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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2014
I wanted a tough, all-around watch for outdoor activities (mostly hiking/backpacking) and travel. I think the PRG-270 does that quite well for a lot less than some ABC (altimeter-barometer-compass) watches out there. Once you consider all the features, you have a very versatile watch for not much money. It will tell me the time pretty much anywhere in the world, has more alarms that I will actually use, a stopwatch that goes up to hundreds of hours, a countdown timer, sunrise/sunset times (more useful than I thought it would be--nice to know roughly how much light is left), the ability to track my hikes in terms of max/min altitude and total ascent/descent, and a very good backlight--easy to see the whole dial. It's waterproof to deeper than I will go in normal life, 100 meters or ~330 feet--and even deeper than I would go scuba diving. Solar means I don't have to worry about battery changes.

This is my first and only ABC watch, so it's hard to know if others would be far more accurate. The altimeter seems to vary in it's accuracy--but since it uses air pressure, that is likely due to fluctuations in the weather. As my wife pointed out, being 400 feet off at 11,000 feet is only an error of ~4%. Sure, I'd like it to be more accurate, but I mostly need the altimeter to help verify roughly where I think I am on the map. The compass has seemed quite accurate and very handy for quick checks against the map (the trail should make a turn west pretty soon, etc.) I haven't used the barometer much, but I think it will be more useful come summer to give a sense of impending storms.

Yes, there are a lot of functions. If you want a simple watch, there may be better choices--though the basic watch functions are about as complex as any Casio g-shock or similar digital. The ABC basic functions are pretty straightforward as well. Want the altitude, press the dedicated ALTI button; want a compass reading, press the dedicated COMP button. To track hikes or set bearings, it can be hard to remember which button to press when, but I've gotten used to most of the functions pretty quickly.

Build quality seems on-par with my other Casio watches--all of which are various G-shocks. My G's may be tougher in absolute terms, but this thing seems pretty sturdy. I've had it for several months now and worn it most everyday for work (low impact in an office) but for a number of hikes where it gets whacked occasionally. It made it's way for hours in way below freezing weather on a snowshoeing trip at 12,000 with no problems, not that I'd expect any, but it was about as nasty conditions as I'm likely to be in. I don't know what exactly makes this _not_ a G-shock in terms of inner structure--no inner shock absorbing materials, case design is different probably--but again, it seems pretty sturdy--not even a scratch yet.

There are several versions of this watch in terms of color of case and display positive or negative (dark). The dark looks cool, but for legibility, the positive is the way to go. I'll also note that the numbers on the display, including the date, are large enough to be seen easily by my "all-of-a-sudden-I-need-reading-glasses" 45 year old eyes--which is more than I can say for a number of my watches. The watch is large, but not huge, and not comically large like some Invicta's are. Despite the size, the watch is quite light feeling.

So, I think for a watch with a lot of features at a pretty reasonable price, the PRG-270 seems like a good choice. Good luck.

edit 2/16/14
Couple of items I forgot to mention, but that I like about the watch. First, the current time is visible in all timekeeping modes--stopwatch, countdown timer, alarms, world time. Not all Casio's have this and I think it is so convenient to be timing something and still see the current time. Second small item is holding the bottom left button in any mode for more than two seconds brings you back to the main time screen. Both seems like thoughtful choices Casio made in design.

edit 7/14
So seven months on. Been on dozens and dozens of hikes. Generally still happy with the watch. Had to re-calibrate the compass recently as it was giving wacky readings--calibration was easy and it now seems spot on again. My only significant complaint is altimeter accuracy. I have no idea if this is roughly as accurate as other similar watches, but the Casio is often off by 200-300 feet and, as I originally said, that's not a huge error given I'm usually at 7000-12000 feet when I looking for a reading, but it's enough of a variable that it's hard to use for wayfinding with a map. If this were more accurate, it would be a fantastic outdoors watch. Another small item that now annoys me some is how bright the backlight is. This is great if you want to see what time it is--but it's so bright it kills night vision and is even a little painful in the middle of the night when I wake up and just want a quick time check. Still, if you want an ABC watch at a quite reasonable price point, the PRG-270 is very good.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2014
Verified Purchase
I decided to put this review up as a few reviewers have issues with the accuracy of the altimeter readings, and may not understand the limitations of these watches:

Design
======
The PRG270 is smaller than some of the older Protrek models, due to the smaller sensor, and they have moved the sensor location from the 10 o'clock to the 9 o'clock position. The triple sensor makes these watches sometimes called ABC watches as they have Altitude, Barometer & Compass readouts. The smaller design makes it easier to wear everyday, however the face is still relatively busy, with the case having front raised sections (at the 12, 3, 6 & 9) with indents. The sensor at the 9 o'clock position sits higher than the raised section at the 3 o'clock position. The crystal is recessed nicely as usual on Casio G-Shocks and Protreks.

I wish the design could look more like the PRW3000, which is cleaner and more stylish IMHO Casio Men's PRW-3000-1ACR Protrek Digital Display Japanese Quartz Black Watch, but is also 3 times more expensive. The display is similar to the other Protreks, divided into three sections. The top section has a dotmatrix display and can show the date, or altitude/barometric graphs, the middle section is the time, and the lower section is the seconds.

The watch is light, mine weighs about 67 grams (2.36 ounces), and has 10Bar water resistance, which means it is ok in a rain shower, or shallow swim, but it wouldn't be ok with a scuba dive. I have only had this watch in the rain, and it functions fine.

One issue with the PRG270 is the strap uses a 18mm spring lug, so if you wanted to put a wider Nato/Zulu strap, you'd need an adapter.

Features
=======
- EL backlight, this is nice and bright, and the EL button is still on the front, they have moved the adjust button on older Protreks from the front to the 10 o'clock position. You can still set this for Automatic, and set it for 1 or 3 second display.
- Date display - on the Time display, you can change date to Day&Date, or Month&Date, or Barometric Graph only (no date).
- Setting time - this is a breeze. when you get the watch is preset to Tokyo time. Changing the Time zone to your location, and checking if Daylight Saving Time (DST) applies, and voila - the time is set and easy to change if you travel. The secondary timezone is set by picking various preset cities. I have not had any issue with the time accuracy so far.
- Stopwatch/Countdown TImer (24 hours max)/Alarm - All standard, but the alarm lets you have 5 individual alarms, and the alarm is louder and longer than my Suunto Core watches.
- Sunrise/Sunset - this is also a breeze to set. The PRG270 lets you input the longitude and latitude of your location for accurate sunrise/sunset times. Compared with my Suunto Core watches which only lets me choose nearest cities.
- Power save - I have set this to on, and the watch will display will go off overnight, or after a period of unuse to conserve battery. You can wake it up by pressing any button.

Altimeter/Barometer (This is from my previous reply comment to a review on the altimeter readings)
=======

All altimeter watches without GPS embedded will calculate the estimate of altitude by changes in air (barometric) pressure.

Air pressure can change due to many things, like change in elevation, change in weather, your physical location and wind. So for example, if you get a low pressure system coming through over night, while you leave your watch on the table, it could appear that you have ascended a few hundred feet in your sleep. Similarly, if you take the watch on a commercial airplane, it will not give you a reading on the actual altitude, but a lower altitude, based on the pressure within the cabin. If you fly in an unpressurized aircraft, it will give you a more accurate altitude reading. I have taken a Suunto Core with me when I've been in a few prop aircraft, and used it as a secondary altimeter in skydiving, and it has been fairly accurate after calibration. I'll take the Casio up next time and see how it goes.

Also, I have found that the altimeter and barometer readings tend to vary with temperature, and gives marginally more accurate readings off the wrist especially if I have been hiking and my wrist is warm.

I also have a few Suunto Core watches, and the Suunto Core is quite clever in the way it calculates the altitude. If you leave it in altitude logging, it will gain elevation as you physically climb up, as the barometric pressure changes faster than it does when the weather changes, so it realises you are climbing. But once you stop climbing for a while, it realises this and any slight air pressure changes it takes as weather change, and not altitude gain or loss. The Casio doesn't have this feature.

For accurate altimeter readings you still need to calibrate your altimeter watch to your reference altitude on a fairly regular basis. I do this when I want to log altitudes before a hike/climb. An easy way to do this is to check Google Earth which gives accurate altitude readings when you put your location. You can then calibrate the barometric pressure from your local meteorology service (I take mine from their website on the day I calibrate).

If kept properly calibrated during a day that has fairly stable weather, they should prove to be very accurate overall. In varying weather conditions, you will see some variation. Again, it's essential to know the reference altitude to get back on track.

Still, this can vary, and the altimeter watch is not a scientific instrument, but only designed to give you an estimate on current altitude. For example, on a recent trek to Mt Everest Base Camp, I ran a few loggers, including a barometric altimeter, and on the return trek later in the day because I was exhausted, I didn't recalibrate the altimeter at the known peak height, the altimeter log showed an altitude difference of about 10 metres (see here imgur.com/8XrW0iD)

So if you are after an altimeter watch for accurate altitude readings at specific location, without daily calibration, the Casio PRG 270 it is not the right tool for you.

The accuracy of the altimeter when properly calibrated is pretty close when I've compared it with my Suunto Core watches, Garmin handheld GPSs and altitude markers on trails. I usually the watch strapped to my backpack strap when hiking, so it doesn't get thrown out by my body temperature.

Also, I haven't checked how fast the altimeter updates. It seems ok for hiking, but I haven't taken readings and monitored it while bike riding for example. The newer V3 Sensor has reduced the time required to measure altitude from 5 seconds previously to 1 second now, and the altitude measurement unit has been improved from five metres to one metre.

The temperature reading in the barometer was pretty accurate, but I've noticed it can get wierd with rapid changes in temperature. For example, if you have left the watch by the window to solar charge, the temperature will be wrong for about half an hour until the watch and sensor cools down, and you get a more accurate measurement. You should only calibrate the temperature when the watch has cooled to normal temperature, and I have done this with a high accuracy thermometer. The temperature reading it gives includes 1 decimal place. In my Suunto Core, it only displayed the nearest degree, but after calibration, both Suunto watches and the PRG270 are pretty accurate on temperature off wrist.

Altimeter logs - the watch has enough memory to store 30 logs, and 14 trek logs, but I think the Suunto is better here as it can record more.

Compass
========
As with all electronic compasses, it will get interferences from other magnetic sources, and may not be accurate on boats, planes, trains, or even in some buildings where the ferroconcrete magnetism causes inaccurate readings. That said, I have had good experiences with the compass, in those conditions. The magnetic compass can be set for magnetic declination, and you can still display the time in Compass mode. The top section can be set to display the bearing (0°-360°) or the direction (N,S,E,W, etc).

You have to have the watch level with the ground to get an accurate compass reading, and it is easy to calibrate by holding the adjust button down. You should only calibrate when way from other magnetic sources. I do this when I'm starting a hike, away from the car, but always carry a real compass and maps if going out bush.

If you leave it in compass mode it will stop the compass to save battery.

Summary
=======
Overall, for the price, this is a very good triple sensor watch that because of the smaller size from previous Protreks you can use for everyday wear. If you understand the limitations of ABC watches (they are not intended as precision instruments), this is a great first ABC watch.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2014
Verified Purchase
I have owned similar models going back to 1994 with each sensor version. I am both a weather fanatic as well as a tech geek. I had moved away from the Casio lines in favor of my Citizen Eco-Drive Skyhawk AT last year but now that I have received this watch a few weeks ago I find I am wearing this more than 50% of the time. I still love my Eco-Drive and it remains my favorite of my well over 25 watch collection mainly due to its true "all-occasion" appearance (anything from beach to formal wear). This PRG-270 has now taken place as my general wear go-to watch and living in the southeastern U.S. I find having the weather related features to be valuable as we head further into spring.

I previously had the v.2 PAW-1300 ABC Pathfinder version which had been a favorite for several years until the solar rechargeable battery started to lose a bit of its storage capability after about 6 years of regular wear. It wasn't abused or subjected to rough usage but it did get its share of bumps and bangs that occur during everyday use. I frequently used it for swimming in both the ocean and in pools and it also was exposed to water from hand washing and occasional watch cleaning (either thorough fresh water rinses or washing using mild dish detergent and water) and I never had any problems with water or moisture getting inside the case. Even living in a very humid region and exposure to harsh sun intensity didn't seem to affect the watch. Prior to that I had one of the first v.1 models that I wore for several years without any problems until the battery finally died (that model was not solar like my PAW-1300 and the current PRG-270).

What makes this watch such a bargain is the fact that it includes the highly acclaimed v.3 sensor while keeping the ABC + thermo features as well as the Tough Solar option (I will only buy either solar digitals or automatic analogs because opening the case back either compromises the water resistance or requires an expensive battery replacement that also requires a replacement of the gasket/ring that creates the seal.). What makes this watch even better in addition to the improved sensor is the ability to manually set your home location (lat/long coordinates) which makes the sunrise/sunset data accurate. The only thing this watch is really missing is atomic time synchronization. For the price of this watch I can live without it and wouldn't expect that it would be included given all of the other features included. I synchronized the time on my PRG-270 to my Eco-Drive which does have atomic synchronization and after about three weeks it's still within about two seconds so this watch so far appears to keep very accurate time (with the exception of very specific specialized usage I would think that is more than accurate enough for almost all users and is more accurate than even high-end automatic analogs like Rolex and Breitling). This watch is on the large size for its case size but not excessively so that most wearers would not find it awkward or goofy looking. It is also fairly light for a watch of its size and the band size & length are appropriate for its size and the average person.

If atomic synchronization is a must then look at the ProTrek 3000 line and be prepared to spend about $100 more. If you can live without that feature then this is the watch you want if looking for an ABC watch with current sensor technology and solar power. Casio has a well established track record manufacturing these types of watches and a history of reliability and durability as well as continually developing and implementing improved technology over time. I would not hesitate to recommend this watch to anyone.

Just a side note - Most of the negative reviews I have read for this watch and similar other models appeared to be related to that user either not reading the manual and performing the initial setup properly or having unrealistic expectations from this watch. Please do not let them influence your decision to buy or not buy this model. If you do buy then be prepared to spend about 30 minutes or so to properly setup and calibrate the watch using accurate data for your location. Calibrate the temperature with the watch off your wrist at least 20-30 minutes to a known local and accurate thermometer. Do the same with the barometric pressure to a current accurate local reading. Location coordinates and altitude can be obtained easily from a GPS device or online sources (Wikipedia will work for those without access to GPS data or do not know where to obtain that information online.). Once you have accurate information entered I think you will find this watch to be valuable and enjoyable. If using the altitude feature for hiking/climbing you will need to calibrate the altimeter to a known reference at the beginning of your trek and if the weather/barometric pressure is volatile at the time then additional calibration to known reference points may be needed if on an extended trek. That would apply to even the most expensive ABC models so that is not a deficiency of this particular model.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2013
As far as ABC watches are concerned, you get the Casio gen3 triple sensor at an entry level price.

Pros: Price, Sunrise/Sunset data great for hunting and very accurate once set for latitude/longitude, and Barometer is SPOT ON after observing it a couple of weeks and comparing with both local weather stations and the one at the house. Great for recognizing weather trends.

Cons: Base model. Would have loved to have the negative display model in the US at this time. Altitude fluctuates at the same location over time. If you research this it is a result of how Casio chooses to still calculate altitude. If you are about to make a final push for the summit of Everest consider a different watch. Heck, you're not reading this anyway. My short hike up Enchanted Rock showed accurate elevation changes within 10 feet of actual over around 400 feet of elevation change.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2014
Verified Purchase
I wanted to wait a few weeks using this watch before i wrote a review. It took me over a year to pull the trigger on this purchase after starting to look at the 240 series ABC watches from Casio. When the newer V3 sensor watches came out, then I started reading everything in earnest about them. It took me several months to finally decide on this version of the v3 sensor watches, but now that I have, I am reasonably happy with my purchase. The biggest concern I had was accuracy and reliability of the ABC sensors. So far, they are reasonably accurate and reliable.

The PRG-270-1 is an ABC watch that DOES NOT have the automatic atomic update feature. It does have the solar power feature. I live in Colorado at 6800 feet, according to the web. I had to set the watch once upon arrival to both altitude and barometric pressure. The watch was 400 feet off in altitude and several inches of Hg off. Once I did that reset, I've only had to reset the altitude once, it got about 200 feet off. Since then the altitude has been within 100 feet of actual and the barometric pressure within .1 of actual (Hg). For example, right now the watch reads 29.95. The nearest actual reading from my cell phone, in which I have no idea where they physically are, is 30.02 and falling I consider that well within my expectations. I have not flown with the watch yet to see if flying at altitude affects its accuracy or not after landing. That is next on the agenda. The bottom line here for the AB sensors is to periodically check their accuracy and reset.

The temperature part is basically useless as it is affected by skin temperature. In order to get an accurate external temp, you need to take the watch off and let it sit by itself. I knew this going in and did not have high expectations.

The compass is fairly accurate. I have checked it against a magnetic compass on more than one occasion and its been accurate, but I have not traveled far to check from a variety of declination angles. Will do some checking when I travel to the East Coast in a few weeks.

The size of the watch is larger than my previous Timex, but since I have large wrists, its not that big a deal until I wear long sleeve shirts and then it kind of interferes for a while until I get used to it.

The positive display can be seen easily. The light is more than adequate. The other features such as alarms and timers are pretty standard, but the menu structure and access does take some time to get used to as there are a lot of features and a lot of buttons to push.

The only reason this watch gets an honest solid 4 stars (I'd give it a 4.5 if I could), rather than a five, is the band. I don't like the resin band. I am used to it and tolerate it, but I still don't like it. I prefer a stretch band and as far as I've been able to tell, you can't get one for it.

So the bottom line. If you want a cheaper alternative to a GPS watch for ABC readings, are willing to keep an eye on the calibrations and can tolerate the Resin band, this watch is highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2014
Verified Purchase
This watch is a great value (on Amazon) for a fully featured ABC watch (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass). It wears smaller than I expected; from the pictures I saw I was afraid it would be huge but it looks just right on my 7 1/4" wrist. It's more subdued in real life than in pictures, which I like; not flashy and it's utilitarian in appearance. Lightweight and comfortable. The display is cleaner and less busy than earlier Pro Treks and Pathfinders, with minimal extraneous graphics. It has the latest V3 sensors, identical to what's in the pricier PRW-3000 series but without the Atomic time feature; I don't miss this feature, the watch keeps great time and I'm not a super-spy who needs to synchronize watches with anyone. I couldn't justify an extra $100 just for this one feature. I was considering the all-black model with reverse LCD but I was concerned that it would be difficult to read, so I went with the positive LCD. This is also the most affordable color scheme. They have versions of this in various colors and with a nylon strap, but they are more expensive for some reason. The front of the watch is very dark gray, not black, but the strap and case of the watch are black. I really like the auto-light feature, activated by a turn of the wrist. Also, the barometer graph in the upper panel in time mode is really nice to have, and seems to be quite accurate. I wish it had the dual-LCD display of the earlier Pro Treks, with the colored compass lines, but you can't have everything. The dots for the compass display are less sexy, but get the job done. One minor glitch is that if you have power-saving mode on and leave it in the dark, the alarm doesn't go off in the morning (since it's asleep). I turned off power saving and now the snooze alarm wakes me up every day and I've never run out of juice. I think the lack of the Atomic feature actually increases the solar battery life so power saving isn't really necessary. According to other reviews the alarm is louder than older models, but I sometimes miss hearing it in a noisy environment like a restaurant or on a city street. I'm glad I went for this one, it's a bargain on Amazon, and I don't have any remorse or guilt about the purchase. Not sure I would feel the same way if I had spent $200+ for it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2014
Verified Purchase
I bought this knowing I did not have an atomic receiver in it, but its my first watch with solar. After one week, I must say the new engine provides better precision on your altimeter functions, in 5' increments vs in the past my older one I believe was 20 foot. now going in, new users must understand, the barometer needs to be set for the stationary location and will remain accurate until location (elevation changes), and altimeter is only accurate when set at the start of your journey with reference elevation and remains accurate for a few hours depending on on quickly the weather pressure is changing. (essentially you use one or the other as one will go inaccurate once the other parameter changes) The thermometer you can set to be accurate while either on your hand or off (by calibration)(but take in account it takes several minutes to adjust if you change the environment it is in) But is accurate when done following its limitations. The display is large, solar has worked great so far (too early to tell longevity, but from what I ready, and a watch with a lot of sensors like this) it should be welcomed feature. Has world time so I can easily switch to UTC and see also local time, easy to change time zones while traveling, oh a great feature if with your known latitude longitude down to one decimal degree it tells you sunrise and sunset!! and you can see it for future or past dates!! I like this. 12 and 24 hour time countdown time that can do hours and minutes, and stopwatch. Those are nice feature that work as advertised. nice easy to read display, larger then some of the g-shocks i initially were shopping for. I am happy to have the sensor features if I need them at any point I can activate their usefulness, oh I forgot, the compass!! it works really well after calibration!!! This you can use anytime (calibrate if you change >200 mi. locations on the earth as magnetic deviation changes) shows you N, E, S, W on rotating display.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2014
Verified Purchase
I've had the PRG-270-1 for only a few weeks so I cannot speak to its durability. However, I've got a few comments, mostly aligned on what previous reviewers have mentioned.

+ Price: An ABC protrek, with solar power, and V3 sensors for $115? Good luck matching this one. Amazon's price is by far the best; There are quite a few places out there where you could find a watch not as well equipped for much more...
+ Features: the usual of a good ABC watch; nothing really missing as far as functionality is concerned. A lot of customization is possible
+ Display: I went for the dark over light background; there's a different version that has an inverse display but I didn't want to take the risk of poor legibility in bright light (Suunto is notorious for this...)
+ Pretty Intuitive for a First time ABC user: you've got to read the manual to figure out the basic operation of the watch. Once you spend 10-15 minutes playing, everything kind of falls into place. I'm sure former Casio user can skip this step
+ Battery life: pretty happy with the solar charge. Had the watch for 2 weeks in a drawer, it's still at the max level of battery

= Size: the watch is bulky; weight is acceptable (we're talking about a $115 watch so don't expect ultra-light). I've got wrists smaller than the average guy - it is however very wearable as the band is easy to adjust.
= Band comfort: the band is stiff right off the box; given how thick it is, I don't expect it to loosen much, unfortunately. I haven't found too many instructions as to how to replace the band, say with NATO.

- Not atomic: not a big deal for me, may be for others
- Some of the indications are really, really small and hard to read (like units and a few other symbols). I've got a really good sight and I'm sometimes struggling. This won't matter after you configure the watch though, since you'll remember your settings

A few additional notes: the thermo and alti function will be inaccurate due to inherent design choices made by Casio. I'm not saying these are flaws but I always come accross the occasional comment that mentions that the readings are off.
For the temp: body heat WILL alter the reading. For an accurate reading, take the watch off your wrists, for a few minutes, then take a reading (if it's a hot and sunny day, make sure that the watch is in the shade)
For the alti: because the watch uses atm pressure readings to derive alti, your readings are essentially dependent on the weather. Make sure your calibrate accordingly, but don't rely too much on this. In complement, use your nav skills and your GPS.

Overall, a great watch for a really good price. In my (long) search for a rugged watch, I haven't comme accross any watch that matched this very model. G shocks are out of the equation since not ABCs; Suunto are more expensive and flawed with annoying issues (see Suunto core display or waterproofing).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2015
Verified Purchase
This is my third ABC watch; I also have the original 'Pathfinder' and a Suunto Vector. I'll be selling those and keeping this one. Here's a few reasons why which might help you make your decision:

- This watch is just the right size; big enough to operate with heavy winter gloves but not comically large.
- The response time from button push to readout is very quick with this third generation sensor, about a second.
- Unlike my other ABCs, I'm not concerned with draining the battery by taking frequent readings because this one is solar powered. - The battery life is estimated by Casio at 6 years, based on # of charging cycles and battery 'memory'.
- The auto-light which activates when I flick my wrist is nice for one handed viewing at night. I don't find it too bright. User can select 1/5 or 3 seconds.
- I like having the Sunrise/Sunset data one button push away (bottom right button while in time mode). I find myself checking it every few days to observe how that cycle is changing.
- Like other ABCs, it shows pressure trends so basic forecasting can be done (assuming true altitude has been relatively constant)
- The altimeter is more sensitive and precise than my other ABCs. Like some other reviewers have mentioned I can raise the watch and watch the altitude readout change by ONE meter, then back down again.

The altimeter is 'precise', but to be 'accurate' you must tell it the current altitude before you start your climb. These watches interpolate altitude from a pressure/altitude lapse rate formula. The readout will track that ratio perfectly accurately, but that lapse rate (m/milibar) is only accurate in a NOAA 'standard atmosphere', which is a nominal average. Real world lapse rates vary and so will your indicated altitude for various reasons (which are all interesting to learn about). For example on a colder than standard day it will read high, and on a hotter than standard day it will read low.

This watch IMO would be a great tool for a child or anyone who wants to studying many interesting subjects, lapse rates, adiabatic cooling, pressure effects on weather, and so on. Calibrating the altitude is simple, press the set button and increment the readout to your current known altitude. Having to tell an ABC watch the altitude is not absurd, and works as follows: on a recent climb of Fuji my group started from the station 5 bus terminal which we knew to be 2,300m. The summit is at 3776m and there are huts every few hundred meters of elevation. It was nice to know how 'far' until the next hut, especially the one we slept at, and then how far to the summit. A simple calculation using the altitude and time from the watch such as 'the previous 100m took one hour' gave a rough estimate of ETA; which helped to keep the group motivated.

After years of using these watches, I wish Casio would incorporate one feature which I call 'altitude lock' or 'base-camp lock'. If the user knows his/her true altitude will not change for several hours, he should be able to lock the altitude readout at its current value. Any attempt to use the altimeter would show "LOCK". Then, when the climb resumed the next morning, the indicated altitude would NOT have drifted up or down due to weather changes over the past several hours; it would not be any less accurate than it was the moment the watch was locked. The new Suunto Core might have this. But one can't have it all for about $100.

For what I paid, $104.99, this watch is an incredible deal; especially since I won't be spending valuable time and real money on batteries for several years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2014
Verified Purchase
There have been some well thought out and thorough reviews here already. I really can't add much to them from a technical standpoint, so instead i'll mention some personal thoughts about this watch. If you're torn between this model and the PRW3000 (as i was) maybe this will be of particular interest to you.

-This is my first ABC watch. I've always wanted one but never badly enough to pay hundreds (plural) of dollars for one that wasn't a model from 6 years ago.They finally made one that's priced affordably. (and it's got top of the line sensors!)

-Looks-wise: Well, it's a big watch. but YOU WANT THAT. Manipulating a small faced watch with smaller buttons while wearing gloves or in the rain and mud isn't so great. I like the way this watch looks, but that's probably because it looks like you're wearing the entire Millennium Falcon on your wrist. It's not something you want to even attempt to wear in any kind of semi-formal setting. Contrast that with the prw3000, which is very sleek, and a lot of people have said that they wear it both to work and outdoors. But that's not what i'm after. (and maybe neither are you.) I want an outdoors watch. I have more than enough watches to wear to work. (and since I know where everything is at work, the temperature is controlled by a box on the wall, and it almost never rains inside of the building... I don't need an altimeter/barometer/compass/thermometer watch there.)

-Positive display: I dislike negative displays. In my opinion they serve no function beyond "looking cool" in studio flash photography. I'm not saying that's bad. Watches have always been aesthetic objects. I'm just saying that a multifunction outdoors watch should be, well... functional. (that means being able to read it in low light or bright sun glare at a glance)

-The strap is very comfortable, and the entire watch is very light for its size. You probably won't believe this but i've forgotten it was on my wrist more than a few times already.

-I like the bezel ring with the compass markings on it. The prw3000 doesn't have these, and I'm all for them since they serve a function that's actually relevant and useful to the watches other fucntions (Thank you, Casio for not putting a virtually useless tachymeter ring on the bezel. really.)

-The prw3000 has atomic timekeeping. I won't lie, that would be really cool if it were on this watch. But not "$100 more" cool.

Anyway that's it. For the price you really aren't going to go wrong here.
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