If you’re not quite a fan of smartwatches but still want something with plenty of features, the G-Shock G-Squad Tactical Digital GBD800UC-5A may be a great fit. It’s loaded with dozens of functions that can help in just about any situation. In addition, it’s far more durable than most smartwatches. When you’re active in the field you can’t be constantly worrying about your watch getting some bumps and bruises.
G-Shock G-Squad Watch Specifications
This watch isn’t dainty, but I’d say it’s about the average size of most men’s tactical-styled watches. It weighs about 59 grams and overall measures 54.1mm x 48.6 mm x 15.5 mm. The strap, case, and bezel are made of resin which can account for its lighter weight, but the material stays durable. The band is even resistant to bacteria and odor as long as you do some mild clean-up at the end of the day as well.
The watch’s face is made of mineral glass, which is a common material in watches but also a sign of durability since mineral glass is typically scratch and impact resistant. The battery is a CR2032, having a 3-year lifetime on average, commonly used in watches. It is recommended to just go to the distributor or manufacturer, however, for a replacement battery.
This watch is resistant to the impact you may experience during daily use, as well as being waterproof for uses such as hand washing, rain, swimming, windsurfing, and skin diving as described in the manual. However, G-Shock still warns against pressing buttons while submersed underwater, as well as being careful in hot/humid environments like saunas. Even with the resistance it does have, it’s still smart to take care of it to assure its long-term use.
Inside, the watch uses a 3-axis accelerometer to track your steps with only a 3% variance in accuracy, give or take. For low-light situations, this watch has an auto high-brightness LED light, which you can adjust how long it stays on in the app which I will discuss later.
One of the most appealing features of this watch is its Bluetooth capabilities. All you need to do is download the manufacturer’s app and connect it to your phone and the ease of use only gets better. An important note is that though the G-Shock Connected App is on most current manuals and sites, that app will be retired as of July 2023 which you’ll find out upon downloading the app. Instead, make sure you download the CASIO WATCHES app.
I would highly recommend making an account with CASIO when you connect your watch, since it makes it a little easier to keep track of your information. Registering with the app is pretty easy.
- Download CASIO WATCHES from the App Store.
- Create an account or log in.
- Go to ‘my watch’ and press the plus sign.
- Pair the watch by following the instructions on the screen, which will ask you to pair the watch by pressing the lower right button (‘start’) for two seconds, pairing your phone to the watch.
- Have the back of your watch handy. It will ask you to input the four numbers in a box, the Model Name (GBA-800), and the specific model (GBA-800-2A). The next to last page also has a space for a purchase date and an option to name it if you’d like.
- The last page will ask you to input things like your height, weight, and step goal to send to your watch. This will help personalize it to your needs.
Anytime your watch disconnects to save power, just hit the ‘Start’ button to get it going again. I did run into issues here and there, but typically it was just a matter of reconnecting the watch or restarting the app.
The features included are impressive and nothing like I was expecting. Some of the functions include:
- Alarms with a maximum of five.
- Timers, both manually importable and able to be created from your phone.
- ‘Life Log’ where you have the option to be able to track your location for a set amount of time.
- Stopwatch, where you can set ‘target times’ making the watch go off when you’ve met your goal.
- World time, time sync, and manual hand adjustment.
- Phone Finder (a personal favorite, since I have a horrible habit of losing mine).
- Specialized ‘summer time’ for an alternative time while you’re away from home in a different time zone.
- Basic control of sounds, light, and display.
- Tutorials and quick access to a virtual manual are included.
The app extends the capabilities of this watch like crazy, giving you extra accessibility if you want it. But, if you just want a basic watch or like using the manual settings without an app, this watch is perfect for that too.
When you receive the watch you’ll get a manual explaining how to set up your watch without the app. The general guide explains the button names and label meanings. This watch has six modes: timekeeping, stopwatch, recall, timer, dual time, and alarm. Swapping between these just takes pressing the lower left button.
Setting the time on this watch was also easy as long as you follow the instructions carefully. I wore this camping initially. When I sat down to set it up I only spent maybe five to 10 minutes making sure it was synced and ready. Luckily this didn’t impede on any of the day’s plans.
The manual features are pretty similar to the Bluetooth ones within the six modes. If you want features like the phone finder or extended access to time logs, you’ll need to use the app.
The watch face itself communicates more than just the time. It tells you the day of the week, signs of features listed above, your step count, and varying data between the 6 modes.
The strap is adjustable in small increments, spanning to fit most wrist sizes. This is an issue I run into sometimes with my wrist being a bit small and having to add my own hole to some cheaper watches I’ve worn. But the short increments were perfect for me since it accommodates those in-between sizes some watches don’t.
G-Shock’s design is great for long-term use. The resin band doesn’t pinch or cut at my wrist, staying flexible to my movements. As I discovered at the gym, sweat can be an issue during intense workouts. All it takes is quickly wiping it off and it’s as good as new.
If I’m not wearing it and need to store it safely, G-shock provides a small tin with foam inside that I’ve enjoyed using. It’s a cool tin as well as strong enough to keep my watch safe when needed.
As far as I can tell, this watch mainly comes in tan. However, the muted tone blends with most outfits and is perfect to match most camo for hunters. The watch itself is sleek with a nice tactical look without being too bulky. So, not only is this watch comfortable but it’s fashionable too.
Overall, I haven’t run into issues with this watch. Its strap, material, and weight make it easy to forget it’s even there. G-Shock’s technology is easy to use and the app just adds to the appeal. It’s durable too. I wore this camping, working out, hunting, fishing, as well as just daily use for several weeks. This is a great choice for outdoorsmen or anyone just wanting a tactical watch that can hold up to the elements and have a few bonus features.
In the box, you’ll get a warranty card and a mini pamphlet explaining the warranty. It is limited, lasting only one year, and requires the warranty card and proof of purchase (with the date of purchase on it) to get the damages repaired. The warranty excludes damage due to carelessness, natural forces (such as fire), and repairs made by anyone other than CASIO. The case, glass, and battery are also excluded. So, for the first year make sure you keep track of the required paperwork and keep the exclusions in mind.
This watch is great for daily use for just about anyone. Between the Bluetooth capability, comfort, and durability I’m sold. G-Shock and CASIO have delivered a reliable product that will likely have a long lifetime. It’s definitely worth the money if it has some of the features you’d want most in a watch.