Home Brands Casio Exploring the Rocky Mountains with the Casio Pro Trek PRG-330

Exploring the Rocky Mountains with the Casio Pro Trek PRG-330

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Pro Trek – Casio’s outdoor focused, rugged instrument timepieces seem to be making a comeback, improving features. looks, and toughness for this original player in feature filled outdoors watches. The PRG-330 is one of Casio’s newest Pro Trek Models, and features a triple sensor , coupled with solar charging and a large-number easily readable display.

I spent the last week wearing the PRG-330, including both knocking around town as well as camping in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. My general impression is that the PRG-330 is a tough, more minimally styled outdoors watch that could be the perfect blend of features and longevity, possibly at the cost of a bit of style.  The typically more energy hungry “ABC” functionality is perfectly paired with “tough solar” charging, and the big numbers are a pleasure to glance at.

Stay one step ahead of Mother Nature with the Solar Powered PRG300, incorporating Casio’s new Triple Sensor Version 3 engine. Advanced CASIO original technology has allowed for a 95% smaller direction sensor and 90% reduction in sensor power consumption compared to previous models. Despite their smaller size, the new sensors in this model delivers better accuracy and energy efficiency. This model can measure Altitude in 1m increments (previously 5m) and display compass readings with 60-seconds of continuous. Aluminum Panel Bezel. Design features include a compact, sleek case and soft urethane band for a better fit to the wrist. One-touch access to digital compass, barometric pressure/altitude, and temperature readings keep important information at your fingertips. Everything about these models is designed and engineered to make them essential pieces of outdoor gear.

First Impressions

For an outdoors-centric watch at a decent price, I was impressed with the presentation, fit, and finish – although this is not uncommon for Casio. The watch comes in a small wood-like box, and is presented nicely. When I opened the box, the watch face was blank, but as soon as I gave it some light and movement, it turned on, with the battery indicator reading “M”. The watch is not huge, and actually feels nice on the wrist. On the underside of the piece, in the space where the band interfaces with the watch case, there are nice rubber pads there, making the entire contact surface with my wrist soft and smooth. Additiaonlly, I was glad to see big, bright numbers on the face – very easy to read at a glance.

The big dissapointment with initial impressions is that the backlight is a white LED illuminating from one side of the face. It’s perfectly readable, but a LOT of light spills out the front, it’s very bright, and has a less classy quality than glowing backlights. Out of all features, this glaring white backlight to me is the largest fault of the watch.

On the Wrist

On the wrist, the PRG330 feels good. Pads under the band make it nice and smooth. The size is large enough to be substantial and legible, but not too big on my medium sized wrists. I love the large numbers, and relatively clear display.

I did a good amount of hiking and climbing with the watch, and grew to love the big numbers, big easy to push buttons, and solar power. The compass, altimeter, and barometer are nice features to have – but in practice, I never actually used them except to play around with. Out of all of the sensors, the barometer graph was the most useful, letting me see when the barometer was falling and a storm coming in. I’d love to see Casio’s Multiband-6 technology for atomic timekeeping.

Feature Review

  • LED backlight – The “super illuminator” white LED glares too bright for me, and lights up from one side. I’d prefer a glowing one.
  • Solar powered – Love this feature – I never have to change the battery or worry about the battery dying in the field.
  • Digital compass – Yep, it works. But why are there direction markings on the bezel, without being rotatable? This is confusing.
  • Altimeter – Once again, it works – and there’s a memory feature to save altitudes.
  • Barometer – I love seeing a barometer graph for assessing weather patterns
  • Thermometer – Shows up on the Barometer screen
  • World time: 31 time zones (48 cities + coordinated universal time)
  • 1/10-second stopwatch
  • Battery level indicator – Key for a solar watch, and making sure i have power in the field.
  • Power Saving (display goes blank to save power when the watch is left in the dark)
  • Full auto-calendar (to year 2099)
  • Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month – I’d love to have the MultiBand6 feature too.

Feedback

  • Switch out the white LED backlight for a green glowing backlight. Those white leds shining from one side glare, and are disruptively bright at night. A dimmer would also be great.
  • Why the direction markers on the bezel? If you can’t turn the bezel to lock in a direction, or save a direction, then get ride of that bezel.
  • It’s nitpicky, but the ProTrek brand name and logo in general -I hate it. The logo font seems like it’s trying hard to look “outdoorsy”. I’d love a new more modern font to really take these timepieces seriously.

Should You Buy It?

Looking for a well features, sure-to-be-durable outdoors watch that just simply works? Then this could be a great choice. But if you’re looking for a truly refined field instrument, or something to model for instagram photos in, then you might want to keep looking.

Final Thoughts

Casio ProTrek PRG330 is a well-featured ABC outdoor watch, with an easily readable display, solar powered dependability, and comfy wearing,. Except for the glare of the backlight, omission of radio controlled time setting, it’s a great piece for the price.

  • Brand & Model: Casio Pro Trek PRG-330
  • Price: USD$200
  • Who we think it might be for: Outdoors people looking for a reliable wrist instrument. 
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Fix the backlight to be a glowing type instead of side LED type.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: Big numbers and solar charging.

 

Specs

  • Case and Bezel material: Resin – Aluminum
  • Band material: Resin
  • LED backlight (Super Illuminator)
  • Solar powered
  • Digital compass
  • Altimeter
  • Barometer
  • Thermometer
  • World time: 31 time zones (48 cities + coordinated universal time)
  • 1/10-second stopwatch
  • Battery level indicator
  • Power Saving (display goes blank to save power when the watch is left in the dark)
  • Full auto-calendar (to year 2099)
  • Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month (with no signal calibration)

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