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Very cool, thanks for the review !
 

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as I said in the post... the GB-X6900 woeks well with 4.3 system on my galaxy Note II. so if you have 4.3 I dont think you will get issues. I do note the paucity from the Casio site. perhaps that is why they do not mention it works on older S3 and Note II models. I saw this in my review and readings before purchase, but found others noting that the X6900 worked well on the 4.3 android.
personally mine has functioned without any problems, and cleans well soap and water, and under 150 washes per day as I make rounds between patients. so the soaps vary with a lot of foam and alcohol products. it is holding up well. I look forward to seeing how long the battery lasts. I use it at work, and it blends with my hand well and I do not have to remove it as other watches will fatigue me out when keyboarding alot. even in spite of its relatively larger interface. must be the larger band that melts it into my wrist.
otherwise I am more impressed with the solar atomic GWM5610, since I really want the timepiece and occasionally chronograph some life events.
on my recent overseas trip, i left it home in the drawer, as it really is my work watch.
I think there was a review from 2012 that pretty much showed that it should function with the updated upgrade and function on all Android 4.3 systems.
 

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Awesome work fella. Great quality review.

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Really good review, contributed to my buying my first wristwatch since my Casio WVQ-560. I purchased the GBX-6900-B as I felt that it was looking at the wristwatch from the right perspective - if I have a fully internet capable, large screened device within 24 inches of my person, I could not conceive ever wanting to use the wristwatch to read an email (no, in real life I seldom find myself hanging from a building doing special-operations stuff needing to check crucial intelligence emails from HQ necessitating I check my watch because my hand are so completely occupied with holding on). So a low powered device that would allow me to change tracks whilst out walking and keeping me discretely aware of communications was appealing. That it wouldn't need special treatment also appealed although going into this I really had no idea quite how reputable G-Shocks were.

I am happy to report it works extremely well with the HTC One (M7). Casio currently list compatibility within Android as for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note III, but I believe this is more due to their limited testing.

It is worth noting that although it is stated here that iOS won't receive SMS, so the Android version does not appear to support Calendar updates - this is inexplicable in both cases as the Pebble can apparently do both.

Until I have experienced the full cycle of the battery am skeptical of the 2 year claims (the usage restrictions are quite onerous). Also, statements like "2 hours of music" are difficult to reconcile because there are many factors within - is that 2 hours of just play and listen, 2 hours with many commands being sent (volume up/down, forward, backward, start and stop), how many commands can be sent?

It has a contact filtering option which I have checked which seems to only show emails from addresses I have in my address book - this I hope saves power by not updating me on various circulars and advertising/offer emails that don't really require immediate attention.

In terms of the watch itself, the cobaltesque blue is very striking and fit is good (this is my first G-Shock wristwatch, but if this is the comfort standard I am very happy), it has drawn appreciative comments which I guess is a positive thing. It is not particularly subtle (figured that if the WVQ-560 was smart, discrete and this was going to be more visible, I might as well ostentate!) nor does it fit under clothing too well - but it can fit nicely at the end of the wrist so this is not really a problem. Personally I think it might have been better if the face of the GBX-6900-B was dark characters on light background like the GBX-6900-A, but the backlight makes it very visible at night and during the day it is very legible so I think this may be more subjective.

Given that some of the other G-Shocks have stuff like Tide and Sunrise data I think these should be included with this watch; certainly the dot-matrix LCD could display such information and the phone can easily retrieve that data from the net. More biometric data would be good also; there is a strange setting in the app for a distance meter, but there are better apps like Google Tracks on the phone. Don't ever really need he Tide or sunrise data but its a curio I appreciate looking at other G-Shocks.

I would recommend, but go in appreciating being part of a development process. I expect future iterations of the watch will add more interesting features and feel more polished.
 

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Great review man. Very thorough and in depth. Did you find a good deal on it or was it just pretty basic pricing?
 

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It works well with my Android 4.3.
Cost on Amazon was about 180usd. Pretty basic. Ease of setup. Nice feel and look. No problem keyboarding. Agree about battery drain .. I fully expect to get batt change in two yrs.
I try to use mine just for special work days. Otherwise I'm using lighter Gs or even my Casio Marlin diver, which is so far very nice feel and looks.



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Really great review, thank you!

I can't believe how much they are here in Australia. AU$300! That's the blue one. GBX6900B 2 ER. I would prefer the gloss black, but they are hard to find as well.
 

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Thanks for the review. Read with great interest.

I have a GB-5600 on its way to me, which I plan to pair with my iPad mini. I sort of hope that it will alert me to incoming Skype calls, although I expect that it won't do this. Anyone know for sure?
 

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Thanks for the review. Read with great interest.

I have a GB-5600 on its way to me, which I plan to pair with my iPad mini. I sort of hope that it will alert me to incoming Skype calls, although I expect that it won't do this. Anyone know for sure?
There seems to be an app that can extend the original G-SHOCK+ app, but it has some drawbacks (like a minimum 5 min delay for each notification): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.corepilots.g_shocknotifications

I haven't tested it yet, you could be our "guinea pig"...:):-d;-)b-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
A minor bummer of an update. I Upgraded my phone from a 4s to an iPhone five and upgraded the firmware from iOS 7.1 to iOS 8. Despite a major update on casios end for the app, there is still no support for iOS 8 - The phone will not connect to the watch, and it seems that other reviewers on the Apple App Store have had the same issue.

Hopefully Casio will rectify this issue soon as I really enjoyed the Bluetooth connectivity of the watch. Thankfully like I said in the original review, this watch stands on its own merits outside of the Bluetooth connectivity which seems to be more of a gimmick to me as time passes anyway


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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Thanks for the review. Read with great interest.

I have a GB-5600 on its way to me, which I plan to pair with my iPad mini. I sort of hope that it will alert me to incoming Skype calls, although I expect that it won't do this. Anyone know for sure?
The app does not support Skype notifications sadly. Or ios8, read my last post


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Good to know .. I have the SmurfBlue gbx6900b. I like it when I am working and it bounces controllable notifies from my phone and only enough data that it basically tells me who it is and most of the time I can ignore or get to phone by choice. I keep it from notifying me of emails. I used it on Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Unfortunately, I have not gotten it to work with my newly acquired Note 4. The new G app seems to not allow me in to choose the GB X6900B .. Or when I choose it, it does not sync with watch. I will keep trying for now. Must be just a catch up glitch. Otherwise I like the watch and its interface for my consulting practice when I am on call. In between I like the lite feel of full auto with solar atomic on AEL. I cannot hear the alarms anyway, but my wife does and so I must leave them off since it is the odd hour that will wake her up. Those aren't worth it, so I like the vibrating notification of the GB-x
Nice to have more direct with devel'r.


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View attachment 1395252

I've always been baffled at the lack of coverage Casio's Bluetooth watches have gotten in F17. I realize G-Shock makes a lot of cool stuff, but as far as looking towards the future, "Smart watches" are the next logical extension in the continued existence of watches. Like many other members though, I much prefer my smart watch to be an actual watch instead of a tiny computer. With the release of the second-generation bluetooth watches (GB6900B, GBX6900B, GB5600B) with two way controls, Casio has gotten closer to getting things right. They're not perfect but they're a good start. I'll be dividing this review into three sections: the watch itself, the app (from an iOS standoint) and the bluetooth connectivity.

The Watch

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I've got fairly large wrists, so I decided to spring for the large-case GBX6900. Based off of the new GDX6900 large-case version of the classic GD/GW6900 watches, the GBX shares the case shape with the GDX but not the screen layout. Instead of the three dials at the top, there's a "dot matrix" display in the upper right for text display and a oval-ish eye on the top left with segmented second markers and a Bluetooth-on indictator in the center.

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Judged just on the watches features alone, the GBX6900 is a winner. The hit list is here for a modern digital watch: it's got a super-bright LED backlight, which is pretty great. Selectable duration in 1.5 or 3 second intervals, as well as auto-illumination that shuts off after 6 hours. One annoying flaw: I've noticed the LED backlight "flickers" whenever Bluetooth is turned on, regardless if it's actually connected to the phone or not. Other owners have noticed this as well so it's not unusual, but considering the huge LiIon battery this thing comes with, it should have enough voltage to run both smoothly at the same time. Bluetooth off, no flicker, super visible. I won't cry myself to sleep over this - I set it to 1.5 seconds LT on with Bluetooth off at night. I don't want it buzzing or whatever when I'm sleeping anyway. Just odd.

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The watch has a tap function that allows you to shut an alarm or notification off by tapping the screen twice in rapid succession. It has a built-in Vibration alarm like the GD350 or the old Silencer models with selectable vibration types through the app (see below.) There are five alarms (one "snooze") plus the hourly time signal, which interestingly can be set to either off, 1-Time, or Daily.

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World time has 100 City Codes (35 time zones + UTC) with selectable DST. The countdown timer has a 99:99.99 capacity that is settable to the second(!). Although I never use the stopwatch (or at least hardly ever) it has a 1,000hr 1/100th stopwatch with split, cumulative and ET. The current time is visible with the ALM, STW, CTRL, and TMR modes, but not in WT.

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As far as time keeping goes (and let's remember, this is a watch!) the GBX6900 differs from other G-Shocks in that's it's neither stand-alone (manual) or atomic: the time can be set automatically off of "carrier time." This is the time & date info that your cell phone carrier sends to your phone. It's not perfect but it's close enough, and it automatically syncs the time every time you connect ("pair") the watch to your phone. Using Emerald Time (an app which determines the most possibly accurate time by averaging time dating from four different carrier towers), the carrier time in my area runs +.508 to +.604 seconds fast. I'm a mechanic not a pilot or train conductor, so I can live with that! It's very convenient too. Without sync the watch is rated at +/- 15s per month, the standard for Casio Quartz it seems.

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The last mode is "SETUP" which gives you basic info - the Bluetooth address, number of phones connected, watch model, etc.

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As far as the form factor goes, it's your typical resin band with a single prong buckle and a single rubber keeper. I keep wanting to get a watch with a dual prong and it keeps not happening, harrumph! I'm not a stickler for dimensions but if you are, here they are for reference: 57.5 x 53.9 x 20.4mm / 82g as per the casio site. It's a plate-type caseback with four screws, and a whole lot more markings than your usual caseback due to the Bluetooth connectivity. It also labels the buttons for reference with "music control."


The Application
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Ok, the other half of this is the application itself, which isn't as much of a home-run as the watch. It's called G-SHOCK+ and is available for free on the iOS (Apple) and Google Play (Android) markets. Casio lists the compatible watches as the Apple iPhone 4S, 5, 5S, and 5C as well as newer iPads and iPods with Bluetooth 4.0. Your device has to be Bluetooth 4.0 compatible to work with the watch, as low-power BT4.0 is what enables these watches to have 2 year battery life.
It's also compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note3, and of course the Casio G'z0ne Commander 4G LTE Android phone, of which I've never seen in my life. YMMV.

I have the app installed on my Apple iPhone 4S 16GB. Let's dig in and see what we have.

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This is the settings screen, where you can set up your various email accounts, phone and watch settings, etc.

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From this page you can change various things on the watch itself. ALM, TMR, WT100, etc.

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The "other" page lets you set things easily from the phone you'd otherwise need to scroll through the setup menu on the watch. 12/24hr, button tone, beep or vibrating alm/sig, A.EL on/off, light duration, PS on/off. Once you hit done the watch will beep once to signify the setting changed and a confirmation page will appear on the phone. Super cool.

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Alarm setting page with 5 alarms and hour signal, with the same done/beep/confirmation sequence. Super handy.

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Setting for the timer, with hours/minutes/seconds.

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Setting world time. You can arrange the cities alphabetically or by time zone. Again, so much easier than scrolling thru a hundred cities with the watch buttons!

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The Music control page where you can setup up which buttons do what.


the app itself is well laid-out but not perfect; it's frozen a couple times on me now, and occasionally the phone will shut off the bluetooth link unexpectedly and need a reboot. That's an apple problem. The issue is with functionality of android vs iOS...

BlueTooth Link.

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So here's the issue: the watch just doesn't do a whole lot on an iOS phone versus an Android phone. Namely, it won't get SMS (text messaging) notifications to the watch, which it will with Android. Neither platform works as well as it does with a Pebble, which you can actually read the whole text message on, but the tiny dot matrix display form factor limits that - still, one can assume that if Pebble can receive SMS and sender info from an iPhone, a Casio could too - it's not a problem with the iOS software, it's a problem with Casio being too lazy to do it. (Correct me if i'm wrong!)

Incoming call notification on iOS also lacks caller id (Android has it, but doesn't display names in your contacts just the phone number AFAIK), it just tells you you have a call incoming. Email alerts work fine; I have mine set up with my gmail account and it will display the sender address in the screen.
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The watches can also do Facebook (Notifications/Messages/Friend Requests) - but again, no sender name displayed when you get a message, and it's on a 5-minute (shortest choice) push notification interval. Twitter - I don't use Twitter, no clue. Weibo - I don't even know what Weibo is, but Google tells me it's a Chinese micro-blogging site, so there's that.

The watch will do Calendar alerts and Reminders (on a day or at a location) on iOS, which I find handy- I like to set reminders 5 minutes after the end of work to remind me to get groceries, etc.

View attachment 1395339

As far as controlling music, you can configured the various buttons to start/pause, skip, back, forward, volume up/down for the top left, top and bottom right buttons. It will start up and control the phone's built in music app - don't know what it does with Android as I haven't tried it, but it responds rather quickly. Sadly, I don't keep any music on my phone - i use Pandora - so this doesn't do me a lot of good, but if you keep music on your phone or Bluetooth iPod and like to jog this could be useful.

There's also Link Loss Alert (which notifies you when the bluetooth signal from the phone is lost) and Phone Finder. Phone Finder can be somewhat useful if you're scatter-brained like me, as it'll make your phone make a super-annoying loud noise when you hold down the bottom right button on the watch, but as the watch only has around a 2 meter range, it's got to be nearby.

OVERALL, these new Bluetooth V2.0 watches are a great step forward (even from the V1 Bluetooth watches) but they're not perfect. All I ask of a Bluetooth watch is that it's a good watch (check, the features on this one are great), it tells good time (close enough for government work, LOL), it looks good (duh, it's a G-Shock), it's tough (ditto), and that it notifies me of the basics: incoming call and name (yes, no), incoming text and name (no, no), incoming email and name (yes, yes.) The rest is just fluff to me: I don't need Facebook notifications on my wrist, they're annoying enough on my phone. I don't need music control but some do. With a bit of updating to the app for iOS this could be a killer product. Like I said before, it's not a limitation of Bluetooth or the iPhone as a pebble can read SMS off an iPhone fine via BT4.0, and the Android can at least get incoming SMS notification. Still, even if you don't have a compatible phone and will never even turn Bluetooth on, this is a great watch!

I THINK i've included everything in this review, but i'd be more than happy to answer any questions you folks have about this watch, or shoot more pictures of specific things. Thanks for reading!

-James

Sadly...with the recent upgrade on the Samsung S5 to Android 5.0 the watch will not connect to the Samsung...sent watch back...got a "wish we could help you " phone call from Casio...it just ain't happening with them...Sorry IMHO this watch sucks for Samsung owners.
 

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I want to buy this watch but I hear someone say that it's not notify when i receive a SMS, is that right? My phone is iphone 5s and ios 8.4, can this watch connectable to my phone? Thanks!
 

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A GB-6900B owner with Galaxy S6 unable to establish a connection. Their site says "unable to establish a connection with the watch after updating your phone to Android 5.0, contact a member of the CASIO G-SHOCK International Warranty Network." Will the warranty Dept do anything? or is it like Tacoma above....sorry wish we could help you? Compatibility - BLUETOOTH WATCH - G-SHOCK - CASIO
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
GBX6900B mail server problem
https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=3195546

Still love my GBX but sadly it looks like technical support from Casio's end is on the way out now that these are discontinued, which was the problem I feared at first. Shame.


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