Casio's $500 Android Wear smartwatch is designed for the outdoors (hands-on)

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Casio on Tuesday announced its first smartwatch for iPhone and Android devices here at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. The Smart Outdoor Watch, which is officially known as the WSD-F10, is a far cry from the company's calculator watches of the 1980s. It's designed for users who enjoy the outdoors and want to stay connected. The watch features a built-in microphone and is water-resistant up to 50 meters and built to meet US military standards.

The dual-layer display features both a monochrome LCD and color LCD. This helps improve battery life, which is said to last about a day and a half to two days with normal usage, and is intended to make it so that the screen will remain visible in any condition.

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

So what are the smart features? The watch is powered by Android Wear, which means it can display notifications from your iPhone or Android device and provide personalized Google Now cards on the weather, your favorite sports team and so on. But it's also not like other Android Wear watches we have seen.

While it lacks an optical heart rate tracker, the watch includes both a pressure sensor and compass, which can be accessed by pressing the tool button. You will also be provided with other useful features for the outdoors, such as sunrise and sunset times. The "app" button gives quick access to activity data, changes in atmospheric pressure and other data.

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

I got to spend some time with the watch during the company's press event. Unfortunately it doesn't include either GPS, which is odd considering it's an outdoor watch, or cellular capabilities. I was also disappointed to see that the display isn't a complete circle. It features the same black bar as the Moto 360.

The build quality felt strong, but the watch is massive. It's big and bulky, not meant to be worn throughout the day. As I said earlier, it's designed for the outdoors and to withstand the elements.

The Casio Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10 will be available in April for $500 (about £340 or AU$700).


Follow CNET's ongoing coverage of CES 2016 here.

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