Although Casio’s positioning of the new G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 as a “survival” tool is a little bit too far-fetched, the gadget still deserves a certain degree of attention. Sporting a long list of useful functions that millions of fans of the series are already familiar with, the Rangeman also sports their famous Triple Sensor system that makes it especially useful for hikers, forest tourists and, perhaps, even soldiers and other professionals who need a reliable and durable tactical watch.
The Triple Sensor is, right, a combination of three sensors that allows the watch to be used as a fairly accurate compass, barometer, and even a thermometer. The sensors are operated with a single pusher conveniently located at 3 hours and protected with an oversized “bumper”. To make using the watch even more comfortable, each sensor mode is assigned with its unique notification sound: a very nice thing in a situation when you either can’t use the timekeeper’s LED backlight or just can’t take your eyes off road.
While the watch is not terribly elegant, it doesn’t look terrible, too. Its LCD dial, although overflowing with data, is legible enough to easily get its main readings: the screen is divided into four main sections and, once you get used to them, everything gets really easy. Its full auto LED backlighting with afterglow time adjustable within 1.5-3.0 seconds range also helps a great deal when visibility conditions are far from ideal.
What I don’t like about this model is that Casio still uses SSD-style digits on the display. As companies like Garmin, Samsung, Polar, and a number of other makers of “Smart Watches” show us, there are no technical difficulties in employing high-resolution graphics in data representation.
As PPI value increases, it gets more and more comfortable to read the proverbial fine print on small screens at just a passing glance. With the kind of archaic graphics that Casio still uses in its G-Shock collection, you really have to strain your eye (as well as your sense of beauty) to read the information.
Another not particularly awe-inspiring thing about the Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 is its bulk.
Measuring 55.2 x 53.5 mm in width and height and whopping 18.2 mm in thickness, the watch is huge and may be extremely uncomfortable if you, say, wear a motorcycle jacket with warm gloves: it just won’t fit well in such a confined space and will be a constant source of distraction. Well, at least the bulkiness of the thing is justified because the huge body made from soft material serves the same function as Styrofoam blocks put around your brand new TV when you first open the cardboard box: it protects the fragile electronic components from shocks and other undesirable effects.
As far as accuracy is concerned, the Module 3410 that powers this watch delivers the fairly mediocre deviation of +/- 15 seconds per month (basically a standard for the current generation of G-Shocks,) but the lack of precision is mitigated with their signature Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping technology that allows the watch to receive calibration signals from the nearest atomic clock station and adjust the caliber accordingly. Well, many persons actually find this sort of cool.
Anyway, the Rangeman GW-9400 is a nice wristwatch with a wide range of functions that, at a price of just around $500 make it an ultimate tool watch for the kind of people who think that Breitling Emergency is for pussies.
See also: Casio G-SHOCK GW-A1000-1ADF Smart Access
Build Quality: 5/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 specification
Power reserve: 23 months (Tough Solar technology with energy saving mode)
Case and Bezel: Resin, metal inner shell
Dimensions: 55.2 x 53.5 x 18.2 mm
Water resistance: 200 meters
Back: Stainless steel, engraved