Workout-focused smartwatches have made leaps and bounds over the past few years. Just take a glance at today’s high-end models from companies like Samsung, Apple, and Garmin: They come packed with a huge range of sensors—like heart rate, blood oxygen level, and beyond—for measuring all kinds of data about your health and fitness. We’re all for it, but not everybody needs (or wants) a supercomputer on their wrist. If you prefer something a little simpler, the new G-Shock GBD200 makes a great pick: It’s tough, offers a helpful range of activity tracking, and doesn’t cost a fortune either.
The GBD200 is a successor to G-Shock’s GBD100, and it comes with several key upgrades over its predecessor. First off, it features a slimmer case for a more refined, lightweight feel on your wrist. There’s no touchscreen, but the monochrome display is optimized for high contrast and excellent visibility, even in bright- or low-light conditions (you can also customize it to display the data you want). We especially like it in the lime green colorway, which highlights the iconic blocky design.
G-Shock also tweaked the GBD200 for maximum comfort during intense workouts. The soft urethane band comes with plenty of slits for a snug fit and added ventilation, and the band features a wavelike texture to keep it from sticking to your skin when you get sweaty. As you’d expect with a G-Shock watch, it’s built to last with a shock- and water-resistant case (it’s rated to 200 meters of water resistance).
Despite the simple exterior, there’s plenty of useful activity tracking tech in the GBD200. It comes with a built-in accelerometer and several timing features, including an Auto Lap function (keeps track of times over a set distance), Auto Pause (when you stop, so does your workout), and interval timers (multiple time settings for interval workouts).
Pair it with your phone via Bluetooth, and you’ll unlock even more functionality. The watch will send data to the G-Shock MOVE app, where you can view past workouts and progress, and get insight into all kinds of metrics, like distance, pace, and calories burned. When paired, the GBD200 will use your phone’s GPS to adjust its distance measurements, and even when you run without your phone, it’ll use previous adjustments to measure distance more accurately—a neat trick for a relatively simple watch.
Is it going to take calls and help you cook dinner? No. But if you need a straightforward tracker for your next track session or gym workout, the GBD200 is up to the task.
[$150; gshock.com]Get it
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