Wearable Wednesdays: A Week with The Casio WSD-F10

Here’s a quick tour of the Android Wear-powered Casio WSD-F10, with some random observations along the way.

I’ll say this right off the bat: my first impressions of this smartwatch were not great. That screen is an LCD panel, and in this photo it’s actually in standby (“always on”) mode. That can’t be great for battery, and it isn’t—the watch won’t even last two days on a single charge. You’ll also notice the flat tire at the bottom of the screen; it is not an ambient light sensor, and is instead there to make room for the microphone assembly (I think), which includes the black plastic slot up against the strap.

There’s one more thing that, once I show it to you, you won’t ever be able to unsee. Look at the notches between 10 and 11 and notice the air bubble there. I thought it was a manufacturing defect, but it’s actually present in every photo I’ve ever seen of this watch. Do a Google image search if you don’t believe me.

And now some surprising news: I actually do like the WSD-F10, mostly because it’s the closest thing you can get to a G-Shock in a smartwatch.

Here are Casio’s default watch faces, via a press image. I’m having some trouble taking screenshots with Android Wear, only because the screen times out so aggressively. Anyway, I find the faces pleasing and useful. I currently have the subdials on my watch face set to monitor the battery levels on both my watch and my phone.

Here’s the right side of the Casio, showing the barometer and charging port. That thin, plastic and non-removable strap feels every bit as cheap as it looks, but is surprisingly comfortable on my wrist. And despite its metal body the watch doesn’t feel heavy at all. Kudos to Casio for that!

A centre “home” button on the left/front of the watch is flanked on either side by two additional buttons that are programmable; this is done through the Casio Moment Setter+ app for your phone.

I’ve got the buttons on my watch programmed to launch the built-in compass (Tool) and MyRadar (App). MyRadar is actually available for any Android Wear device, but is preinstalled on the Casio. And the compass? I’m not going to show it to you because it’s just not very accurate. I’m constantly having to recalibrate it, and more often than not magnetic north is way off.

The compass, along with that air bubble on the screen, are for me the WSD’s two biggest letdowns.

Here’s where the Moment Setter app gets its name. If you are the type of person who would find any of these alerts remotely useful then the WSD-F10 is for you. Who else is it for? Probably not runners since there’s no built-in GPS. Definitely hikers, who I imagine would find the barometer and elevation tracking tools indispensable. The only other group I can think of are those who lust after G-Shocks but also want notifications on their wrist.

Guilty as charged!

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