Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000 – How and For Whom Is It?

The Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000 (G-Shock Move, G-Squad HR) is this brand’s first fully-fledged sports watch with GPS and oHR – all in the iconic G-Shock style.

The combination makes the watch a somewhat curious one…

Two audiences are the most likely to be attracted to the G-Shock Move watch: G-Shock fans who are interested in sports and training functionality, and sports or fitness enthusiasts.

A G-Shock for the Sports Person?

For the sports person, the GBD-H1000 is a rather curious proposition.

Most sports and outdoors watches (as well as smartwatches, even with sports uses) have gone for small footprints.

Case sizes and weights like those of the Suunto 7 or Suunto 9 Baro have already been criticized as too big and too heavy.

Designs have also shown a tendency to go for the sleek and less-noticeable; one of the few watches to go a somewhat different way has been the Garmin Instinct, for example – which was addressed as Garmin’s Casio watch.

Casio has, for the most part, kept to monochrome LCD screens on their digital watches (or combinations with analog dials and small LCD displays) and designs that are rather noticeable and recognizable as Casio’s.

G-Shock watches, in particular, carry on their tradition of being bulky and sturdily built, as well. – That is, after all, what makes a G-Shock.

The GBD-H1000 keeps this up.

It may be a full-fledged sports watch with GPS and oHR, but it is very much a G-Shock.

G-Shock Heritage and Evolution

For the dedicated user of sports/outdoors watches, it should not actually come across as all that big; its case is basically the same diameter as a Suunto 7 or 9.

The thickness and weight, however, are higher, and it is far from being a subtle watch. The “hero” design with black case, white band, and fluorescent yellow accents, in particular, draws attention.

For size and weight alone – and adding in the special looks – this is not likely going to be a watch that many sports people looking for a training/running watch would even consider.

For the dedicated fan of Casio G-Shock, however, the GBD-H1000 is easily one of the most exciting developments in that lineup – for the same reasons.

This watch proudly carries its pedigree as a G-Shock.

With GPS and oHR for recording sports data, with Firstbeat algorithms to interpret them and help with training guidance, and with a dedicated app to store sports workout data, see running tracks, gain further insight, and more, however, it provides functionality unlike any G-Shock that has come before.

Sports Functionality

Would this watch be my top recommendation for workout tracking?

Certainly not.

And part of the reason is its bulk: oHR readings tend to be worse on heavier watches, as they shift around more due to their own weight and can’t be fastened just so tightly that they don’t do that anymore, but don’t cut off blood flow, either.

The heart rate data from optical heart rate sensors is always to be taken with a grain of salt, though, and the data collected by the Casio GBD-H1000 seemed to be quite in line with that of other, lighter, sports watches.

A Workout Watch

What was noteworthy to me is that this Casio is very much a running and, to some extent, strength or HIIT workout watch.

There is a dedicated workout mode (for counting down sets, mainly) in its range of basic modes, and there is the truly dedicated running mode, which even has its own prominent button to start it.

That “Run” button immediately starts the search for GPS positioning, which takes a pretty long time to get a fix (and there is no note that I know of on whether it would receive an assist from a sync with the app or not; it sure did not look like it did).

The Problem with the Data

Data is mainly walled into the G-Shock Move app.

There is an option to link the app with Strava and Google Fit to automatically sync workout (run) data to these services, but I only ever got one run’s data onto Strava. (That could have to do with my test use of multiple watches, though.)

Why I mention this is because it makes it more difficult to compare GPS tracks, as they cannot be exported from the app. Looking at the data in the app, it looked sufficiently good, however.

Does Data Quality Even Matter?

All in all, I don’t think it is worth desperately trying detailed data comparisons to draw any conclusions from those.

The Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000 looks to be a good-enough tool for the running and (strength) training workouts it is meant for – but nobody would buy it for its benefits in that area.

Functions and Imperfections

Other functions and issues are a similar mix:

The ABC sensors on board are functional and implemented in the typical Casio fashion, for better or worse.

The menu has often been criticized as convoluted and complicated but is, for the most part, quickly familiar to someone who has used enough Casio watches before.

The solar charging is more of a gimmick but good enough to extend battery life in watch use, where it is already good (as long as one does not get a thousand daily notifications or simply turns them off).

Notification Hassles

The only truly smartwatch-y feature (aside from the setup and syncing with the app) are these notifications, which are rather badly done.

Too many of them come through, even useless ones (such as when WhatsApp is checking for new messages, a download is running) – but I have seen issues like that with other watches, as well.

Notifications pop-up on the main display alright, but to check them with more data, one would need to go to the last mode in the main menu – and there is only a forward through that menu, no backward.

Why the Problems Don’t Matter

The thing, however, is this: These are niggles that are silly. They can be aggravating. They also don’t matter.

If they matter to you, then you are probably on the lookout for the best watch for you, which could be any – and you are not the audience for this watch.

The potential buyers of this watch are G-Shock fans.

How the GBD-H1000 Matters

In the Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000, G-Shock fans finally get a watch that will also serve them for sports, better than any G-Shock before.

A watch with which they take part in the evolution of G-Shock, with features that none of those watches had before.

In this, the GBD-H1000 is cool and fantastic to see.

Let’s hope there will be more.

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