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Casio amps up battery life for its Pro Trek outdoors smartwatch

In a new extended mode, the color display can run for three days.

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The new Casio Pro Trek smartwatch.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Casio unveiled the newest version of its Pro Trek outdoors-focused smartwatch, improving the battery life, display features and apps capabilities.

Battery performance was a weak point for last year's model, so Casio created new software that it claims will allow a user to make the watch sip the battery life instead of chug it. Last year's watch already included a standard mode for the color display that lasts 1.5 days and a black-and-white display mode that lasts for a month. Added to that is a new extended mode that lets someone use the color display for up to three days.

Also, the black-and-white display will now show more information -- the altimeter, compass and barometer -- not just the time.

The new smartwatch will be available in black, blue or orange for $549 in the US and 549 euros in the European market, according to Austin Kazami, a Casio manager. It will be available sometime between the end of 2018 to the start of 2019, he added.

The watch, called the WSD-F30 and unveiled at the IFA 2018 tech conference in Berlin, is a way for Casio to keep building up its business in the outdoors niche of smartwatches. That strategy could help the company stand out against the Apple Watch, which also offers fitness and outdoor features and is the leader in smartwatches.

The new Casio watch runs on Google's Wear OS (formerly called Android Wear) and several outdoors-focused watch apps were optimized for the device, including the running app Zombies, Run! and the skiing app Ski Tracks.

Casio's new model also builds on last year's upgrades, which included GPS and support for offline maps.

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