For the last two months I have been using PAW-2000, and before that I had GS-1100 A1 for a year. The GS is an awesome watch, but I wanted something that has both Solar and Radio controlled, but is not mechanical. As a good buy loaded with features, the PAW 2000 came to mind. It seemed, on paper and based on different reviews like an awesome watch for outdoor and every-day use.
PAW-2000 - http://www.casio-europe.com/euro/wat.../prw-2000-1er/
GS-1100 - http://www.casio-europe.com/euro/wat.../gs-1100-1aer/
I might be wrong comparing two different categories of watches, but they are both tough outdoor watches on top of their category. They are targeted at people who will abuse them in rough situations (climbing, diving, mud, dirt, putting your bag on your back and clipping the watch in the process, starting a camp fire, cutting wood, ...).
So after two months of wearing it to work, and to mountain hiking and camping, I came to a conclusion that PAW-2000 is officially a crap watch compared to even cheaper G-Shock watches, and especially compared to GS-1100.
You see, the idea of this A-B-C watch (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass) is in theory awesome. But placed in reality, most of these functions just do not work, and on some level, indirectly, Casio tells you that as well.
First of all Compass is, of course, magnetic. Earth's MAGNET poles are on very different locations than Earth's geographic North/South pole.
You can check Wiki about magnetic and geographic poles.
for the ones living in Europe (like me) the watch will miss by about 15 degrees pointing North above Canada, and south down below Australia. This can really screw you up if you try to orientate on map. I admit, if you KNOW that the watch is showing you a bit awkward data, you can count that into your orientation and somehow manage to find your location.
However, if you have a normal analogue wristwatch, you can calculate/approximate your bearing using hour-hand and sun location as well.
So, the compass on PAW is approximate, as would the improvised compass of GS be.
Barometer actually works and you can use it to predict weather. If you see the pressure to start dropping rapidly, you can be sure bad weather is on it's way. With barometer, there is a temperature measurement as well. That absolutely does not work. Even in the manual, Casio suggests that to measure temperature you should take off your watch and leave it for 30 minutes away from your body or any other objects that could radiate/transfer heat onto it.
But check this out; Altimeter relies on temperature reading to guess your altitude, therefore, if you have your watch on your wrist (imagine that scenario...), your body will heat up the watch, the temperature reading will be waaaay wrong, and with that Altimeter will be insanely wrong.
In a real scenario that happened to me - you are wearing a jacket, because you started hiking in the morning, and then as the day goes on (heats up) you take off your jacket and are now in short sleeves. Under long sleeves watch will heat up, and when you go to short sleeves, it will cool down. The Altimeter in this case will go completely berserk. You could be standing still, but due to change in temperature, watch will think that you are going down.
Page 7 of manual tells you that the Altimeter is using correlation between pressure and temperature to determine altitude:
So, the compass is approximate, temperature is just absolutely useless, with it altimeter as well. Barometer works well, but if you are even a little ourdoorsy type, you will know how the weather will be by other signals and by, you know, reading the weather forecast.
Furthermore, the general quality of the watch is (compared to GS 1100) in lack of better words ... total crap.
The plastic feels cheap, everything is, I don't know, flimsy? Resin feels low quality as well. I might be wrong here, maybe these materials are some super duper NASA space age next generation, maybe they will never break even if they feel cheap, but materials just feel wrong. GS's metal and resin feel like you could roll a tank over them and they would still be OK and they LOOK GOOD as well! And by god, I have abused my GS for a year, and I could still wear it on my wrist to business meetings without fear that it would look like I just robbed a street bum for his watch.
The only good thing on PAW (by good, I mean, better than GS-1100), is that it is digital so setting up of complex functions is much easier (home city, alarm, ...). If you want to change your Alarm on GS-1100, be prepared for a 15 minute action as you wait for the the hands to rotate. But that is just a category that they cannot compete in, one is analogue, other is digital.
This little adventure reminded me again that what looks good on paper might not be so true in real life use. Also, all of the reviews I found on the net prior to buying PAW-2000 are reviews based on half an hour of usage. These dudes opened PAW box, went to get their camera, and made a "review". Yea, thanks guys.
Got some cash to spare for your next watch? Get a GS-1100. It will be as useful as PAW-2000, only it is much tougher, nicer and better quality. Admittedly, you will not be able to impress your work buddies with a cool digital compass, but is that really a point?
( Got a question on GS-1100 or PAW-2000? Ask, I have had quite an experience with them )