Garmin Instinct 2 too pricey? Check out Casio's new running and surfing G-Shocks

Casio G-Shock G-LIDE watch in yellow
The Casio G-Shock G-LIDE is an affordable surf watch (Image credit: Casio)

Casio has revamped its GBD-200 surfing and running watches for 2022, offering a more affordable alternative to higher-tech timepieces like the Garmin Instinct 2.

Although they don't boast the wide gamut of fitness tracking tools you'd get from a Garmin device, both Casio's watches are still fine-tuned for specific sports. The updated G-SQUAD is a running watch that's roughly analogous to the standard Instinct 2, while the G-LIDE is in competition with the Garmin Instinct 2 Surf Edition.

The G-SQUAD displays distance, speed, pace, and other calculated values based on data from its accelerometer, as well as automatic or manual lap times. It can also calculate calories burned, and you can set alarms based on time, calories, or distance. You can even customize the display to show your choice of stats during runs.

Casio G-Shock G-SQUAD watch in black

The G-SQUAD is a pared-down running watch that lacks GPS, but uses an accelerometer to calculate stats including pace and distance (Image credit: Casio)

The G-LIDE is water resistant to depths of 200m, has a huge seven-year battery life, and includes a tide graph to help you plan your day and stay safe (our feature on how to read a tide chart explains how it works in more detail). These features mean it would also be an excellent watch for angling, wild swimming, and coastal walks.

As G-Central and Adnvture's sister site TechRadar report, the Bluetooth-enabled and shockproof watches have been given a fresh look with new colors – pale gray and black for the G-QUAD, and vibrant orange and yellow for the G-LIDE

The pair are available to buy now in Japan, and can be pre-ordered in Australia for AU$319. Full global release dates are yet to be announced, but the watches are listed on Casio's international website and we'd expect them to cost around $150 / £140 based on other watches in the G-Squad range.

Opinion: sometimes, basic is better

While the best GPS watch will always be a better choice for exploring new routes and getting precise stats to help with your training, sometimes a simpler device is better.

Pushing yourself to the next level can be extremely rewarding, but part of the joy of running in particular is escapism – getting away from the relentless noise of everyday life and enjoying being in the moment. A watch that doesn't receive phone notifications or monitor every aspect of your wellbeing 24 hours a day can make a refreshing change, and allow you to disconnect.

Even if a watch like the G-SQUAD doesn't become your main running watch, it can be useful to have something relatively simple on hand for those occasions when you simply want to get outdoors and enjoy the freedom of movement (while still making sure you're back for dinner).

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.