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[G-SHOCK Review] DW-H5600-1 – a sporty alternative to the DW-5600?

The Ultimate Guide to All G-SHOCKs — composed by Experts

The Japanese approach to creating a new watch often does not involve designing a completely new shape. Instead, they first test out new modules in the iconic square case before creating a new “octagon” design. Personally, I would never criticize their approach as I am a fan of the classic square shape. I am excited to review the new DW-H5600 series with MIP display and determine if it can be a modern alternative to the DW-5600. It’s time to review the DW-H5600-1 in a traditional Mag review.

First Impression. The DW-H5600-1 watch is not particularly attention-grabbing at first glance.

In fact, I had a hard time spotting it among the other “5600” models on display in the store. This is due to the product’s comfortable size, which is 51.1 × 44.5 × 17.4 mm compared to the standard DW-5600’s 48.9 × 42.8 × 13.4 mm, as well as its iconic design.

Although there are still dimensional differences, I didn’t notice them visually when compared to my GW-B5600. However, the thickness of the DW-H5600 cannot be ignored.

Instead of the usual steel back cover, the watch rests on your wrist with a hemisphere from the optical heart rate sensor, which is also a key feature.

The “hemisphere” design gives the impression of floating, with the other side elements of the case overhanging instead of touching the wrist.

In fact, the Japanese have not invented anything new in this respect. This approach is used in all watches with an optical heart rate sensor. However, it is unusual for a square G-SHOCK.

The DW-H5600 watch retains its classic square design with orange accents, “SHOCK RESIST” lettering, and traditional functional markings.

Positioning. Although it may have a familiar appearance, the DW-H5600 is not just an ordinary G-SHOCK watch with basic features anymore. It is now part of the G-SQUAD multisport collection, which includes other popular running watches such as the GBD-H2000 and GBD-H1000 (which has a built-in GPS).

The manufacturer is attempting to create a sports watch, but the design lacks any obvious sporty features such as brightly colored straps or a larger size. It has more of an office look.

MIP display. The MIP display is a standout feature, but it used to be exclusive to the square GBD-200 series. However, it cannot be considered an alternative to the DW-5600.


Compared to a conventional LCD, the pixel display offers several advantages such as excellent visibility of information even from different angles and at different times of day. It also allows for displaying a lot of information on one screen, using pictograms and drawings, and is highly energy-efficient.

There are a few drawbacks to mention, such as the lack of dynamic elements with no milliseconds and flickering, as well as some slight slowdown when changing modes. Additionally, there is only one option for “inversion,” where the background is black and the indexes are light-colored, but this is not necessarily a negative aspect.

By default, the DW-H5600-1 watch displays the current time in the traditional DW-5600 format, which includes the month/date, day of the week, current time and seconds. However, the readability of the information is much better than the usual LCD variant. The hours and minutes are outlined in a bold manner, making it impossible to miss them. Overall, I am very satisfied with the readability and default display, as the classic design has been preserved. It’s worth noting that the display can be modified easily if desired.

Basic set of features

I press the “MODE” button and see the following picture:

NOTIFICATION – explore the alerts that the watch has received >

HEART RATE – activate the optical heart rate sensor >

BLOOD OXYGEN – pulse oximeter to measure the oxygen level in the blood [hello COVID. I have 92%] >

BREATHING EXERCISE – breathing exercises. Timers for breath work. Range of settings [2 to 20 minutes in 1-minute increments), biofeedback, zone-specific time summary]. >

STOPWATCH – traditional stopwatch [no milliseconds] >

TIMER – traditional timer [also without milliseconds] >

WORLD TIME – time in another time zone >

ALMANAC – sunrise and sunset times, Moon phase graph [you can select different dates and study the changes].

CARDIO STATUS – the status of your cardio system. Probably some index, since I had “no data” >

LIFE LOG – monitoring calories/steps for the day/week/month/year >

NIGHTLY RECHARGE – how well your body recovers overnight from sports activities, general stress, and other actions during the day >

ACTIVITY LOG – I understand it as workout statistics [I have “no data” so far] >

One of the great features of this watch is the ability to easily check the current time and battery level in almost every mode. The set of functions offered by the watch is solid, and their operation is very clear. I was able to explore everything without even opening the app and by simply pressing the buttons on the watch. Additionally, I was able to customize the screen by going to settings, selecting WATCH FACE, and choosing from three preset modes. The second mode displays your heart rate in real-time along with the current time, while the third mode shows your sports activity statistics and the current time.

I’m a bit confused about something with my watch. Once I put it on my wrist, the heart rate sensor starts working right away, even though I’m not in any sport mode. This seems odd to me because I don’t really need this feature in my day-to-day life (not for sports), and I don’t want to drain the battery unnecessarily (although I haven’t checked how much battery life is impacted with the heart rate sensor on all the time). I’ll try to figure out if there’s a way to turn it off in the app.

Sporty set of features

Yes, the watch also has dedicated sports modes:

RUNNING – everything is very clear here: distance, speed, time>

WALKING – measures steps, heart rate, distance >

GYM WORKOUT – time, heart rate, time intervals >

INTERVAL TIMER – customizable smart timer [using CASIO WATCHES app you can create a series of time segments that will repeat] >

The DW-H5600-1 is surprisingly impressive despite its simple appearance. Although it still retains some old-school aesthetics from the DW-5600, it has come a long way. However, it’s important to note that this watch doesn’t have a built-in GPS sensor. To measure distance and speed, you can rely on either the built-in accelerometer that counts the movements of your wrist or your phone’s GPS if it’s nearby and connected via Bluetooth.

Now that I have sorted the regular watch modes, it’s time to explore the features of CASIO WATCHES app.

*Surprisingly managed to quickly link the watch to the phone [without any errors]. 

*As usual, at the very beginning, you need to give the watch some information about yourself. Weight, height, sleep patterns, etc.

Here is an option for continuous heart rate monitoring, but it may not be necessary to use it all day, every day, unless you have specific health concerns. Monitoring heart rate during exercise can be useful, but constant monitoring may be a waste of energy. If you have a different view, please share your thoughts in the comments. If you turn off the heart rate monitor in the app, the watch may still prompt you to turn it on to ensure all functions work properly. While this is understandable, it seems like an unnecessary waste of power.

Next, the watch requests access to the phone’s GPS to more accurately count distance, speed in the appropriate modes. 

For now, I will wait for 30 minutes for the update to install on my watch.). 

*Remember the iconic “bricks”? That’s how the watch behaves during the upgrade.

The app has typical G-SQUAD features, including fine-tuning for each mode. It also features a customizable VO2MAX index for cyclic sports fans.

You can definitely customize the watch to your needs and keep track of your progress/regress, but first you’ll need to understand the Japanese approach to UI and UX))).

If you enable “alerts” on your watch, you may receive a lot of spam messages. The watch can detect any movement you make, even if it’s just making a screenshot. To avoid being bombarded with unnecessary information, I find it helpful to turn off these alerts.

The CASIO WATCHES APP adds a lot of functionality to the watch, but it’s not without its flaws. There are occasional errors and freezes in the software, but I was still able to personalize it to my liking and make the most of its features. It’s like engineering adjustments – once you get it set up, you can forget about it. Despite some minor issues, I would still recommend it for everyday use.

I really appreciate the strap on this watch, which reminds me of the good old days. The manufacturer claims to use bioplastic in key components such as the case, bezel, and strap, but I noticed that the strap is inscribed with “PUR,” which stands for polyurethane. While it may be organic, it looks and feels like a traditional material to me. However, I do appreciate the effort to use more environmentally-friendly materials. The watch is not smelly, feels nice to the touch, and remains shockproof and waterproof. Overall, it’s a great watch.

The backlight is quite ordinary as for MIP.

It’s important to note that the watch has Solar Assisted charging, which can keep it running even without an active heart rate monitor.

If you want to fully utilize the watch, a clip-on charger is necessary.


The DW-H5600 series offers a new take on the classic G-SHOCK look with innovative technologies and features. I see it as a modern version of the iconic DW-5600 style, and I am impressed with its versatility. The watch has a square shape, large indexes, and a solar charging system, making it suitable for any occasion. However, if you are looking for a simple square G-SHOCK with an MIP display and without phone synchronization or an optical heart rate sensor, this may not be the best option for you. Despite its sporty functions, the DW-H5600-1 can be worn for any purpose. Like any product, it has its pros and cons, but overall, it’s a great choice.

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