Update: This article covers the older Generation 2 Bluetooth-equipped G-Shock watches. There are newer G-Shock models with Bluetooth connectivity. The newer models do not have call and message alerts but offer other features.
One of the recent innovations of the ever-evolving G-Shock is the addition of Bluetooth 4.0 functionality on certain models. This allows the watch to communicate with a linked smartphone. While it may not be a full-fledged “smartwatch” in the current sense, it does offer some useful functions. Some people may never need any of these Bluetooth features but they could be very useful for people who fit the following profiles…
1. You want call alerts on your watch.
Call alerts with caller information are shown on the watch display and can be set up to beep and vibrate. With the “tap to mute” function you can also silence your ringing phone with your watch. Note that caller information is not displayed for the iPhone.
2. You want e-mail, SMS, and social media alerts on your watch.
The watch will alert you of new emails, text messages, and social media (Facebook, Twitter) notifications. Email and SMS alerts will show the sender’s info. This feature could be useful if you don’t want to miss any alerts, as beeps and vibrations on your wrist are less likely to be missed. This also offers the opportunity to screen emails and texts before taking out your phone and reading them.
3. You misplace and forget your phone a lot.
The watch has a “phone finder” feature which will set off an audible alarm through your phone if you misplace it. Of course the phone has to be within Bluetooth range and linked to the watch for this to work. Perhaps even more useful is the “link loss alert” which will set off an alert if the Bluetooth link is broken, preventing you from leaving without your phone.
4. You don’t want to adjust your watch’s time when traveling.
The watch will automatically sync with your phone’s time when you change time zones.
5. You would rather set your watch alarm and settings using your phone.
Any digital watch owner knows how frustrating it can be to set and activate the alarm when you’ve forgotten how to. Now you can use your smartphone to do it with the G-Shock+ app. The app can also set up the watch’s countdown timer and world time.
6. You want to control music playback with your watch.
For music file playback the watch can activate pause and play, adjust volume, and skip to the next song. This could be useful for workouts and commutes. The GBA-400 G’MIX model adds equalizer adjustment, Soundhound music search, and a “sounder” function which assigns watch buttons custom sounds to play on the phone.
Note: There are currently a bunch of different Bluetooth models with varying features. The latest models are using the “Generation 2 Engine.” These models end with a “B” and include the GB-6900B, the larger GB-X6900B (left), and the GB-5600B (right). There are also the GB-6900AA/AB and GB-5600AA/AB models that do not have the music control or watch setting functions, and the GBA-400 G’MIX model (center) that does not have the alert functions but expands on the music functions.
Battery life on these Bluetooth-enabled watches are rated for a 2 years and that is taking 12 hours of Bluetooth connection per day into account. We suggest purchasing from somewhere with a generous return policy in case there are compatibility issues.
(Click image for Amazon product page)