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Walking Equipment and Accessories

Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 Watch | Review

Back with a new OS, some tweaks to improve battery life and a much sleeker design, the Casio Pro Trek makes it into our Outdoor100 once again

Why We Chose It: Made for hikers, durable, precise GPS.

Here’s a smartwatch that, as the name suggests, is made specifically for us hikers. It’s aimed at providing a tool for the trekker to help them navigate, understand the conditions they’re about to face and, well, to know the time.

We’ve already seen two previous iterations of it now and we liked both, particularly the ProTrek F20 which made it into the last version of this Outdoor100 product guide. One of the main drawbacks, however, is that the previous models were a little bit chunky – a bit too eye catching for our taste. And so, we were pleased to see that with this latest version, they’ve trimmed it down and made it generally sleeker in its appearance, with 4mm taken off the diameter of the casing.

“You can certainly count on this being durable enough for sustained mountain use”

It also now features the most recent version of Google’s Wear OS, which at the moment can only be found in a handful of smartwatches.

Looking at this from the perspective of an outdoor enthusiast, you can certainly count on this being durable enough for sustained mountain use. Casio say it has passed US military standards for vibrations, shocks, and extreme temperatures, and it’s also waterproof to 50 meters. It has a touch screen and also three buttons which are just about glove-friendly.

The Pro Trek WSD-F30 also provides you with a compass, altimeter, air pressure reading, tide times and a screen that shows the sunrise and sunset times. Photo: Chris Johnson

As for the performance of its navigation function, it’s not bad. As you’d expect, it comes with pre-loaded Google mapping as well as MapBox which presents OpenStreetMap in a way that is easy to interpret in terms of terrain variation. You can switch easily between Google Maps and this view and it’s possible to download and save maps for offline use which is very useful if you want to save the battery life. The Pro Trek WSD-F30 also provides you with a compass, altimeter, air pressure reading, tide times and a screen that shows the sunrise and sunset times.

In terms of battery life, unfortunately Casio haven’t come along and solved the issue that all smartwatches have in this regard, well not quite anyway, but they have introduced something rather useful. What we’re referring to are the three operating levels that you can select between, as well as the dual screens (a monochrome one and a colour one layered on top of each other).

On the normal, everyday mode where you’re using a number of different settings – say, your phone notifications are synched and you’re checking your location every now and then – you’ll get a day and a bit out of this. The other extreme is a totally limited version, where you only see the monochrome screen and just get time and altitude. With this you’ll get an admirable 30 days of juice.

Casio has trimmed down the Pro Trek and made it sleeker, with 4mm taken off the diameter of the casing. Photo: Chris Johnson

Then, there’s the inbetweener called the Extend mode, this is a sort of semi-disconnected version where the watch will update its GPS but only at certain intervals that you’ve selected. The watch will sit on the monochrome screen, but will switch to the colour screen when you tilt the watch face towards you or press one of the side buttons. This will give you around three days of use.

Other things to note include the settings that help you record activities other than hiking, like cycling (nav and speed) and snowboarding (logs your runs, distance and top speed). You also have access to Google Play, so you’re able to download other smartwatch-friendly apps like Strava, Zombie Run and Spotify. With the latter app, the watch allows you to control music playing through your phone but you can’t store songs or listen over bluetooth headphones.

All-in-all, this new ProTrek is definitely better than the previous version, and the slimmed down screen is a good thing in our books. On the all-important battery front, we like the fact Casio have improved its performance slightly, but we’ll have to keep waiting until there’s a watch that we can use for active navigation on any hikes that last longer than 24 hours.

Casio say it has passed US military standards for vibrations, shocks, and extreme temperatures, and it’s also waterproof to 50 meters. Photo: Chris Johnson

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, Outdoors Magic Editor

“I’ve used this on a number of different hikes, including a walk up Helvellyn in the Lake District, and I’ve found it a useful tool. The screen is clear in any light, the menus are all easy to scroll through and in terms of GPS navigation it’s got me from A to B without getting lost.

That being said, I’ve only ever used it for navigation on day hikes. I was about to bring it with me on a week-long hike of the Beacons Way over winter but decided that it would actually be useless other than for telling the time. I’d get one day of navigation out of it and then I’d need to find a pub to charge it in. What would be the point if I had my phone with me?

I’m a big fan of using Viewranger for navigation and have paid a subscription to get access to Ordnance Survey maps on it. However, I haven’t enjoyed using it with the ProTrek. For some reason, you can’t move the map to explore the details of the route ahead of you. It just shows what’s immediately around you, fixing your position in the centre of the screen. You can zoom in or out, but that’s useless if you want to see the precise topography ahead. I instead found myself turning to the pre-loaded map software instead, which doesn’t give you OS mapping unfortunately.

Still, the GPS accuracy is definitely there with this, it’s certainly durable and wet weather-proof as well, and I do like the sleeker look compared to the previous models.”

Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30

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Selected for The Outdoor 100 2019/20

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