Casio has launched a new line of G-Shock sports watches specially designed for runners, which don’t overwhelm you with excessive amounts of stats and have a battery life of up to two years.
There are two models in the range: the G-Squad GBD-200SM, which has Casio’s traditional hexagonal face, and the G-Squad GBA-900, which is round. Both have ventilated silicone sport bands for breathability and a hollow core protective structure to protect internals from impact. The GBA-900 is available in black or translucent colourways, both of which have green accents, while the GBD-200SM is available in purple or orange.
They’re also waterproof to 200m, which is impressive for a sports watch, most of which are only rated to 50 or 100m. They might not be able to keep up with your strokes, but they’re sturdy enough to take on serious swimming sessions.
It’s time to go
Like many entry-level fitness trackers and running watches, the Vital Energy series does not have its own GPS chips. Instead, they track your whereabouts during workouts by overlapping your phone’s GPS; a system which is not as precise, but which reduces costs. If you don’t want to carry your phone around, they can also estimate the distance using their on-board accelerometers.
The G-Squad GBD-200SM is priced at £ 139 (around $ 180 / AU $ 260), while the G-Squad GBA-900 is priced at $ 119 (around $ 160 / AU $ 220). For context, the entry-level Garmin Forerunner 55 is priced at $ 199.99 / £ 179.99 / AU $ 329, and the Polar Unite is £ 134.50 / $ 149.95 / AU $ 249. .
Along with the simple monochrome LCD display, the lack of on-board GPS also contributes to the extremely long battery life of each watch. The battery is not rechargeable, but can run for up to two years before needing to be replaced.
The watches connect to the G-Shock Move app, which allows you to check distance and time, set goals such as steps and running distance, and create a training plan.
However, you should know that when it comes to sports, these watches are designed only for running. You won’t find tracking modes for elliptical training and yoga here – just the essentials for when you hit the curb.
Opinion: Sometimes simpler is better
A fully-fledged running watch from Garmin, Coros or Polar will give you a wide range of training tools that will help you optimize your performance and save precious seconds on your time.
However, this style of intense running and training isn’t for everyone – and that’s where the Vital Energy Series comes in,
Unlike similarly priced wearable devices from other big names in sports technology, Vital Energy watches are designed for runners who don’t embark on intense training programs that require strategic fueling and hydration, and are not aiming for to gain seconds on their race times.
Instead, they do the basics, with the G-Shock Move app letting you keep tabs on your overall progress. They don’t overwhelm you with details if you just want to run for fun, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.