ZDNET’s key takeaways
- The Casio G-Shock GPRH1000-9 Rangeman is available in yellow and black for $500.
- The watch has GPS, heart rate tracking, smartphone connectivity, and Strava syncing with a rugged G-Shock construction.
- It’s relatively expensive and the stopwatch only has 1-second increments.
After testing out a Casio G-Shock Mudman last year, my eyes were opened to the possibility of using a classic rugged watch for tracking my daily activity, sleep, and outdoor workouts with a GPS receiver. Casio recently released its latest generation Master of G-Land Rangeman G-Shock watch and it’s been on my wrist for over a month.
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In typical G-Shock fashion, this is a rather big and bulky watch that is built to take a beating. I was sent the bold yellow color model to test and it looks as bright and bold on my wrist as I expected. Casio also offers a black one with yellow highlights, if the yellow is too much of a color pop for you.
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The new Rangeman can be used as your primary GPS sports watch, with support for running, trail running, walking, trekking, pool swimming, open water swimming, biking, gym workouts, interval timer, and other activities. For example, I use the gym workout mode for tracking my Hydrow rowing sessions. There are several settings within each workout type that you can customize for your experience, which I enjoy having.
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When I reviewed last year’s G-Shock model, I noted that the GPS data was being captured and stored within the Casio Watches smartphone application, so you were limited in what reports you could run and how you could save and share that data. The Casio Watches app has since been updated so you can now sync the same data to Strava and Apple Health. Limited data is sent to Apple Health, as far as I’ve seen, but Strava users will appreciate having access to all of their workouts for checking trends and progress.
The G-Shock Rangeman supports notifications for incoming calls, emails, social media posts, calendar notifications, and reminders. You aren’t going to receive full details in these notifications, but it is a quick way to triage your communications and make decisions about using your phone or not.
I’ve been wearing the Rangeman to track my sleep and it closely matches other smartwatches. It also supports up to four daily alarms and a smart alarm with snooze feature. The smart alarm will activate when the watch detects you in your lightest sleep stage, usually as you approach your normal wake time. You can choose to have this light sleep phase occur from 15 minutes to 60 minutes before that time.
The soft urethane band fits comfortably and looks great with some labels on the upper part, such as for the mud resistance and heart rate sensor. The band is also textured so that you can adjust it easily, even with wet hands. If you want a watch that is loud in color and branding, then the G-Shock Rangeman may be just what you are looking for.
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Five large buttons are mounted on the sustainable bio-based resin case. The top and bottom left buttons scroll up and down through various menus and watch widgets. Pressing and holding the top button will launch settings so that you can customize the watch to your specific preferences. The top right button turns on the LED light and the bottom right button moves back one level in the watch interface.
The mode button advances the watch through displays that show time/day/date, world time (38 time zones), heart rate, compass, altimeter, barometer, almanac (sun and moon times), tide graph, and more. Polar, yes the Polar that makes its own GPS sports watches, powers the cardio load, nightly recharge, running index, and other metrics in the watch. In my role as a marine salvage engineer, knowing tides in my current location is a vital piece of information so I love that I have easy access to tide graphs on this watch and the watch supports about 3,300 global points for tides.
ZDNET’s buying advice
The G-Shock GPRH1000-9 Rangeman fits my wrist well and I love the bold yellow color. Despite its size, it weighs in at just 92 grams, so it doesn’t feel too heavy on my wrist. GPS tracking closely matches my other GPS sports watches and it offers much of what a typical GPS sports watch provides with the styling, design, and rugged construction.
This watch is primarily designed for those G-Shock fans who want to use the watch as their primary GPS sports watch. At $500, there are competing GPS sports watches from Garmin, Coros, Polar, and others, but nothing looks and is built quite like a G-Shock.