For the past two years my go-to summer time smart watch has been the Pro Trek series from Casio. So you can imagine I was pretty pleased to find that here at IFA 2018 in Berlin, the company has brought a proper sequel. The Pro Trek F10 and F20 were designed for adventures and the great outdoors with rugged casings, alti barometers and a dual layer display years before anyone else was doing it.
But the thing is to get to appreciate their special features you first had to get over just how huge they were. Well with the brand new F30 Casio might finally have made the Pro Trek line accessible to folks who don't wanna wear a coaster on their wrist. It's still a thick watch, barely a half a millimeter thinner than the F20 but it's now almost four millimeters narrower. Casio has also made the watch band more flexible while also adding more notches for more granular sizing. The major upgrade to the hardware here is the display, Casio makes the switch to an OLED panel, higher resolution and much more vibrant than the IPS LCD's have the prior to and hopefully more power efficient as well. Switch that display off and you've got the segmented LCD for day time viewing and now the watch can show altitude and compass bearing on that screen as well as the time. That might come in handy to the hikers and outdoors people who buy this thing, and there's is also a new extend mode for them as well.
That basically saves your battery by maintaining a GPS track while keeping the screen off. Casio promises up to three days of tracking in extend mode which also lets you schedule periods of time out for even more energy saving. And of course I'd be remiss not to point out the new version of Wear OS being displayed here. Google's new wearable platform now uses swipe in gestures from the four cardinal compass directions to get you to your most often used features on the smartwatch. I've only used it for grand total of 15 minutes but already I can say that this is a large improvement over what we're dealing with currently in Wear OS. More to come. To these improvements Casio also brings familiar carry overs both positive and negative. The compact but slightly finicky magnetic charging port, the three side buttons, the heavy durability, the lack of a heart rate sensor. And even with all the improvements and keeping in mind that amid all miniaturization it's still a big old watch.
Casio's expected stand by time of just 1.5 days is, well, as usual I expected a little bit more. We'll see how it stacks up out in the real world when I do get the chance for a full review. The Pro Trek F30 will be available in three colors, presumably some time this fall. But exact pricing and availability are, as of yet, TBD. This video is brought to you by TunnelBear. True story, it's the first VPN I ever used, and I'm genuinely glad to sponsor it. TunnelBear lets you browse the web safely on a public hotspot, which I'm on frequently. And it lets you do it with the flick of a switch. TunnelBear even opened itself up to an independent audit to prove it's keeping its security promises. Mainly though, gotta be real, I'm here for the mascot. (bear growls) Help support Mr. Mobile secure your browsing for the next two years and save almost 60%. Hit the link's in the description to secure your special deal on TunnelBear.