BERLIN—The Casio WSD F-30 is a smartwatch for outdoor types who enjoy hiking, mountaineering, biking, and generally just communing with nature.
Casio made the WSD-F30 smaller and thinner than other devices in its Pro Trek Smart series, but it’s still one thick boy. The metal case, big metal lugs, and sturdy build give it Military Standard 810G certification along with waterproofing up to 50 meters. You can get the case in black, blue, or more vivid orange.
The WSD-F30 swallowed up my wrist and was rather weighty, too. But some of that might be because I gravitate toward lightweight wearables, like the ancient Pebble Time. If you’re used to more solid smartwatches, you’ll like the fact that some of the weight has been pared down.
All the interesting things are happening under the hood. The watch has a 1.2-inch dual-layer monochrome and full color OLED display. The main benefit of having a layered display like this is that it lets the WSD-F30 swap between its monochrome, battery-saving Extended Mode and full-color maps to help you navigate.
In Extended Mode the watch can last for three consecutive days with a single charge and pressing a button lets you switch to offline maps that appear in full color for easier navigation. Even when put it in Extended Mode, the watch continues to to track location on the offline map and record activities. If you’re in a place with limited connectivity it’s easy to see the appeal of having access to a map that’s not entirely reliant on GPS.
The display aside, the WSD-F30 has everything you want from a hiking companion. It can show atmospheric pressure, altitude, compass bearing, and time. There’s an even more extreme battery-saving mode called Multi Timepiece, which shows time, date, and the various measurements in monochrome, while toggling off smartphone connectivity. In this mode the watch can last an incredible one month without needing to be recharged. It comes running Wear OS and can work on Android devices running 4.4 and above or Apple devices with iOS 9.3 and above.
As you might imagine, these kind of features come at a premium. It’ll run you $ 549 at various retailers once it’s available in January 2019. That’s more costly than regular high-end smartwatches like the Samsung Galaxy Watch, but the extra $ 200 you spend seems worth it for the features it offers. We look forward to getting it in for review and sending our wearable analyst Victoria Song hiking in the wilds of Appalachia.