This is a review on the GB-5600AA-1JF
The review in one sentence: This is a fine watch by it self, good features great aesthetics and vibration possibilities, but the bluetooth features are of limited value by them selves.
Casio has entered the bluetooth watch business that really seems to have become popular with the kickstarter project Pebble and other such projects.
The GB-5600AA-1JF has a very familiar look to G-Shock fans, since it looks a lot like the first G-Shocks.
It has that red line around the display, and it has a brick pattern within that red line.
The watch has all the standard features of similar G-Shocks such as:
-Time mode, with the day of the week and date.
-Stopwatch (24 hour)
-Countdown timer (24 hours)
-World time, with scrolling city names instead of abbreviations
In addition the watch obviously has bluetooth 4.0 connect-ability, and settings associated with that, and a vibrating motor.
The watch features a LED backlight function, instead of the typical blue/green backlight that G-Shocks have had for many years.
This led light is much brighter than the typical G-Shock backlights, but can be a little over the top if you wake up in a dark room and want to check the time.
The watch does not have auto light functions (where the light would turn on if you rotate you wrist towards your face)
A nice touch for this watch is a steel strap keeper on the strap. Excluding the steel strap keeper, the GB5600 uses the same strap and bezel as the DW-5600E
The case it self is different and the modules, case back and O-ring are different.
As a G-shock the watch is a very nice watch, the screen has a nice dot matrix display portion where the date (and notifications) is.
Five alarms, and hourly signal options, although there does not seem to be a snooze alarm.
In setting alarms you have the choice of setting the alarm for one time, or daily alarms.
The watch has a 24 hour stopwatch and 24 hour countdown timer, neither shows the “clock time” when they are active. You can however change into time mode and the timer/stopwatch, will keep working in the background.
Vibration or sound ?
There is an option to have the countdown timer and alarm use sound or vibration, but not both at the same time.
Button sound can also be silenced.
Bluetooth use with iPhone.
I have used this watch with an iPhone 5 using iOS6 and iOS7 beta.
The phone can connect to iPhone 4s and 5 as of now.
A concern to me is that to be able to use the email, twitter, or facebook notifications you have to enter the email user name and password into the Casio application, and give the app permission to access your facebook and twitter accounts on the phone.
Overall the connection between the watch and iPhone were unreliable at best. When a connection had been established the connection was not too bad, but when the connection was lost it could take from one minute, to 10 minutes to try to get the watch and phone to reconnect.
I have even had to delete the connection on the devices and try from start to get them to connect.
The bluetooth functions available today are:
-Incoming call alerts (no caller ID)
-Mail alerts (sender name or email)
-Phone finder (watch can make the iPhone play a sound, even if the phone is on silent)
-Link loss alerts (notification on the watch if the phone goes out of range)
-Time adjustment (watch sets time according to the iPhone time settings)
-Caller ID on incoming calls
-Any type of SMS or MMS notifications.
-Other iPhone alerts, such as ebay alerts.
In phone alerts (email, calls etc) you can choose to have a visual alert, visual and vibrate, visual and sound, or all three.
In more detail:
Incoming call alerts:
The call alerts makes the watch display shapes and patterns as well as vibrate and or beep. The dot matrix part of the screen spells out “incoming call”, but there is no option to see who is calling.
Email alerts do not go through your email app on the iPhone, you have to set up individual email accounts in the G-Shock application, and the app seems to fetch email in 5-10 or 15 minute intervals.
You set up Facebook alerts in the G-Shock app, and asks permission to access information from your Facebook profile.
When the watch notifies you of Facebook activity, it displays “Facebook” but does not show more information regarding the type of activity it is notifying you about.
Twitter alerts are available for mentions or timeline updates. The G-Shock app asked to get information on your twitter account on the iPhone.
Sorry I don’t use Weibo so I can’t comment on these alerts.
The G-shock app asks for permission to access your iPhone calendar data, and displays a calendar alert if you set an alert to an appointment.
(does not spell out any information about the appointment)
When you push and hold the lower left side button on the watch, the iPhone starts playing a sound, even if it is in silent mode.
This is a nice feature, and something that I can see using if I can’t find my phone.
-Link loss alert.
The watch alerts you if you loose he connection to your iPhone, so that if you forget your phone the watch will let you know. In real time use I found the alert to be a bit on the late side, I would have walked 20-30 meters away from the watch before I would get an alert.
Time adjustments work fine between the watch and iPhone.
Unfortunately the bluetooth functions on the watch are of limited use for me in day to day life, since the lack of caller ID and SMS notifications are the real important things that I would like to see in a smart watch.
Perhaps Casio will add those features later, but as of now there have been no indications of that even being in the works.
Casio estimates the battery life at two years.
If I was just looking at the watch side of this thing, I would say that its a very nice and feature rich G-Shock and can hold its own as such, but if I was measuring the watch as a smart watch, or compare it with something like the Pebble smart watch, the Casio would surely not be very impressive.