About the Casio G-Shock GBD-H2000
- Dimensions: 59.6 × 52.6 × 19.4mm
- Weight: 63g
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, GPS
- Sensors: Heart rate, accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, compass
- Water Resistance: 200 meters
As mentioned, the Casio G-Shock GBD-H2000 is a follow-up to the H1000, which itself is also a hybrid device with fitness-tracking features under the hood. The device is 52mm wide and 19mm thick. If you’re used to smartwatches, it certainly looks and feels chunky. Under its husky hood, the device is packed with sensors for activity tracking, and there are five buttons around the edge to control the software. On top of that, the device supports notifications from your phone, so you’ll be able to see notifications like text messages, straight from your wrist. The watch is available in a few colorways, including a black body with green highlights and a green band, and a more subtle black-on-black. There’s also a teal with a teal band. We’re reviewing the more colorful model, and I quite like it.
What We Like
Design that’s a statement
You may not love the design of the G-Shock GBD-H2000, but it certainly makes a statement, especially if you go for the more colorful variant. And, it’s unmistakably G-Shock. G-Shock watches are known for being tough, durable, and necessarily, bulky. Building something that’s rugged and able to handle a little more abuse than other devices means that there’s a little more heft – but it’s also a design vibe that many gravitate towards. Plenty of people see their watch as a statement piece, and the G-Shock GBD-H200 certainly embodies that. And, of course, there are plenty of other hybrid and smartwatches for those who want something a little slimmer and more scaled back.
There are some functional aspects of design worth mentioning. Dotted around the device are five buttons for controlling the interface, including a button for the backlight, a back button, a forward button, a reverse button, and an enter button. You’ll likely use all of these buttons at different points, and I found them relatively easy to push and springy in feel. There’s no touch screen here, but some prefer using buttons anyway, considering the fact that they mean you don’t have to block content with your fingers while you use the device.
The band is made from Casio’s corn-based bio-resin, and it felt strong and pliable. It was comfortable to wear, even while sweating, and it felt strong enough to last for a long time. Thankfully, the band is replaceable, however, it’s not simply a standard watch band, and I was unable to find any third-party bands that fit this specific watch. It’s possible that will change, but in the meantime, you’re limited to buying first-party bands that are purpose-built for the GBD-H2000.
Great fitness-tracking features
There are a total of six sensors built into the GBD-H2000 for fitness-tracking, including a heart rate monitor and GPS, so it serves as an excellent option for anyone who wants a device that can accurately track their activity, help with hikes and runs, and so on.
I used the device for a variety of different activities, including hiking and tennis, however, I used it for running more than anything else. Using the built-in GPS, the device was able to track my run on a map without having a connection with my phone—which is a good thing, as I never run with my phone.
Unfortunately, the hiking features were a little limited during the use of the device. There’s no breadcrumb feature or any ability to set waypoints—it really is just an activity tracker while hiking, not a navigation device.
Generally, I found the device to be accurate in location tracking, and activity tracking—or at least around as accurate as my Apple Watch Ultra is. There were some minor differences in average and maximum heart rate readings, and that’s to be expected.
It makes sense that the activity tracking features here would be high-quality, given the fact that many of them are powered by Polar tech. You won’t use the Polar app, but you will see the data collected and analyzed in the Casio Watches app, and once you navigate to it it’s relatively easy to scroll through.
One omission, however, is the fact that you can’t sync the data collected by the watch with your other apps, like Apple Health or Google Fit. For those who use multiple devices and want it all in one interface, that’s a bit frustrating.
During a workout, you’ll see important information on the display too. Where relevant, you’ll see things like heart rate, your distance, split time, pace, and so on, so you can easily see stats at a glance. Unfortunately, you can’t customize the interface for different workouts—but I found that for the most part, it displayed the right information for the different workout modes.
Unlimited battery life
The G-Shock GBD-H2000 comes with a charger in the box, but you may never use it. That’s because of the fact that the device uses solar charging to stay charged up, and as long as you step foot outside every now and then, it’ll stay fully charged at all times.
After using the watch for over a week, the battery meter on the device shows that I had four out of five bars of battery left. That level, however, is what I had when I first set up the device—and I could certainly have spent more time in the sun this week than I actually did. And, during that time, I probably had the GPS on for at least three hours or so, during various runs and hikes.
It certainly helps that the display is low power here, but the fact that the device can draw enough power for the fitness-tracking features is impressive.
Some helpful smart features
Despite mostly being a digital watch with fitness-tracking features, the device does have some other helpful smart features. Namely, the device supports notifications, and it works fine. You’ll get a beep and a vibration when you get a notification, however, you can turn one or both off through the settings in the app or on the device itself, which is nice. I did eventually turn both off, but only because a group chat was getting a little out of control, and I eventually re-enabled them.
What we don’t like
Interface is difficult to navigate
The G-Shock GBD-H2000 is a fitness watch first and a smartwatch, second. As such it doesn’t have a full smart operating system like the Apple Watch or Pixel Watch. For many, that’s a good thing—but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the interface on the device is all that easy to navigate. In fact, it’s a little complicated, and it will take most users some time to get used to it.
Much of that has to do with the fact that you use the four buttons to control the interface, and there are no touch capabilities on the display, despite the fact that there are times when it looks like the large buttons should be pressable. On at least two occasions, I pressed a big “Start” button on the screen to start a workout, only for nothing to happen. This is largely a muscle memory issue and, as Garmin Fenix users can attest to, will disappear the more you wear the GBD-H2000.
Within a few days, I found it much easier to start the workouts that I most used and get to the settings that I cared about. That’s not to say that I could get to every setting easily, like I can on my iPhone. But I can certainly navigate to what I actually use regularly.
The basic look of the interface is very similar to that of other G-Shock devices. Letters are blocky and easy to read, and you wouldn’t necessarily know that there are smart features on-board just by looking at the watch face. It isn’t the same as other G-Shock watches, but if you’ve used other G-Shock devices, it will feel very familiar.
Limited workout types
The G-Shock GBD-H2000 is packed with sensors for fitness tracking, but the actual workout types that it supports is relatively limited. Unlike a device like the Apple Watch, you won’t get dozens of different workout types on the G-Shock GBD-H2000, but you will get most of the big ones.
On the device, you’ll be able to initiate the following workouts: Running, trail running, walking, pool swimming, open water swimming, biking, gym workout, and interval timer. To be fair, these types are broad enough to cover the majority of situations—for example, if you were going on a hike, you would start a walking workout, while if you went to use the rowing machine, you could start a gym workout. You’ll still get information about heart rate and activity, and in my experience, the device still offers a pretty accurate look at that information.
But there are still some holes. For example, what if you aren’t using a rowing machine—you’re actually rowing. In that case, GPS information would be useful, which isn’t collected during the gym workout. There’s also no triathlon mode, which would seemingly be easy to implement given the device supports running, swimming, and biking.
Should you buy the Casio G-Shock GBD-H2000?
Yes, if you want that G-Shock look with some fitness-tracking smarts
The G-Shock GBD-H2000 isn’t a smartwatch, but it does offer many of the activity tracking features that you would expect from one, along with some of the notification features. On top of that, of course, it has the style that you would expect from a G-Shock device, and if you like the look and don’t mind a little chunk, then it’s definitely worth buying.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Christian de Looper
Originally from Australia, Christian has long had a passion for gadgets and consumer electronics. Christian has experience reviewing products in all areas of the consumer tech world, and is dedicated to helping people find the best products for their lifestyle.
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