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Casio WSD-F20 Android Wear smartwatch brings GPS to the party

Casio is getting serious about smartwatches after unveiling the WSD-F20, its second Android Wear-packing timepiece.

The successor to the Casio Smart Outdoor WSD-F10 now falls under the company’s Pro Trek Smart Series and delivers the feature we wanted most from the original: built-in GPS.

Read this: 50 wearable tech gamechangers for 2017

It’s still built for ruggedness and thankfully Casio has managed to pack in everything without adding any extra bulk. It’s still water resistant to 50 metres as well and it’s been built to military standards so it can handle a bit of rough and tumble.

Available in orange or black, you’ll find the same 1.32-inch dual layer LCD 320 x 330 touchscreen display that jumps into monochrome mode when you’re running low on battery. That battery life is roughly the same as before giving you a day’s play with everything running, and a month if you’re just using it in normal watch mode.

As far as sensors are concerned, you’ll still get pressure (air and altitude), accelerometer, gyrometer and magnetic compass sensors. This should help you in tracking a host of different outdoor activities including trekking, cycling, fishing, winter sports, and water sports.

casio smart outdoor watch wsd f10 release date price specs

GPS in the building

The big deal here though is GPS. Casio says the WSD-F20 features low-power GPS and will offer compatibility for Glonass and Michibiki satellite systems to improve tracking further. Along with support for colour maps, it’s much better built for adventurers. For instance, it now supports the ability to download maps offline so you can trek and not get lost without relying on a data connection.

The onboard GPS also unlocks more features including GPS-based watch faces and something called Location Memory. This instantly reads the user’s location and lets you lay markers by hitting one of the physical buttons on the side of the watch. You can leave voice notes using the built-in mic if you want to revisit an old spot and the W20 also improves activity tracking, particularly for snow sports to deliver additional data like maximum speed for each run.

casio smart outdoor watch wsd f10 release date price specs

Wear 2.0 and new apps

It’s still compatible with Android phones and iPhones running iOS 9 or above and Google is running the software show once again. The good news is that the WSD-F20 is set to adopt Android Wear 2.0 in spring 2017. The WSD-F10 will get upgraded to the latest version of Google’s operating system as well.

While you’ll get to benefit from all of the new Wear features including standalone apps, Casio has a bunch of its own applications that are designed for adventurers as well third party apps that make use of the its features. That includes ViewRanger, MyRadar and Yamap for hiking.

In terms of its own apps, there’s Moment Setter that sends alerts to the user, whether that’s a reminder of the best fishing times or sunrise/sunset times. The Tool app uses the host of sensors to deliver real-time information on changes in the natural environment including altitude or air pressure.

A new Casio Moment Link app can display the current location of a group of friends on the display letting you communicate through text messages. This obviously requires the GPS and will apparently be an Android only feature. Sorry iPhone owners.

The Casio WSD-F20 is scheduled to launch on 21 April, priced at $500. That means it’ll cost exactly the same as the F10 when it launched last year. Keep a look out for in-depth first look at Casio’s second gen outdoor smartwatch coming soon on the site.

casio smart outdoor watch wsd f10 release date price specs

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