Reviewing the Casio Pro Trek F21HR ~ Android Coliseum

Reviewing the Casio Pro Trek F21HR

Okay, so just when I was starting to not so much miss my WearOS devices, and getting more accustomed to my Mi Band 4.  But I really missed being able to really see my notifications and not just snippets.  I really super missed the opportunity to interact with those notifications, and there just was no option to pair headphones to it and run listening to music without bringing my phone with me (and I hate having to make sure my phone is secured in a pocket and won't bounce too much etc...).

So, time to go back to WearOS.  Just in time as Casio had released their new WSD-F21HR watch.



What's that odd name?  Well, it's the update to their past ProTrek smartwatch.  I reviewed the F20 last year.  I liked it.  It was big, but it grew on me.  The failings I saw in it, they kinda fixed in the F30 (having a better band).  But the big missing gap was not having a heart rate monitor.

Well, the HR in F21HR fixes that.  Let's dive in.




Okay, before getting into anything else... I see this face everytime I am about to look at the watch and I can't unsee the face.

Please tell me you see it... that almost pug face.

Okay, for this $650CDN pug faced strap watch, and yes... that's a pricy watch, but when you think about some of the Casio ProTrek watches they can be about $300 already, so you're paying about $350 for the 'smart' part of the watch, which is kind of in line with what you might expect.

So what do you get for that?

  • 1.32" 320x300
    • Dual layer LCD/monochrome
  • MIL-STD-810G
  • 4GB storage
  • Heart Rate monitor
  • Battery?  About 2 average days
So it's almost identical to the F20, it seems a little snappier, but it looks the same as the F20.

A new design of it is the band is that not only are there more 'slots' to put the thingie into, meaning you'll have more options for the appropriate size for your wrist, but it's got this handy 2 teeth style, that I'm sure is going to get it to be more sturdy and easier on the band.

Nice.  That was a main nuisance with the F20.  Either it was too loose, or too tight.  Now I have the right amount of leeway.

And it's pretty comfortable too.

Aside from the band you'll notice it also has the dual layer of the screen.

A top monochrome layer (TFT?) for when it's in a bit of a low power mode that lets you still see the time, date and your calorie burn for the day.

I notice when the power is off, it's definitely a more translucent look to it versus the previous.  Once it's powered on, you don't see it like that any more.

Cool.

The favourite feature of mine is the heart rate monitor.  YES.  

I don't know why I need to have it, it's just nice to have that data tho'.

The set up of the watch let's you have a new homescreen/face of it that can be set to monitor your heart rate periodically.

I like that feature.  

Even better, this new face actually with some settings from you will understand when your heart rate starts to enter a 'zone' above resting, and as you start to exercise give you a little 'graph' the more you exert and what level of zone you get into.

I'm not a big 'zone' guy, but it's nice to know.

When I'm walking up and down the stairs to the office I can see it start to raise



Also, when you look at the watch face later on, you'll see little yellow/green/red ticks next to the clock rim, that's what zone your heart was in at that time of the day.  Very neat.

It does this background reading and doesn't seem to use any extra battery.  On an average day I can get to bed time and it'll be about 63%, by morning it'd be about 55%.  So 2 days should do it.

Now, if I went to the gym for about a 30 minute jog with some Bluetooth audio I'll find that should just about kill it by the end of the day.

So it's got a decent battery life given that I'm a little heavier on the use.  It's funny, that I can't find the specific mAh rating of it tho'.

To charge it up, it uses the same kind of magnetic barrel charger on the other models.  It still is a little too loose for my liking that if you don't position it in the right way, it could come off.  So just make sure it has some slack if you're charging.  I wish they had some sort of stand that would make it easier.

Maybe that will be the F22HR, hah.

Around the device is still the 2 extra buttons that are for it's own version of a map where you can mark trails, keep notes etc... or the activity tracking app.


They are customizable to whatever you use.  


Personally, I haven't had much need to dive into what Casio made, rather I like just using Google Fit.  It'll do all the tracking I want.  Even noticed that it did HR monitoring for a quick jog I did.


Neat.

In their apps they also have the 'Multi Timepiece' ... which is less of an app, more of a 'turn off the WearOS, turn on low power screen only'.  It doesn't have any sesnors or anything working, just the time and date.  In this mode it should last like days and days without any issue.

But then it's just a watch... not so much fun then.

There are 2 modes, not a whole heck of a lot of difference between the 2 tho'.  I wish you could customize it more.

And there you have it... it's big watch that's built to last with a good battery, strong case, heart rate reading and with the power of WearOS so it gets all your phone notifications that you can interact with.

Love it.

It's also pricey.... so this is something you're going to have to 'want'.  You'll want something that is really made for being a smartwatch, but also something for some heavy activity in order to balance off the price.

If you can, you'll be pretty happy.
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