smartwatch reviewers as one of the “coolest smartwatches unveiled at CES 2016.”Indeed, the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smartwatch offers a trifecta of breakthrough innovations that will forever change the future of the still nascent smartwatch industry. Casio nearly hit a grand slam with its novel integration of 1) dual display technology, employing one monochrome LCD layer atop a color LCD layer, 2) MIL-STD 810G military standard ruggedized technologies that can withstand the best mother nature can throw at the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch, and 3) remote camera viewing and capture trigger right on the face of the smartwatch.

    If it were only for these three breakthroughs plus a really sexy ‘alpha male’ case & watch band design combo, Casio should win multiple industrial product design awards for this smartwatch.

    Unfortunately, the overall implementation of the hardware and software techs and the sluggish performance of the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch limit its overall rating to mere middle of the pack mediocrity on most other product feature and benefits issues.

    As it is now, the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch earns a rating in this review of 7.25.

    Rating of the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch:

    •    7.25 on a 1 to 10 scale (10 = best)
    •    Battery saving dual display technology raises the rating by 1/2 point
    •    MIL-STD 810G ruggedized technology raises the rating by 1 point
    •    Remote camera function raises the rating by 1 point
    •    Multiple suboptimal processor and software issues drop the rating by 2 points

    OVERVIEW

    The best use case for the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor SmartWatch is the intrepid alpha male explorer, trekker, outdoors-man, hiker, biker, and fisherman who needs a ruggedized, smart timepiece with long battery life and functional apps tailored for life outdoors. 

    The fact that this watch is about as sexy an alpha male watch as you can get on this planet is just plain gravy.Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smartwatch Review

    Gifting this man’s man smartwatch at birthday time or for the holidays to your significant other will almost certainly guarantee you several months of no-griping trash removal and lawn mowing, many weeks of no socks on the floor clean bedroom maintenance, and at least several dozen nights of dishwashing with no complaints.

    Now even though gifting the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch to hubby or bubby or baby Huey will not prevent the end of fishing and trekking season or the upcoming start of NFL season from commanding their attention, it will most certainly earn you major league points for the alpha male outdoors-man in your life.

    PERFORMANCE

    No performance review of the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch could be complete without describing in some useful detail the three major design and performance innovations of this smartwatch. Since each will become a vital, enduring feature of the smartwatch industry, let’s get acquainted with each one.

    Dual Display Layers: Dual display layer technology involves placing a monochrome LCD (liquid crystal display) element on top of a color TFT LCD element. This novel design move has been percolating in the industrial product design circles for smartwatches and other types of wearable product displays for some time now. Casio earns major points for throwing their sports ball out onto the field of smartwatch play.Casio Smartwatch Reviews

    This new industrial design allows a smartwatch to always offer timekeeping mode at the ready, with good visibility even in bright sunlight, yet save major league amounts of battery life by enabling power hungry color TFT LCD mode only when it is necessary to properly convey apps and relevant activity data.

    It will certainly be interesting to see how many other industry players pick up this baton and run with it. Casio’s integration of dual display layer technology should win an industry award simply because it shows a major company can take a weighted risk with a controversial new technology platform and be successful in doing so.

    Casio’s enablement of a 30-day smartwatch in timekeeping mode — due solely because of this dual display layer technology approach – is a real breakthrough and merits continued attention by all smartwatch industry stakeholders and consumers alike.

    MIL-STD-810G: The Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor SmartWatch may very well be the world’s only MIL-STD-810G rated smartwatch. Certainly it’s difficult to do find any search engine results that run contrary to this notion. As such, Casio needs to earn an industry award for staking claim to this necessary function for all smartwatches in the future.

    Why?

    Anyone who is paying attention to the news media outlets that regularly cover global climate change events and extreme weather incidents all over the world knows why MIL-STD-810G ruggedized smartwatches will be vital to the future operational environment of all consumers.

    Casio Outdoor Smartwatch Reviews

    We do indeed live in an age of rapidly increasing frequency and ferocity of extreme weather incidents occurring all over the globe, in geographies that have never before experienced such weather anomalies during the past few thousand years.

    Ensuring your entire family is MIL-STD-810G smartwatch enabled is one of the smartest moves you can make to raise your family’s ability to survive extreme events and conditions.

    The MIL-STD-810G standard for military ruggedized products signifies to you that your smartwatch is capable of withstanding some of the worst that mother nature can throw at your wrist, including: resistance to high and low temperatures, freeze-thaw cycle resistance, rainstorms (both wind blown and freezing/icy rain), high humidity, fungus, salt fog rusting, acidic atmosphere resistance, sand and dust exposure, shock, high vibration, ballistic shock, low pressures at high altitudes, fluid contamination, water resistance to 50 meters depth, solar radiation (sunshine) over exposure, and high G shock drops.

    Any one of these conditions could ruin your non-ruggedized Apple Watch, Samsung Gear S2, Moto 360 Gen 2, Huawei Watch, and any of the other Android Wear smartwatches on the market.Outdoor Casio Smartwatch Review

    Unfortunately, it appears that Casio is the only company on planet earth that is smart and savvy enough to make this happen for their new line of smartwatches. Smartwatch makers who neglect this new trend can expect to see their future market share methodically dwindle in some ration that approximates the increasing rate and severity of these weather anomalies and their impact on consumers’ mindset over the next few years.

    Word to the wise – both manufacturers and consumers!

    Remote Camera Viewer and Capture Trigger: Imagine you were sitting around the campfire at base camp last summer prior to trekking your way to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. You suddenly have an epiphany that the view and capture trigger capability of a GoPro type outdoor sports and activities camera should be made to Bluetooth wirelessly connect to a smartwatch display on your wrist. Wouldn’t it be great if you could remotely operate the camera without clumsily stopping your precious activities on your climb of climbs, . . . well, . . . sorry, tough cookies, man. Casio beat you to it.

    In what just might be the very best breakthrough innovation in the global smartwatch industry for 2016, Casio has integrated into its WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch the capability to display the view of a Exilim EX-FR100 mountable/wearable outdoor camera. It’s so simple you can strap the Exilim onto the front of your backpack shoulder straps or onto your jacket pocket or collar. Once you’ve got the post to Facebook shot just right, all you need to do is to use the EXILIM Controller App on your Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch to remotely operate the camera and snap the photo of your journey without missing a step, without sacrificing any safety measures on your climb or traverse.

    Casio Outdoor Smartwatch ReviewsThis was a no brainer. Some company was going to do this. I’m surprised Apple or Samsung did not partner with GoPro to get this demo-ed to the world before Casio. Oh well, to the innovator go the spoils of the smartwatch war.

    Given this trifecta of high performance firsts in the global smartwatch industry, it is indeed surprising that Casio appears to have skimped on the processor and graphics chipsets and software that drive high performance in a smartwatch. At times, the WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch seems to skip a beat in processing the next Android Wear card and it lags a bit after swipes to move along to the next data screen in an app or from function to function.

    So once again, we see the very same issue confront major electronics companies, the underestimation of the difficulty of software programming of major new smart devices. In the smartwatch industry, software is often king, as it is the eventual master of the onboard processor and graphics chipset engines. Until companies such as Casio learn to devote Apple and Samsung type of resources to the software challenges of these new smartwatch devices, they will continue to suffer performance lags when compared to the top tier products.

    DESIGN

    One could make a pretty convincing case that Casio was the original pioneer of the smart watch. Casio has almost four decades of advanced electronic watch making leadership.

    The circa-1980 Casio Game-10 was one of the first dozen or so digital watches. In 1989, one could buy a Casio GMW-15 that had a graphic display for conveying sunrise and Casio Outdoor Smartwatch Designsunset times and the phases of the moon. In 1991, you could have purchased a VDB-1000 that offered an embedded phone book, an organizer, a calculator, and a notepad. Alternatively, the Casio JC-11, also in 1991, could monitor calories, steps, and distance. The PRT-1GP was the first watch to offer GPS navigation back in 1999.

    All along the way, Casio has carried on a robust tradition of electronic and digital timekeeping innovation.

    Now, three and a half decades after that Casio Game-10 digital watch, the alpha male military style design of the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch is nails on tight and right. It’s got all the key facet cuts in the right places, pleasingly smooth chamfered edges on the watch case, and color schemes that reek of early 21st century technology enabled, 100% alpha male testosterone based outdoor life off the grid, . . . well not totally off the grid!

    People can argue about buttons and digital crowns on smartwatches until the cows come home. At the end of the day, though, it all boils down to how those buttons and crowns seamlessly integrated into the aesthetic form and function of the industrial product design and operation from the user experience perspective.

    In the case of the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch, the three large buttons on the right side of the case – the tool button, the selector button, and the app button — and the one sensor button on the left side of the case are rugged buttons that protrude enough to give any glove wearing outdoorsman a sense of comfort that these buttons will ‘get the job done’ when needed most. And since they fit on the side of a smart outdoor watch that is chunky anyway, it provides a rather seamless built-in look and feel for this smartwatch that hits the design sweet spot for an outdoor smartwatch.

    Casio smartwatch Reviews

    One habitual challenge facing all smartwatch companies that Casio also swung and missed on with their WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch is how to permanently print labels and function button ID names that never wear off. For instance, with the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch, the name label (or button ID) printing for the Sensor, Tool, and App buttons appears to be old fashioned printing technology on top of the resin matrix material of the bezel, button label printing that is inherently subject to premature erosion of the printed letters over time.

    Now Casio can’t be blamed for not getting this right when no one else in the entire smartwatch industry has yet to get this right. However, at some point, one would figure that some company, please dear, at least one company ought to be able to think outside the box and get this right — to enable permanent, durable ‘never-wear’ button and function printing on the bezels of all these new smartwatches.

    Is that too much to ask?

    Specs

    Casio Outdoor Smartwatch Reviews

    PRICING AND GENERAL AVAILABILITY

    The Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch sports an MSRP price of USD500.00 and is available now. This MSRP puts the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch on the upper tier of Android Wear smartwatches, in league with the highest priced Huawei luxury watches and also in the same price strata as the stainless steel Apple Watches. The Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch comes in four case color options: black, orange, red, or green.

    CONCLUSION

    The bottom line on your evaluation of a purchase of the Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch very much depends on whether or not you fall into one of the following customer profile categories.

    1.  Do you spend more than several hundred dollars a year on outdoor gear brands such as Arc’teryx, Black Diamond, Mammut, Kelty, Marmot, Granite Gear, Patagonia, Sierra Designs, Petzl, Outdoor Research, Sea to Summit, NorthFace, and/or a dozen others?
    2.  Are you a mountain climber, a trekker, a hiker, a camping nut, an outdoor adventurer, and/or a world traveler with a bent to always hit the dusty trails and places unknown to even the most ardent jungle adventurer?
    3.  Do you and your friends spend more than two weekends a summer and one major vacation a year hitting the outdoors hard and fast and deep anywhere on this blue, green, and brown planet?
    4.  Most importantly, do you need the ultimate in a ruggedized smartwatch built to take a beating in all types of weather and rough and tumble outdoor circumstances?

    If you fit any or all of these customer profile scenarios, then you owe it to yourself to seriously consider buying this new outdoor smartwatch platform for the future, as it’s only going to get better, even overcoming some of its laggard processor and graphics and mediocre software performance issues. Just don’t expect seamlessly fast and smooth Apple Watch or Samsung Gear S2 type of performance in this first generation Casio WSD-F10 Outdoor Smart Watch.

    Then again, if you try to use the Samsung Gear S2 or the Apple Watch in the same conditions for which this monster piece of outdoor smart watch gear from Casio is tailor made, then you’ll most likely come full circle back to the very reason why Casio built this new MIL-STD-810G ruggedized smart outdoor watch in the first place.


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