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Casio announces a cheaper version of its Wear OS watch for hikers

Casio announces a cheaper version of its Wear OS watch for hikers

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Photo: Casio

Casio is introducing a new smartwatch for the outdoors today that runs Google’s Wear OS, but it doesn’t look all that different from some of Casio’s older Wear OS watches. In fact, it looks exactly the same and appears to have all the same specs and features, except for one: it costs $100 less.

The new Pro Trek Smart Outdoor Watch, or the WSD-F20A will sell for $399 when it launches on May 1st. That’s $100 less than the WSD-F20, which was introduced in January. The two watches are pretty much identical aside from their color. The only distinctions are minor: the side buttons don’t have grips for easier use with gloves, the color is resin instead of paint, and the buckle isn’t stainless steel.

What’s nice about this series of Casio watches is how little they look like traditional Wear OS devices. Casio has highly customized the watches to make them more useful for outdoor navigation. The latest models include GPS and mapping, in addition to an altimeter, barometer, and compass. They can also function as an activity tracker. As you’d expect from looking at them, they’re rugged and water-resistant watches, too.

The original incarnation of the Pro Trek smartwatch succeeded when it came to hiking, but fell short for other outdoor activities, including exercises like cycling. This year’s models start to address a lot of those shortcomings, with GPS being the most notable addition.

Image: Casio

Update April 17th, 4:09PM ET: Updated with specific distinctions between the newest watch models, as given by Casio.