G-Shock Tactical Watch With Step Tracker and Smartphone Link: GBD-800UC-3

Nowadays, lots of people have smartwatches because they can track our movements, which can be important when we’re doing exercise routines and workouts. But those smartwatches can be a little lacking in the panache department, can’t they? It’s a shame that G-Shocks can’t track our workouts. Or can’t they? Up until recently, that was true, but no longer. G-Shock has come out with watches that can now count our steps and do even more. Let’s take a look at one.

G-Shock GBD-800UC-3 Features

If there’s one thing that G-Shocks are recognized for, it is their ability to take abuse and to look cool doing it. This is the G-Shock G-Squad Tactical Digital GBD800UC-3 Wrist Watch Green.

Casio Tactical G-Shock.
The Tactical G-Shock has a nice presence on the wrist but is not excessively huge. Be prepared to receive compliments when you wear this one. (Photo: Jim Davis)

Casio’s GBD-800UC-3 (many watch geeks refer to G-Shocks by their model numbers) is a step tracker with a smartphone link. It is a completely digital watch in Olive Drab Green color, although it’s available in other colors, including tan.

Mind you, I’m going to throw in a disclaimer here and now: I’m not a techno-oriented person. My kids mercilessly ridicule me because I still use a (gasp) DVD player to watch movies rather than access one of the several dozen streaming services that we have. Yeah, I’m guilty.

Now that we have that out of the way, I’ll give readers a rundown of some of the techno-wizardry that this watch has to offer.

Size & Physical Characteristics

The case size is 54.1mm x 48.6mm x 15.5mm. It is extremely light as well. The case and bezel material is resin. Casio uses mineral glass for the window.

As with other G-Shocks, this one is shock-resistant, so the user can wear it with confidence and know that the watch can take a real beating. It’s also rated to 20 Bar underwater, which translates into 200 meters, or 660 feet.

Time Keeping

Since it is, first and foremost, a watch, the GBD-800UC-3 keeps time just like any other watch out there. Time can be either in 12 or 24-hour (military) configurations. A small, round circle in the upper right portion of the window acts as a “minute hand” and shows the seconds. World time for approximately 300 cities is also a feature.

There is also Dual Time, in which another time can be set aside from the main time so that the user can monitor a second time zone. It’s useful for traveling away from home so the user can see what time it is at home and also where he or she is currently at.

The face tells you which day of the week it is, along with the month, date, and year. One nice thing is that the time, date, and other daily functions for the watch are very easy and straightforward to set. And, just in case you expect to live to an incredibly ripe, old age, the calendar can be set to the year 2099. I like their optimism!

G-Shock buttons, closeup.
The buttons are well placed and easy to push with enough resistance so they won’t accidentally be activated. They are also recessed into the case, which avoids accidentally pressing the buttons. Overall, the settings are easy to navigate. (Photo: Jim Davis)

Bluetooth For Workouts

This watch is compatible with Bluetooth, and Casio has an app that interfaces between the watch and your phone. A 3-axis accelerometer keeps track of the user’s steps. A multi-timer allows users to create up to 20 timer combinations of up to five timers each, along with enough memory for up to 200 lap records.  A daily step target can be kept track of, as well as how many calories have been burned. Users can plan and record their workouts. The app will also update the time on the watch multiple times per day.

I’ve simplified this drastically; there are more functions available. In fact, there’s a manual on the Casio website for all of these features. A perusal of the site would be helpful if you purchase this watch.

Stopwatch and Countdown Timer

The stopwatch records up to 1/100th of a second. After 60 minutes, that goes to one-second intervals. Up to 200 records can be recorded and saved.

A timer can be set for up to five different time settings.

Light and Display

An LED backlight works very well. It can be set for either manual or automatic use. It can also be set for 1.5 or 3 seconds of lighting duration.

The light is pretty cool because when lit, it lights up the characters on the face of the watch. The display is negative, which means there is a dark background with light-colored characters. With the light on, the characters glow a bluish color. It’s stylish and pretty cool looking. Beware, though, that in certain lighting conditions and at some angles, it may be difficult to see. Not a deal-breaker for me, but something to be aware of.

The Casio G-Shock watch comes in a cool tin.
Casio’s G-Shock GBD800US-3 (Tactical G-Shock) comes in a neat tin. The negative display can be seen in this photo, with the dark background and light-colored characters. (Photo: Jim Davis)


Five daily alarms can be set and an hourly chime if the user wishes. Also, the user can decide whether or not they want tones whenever they operate the buttons, or that can be muted.


The watch is powered by a battery (CR2025) with a life of approximately three years. A power saver mode engages if the watch sits for a certain amount of time inactively, which extends the battery life.


The band on the GBD-800UC-3 is made from resin that is very pliable. I’d even describe it as being supple. For a resin band, this one is very comfortable. There are case protectors where it attaches to the case, which make it even more comfortable.

Watch band and keeper.
The band is supple and very comfortable. There are plenty of slots for adjustments and the keeper has a small tab to prevent it from sliding around on the wrist. Small touches are big on comfort. (Photo: Jim Davis)

It has 15 holes, so fine adjustments can be made, allowing the user to get a “just right” fit.

The keeper is great because it can be adjusted far up the band, which cuts down on the amount of free tail dangling out there to catch on things. In addition, there is a small nub in there to prevent the keeper from sliding all over the place as the watch is being worn through vigorous activity. That very tiny detail is much appreciated because it prevents the user from having to constantly adjust the watch band on the wrist. It’s amazing how one minuscule detail can make a world of difference in comfort and convenience.

How does the G-Shock perform overall?

Well, it’s a G-Shock, so I was prejudiced from the gate about whether or not I’d like it. To be honest, they had me at “shock and water resistance.” Those alone are worth the price of admission. The Olive Drab Green color is a bonus because of the added coolness it offers.

Normally, G-Shocks are loaded with features, quite a few of which I confess to often not using (remember, I’m a simpleton). However, this one has an astounding array of features that I won’t necessarily use in a watch.

The step tracker, calorie counter, exercise intensity log, 3D activity map, and plethora of other workout features aren’t something that I’ll be using. Why? Because my phone has a step counter and other features that I’m accustomed to. And let’s face it, I’m not training for an Iron Man or anything even remotely that challenging.

Are these digs against the watch? Not at all! They’re just features that I personally won’t use. But you may love them! And if you do, more power to you, because you’re likely in better shape than I am. But let’s be real — my car has features that I don’t use. Does that mean my car is a bad fit for me, or that it’s somehow inferior? No. It just means that I tailor my use of it to the features that I personally like.

Watch, binoculars (Vortex), Glock 43X, Spyderco Knife, Surefire light, Maxpedition Thermite.
Casio’s Tactical G-Shock is perfect for outdoor adventures in the field or exercising, or both. The durability alone is worth the price. Also in the photo are Vortex binoculars, a light from Surefire, Glock 43X, Spyderco Native, and Maxpedition Thermite versi-pack. (Photo: Jim Davis)

If you buy this watch and don’t take advantage of all of its features, is that a bad thing, or a waste? Not at all. It just means you tailored the piece of gear (in this case, a watch) to your needs and wants.

One of the wonderful aspects of this watch is the price. At the time of writing, this one is available from GunMag Warehouse for $79.99. For this caliber of G-Shock, that is pretty impressive! This G-Shock represents an intelligent buy. I recommend it.

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities. He is a dedicated Christian and attributes any skills that he has to the glory of God.

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