Review: G-SHOCK’s Ultra-Tough GBD800 Is A Tireless Fitness Watch

Jul 15, 2019

Category: Gear

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Casio’s G-SHOCK line of watches has been around for nearly four decades now and they continue to produce rugged timepieces for adventurers who’ve made the backcountry their playground. G-SHOCK watches are designed primarily for outdoor activities, military, and sports, and lately, they’ve been packing them with tons of built-in tech. The brand’s latest timepiece is the G-SHOCK GBD800 Watch, which is an addition to their Power Train Series.

Debuting back in 2018, the Power Trainer Series consists of stout mid-sized wristwatches coupled with the G-SHOCK Connected app for fitness addicts. The latest addition to the lineup is the G-SHOCK GBD800 Watch. The household brand’s new offering is geared toward health nuts who want a timepiece that can keep up with their intensity, whether they’re battling the elements of nature on a hike or pushing the pace at their local gym. We had the privilege of getting our hands on the GBD800 and took it upon ourselves to analyze every part of the purpose-built timepiece.

First Impression

Packaged in a black hexagonal metal box, G-SHOCK’s GBD800 looks like a timepiece that can survive a nuclear blast. It has a familiar rugged aesthetic and a tactical vibe. However, compared to other G-SHOCK watches, this one is more compact. We tested one with a striking two-tone black and desert army light brown colorway along with a golden circular frame around the mobile phone connection indicator for a bit of flash. There are several other color combinations available, and each one is well matched.

The watch is lightweight, but still well-made with plenty of flex in the strap. When you wear the watch, it has a very smooth, clean feel. Every button on the case is easy to press with just the right amount of resistance, including the lap/reset button that’s textured, which will probably get the most use. Right out of the box, the watch looks reliable and feels like it belongs on your wrist.

The Build

Combining a durable construction with a featherweight feel, the GBD800 is barely noticeable on your wrist, yet packs plenty of technology to assist you in your workouts. When the heat’s turned up, and you’re in the thick of the toughest part of your workout session, we’re sure this timepiece can keep up with the pace.

The resin band, bezel, and case provide ample protection no matter how hard you push yourself in the gym. On the inside of the band, there are slight dot indentations that subtly grip at your skin for a secure feel, as well as wings near the case for further comfort. And the slits throughout the band to adjust the size are large enough to improve the breathability of the timepiece. Keeping the digital display safe is substantial mineral glass, providing you with a clear view of all the data presented. It also has a bright auto Super Illuminator LED backlight with selectable illumination durations of 1.5 or 3 seconds so you can check data during night workouts. The physique of the GBD800 further solidifies G-SHOCK’s reputation for constructing well-built, hardwearing wristwatches.


Perhaps the best built-in technology of the G-SHOCK GBD800 Watch is the step tracker with a three-axis accelerometer. Paired with the Connected app, you can track your step data and see it displayed on a graph, as well as track calories burned, and your target achievement rate. You’ll even benefit from a multi-timer that lets you create up to 20 timer combinations and store up to 200 lap records for thorough analysis post-workout or over several weeks to see growth. The watch’s redesigned digital display keeps everything organized with three rows of information for your steps, lap numbers, and expected date and time. Since all this data is available at a glance, you can adjust your workout in real-time depending on how you feel.

In addition to the fitness attributes of the GBD800, the watch is well-rounded with G-SHOCK’s standard tech. It features a stopwatch, world time, five alarms, up to 200 meters of water resistance, and shock resistance. You can even use the timer to measure intervals when you work out, and you can also see running routes thanks to the app’s 3D map system. Although the watch isn’t a full-fledged fitness tracker, it has core exercise elements to get the job done mixed with stellar timepiece properties to help you stay sharp.


We thoroughly enjoyed the time we got to spend with the G-SHOCK GBD800. Our hands-on experience with the watch led us to believe that G-SHOCK continues to implement their core values when building their products, even when they expand their lineup and try new approaches.

Although the GBD800 is an insanely tough watch first, it contains plenty of fitness tracker capabilities to push it well past being your typical G-SHOCK offering. It fits nicely on your wrist thanks to a smooth design and ultralight feel, allowing you to move freely and naturally during any type of workout routine or sport. And its multi-segment display of exercise data, along with its Connected app, makes for an exceptional digital training companion. All of this comes in an insanely tough watch that won’t let you down. Only time will tell whether or not this watch will be a hit, but from our experience, it’s another game-winner for G-SHOCK.

Purchase: $99

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