The Casio Smart Outdoor Watch Has a Neat Trick
Writing about smartwatches–Android Wear or otherwise–is not a new thing for the Dark Android Project. Some of these are interesting, but most of the wearables that get bantered on about are worthless wrist-mounted blocks of sensors that infringe upon your privacy (and I’m guessing they’ll be a security problem at some point in 2016).
Some of the more interesting smartwatches include the ill-fated LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, any watch from Pebble, and even some of Samsung’s Gear line that had their own SIM cards. Keep in mind, as I’ve said on my podcast Sovryn Tech many times, I’m not opposed to smartwatches, even Android Wear ones. I’m just opposed to having to have a smartphone and a smartwatch. I want one or the other (and I think I’d even prefer the smartwatch), I don’t want to have to tether one to the other.
And while what I’m about to share with you doesn’t solve the “tethering” problem, it is an interesting Android Wear entry, nonetheless, and it comes from my favorite watch company: Casio.
The Casio Smart Outdoor Watch (WSD-F10) doesn’t really come with any special innards or specs, though it is a bit bulky, even for a smartwatch (61.7×56.4×15.7mm). It has a smaller 1.32-inches dual-layer LCD screen with a 300×200 resolution. A serious thing going for it is its MIL-STD-810 military standards rating for drops and shocks, and water resistant up to 50 meters. This is even better than IP67 (which is what most water-resistant Android devices top out at). The Smart Outdoor Watch is likely the most rugged Android Wear device available…when it becomes available in April 2016 for $500, of course.
And all of that is fine, but what’s really interesting about the Smart Outdoor Watch is its “Power-conserving Timepiece Mode”. What this does is uses one of the layers of the LCD screen to switch to monochrome, giving the watch a battery life of nearly a month! Now that makes this thing interesting. It’s one of my primary gripes about any wearable is the need to constantly recharge the damn thing overnight or even every few days. But the Smart Outdoor Watch solves that. That’s a neat little trick.
Personally, I wear a watch all the time. It’s a Casio as well, and it’s technically a smartwatch. It’s one of their classic calculator watches, and the battery on it has been lasting me for years, no recharges or replacements needed. And the thing is tough as nails, too. I’ve been through some pretty rough outdoor situations with it, and never bothered to take it off or replace it. This is my main problem with any of these smartwatches (outside of the fact that as long as they need a smartphone, they’re worthless). If I have to recharge the watch all the time, and if it can’t handle my rigorous lifestyle, why the fuck would I pay triple-digits for it? It’s nonsense, and it’s an insult to watches, and consumers, as well.
Fortunately Casio is innovating to solve both problems. Maybe they’ll be the first to solve the third. I applaud them for it, even though I’m not going to buy the Smart Outdoor Watch. Frankly, I don’t know why more companies aren’t putting monochrome screens like e-readers or otherwise onto their devices (I know of smartphone companies that do this, and those smartphones will run for days without a charge, it’s amazing). Good on you, Casio. And if you the consumer are desperately wanting an Android Wear watch for whatever reason, this is the one I would choose right now.
Again, that’s until these things can replace my smartphone entirely. Because I want to communicate like this, baby:
Now THAT is the future of technology. Woooo!