Hands-On: G-Shock GBA800 Review

All Photos: HiConsumption

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Within the past couple of months, G-Shock has shown the world that brand stagnation and lack of innovation are most certainly not line items in their 2018 product strategy. This was proven last week at Baselworld with the release of their all-new MTG-B1000 – the very first Bluetooth-connected member of the MTG family – and even more so a month prior with a whole new lineup of fitness watches positioned to not only carry with them the qualifying tenets of rough and rugged durability the brand is known for, but now additional settings and connectivity to facilitate a healthier lifestyle and maximize your fitness potential.

It’s all part of the brand’s new G-Shock Power Trainer Series – the G-Shock GBA800 being the first addition to the family – featuring stylish outward appearances and nearly indestructible internal mechanisms to live up to whatever task are thrown its way. Fortunately for us, we were able to get our hands on this very watch and run it through the gauntlet ourselves since, of course, seeing is believing. So, along this vein, we got down to business with the GBA800 and once again were truly impressed with that G-Shock had to offer this go around.

Outward Appearances

Sleek Yet Aggressive

While G-Shock continues to push the envelope here with new releases, we noticed the GBA800 maintains that quintessential look – that of an aggressive and sporty dial, stylish bezel, and an all-around rugged mid-sized case measuring in at a more modest 48mm. In terms of construction, toughness is key. And the GBA800 is no different. We found this particular iteration to be made from durable resin resulting in a surprisingly lightweight – 61 grams to be exact – timepiece that can take some serious abuse. Which is purposeful considering that at its core, this is indeed a fitness watch. Naturally, a little liquid is nothing to be worried about either since this piece is also water resistant up to 200 meters.

What we’re left with here, above all else, is a fitness watch that doesn’t scream fitness – a definite positive for fans of the already established G-Shock family. It’s familiarity at its core, at least in terms of aesthetics, that will definitely convert some weary wearers who haven’t yet jumped on the latest fitness-tracking trends. We also noticed that in addition to the watch’s smaller stature, the lightweight construction didn’t weigh us down while putting it to use. The timepiece also fits snugly around the wrist as well thanks to a 15-hole resin strap that ensures a proper fit during either a morning run or afternoon workout.

Bluetooth Connectivity

A Game-Changer for G-Shock

Moving on from general appearances and fit, what G-Shock really has going for them here is the Bluetooth connectivity that comes embedded within its software. Specifically, we’re referencing the many features made available – as well as trackable – via the G-Shock Connected app for both Android and iOS operating devices. From here, we found the watch’s very own personal built-in 3-axis accelerometer quite helpful in not only measuring daily activity but also caloric output – supplying a detailed graph that actually breaks your entire step count into five basic metabolic equivalent (MET) levels.

Using this technology, the wearer can configure up to 20 sets of five timers, ideal for creating personalized workouts and tracking your progress/training with almost exact precision. This software also automatically corrects both the home and world time four times a day and its phone-finder functionality can help you find a misplaced smartphone by trigging an alarm right from the watch itself.

We found the watch’s 3-axis accelerometer quite helpful in not only measuring daily activity but also caloric output

Regarding specifics, we discovered the GBA800’s Step Counter display ranges from 0-999,999 and features a progress display – five-percentage-point increments with a step count goal setting range between 1,000 and 50,000 – a step count graph to help keep everything tallied, and step indicator complete with a power saving automated sleep mode that’s activated after five hours of non-activity. A serious bundle if you ask us.

Internal Movement

Field-Friendly Features

It’s not all Bluetooth connectivity with the GBA800 either, for G-Shock’s new iteration – much like previous members of their more capable lineups – feature a handful of useful tools built specifically for athletes and trainers of the more motivated persuasion. For instance, the stopwatch feature utilizes several additional sub settings built out for athletes in training. These include lap time and lap/split time switching, 200 measurement data set recording, and a target alarm function. Additionally, we found the countdown timer to be specifically useful to us – mostly due to its interval measurement capabilities, progress beeper, auto repeat functionality, and 60-minute countdown range.

Also, the GBA800 comes stock with everyday functionality that can be useful outside the gym as well. Which, at the end of the day, is the goal with this watch. Such features include a full auto-calendar, both a 12/24-hour format for fans of military time, a double LED light (including lights for the face and the digital display), Super Illuminator hands, an auto light, and accuracy of ±15 seconds a month thanks to the brand’s reliable Quartz movement.

Out Of Time

Final Thoughts

All in all, we were once again very impressed with what G-Shock had to offer with the GBA800. And while the fitness-tracking market is by no means an untapped or new vertical for the watch industry, we found the look, feel, and user-friendly functionality of the GBA800 will certainly play a role in turning doubters into believers, all while remaining loyal to what G-Shock devotees know and love about the brand. In short, what we have here is a purposeful and convenient timepiece made for both the office and the gym.

Initially released this month, it’s without question the new G-Shock Power Trainer Series will be a hit – that is if the GBA800 is a harbinger of things to come for the brand. Also, in addition to the yellow colorway, G-Shock is releasing a black, white, green, navy blue, teal and grey version of the watch as well. A fantastic variety meant for those who don’t necessarily vibe with bright yellow. We, on the other hand, felt it worked well with our surrounding urban environment and more aggressive workout routines. At any rate, it’s clear both form and function were taken into account with this fitness watch, with G-Shock once again proving they’re on top of their game.

© Photography by HiConsumption

The Watch: G-Shock's GBA800

Want to learn more? G-Shock has some additional info readily available on their site for those looking to pick up one of there very own.

Purchase: $120