Suunto Core vs Casio Protrek are excellent sports watches that offer great features and functionality. They don’t have GPS, but they do come with built-in altimeter, barometer, compass, and intelligent sensors. So, which one is better? The discussion below will help you understand the differences between these two products and choose the best sports watch for your needs.
What we will discuss below include:
– The design, appearance, and build quality of each model
– The display size and quality of each model
– What sensors and features that Suunto Core and Casio Protrek have
– The battery life of Suunto Core vs Casio Protrek
– Which sports watch that gives better overall value and functionality
Suunto Core: Design & Display
Despite lacking GPS for navigation, Suunto Core still remains as a smart and sporty watch that is packed with nice features. It is highly accurate, and it is mostly designed to attract the skiers and hikers. It looks cool and stylish, and the build quality is quite impressive.
Suunto Core is completely waterproof to 100 feet under water. It is also able to withstand extreme temperatures. So, you can wear it while swimming, and you won’t need to worry about rain or snow. The silicon strap is flexible and comfortable, but still very much durable. A compass ring is put on the perimeter of the watch face.
The display is quite wide. The background is dark and nearly jet-black. These factors are supposed to enhance the readability of the display. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The display is rather dim, not as bright as expected. Then again, at least the display is still readable in all situations, both indoors and outdoors. It is actually easier to read when under bright sunlight. See also: Polar M450 vs Polar V650.
Suunto Core: Features
One similarity between Suunto Core vs Casio Protrek is that neither of them has GPS. In the case of Suunto Core, it is all about the digital altimeter. This sensor measures pressure rather than coordinates, and it can measure altitudes of up to 9,000 meters.
The digital altimeter of Suunto Core offers a distinctive advantage; it can work in pretty much any place, even if there is no direct line of sight to GPS satellites on the sky. This is very useful when you go into ravines, caves, or other sheltered areas. This is more reliable than GPS in the great outdoors.
Suunto Core is also equipped with a barometer and a storm alarm. It will warn you when there is a sudden drop of air pressure, which is an indication of an incoming storm. There are also Time and Compass buttons which should be quite self-explanatory. And there is a single button for locking the current screen.
There is an option for adjusting the declination, without which the compass will be useless. Nevertheless, if the declination is adjusted properly, the compass is highly accurate and reliable. It can even be used to follow bearings.
Suunto Core can work with popular smartphone GPS apps, such as Nike+ Running and RunKeeper, to record your altitude changes over time and then display the information with a graph. It can keep records for up to seven days. In addition to these features, Suunto Core still has thermometer, sunrise and sunset times, stopwatch, timer, and alarms that can be set to tell you when you have ascended or descended a certain distance.
However, Suunto Core has neither Bluetooth nor Wi-Fi. It can’t be connected to your mobile phone to receive incoming messages or calls.
Suunto Core: Performance & Battery
One advantage of Suunto Core vs Casio Protrek is the battery life. If there is a benefit from the somewhat dim display, it would be the fact that the display doesn’t consume much power. And there is no GPS sensor whose constant communication with the satellites would rapidly drain the battery. Suunto Core uses a CR2032 battery which can last for about a year.
The user interface is highly intuitive and easy to understand. All the menu items are labeled clearly, so you can navigate around with ease. The display can show three kinds of information at a time.
The best thing about Suunto Core’s performance is the superb accuracy. Most other watches show elevation changes only in ten-foot intervals. Meanwhile, Suunto Core can show elevation changes in three-foot intervals. The altimeter, barometer, and compass of Suunto Core are highly accurate and easily among the very best in the market.
Casio Protrek: Design & Display
Casio Protrek is big and bulky – it is pretty much the thing that you expect from an outdoor trekking watch. With a thickness of more than 0.5 inches, you want the watch to stay away from your wrist. There are exposed metal parts that further emphasize the tough look, even though most of the housing is actually plastic.
That doesn’t mean the build quality is bad. In fact, quite the contrary is true. Suunto Core has met the MIL-STD-810G standard for durability. In other words, it is able to withstand extreme temperatures, impacts, pressure changes, fog, moisture, and any physical abuse that it may face during your outdoor adventure. The water resistance is up to 5 ATM, so you can wear it for swimming and shallow diving.
On the right side, there are three plastic buttons that appear like metal. The center button is the power button which also serves for opening the app drawer and launching Google Assistant. The upper button is for the map, while the lower button is for the Casio Tool and some outdoor functions.
Unfortunately, the buttons are mushy. You can’t tell whether you’ve pushed them or not without looking at the screen. Also, unlike Suunto Core, Casio Protrek doesn’t look elegant and stylish enough to wear in your daily activities. It almost exclusively belongs to the outdoor world.
Note that Casio Protrek is available in several different variants. Some of them only has one monochrome display. The one here is equipped with a dual-layer display, which is cool. The main screen is a color OLED panel with excellent pixel density and color quality. It can show great detail when displaying maps.
The secondary screen is a monochrome LCD panel, which is used to conserve battery when the watch is only showing time, date, battery, and sensor readings.
The display is easy to read from any angle. Both the main and secondary screens are bright enough to read indoors and outdoors. However, with a diameter of only 1.2 inches, it feels a bit small and cramped.
Casio Protrek: Features
As mentioned above, neither Suunto Core vs Casio Protrek has GPS. However, Casio Protrek comes with a bunch of other sensors that work really well. It has an altimeter can measure altitudes of up to 32,000 feet (approximately 9,753 meters). The barometer measures air pressure to help you predict weather conditions. And there is a magnetometer and a compass for finding direction.
Like Suunto Core, Casio Protrek can show you sunrise and sunset times. It can also provide information about tide details if you set the location of a nearby port.
One advantage of Casio Protrek is the built-in Bluetooth. It runs on WearOS, and it can pair to your mobile phone via the WearOS mobile app. As long as the watch and mobile phone remain within range of each other, they will stay connected. You can receive real-time notifications for incoming messages, calls, or other alerts through the watch. Casio Protrek also has Wi-Fi; it will connect automatically to the network which your mobile phone is connected to.
You can customize the watch face. Since this model runs on WearOS, you get plenty of options for the watch face. Many of them are optimized to provide quick access to certain settings, notifications, Google Assistant, and Google Fit.
Casio Protrek: Performance & Battery
The overall performance of Casio Protrek is good. The operating system is smooth and snappy. Scrolling through the apps and menu screens doesn’t involve any lag. You also won’t need to wait long when opening an app.
The accuracy of the altimeter is good. It doesn’t get as fine as Suunto Core, but it is still able to show fairly accurate altitude changes. The barometer and compass are also accurate and easy to use.
Casio Protrek has three operation modes: normal, extend, and multi-timepiece. In the normal mode, all of the features are available and the battery can last for about 1.5 days. In the extend mode, the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are dropped so that the battery can last for 3 days. In the multi-timepiece mode, only the most basic time and sensor data are displayed on the monochrome screen, and it allows the battery to last for 30 days.
Suunto Core vs Casio Protrek
For outdoor trips and adventures, Suunto Core is more recommended. It has better accuracy. The altimeter, barometer, and compass are very accurate. It also has much longer battery life. Not to mention that it is more comfortable to wear, and the stylish appearance means that you can still wear it for your daily activities just fine.