Overall impressions the Casio Men PHYS Rubber Strap Digital Sports Watch are good. Before I get started on the positives, here are the issues I’ve found with it.
Casio Men PHYS Rubber Strap Digital Sports Watch Review
- Stop/start buttons harder to press
- Side buttons maybe too easy to press? This to me seems counter-intuitive as I would have thought somebody would be more likely to press the buttons on the side of the watch – as I already have on one occasion.
- The pacing metronome thing only goes from 100-200 bpm. For most runners, this would mean setting it at double their normal stride rate, and enduring the slightly annoying beeping at double pace for the 30 seconds it lasts when the ‘B’ button is pressed.
- The 8-second delay where the time freezes after pressing the lap/split button in stop-watch mode has the potential to be irritating; that said, for longer distances it won’t matter, and doing 200m intervals on the track doesn’t really involve looking at your watch!
- The distance calculator seems like it’s pretty much a gimmick. I don’t know, maybe some people do use it and find it useful, but for me it seems that on the variable road/trail surfaces you’d get off a track, it won’t be accurate as stride distance varies to match the terrain (and in most cases – though the ideal would be for this to be avoided – stride rate will vary also). On track, it’s very easy to judge distance – every lap is 400m. I guess if you’re running a very long way on a track and have a tendency to lose count, you might use it…
- It annoys me that the stopwatch saves every bit of data, even when I’m just using it for breathing exercises or to time something trivial, but I guess making saving optional could result in not saving important training data – after all, it’s easy to delete any unneeded records.
A point about the stop/start buttons being hard to press is that the key is to press them on the right edge, so in the middle of the watch rim.
This is where the actual button is; the extension to the left is purely aesthetic.
Aside from these minor niggles, I’ve found the watch so far to be excellent. Of course, it will vary from person to person, but it fits my needs perfectly. The timer goes up to 99 hours, so is perfect for the 24 hour runs I occasionally partake in, and both it and the stopwatch can be run simultaneously. A nifty feature I only found out about after getting the watch is that it has a mode whereby lifting the watch up (the manual says tilting it from the horizontal to 40 degrees away from the horizontal) turns the backlight on. Very useful for night running, though I could see how this could appear unnecessary to many runners. A point about the backlight is that it doesn’t last very long – even when the button is held down. For looking at data in low light, this could be irritating, though it would greatly wear down the battery if the light button was pressed accidentally in a bag or something.
The water resistance is good (I couldn’t resist testing it under a tap…), and overall the watch is very comfortable. The straps come down at quite a steep angle though, so as other reviews have confirmed, larger wrist-ed people may find it more uncomfortable – it would probably fit, but not nearly so well. The strap feels reasonably solid, though time may prove it to be a little less so. Some have made the point that the screen is smaller that advertised – the glass is around 25mm, the screen about 22mm. The picture is misleading in size – I thought the watch would be bigger. I actually prefer the smaller size; I think it looks much better.
The alarms are good, with one for wake-up, with a snooze option, and four others. It’s easy to turn them on and off, and the watch displays a small icon in all modes when any of them is on, as well as a SNZ icon on the upper blue bar running across the display. It’s worth noting that some of the icons on this bar can be a little hard to read, as they are small, with a darker background, and can cast a shadow on the screen behind. The dual-time setting could be useful, but it seems to me that for anyone being in a country for any length of time, it would be worth just changing the normal time, so you don’t lose the extra data on the main screen, such as the date.
Casio say the watch has a 10-year value, but this is based upon one alarm and one backlight use per day, which I think is unrealistic.
However, I can’t imagine many will carry on using the watch for that long anyway!
A few final things I’ve found useful: the watch shows the time on all screens, allowing uninterrupted usage of the function. The manual is very clear (for the most part). A lot of data is packed onto the screen – for example, when the stopwatch screen is not in use, it shows the date and remaining memory as well as the digits, and when it is in use, it shows hours, minutes, lap no., overall time and current lap time.
The best reason for buying this watch is the price – the price here is fantastic and you get many more features for your money than with comparative Timex watches (the brand I was initially looking at). The lower price may reflect lower quality, but personally even if it wears out after a year, it still seems good value. The watch is functional, attractive and comfortable, and has few minor niggles that need not compromise the overall use. For the money, it’s excellent, especially for distance athletes such as myself
We gave the Casio Men PHYS Rubber Strap Digital Sports Watch