Thanks to the smartwatch, we’re entering into a new era of wristwatches, and some brands — namely, those known for simple analog quartz watches — have smartly blended new functionality with the traditional qualities that made their watches so lovable in the first place. G-Shock has proven itself to be one such brand. In just the last couple years, the brand has enriched its robust watches with connected technology, turning those timpieces into hybrid smartwatches.
Take the GBA800, aimed squarely at individuals who want a fitness tracker that’s as stylish as it is functional. It uses a built-in three-axis accelerometer to measure daily steps (both walking and running) and displays your progress in the digital goal sub-dial at two o’clock. Then, using Bluetooth, the watch syncs with the corresponding G-Shock Connected app on your smartphone to store and graph steps, calories burned and workout intensity.
If you have your phone on you while you’re walking or running, though, this increases the functionality of the watch’s fitness tracking abilities. The G-Shock Connected app graphically displays steps taken and calories burned, noting, too, the points you worked hardest along a running route. You can also use the watch’s chronograph function to time your workouts, and use the app to set target times. The watch will then track your best, worst and average times for your regular runs.
In addition to its workout functions, the watch is packed with a ton of other features. The smartphone connectivity allows the GBA800 to automatically monitor and correct the time (including adjustments for daylight savings times) four times a day, meaning it’s always accurate. And if you’ve misplaced your smartphone, the watch has a Phone Finder function that activates an alarm on your phone at the push of a button. Add to that the standard features — like a second time zone and an alarm setting — that have been on G-Shocks for years, and you have one competent timepiece.
Since this is a G-Shock, the GBA800 is tough — really tough. Its case is made out of resin which not only means that it’s relatively lightweight, it can also absorb shocks incredibly well — just the kind of thing you’d want for active wear. It’s also water-resistant to 200 meters which goes above and beyond the norm for most hybrid smartwatches.
The GBA800 is available in six attractive colorways — black, navy, teal, white, gray and lime green — that should seamlessly coordinate with your activewear. That combined with the classic, streetwear silhouette means this watch has as much going for it on the outside as it does on the inside. Few fitness watches are this well rounded, and you’d be hard-pressed to find another running watch you’d actually want to wear when you aren’t actually running.