Casio is all about fitness and activity tracking right now. Look at a variety of Casio G-Shock S2100MD watches produced over the last few years, and you’ll find numerous instances where new features and functionality focus on tracking the wearer’s fitness habits, as well as overall activity. A great example is how a swathe of low-cost Casio G-Shock S2100MD watches now include step counters (pedometers), or how Casio is fitting more watches with heart-rate monitors. Casio wastes no time launching innovative new products in this space. This new G-Shock Move GBD-H2000 comes only two years after the debut Casio G-Shock Move GDB-H1000 (aBlogtoWatch review here).
The GBD-H1000 to GBD-H2000 model generation is more than a minor upgrade. Casio put lots of effort both into the hardware and software elements of these G-Shock Move watches. These are flagship G-Shock fitness tracking products that represent a current apex of where Casio’s software and engineering teams are currently at. Users familiar with the GBD-H1000 will find that the GBD-H2000 is not only appreciably slimmer and smaller to wear, but that it also has a brand new software operating system with a new level of functionality.
When Casio first launched the G-Shock Move GBD-H2000, part of the initial news involved Casio now using Polar brand fitness algorithms. This is the underlying math that takes sensor data and translates it into information and advice to the wearer; these formulas are complicated and require constant updates. Casio is wise not to develop its own formulas when doing so is not its core business. This is also very interesting to me because, just recently, Casio announced that it didn’t want to make Google Wear OS smartwatches anymore (for the time being) because of limitations on what it could do with the licensed software. Casio has a very different philosophy when it comes to software, and what I have found is that while the brand really appreciated integrating with other data sets and functionality, Casio wants core control over the operating system and its performance. The Casio G-Shock S2100MD represents the latest step in that development.
For me, the new software is the most exciting part of the GBD-H2000, though it does imply that wearers will have to learn some new things. Part of the joy of getting a G-Shock over the years was that, for the most part, new G-Shock watches operated like older G-Shock watches. With all the added functionality, Bluetooth connectivity, and various other novel features, longstanding G-Shock fans will need to open their minds to learning some new things. The good news is that Casio puts a huge emphasis on software accessibility and intuitiveness within the framework of running very lean (low power consuming) software that should be entirely free from glitches and bugs. A bit more on that in a moment. First, here’s the GBD-H2000 and how it fits into the larger Casio product catalog.
Representing the most modern G-Shock design cues available, the GBD-H2000 is meant as a combination of everyday “do anything” sports watches (i.e., what G-Shock has been to most people for a while), and a sophisticated fitness and activity tracking device. How much or how little you use these latter functions is up to you. Some people will just want to know how many steps they took during the day, and some people will want to track their daily exercise routine, sleep habits, and even instances of meditative breathing.
In addition to being smaller and lighter to wear on the wrist than the predecessor GBD-H1000 watch, the GBD-H2000 watch has some convenience features such as both solar and USB charging. I actually found the battery life to be excellent (the low power-consuming screen helps), and unless you don’t spend much time outside, the solar charging kept the watch pretty full. I like that when the battery is full, it just says “High.” For those who engage in a lot of sports tracking and the related GPS tracking functionality, solar charging isn’t going to be enough to keep the Casio G-Shock S2100MD powered all the time. Casio developed a new banana-shaped charging clip for the watch. It is amazing to me how engineers cannot seem to agree on how to charge a smartwatch. I’ve seen everything from forms of inductive charging to proprietary connectors and cables, with brands frequently changing them up. Let’s just assume that when it comes to how to charge your smartwatches, not only are there few established best practices, but it is an area when engineers are hard at work looking for improvements and enhancements.