And so it begins. The highly anticipated, long overdue onslaught of smartwatches powered by the oft-delayed Android Wear 2.0 software platform out the box. Google may commercially lead the way with a pair of flagship devices branded by cherry-picked manufacturing partners this calendar quarter, while Casio apparently plans to rapidly follow suit on April 21.
That’s weirdly specific, not to mention distant, possibly allowing companies like Swarovski, Huawei, LG, Lenovo or Fossil, among others, to actually precede the WSD-F20 to stores with fancy new Apple Watch contenders.
Then again, this is the second generation of the ultimate “Smart Outdoor Watch”, and very few wearable makers can rival Casio’s industry-leading ruggedness. Not many will try in the first place, risking to take such a robust wrist-worn gadget way out of most outdoor enthusiasts’ price range.
In lack of official OEM confirmation, we’re left assuming, as well as hoping, that the Casio WSD-F20 can match its predecessor’s $500 MSRP, with built-in GPS functionality by far the number one addition to an already solid bag of tricks.
Otherwise, the two are practically identical in terms of theoretical capabilities, 50 meter water resistance, military-grade durability, digital compass, altimeter, barometer, dual layer display, microphone, accelerometer, gyrometer, directional and atmospheric sensors, vibration alerts, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and specific tracking for trekking, fishing, cycling, climbing and other activities included.
What’s slightly different is the exterior design (larger bezels, more labels, bigger buttons, extra strength exuded this time around), and the pre-installed OS, standalone apps, Play Store access, smart text replies and all.