Other reviewers have praised Casio for the simplicity and ease of operation of the latest Bluetooth watch to carry G-Shock branding: GBA-400. Staying true to their legacy trade, the G-Shock people, smartly doing what they do best, have designed the product with incredible shock, wear, and water resistance. They stuffed in a load of features but managed to avoid an operating system. These watches control a few of the important operations of a smartphone, providing music remote control and telephony notifications. And that is it – no camera, microphone or gesturing an Android game. It would be a huge stretch to call them smartwatches. Compared to whiz-bang Apple, Sony, LG, Samsung, Motorola, et al, the GBA-400 comes off looking only slightly smarter than an oily canvas sack of cotter pins.
The GBA400 phones will be released in the Japanese market first – September, 2014. There is no clear indication that the product in the current form will later make it into world wide distribution. If and when it is actually announced that it will be stocked by American resellers, we will get one and do a complete review.
For now, here (below) is a teaser techspec sheet and an image as close up of the watch face as can be had at this writing. They committed to the price in Japan, 23,000 yen. For the rest of us the MSRP will probably be $199 or less. (Or we won’t be excited and will just take a pass)
A friend, a locally renown conspiracy theorist, posited that Casio is getting diabolically smarter. His speculation is that Casio, looking to get a boost in implementability has left enough openings in the hardware and software for slick app builders to get the phone involved in almost anything. TV remote, auto remote security setting, bake-cycle alarm and response (ok,ok, I’m coming), garage door opener, toaster quick-pop-up, heat and air control settings, dildo intensity setting, just name it – with that little twisty side gadget as a controller, the world is under your thumb (and forefinger). As I was walking away, he pointed out (to my back) that what proves the devious nature of the evil empire of Casio is that the watches volume control can be operated with your teeth, thereby allowing single handed control which is a core move of robo-men-storm-troopers that will one day be in control of the world…
And since there isn’t anything to say about the experience of using one because Casio was just leaking only this tiny bit so far (July 2014), and not getting up off of any tester/reviewer’s comps, let’s talk about some other dope gear caught cyber-floating recently.
November 1, 2014 update:
The GBA-400’s have become available on ShopCasio for $200 plus $11 shipping.
As of this date, no samples for review were submitted.
Here comes Timex
Timex, as reported by good-kovka.com (Germany), is readying this Ironman ONE GPS+ watch for market for this fall. You have to wonder how the resellers are going to handle these things – do they put this device in the watch department, the sports department, or the cell phone/electronics department. I mean, really? So lets say I am not all that tech savvy and don’t know the Timex watch is a cell device that even though I have to pay for AT&T 3-G service (first year included – no extra charge), I can’t make or receive calls on it. I can, however, pre-enter “angels” via the network to whom my distress signal and location would be sent should I press the ole’ panic button. Otherwise, the cell part of this watch will up-dump all the collected fitness data from my swim/run/ride session when I let the watch know its time to do so. Using Bluetooth, the user can tether wireless headphones or speakers. The screen is customizable and remains very readable in direct sunlight.
Not so cutting-edge a feature, but nonetheless making the watch a useful communicator, texting is included. Also, the phone allows live tracking, which some people will find extremely helpful.
For full functionality you’ll have to invest $449 to get one of these with the heart rate monitor strap. All these twists and turns to sort out when I decide to get a wearable gadget that should help me improve my health. You could get an ulcer before you ever get out to the running path. Where am I going to be sent when I ask the greeter at the front doors of Walmart where I can find the Ironman GPS/texting/fitness/music playing smartwatch.
Update: Since writing the above, Timex announced their new Fall 2014 drops. Not only is the ONE GPS+ on its way in October, but a whole new diverse line of speciality smart-wristwear is coming. Here’s their video promo for the ONE GPS+
AND WHAT ABOUT APPLE?
No problem for the Apple’s stuff – they have a deal on a substantial patch of floor space in every Walmart.
RadioShack has solved the problem by hanging the smartwatch stuff from pegs on endcap style self-service kiosks near the phone cover and Bluetooth ear-piece displays, all of which which their salespeople adroitly avoid. “Smartwatches? Oh yeah, they’re over there, dude. Specs are on the boxes!”
Apple’s entry that we all think is to be the iTime or alternatively, iWatch, is one of the biggest marketing mysteries of all time. The collective wishful thinking is an October roll-out. Since, for Apple, it is an all new product category, a great deal of pomp and grandeur is expected. I mean, announcing anything less than a knee-weakening, stunningly sci-fi-ish product is going to send their stock into a vortex. Their September 9th event could be the unveiling and September 10th could be the day a lot of savvy traders celebrate their smart put option. Muddying the waters, Apple may announce something else at the event that steals thunder. We’ll see.
financetwitter.com reminds us that it has been four years since Apple’s last major product release, the highly successful iPad. At Apple they’re wondering, “what would Steve do?” The implications are that for Apple not to start peddling watches means they’ll loose gazillions in stock value. Tim Cook needs to step up and knock one out of the park.
You have to wonder who is going to buy all these watches that these big manufacturers are going to be shipping. Enter Microsoft (confirmed to have applied for patents) who only do stuff by the millions. Theirs, of course, will be a Windows watch. How many tiles can you fit on a 1.8″ screen? Here is a concept drawing of the future of wearable Windows.
This blog claims no credit for authorship or ownership of any of the graphics used above. If anyone owns an image of something reported here and they don’t like that I published it, they are welcome to let me know so I can remove the free promotional material. Snarky editorial comments are deliberate. My blog, free country, ha.
Update September 3, 2014. Image of OmniSync STB1000-1, a sports-centric bluetooth iPhone smartwatch. Click to enlarge – use back button to return. Additional information http://wp.me/p1zz65-NC
gba400, smart phone, smart watch, g-shock, bluetooth, timex, gps, fitness, health, apple, iwatch,itime,tim cook, timex one gps+,