In this article, I give you my quick review of the Casio WSD-F10 Watch with specs included. WSD-F10 is, to me, the kind of model number you give to a compressor or a nuclear reactor. Not normally an Android Wear smartwatch, but Casio is not a normal watchmaker and the F10 is not a normal smartwatch.
I spent two weeks getting to know the Smart Outdoor Watch from Casio. What first attracted me to this little gadget is just how different it is from the usual polished and petite watches running Android Wear.
First of all, it’s an absolute brute. We’re talking about 60 millimeters across and over 15 millimeters thick, though thankfully, it’s not quite as heavy as it looks.
Casio took a lot of queues from its G-Shock line of conventional watches here. The bezels are huge and so are the buttons. Three of them stud the right edge while a magnetic charging port dominates the left side along with a barometric pressure sensor. This is the first time I’ve used a watch with one of those.
The casing is framed by a generic polyurethane wristband and backed by a stainless steel plate that proclaims five bar water resistance, which Casio says is good for about 50 meters of depth.
That’s a lot deeper than the one-meter water-resistance of most Android watches and a hell of a lot deeper than the puddles in the local splash pond, so I didn’t dive test this.
I did wear it during a beach trip to the ocean though, and I’m happy to report that it wasn’t fazed by saltwater in the least. I still gave it a freshwater bath afterward.
The watch is also rated to the same mil-spec as some durable mobile phones, certified for everything from shock to solar radiation to ice storms. And the outdoorsy optimizations don’t stop there.
The Tool button is my favorite one on the watch. It gives you direct access to the onboard sensors so you can see your altitude above sea level to track your hike up a mountain or see if a storm’s about to roll in by keeping an eye on atmospheric pressure.
These are direct measurements taken by the watch. There’s no data connection required. There’s also a readout for the onboard compass, tide clock if you’ve got a nearby harbor, sunrise and sunset time tables, and the obligatory activity tracker, all done up in a nice unified aesthetic.
Casio also bundled a handful of watch faces that can constantly display some of this data so you don’t need to hop between apps to know what’s going on.
And if you download the Moments Center app to your Android phone, you can do all kinds of things like making the watch alert you when the tide’s about to come in or go out, or warn you about a sudden drop in mercury, or hit you with a custom reminder when you approach a particular location.
Of course, you can also download any Android Wear apps you want and you can assign pretty much any of them to the App button for a quick launch.
Probably the smartest thing about this watch is how intelligently its display is designed. This is actually two LCDs stacked together. The usual color TFT panel sits beneath a monochrome segmented display up top. So when you’re not actively using the watch, the main display goes to sleep and the more power-efficient black and white one takes over, which is much easier to see in sunlight.
It’s one of those features I wish every smartwatch had. And if you run low on battery but still want a clock, you can trigger Timepiece mode, which shuts down all the Android Wear stuff and just displays the time and date on the top layer LCD.
And yet, the Casio does fall short in some crucial areas. You’d expect a smartwatch built for the outdoors to pack GPS, but nope. If you’re not near a wi-fi hot spot, you need to stay connected to your phone for the watch to know where it is.
Casio may have been trying to save on power consumption with that omission because this watch is no endurance champ either.
For me, it delivered a max of a day and a half between charges. That’s in line with what I’ve come to expect from other smartwatches, but again, look how big it is. You’d expect this watch to last a week.
And it’s specifically targeted at the kind of person who won’t be able to plug in every night. Also, the display is pretty small relative to the casing. It’s also quite undersaturated and despite the flat tire, there’s no ambient light sensor to automatically adjust brightness.
Finally, there’s no heart rate sensor either. Not a huge omission, sure, but still odd considering the target audience. If you can live with those drawbacks, you’ll pay a pretty penny for the F10.
Whether you get it from Casio, Amazon, or the Google Store, you’re looking at a premium price for a new device. That makes it one of the most expensive Android Wear watches around, and I’m not convinced it brings enough utility to justify it.
It also remains to be seen how well it runs Android Wear 2.0. Still, if what you want is a rugged smartwatch, your options are pretty limited and this one does manage to tick a lot of boxes within the limited framework Android provides.
Plus, I have to say it again, every smartwatch should have this dual display option because it’s amazing. Feel free to share this post.