Review: Casio G-Shock Bluetooth GB6900AA
At a glance
The Good: It is rugged and the battery lasts for two years.
The Bad: Does not have very advanced “smart” features and no text message notifications. It works only with iPhones for now.
Final words: It is a tough watch that can do basic notifications like calls and email. If you treasure ruggedness and a long battery life, this smart watch might be the best for you.
Pricing and availability: US$180 RRP as stated on GShock.com and about US$200 on Amazon.
Being a G-Shock, these are one of the most rugged smart watches around. Shock resistant and water resistant to 200 meters, these smart watches are built to withstand a lot of pounding.
At first glance, this looks just like the G-Shocks of the past and present. The only giveaway is the special “G” logo that is meant to show that the watch is Bluetooth 4.0 capable.
As a digital watch, it has the usual features like alarm, countdown timer and stopwatch functions. It also comes with a world time clock for 100 cities including being able to correct for daylight savings.
The GB6900AA comes in black (GB-6900AA-1), blue (GB-6900AA-2), brown (GB-6900AA-5) and white (GB-6900AA-7).
The G-Shock use a normal CR2032 battery that is rated to last for up to two years assuming 12 hours of Bluetooth use per day. This is great for those who do not want to charge their smart watches every few days.
Setting up your Bluetooth-enabled G-Shock is quite a walk in the park. First, you will need the G-Shock+ app that is available on the Apple App Store. With the Bluetooth mode on your iPhone switched on, you will need to hold down the Split/Reset button on your G-Shock to activate the Bluetooth mode on the watch. Open the G-Shock+ app on your phone, select the watch name and you should be done.
You can then use the app to customize your alert settings, phone finder and time settings. The watch can also adjust the displayed time by synchronizing with your iPhone.
The watch can alert you of incoming calls and emails for now. When you are receiving a call, the watch will beep to alert you but does not show the caller’s details. Incoming emails will have the sender’s address shown without any of the email’s content.
It is also capable of alerting you when there are Facebook or Twitter updates. No such luck with text message notifications though. Perhaps this will be added along with subsequent firmware updates.
Phone finder allows the watch to enable the iPhone’s alarm function for you to locate your iPhone. To do this, just press the Start/ Stop button on your G-Shock and the phone’s alarm will start ringing. The tone used for the alarm can be customized as well.
The G-Shock has a warning vibration to alert you when the watch loses its connection to your phone so that you know if you are moving out of range of your iPhone.
The watch uses a tilt sensor to detect movement, which signals the watch to reconnect to your iPhone. This helps to save battery life by putting your watch into power saving mode when you are not wearing the watch.
These G-Shocks might lack some of the more advanced “smart” features of other smart watches, but what it has working for it is the long battery life and ruggedness. So if you want a watch that is super tough and only want to be notified of incoming calls and emails without other fancy features, this is the best smart watch for you.
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy)
Compatibility: Apple iPhone 4 and above running iOS 5 or 6
Dimensions: 53.2 x 50.0 x 17.7mm