Trekking: The Smart Outdoor Watch lives up to its name

Man isn’t meant to stay indoors — our weekly “Trekking” column can attest to that. It’s a column dedicated to the adventurer inside of all of us, the one pining to ditch the office humdrum for a quick surf session or seven-week jaunt in the Grand Tetons. One day we may highlight an ultra-light stove and the next a set of handmade canoe paddles. Life doesn’t just happen inside the workplace, so get outside and live it.

When you think about smartwatches, Casio probably isn’t the first manufacturer that comes to mind. However, although the 70-year-old electronics company built its notoriety on calculators and electronic dictionaries, it’s also never been one to sit at the sidelines and watch the competition pass it by. Casio’s forthcoming Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10 ($500) is a perfect example —and one apt for your next adventure.

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The Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10The WSD-510 isn’t particularly flashy when it comes to looks, but it’s not the bulky design that’s meant to attract consumers. The colossal, rugged device combines the best facets of Android Wear and its own proprietary set of sensors, thus allowing you to perform an assortment of tasks while tracking any metric you might want to know. The dual-layer LCD display gives you quick access to the operating system’s main functions — including Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Fit — along with special “tools” that make use of an embedded pressure sensor, accelerometer, gyrometer, and compass. These allow you to see things such as your altitude and direction at glance, along with the air pressure and sunrise-set times.

Casio’s offering sets itself apart in other facets, too. The watch showcases a host of real-time notifications as you go about activities such as hiking and fishing, meaning changes you can quickly see your speed, distance, and subtle changes in atmospheric pressure, among other useful information. The historical data and trends can help you further improve upon your goals, especially when combined with supported third-party apps and other software aimed at specific activities. A monochrome mode even lets you turn off the “smart” functionality on a whim, essentially turning your watch into a basic accessory that touts little more than the time and a month-long battery.

However, the watch’s biggest features is that it’s water-resistant to 50 meters, which meets the U.S. military’s MSL-STD-810 standard. The host of preloaded apps — MyRadar, RunKeeper, Yamap, etc. — make it even more resourceful, as does its innate compatibility with Android and iOS devices. The array of colors just gives you something to think over while you wait for the WSD-510 to ship at the end of April.