The Casio Pro-Trek WSD F20 was released shortly after the WSD-F10, which was released in 2016. The Casio crew worked hard and the F20 includes many improvements. Perhaps the most signigficant is that the F20 can acquire location information "on its own" whereas the F10 acquired it from a phone. The F20 features a dual layer LCD screen that always displays the time. A simple touch accesses the second layer and a remarkably full set of visually pleasing and intuitive tools. Keep in mind that the only watch I had ever owned before this one was the classic Casio water resistant watch. In other words, I am the ultimate dummy test for this smart watch.
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Main watch face can be changed to a variety of looks and feature sets. Here's my go-to. Click on the arrow in the orange bar below to see the in-depth review and a whack of photos.
Casio is no stranger to watchmaking; however, they are relatively new to GPS watch making. Their first GPS was the G-Shock in 2014. The GPS system in the F20 series is much better than earlier iterations. For example, you can be moving under a canopy of trees and a fix will still be possible - the F20 may be the first in the Casio series to allow this. The 4GB of memory allows for route tracking and even voice memos that can be inserted digitally onto the routes that were tracked. A far as I can tell, the tracked routes cannot be accessed online; however, the routes do get saved in the watch if you want to review them later. The watch's ability to connect directly to wifi makes phone connectivity less essential, but it's still an option.
The main app you will want to download on your phone with this watch is the Wear OS app—a Google product. Allowing you to track your health and fitness, download any updates, and even control your phone's music from your watch. All this requires a Bluetooth connection which drains the battery at a rapid pace. For this reason I only use the watch-to-phone Bluetooth connection while my watch is plugged in to a power source.There are three buttons on this watch, each accessing a massive number of features. The top TOOL button is where, in my books, you find all the goodies. These goodies consist of a compass, altimeter, barometer, sunrise and sunset indicator, as well as a tide indicator. All these screens have 2 sub-screens, accessed by swiping left. The sub-screens are thematic variations of the first screen. Example: the tide screen is connected to the "potential fish in the region" screen. Although this may sound complicated, keep in mind that I am an idiot when it comes to smart watches and I managed to figure it out in less than an hour. You can too.
Swiping down from the main screen brings you to an iPhone-like screen (that you access by swiping up). This screen includes brightness, battery saver, phone connection, power off, do not disturb, and airplane mode clockwise from top left.
Swiping right from the main screen brings you to what I like to call the "fitbit screen" showing how many steps you've taken. You can also access a number of activity specific functions.
Here's the altimeter. Calibrate the altitude manually prior to a hike for most accurate results.
The compass is most accurate when placed on a flat surface; however, it's reasonably accurate when simply kept on your wrist.
Barometer (pretty self explanatory, very handy).
Tide tracker was useful and accurate while surfing; however, I see little use for this feature while backcountry skiing.
Hold down the menu button to access the audio aid or simply say “Hey Google” into the mic located at the bottom of the screen.
Swiping left gives you the weather, date and a friendly greeting (if you like that kind of thing).
Sunrise and sunset times, as well as locations of these events.
With the "Fishing screen," you can log the spots you caught fish. The Casio will then tell you the potential for catching fish in that location and the direction you should go to follow them. Pretty cool.
The Headlamp works surprisingly well, all things considered.
Oh, did I mention that the watch is a smart watch and therefore can be connected to the Internet so map downloading is extremely easy? I found that the Bluetooth connection is great for the initial set-up (in order to download your contacts etc); however, I found little use for it afterwards.
This review only scraped the surface of the F20's feature set. I personally prefer a trek-now/ gadgets-later kind of lifestyle and care mostly about the GPS system, altimeter and barometer and compass (the classic ABC watch trifecta). These functions work well on this watch; however, all the other systems such as the fitness functions, and the fishing probabilities contribute to the poor battery life. I found it lasted a month with only the monochrome watch face, 2 days with the use of solely altimeter and compass. 1 day with the infrequent use of GPS and 6-8 hours with the constant use of GPS and all other functions. This was not perfect for the long weekend canoe trip or an excursion into the bush. Sure you can charge it but the charging cable can only be used in controlled circumstances (like when sleeping and not while hiking). The wristband-to-watch transition irritated my skin because it's not smooth (see the picture). When sweating, this becomes even more of an issue.
Price: $399CAN / $299US
Dimensions: 61.7 x 56.4 x 15.7mm / 2.4 X 2.2 X 0.62"
Weight: 92g / 3.25oz
Colours: Black with green; black with orange; blue with black; black.
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