Giz UK got its grubby mitts on the G-Shock GB-6900 at Baselworld 2012 watch fair, the super-tough digital watch that features a low-power Bluetooth 4.0 chip for two-way communication with a smartphone. It hasn't been released in Europe yet, and according to the G-Shock Research and Development team, I was the first person from the UK to try it on.
Of course, this little beauty has been percolating through various trade fairs in the year since it was first announced, so that's probably a stretch of the imagination. But it was very exciting to handle it and test some of its features. As you can see in the image above, it's been paired with my own GW-M5600 for comparison, and the style is very much in keeping with the current range of G-Shocks.
The integration of features onto such a small display is rather clever. When someone calls your phone, for instance, the watch starts beeping and displays the caller ID. If you don't want to answer the phone, simply tap the screen twice to silence the alert. Other features include email notification, text message alerts, and a phone finder for when you lose it down the back of the sofa.
Alas, the reason why the GB-6900 isn't already available in the UK is because it's a little too bleeding edge. Currently, the only major smartphone equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 is the iPhone 4S. It's not viable for Casio until more Android or Windows handsets with the same capability hit the market. But with a more relaxed OS like Android, there's the possibility of wider applications that succeed where Microsoft's SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) watches had failed.
One other thing; the GB-6900 comes in three colourways -- black, white and red. The latter has a negative display and it looks absolutely gorgeous. It's fair to say that these watches are going to be a massive hit when they do get released, it's just a matter of handset makers catching up with them first.