Review: Real User Casio G Shock Move / Casio DW-H5600: Casio Smart Watch

Important: I am not affiliated with any of the manufacturers, brands, services, or websites listed on this page and this is my personal experience.  If you find this helpful and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!

DW-H5600 OfficialThe Casio G Shock DW-H5600 or Casio G Shock Move as it’s known in the US, is a watch I have been eagerly awaiting since it was first rumored. In fact, I actively tracked rumors (see this page) and was refreshing the Casio USA website daily for updates. So I was VERY excited on May 3rd when US pre-orders opened. I picked up my Casio Black G Shock move for US$299+tax delivered, which may be the cost of being an early adopter as I’m sure the G Shock move will be on sale later in the year. The DW-H5600 is now available from Amazon in Black (pictured) or Dolphin Blue (Grey).

It wasn’t until May 19th that I got the G Shock Move (DW-H5600) in my hands, this review of the G Shock Smart Watch is based on my own personal perspective. Why should you even trust me? I do love watches, I own a wide collection of Casio’s, but I am also not completely anti-smartwatch. I owned a Pebble Watch, an Apple Watch, and have played with various hybrid watches. Hopefully, this means I can bring a perspective of what is good, and bad, and give you a fair direction on whether the G Shock Move / DW-H5600 is for you.

I bought and paid for the watch myself. So this review is unbiased, as I am not incentivized by Casio or anyone else. All of my setup and use was done on an Apple iPhone, the Android experience may vary. If you’re wondering if this is the best Casio watch? or the best Casio smartwatch? read on!

UPDATE: I returned my Casio DW-H5600, read the conclusion as to why.

G Shock Move / Casio DW-H5600 Smart Watch Review

This review is grouped as follows:

You can jump ahead to any of the sections, or read the whole review.

Unboxing the Casio DW-H5600  / G Shock Move

In the US, at the time of release, the G Shock move was only available in two variants, black (DW-H5600-1) and grey (DW-H5600-2). Both models retail for US$299+tax. In Japan, there’s also a metallic bezel version. I opted for the black version, as it’s more akin to the classic G Shock DW-5600E that retails for US$50.

In the box, you get the DW-H5600, the charging cable, the instruction manual, and warranty information. There are versions that come with swappable bezels and straps, but these are not yet available in the US. On that alone, if you’re not in a hurry, I would wait until some of the special editions make it to the US (or wherever you are).

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Initial Observations about the G Shock Move

On first wear, the G Shock Move DW-H5600 feels big. Most G Shock watches are a little oversized, but I was kind of taken aback by the size. At 51mm, it’s not a petite watch, it sits big and is noticeable on your wrist. The weight is not too bad, but I wear mechanical watches that have a bit of heft. So I may not be the perfect judge.


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Setup and Use (the G Shock Move App)

The real power and features of the DW-h5600 G Shock Move are unlocked when you use the (free) G Shock Move App. In terms of app. setup, use, and permissions:

  1. Prompt to accept app notifications
  2. User action required for region confirmation
  3. Create (or sign into) a Casio ID ( account)
  4. Accept the software license
  5. Accept the privacy notice
  6. Accept the activity data usage notice
  7. (optional) Share data with Casio for product development (I declined)
  8. Accept location permissions (iOS prompt, opted for Allow While Using App)
    (note – you will be prompted for more location permissions later, I did “Change to Always Allow”)
  9. Accept Bluetooth permissions (required for pairing and notifications)
  10. Accept Notification permissions
  11. Select your watch
  12. Pair your watch!
  13. Accept the notifications prompt.
  14. You’re done!

Yes, these are all the steps you need to accept and go through before you pair your watch. I mean it’s not even until step 12 you actually get to pairing your DW-H5600. This makes it much more complicated than any other smartwatch I have ever owned. Casio really needs to streamline the process. Seriously. Steps 2-6 could be rolled into one screen. The app is honestly awful. I’m an iOS user, so apps need to be really good to overcome limitations imposed by Apple.

It’s worth noting, doesn’t offer two-factor authentication (2FA). I feel this is a miss given the account is connected to health data.

Verdict: Setup is barely OK, needs a lot of work.

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Wearing the G-Shock Move (Comfort)

The DW-H5600 is a little larger than I was kind of prepared for and yes, I know the size specs are posted online. At 51.1MM it’s bigger than the Apple Watch Ultra and it’s not what I would call a discrete watch. Like most G Shocks though, the size premium comes from the G Shock protection. It doesn’t feel heavy though. The G Shock move weighs 59g (2g less than the Ultra) but since I am also a fan of mechanical watches that do have some heft to them, I’m probably not the best placed to make an informed call on weight. If you have smaller wrists, I’d encourage you to see if you find the G Shock move in-store and try before you buy. Like every Casio watch I own, the DW-H5600 is comfortable on the wrist.

Verdict: Large, as expected. After all, it’s a G Shock.

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Health & Fitness Features

I returned the Casio DW-H5600. Yes, the heart rate and blood oxygen levels work as described. Yes, it has modes for various sports. But since I returned the watch, I didn’t really put it through heavy paces, so I have decided to delete this section. I did have some concerns about the accuracy of measurement. For example, it reported 100% blood oxygen, which is not a result I have ever received before – even from a doctor.

Verdict: Potential accuracy issues, but unable to test further.

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DW-H5600 Charging and Battery Life

It’s a bit early to get a read on this. I’m still charging each day and I don’t wear it overnight. I didn’t have a day where I felt the battery was going to give out. This makes the G Shock move feel a little better than most Gen 1 devices where battery life can be awful.

Verdict: Full-day battery life and no battery anxiety. As expected.


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Real World Experience with Notifications

The notifications on the DW-H5600 work. The MIP display gives you notifications akin to what was available on the Pebble watch. So they’re monochrome and accessible via side button presses (bottom left). Notifications are easy to read thanks to the MIP display and white text on black. I honestly had very low expectations going in. I didn’t expect Casio to enable full-text notifications, more a notification “alert” that prompted you to check your phone.

Verdict: Better than expected. Pleasantly surprised.

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Comparison of DW-H5600 G Shock Move to the Apple Watch

It’s hard to not start the comparison without first talking about price. The DW-H5600 is more expensive than the Apple Watch SE, but less than the Apple Watch Series 8 and way less than the Ultra. I will be very explicit and clear here, I did not return the DW-H5600 because I expected the Apple Watch or Apple Watch-like experience. I do think there’s room for both in the market. I prefer the look of the G Shock vs the Apple Watch – most people (except Casio enthusiasts) wouldn’t even know the Casio DW-H5600 is a smartwatch. It’s also much cheaper than the Apple Watch Ultra, which is really where it’s competing in terms of being “tough and rugged”. Yes, the Casio DW-H5600 has trades offs vs. an Apple watch, no color screen, no app. ecosystem, and no tap-to-go payments. I can live without the color screen and the absence of an app ecosystem, but no tap-and-go payments bothers me more than I thought it would. The other thing that sort of nags at me is that the DW-H5600 price just feels off. Comparing it to the Apple Watch Ultra is both fair and unfair, yes they are both outdoor watches, but the Ultra backs a lot more features for the price. I keep watching to compare the DW-H5600 to the Apple Watch Series 8 given the price point and when I do that, I find myself looking at the price of both and start to feel the DW-H5600 is overpriced. I know this may come across as controversial and not appreciating Casio, but if the DW-H5600 was $249 I’d feel GREAT but at $299+tax all I can think is what are my alternatives and is it worth the premium over a standard $50 G Shock beater?

Verdict: A reasonable alternative to the Ultra, but it’s a stretch to compare them both. Not a fan of either.

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Final Thoughts – Should You Buy the DW-H5600? (and why I returned mine)

At US$299+tax the G Shock Move DW-H5600 is a little more expensive than I hoped. The Casio iOS software is not great and after a few days of use, the excitement wore off as it became more and more clear that the DW-H5600 is a Gen 1 Casio Smartwatch. In the end, I couldn’t justify it. The price felt too high to be a daily beater or a “great buy”. If it was US$249, I’d feel a little more positive, and at US$199 I would be much more enthusiastic. So I ended up returning my DW-H5600. I’ve gone back to wearing my DW-5600 and a Fitbit Charge when I need fitness/health functions. Sure I’m wearing two devices, but the Fitbit Charge is an upgrade on the DW-H5600 features. Richer notifications, payments, and more advanced apps and while the Fitbit app is far from perfect, it’s better than the Casio app by an order of magnitude.

I wish I had better news for those of you reading the review and looking for an excuse to buy the DW-H5600 for yourself. Your experience may vary. I’d encourage you to try and find the DW-H5600 in-store and play with the menus, see how it feels on your wrist, before you make a final decision.

Final Verdict: Returned for Refund.

Important: I am not affiliated with any of the manufacturers, brands, services, or websites listed on this page and this is my personal experience.  If you find this helpful and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!

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