- Bold design
- Feature rich
- A little heavy
- Some clunky software features
Casio Edifice EQB-500 review: If the average smartwatch looks a little too much like a wrist-worn iPhone for your tastes, then Casio’s latest connected Edifice watches may be the perfect solution. Here’s our review of the EQB-500.
Those in the know may already be familiar with the 500, it hit the market earlier last year but with a new host of offerings joining the Edifice family following Baselworld 2017, it’s surely going to drop in price rapidly, making it a great choice for those in the market for a connected watch.
Casio Edifice EQB-500 Review: Design and comfort
The Edifice line as a whole shares some pretty distinctive aesthetic elements, like bold index hour markers, stainless steel casings and deep-set dials laden with multiple complications. In the case of the EQB-500, this watch features a Dual Time Display design, letting you keep tabs on another time zone at a glance, without needing to release the screw lock crown and alter the main hands directly or by way of its connected functionality.
The casing is a mix of polished and brushed stainless steel running along rounded forms with hard edges. It’s unquestionably more masculine in its execution, compounded by the four large buttons either side of its 48mm wide casing, which comes accompanied by a 22mm linked stainless steel band that’s easy enough to resize provided you’re comfortable knocking out the fixed pins that run through each link. It’s held in place by a reassuringly secure three-fold clasp with dual spring-loaded release buttons on either side for added peace of mind.
At a shave under 200 grams it certainly isn’t the heftiest timepiece out there, but is still noticeable, not least because it protrudes off the wrist by up to 14.1mm and (in the case of the EQB-500DB) also comes with a rather eye-catching metallic blue treatment across both its bezel and dial (two other colourways are available).
Casio Edifice EQB-500 Review: Functionality
On the inside the 500 is powered by Casio’s own Japanese-made quartz movement but the toughened, scratch-resistant mineral glass protecting the dial also boasts the company’s Tough Solar technology, helping to keep the watch powered up for longer so long as you leave it within reach of natural light from time to time; particularly useful when using some of its more demanding features.
The hands feature a luminous coating which holds up well for prolonged periods in low light whilst the casing is built and sealed to offer water resistance up to 100 metres too.
As for the face itself, as well as the being able to display a secondary time zone, World Time view (the watch’s default state) also features a day of the week dial accompanied by an aperture for the date and there’s a third 24-hour dial at the top. The ability to toggle between your primary and secondary time zone by long-pressing the top right button is a smart inclusion, particularly for frequent flyers whilst being able to use the stopwatch to track hours at a time using the secondary dial will be appreciated by some too.
Casio Edifice EQB-500 Review: App and usability
The EQB-500 actually gets its ‘connected’ status from the Bluetooth 4.0 LE (low energy) chip inside which lets it pair, by way of Casio’s Watch+ application, to your Android or iOS smartphone. The app features an interactive user guide which proves invaluable if you want to quickly familiarise yourself with the watch’s capabilities from the get-go.
Pairing is a simple matter of long-pressing the Bluetooth connect button on the lower right side of the EQB-500 (which moves the second hand to the Bluetooth icon on the main dial) and having the app open whilst your phone’s Bluetooth is also switched on. Making the initial connection can take a little while, but once activated you have full access to the watch’s principle features and a readout relaying the current signal strength between watch and phone.
The World Time mode lets you quickly choose which secondary time zone you want to display, simply by swiping and tapping on one of the 300+ cities located on the app’s global map, or by searching.
Casio’s built upon a watch’s traditional stopwatch functionality by letting you track distance in either miles or kilometres and you can even export your stopwatch data to your phone in a log file that breaks down up to 100 lap or split times, measured for up 1000 seconds each if that’s your bag.
The phone finder is an essential tool that you can customise (in terms of tone and volume) from within the app’s settings. To activate it, simply long-pressing the bottom right button on the watch will push your smartphone to play a tone until you disable it – handy if you frequently find yourself digging down the back of the couch when it’s gone walkies.
The most adventurous aspect of the Watch+ application is the email feature, which when set up, will push a notification tone to the EQB-500 every time you get an email, the biggest issue being that it requires manual input of IMAP or POP, server port and SSL information, which for the average user, will likely prove a little too troublesome.
Casio Edifice EQB-500 Review: Verdict
At around £230, the Casio Edifice EQB-500 has already become one of the more affordable timepieces in the product family since its initial launch, but with the EQB-501 and 600 now on the scene, the price is likely to fall even further.
Its connected elements play second fiddle to its fundamental purpose as a solid timekeeper, most evident in its respectable build quality and conventional component choices, but the smarts at play tick all the right boxes for those who want a little more from their watch without having to go digital or full ‘smart’.
The app makes setting and controlling the 500 a snap, only tripping itself up as a result of that awkward email client, an easy fix if Casio were to take the time.
|Screen size||1.5-inches (main dial - analogue, circular)|
|Bonus features||Phone finder, airplane mode, dual time display, solar charging, water resistant (100m)|