wanted to do this earlier but didn't have the time. A little review of my latest cheapo Casio databank model - the DB-E30. While researching the DB-36/37 I stumbled across it - I had already ordered the DB-37 however so this one had to wait a bit. But it arrived a few days ago and I couldn't be happier. It really beats every other Casio model I had so far when it comes to the features - and all that for 20€. Which also makes it one of the best "bang-for-the-buck"-models out there. So anybody who's interested in a cheesy looking Databank model with a killer feature set - keep on reading . But first of - a pic:
So it does look cheap but there is something to it that makes it nice on the wrist nonetheless - the curved acrylic crystal in combination with the solar panels and the highly polished bezel (haven't found out yet if it's just chromed plastic) that shimmers and shines when the light hits it - I really like that a lot. The bracelet is functional though nothing special - the links even look massive and not folded:
The clasp holds it safely on the wrist - I had it shortened in such a way that the clasp is moved a little towards the side so that it doesn't dig into my wrist when working on the computer - very comfy and it's no hair-puller either:
The buttons are easy to use but feel a bit wobbly - I wonder how they're fixed to the shafts - certainly not glued on or they wouldn't move. It could happen that you accidentally switch between 12 and 24 hr format - it's switched with the start/stop button - but that doesn't really do any harm after all. On the DB-36 the DST on/off was also changed with that button which is more of a problem - but on the DB-E30 the DST setting was moved to the time-setting sub-menu where it belongs - so this can't happen anymore. One more thing that was changed over the DB-36 is that the DB-E30 has the classic 4-button layout while the DB-36 has 6 buttons and the DB-37 five - the DB-37 therefore lost the ability to scroll upwards and downwards on the setting screens over the DB-36 which made it lose the race for "best module" . The DB-E30 can scroll upwards and downwards.
You can also see the nicely curved acrylic crystal in that pic - I just love acrylic crystals I have to say - looks just so much nicer. You can also see the plastic bezel around the inner polished bezel - I think that the inner part is steel - but the outer part of the bezel is certainly plastic - as are the connection pieces on the bracelet - the ones that connect the bracelet to the case - still I hope the bracelet will last longer than the resin strap - I've read in reviews that the resin strap on the DB-E30 snaps easily after some time wearing it. Still I'm thinking about getting the resin strap version also.
The digits are very big - almost as big as on my PRW-1200 - but after all the DB-E30 is 50mm from lug-to-lug - so it's not really a small watch - even though it does certainly wear smaller than a PRW-1200. It's about 37 mm across the case and 13mm thick. Doesn't get caught on sleeves or cuffs.
But now the functions - which is the main reason I bought it in the first place:
Watches [ Manuals ] - CASIO WORLDWIDE
19 languages databank - although I think it's sad that you can't display Japanese weekdays - if you change the language to Japanese it only affects the characters you can put in on the databank but not the weekday - it's not like that on other languages - the watch can display the German names for the weekdays. I wonder why Casio did that.
But the rest of the features:
- worldtime (DB-37 and 36 only have dual time)
- 5 alarms, setable for a certain date - alarm 1 is setable as snooze - each alarm has its own indicator which stays on the display in all modes - a feature I like very much. Alarm is pretty loud too and lasts for 10 sec
- day counter
- 24 hr stopwatch
- 24 hr timer
But best of all - it shows current time in all modes (except in databank mode) and it also has a quick return feature like on the DW-5600/6900 and many of the older modules.
It's powered by a ML2016 (many prefer that one over the CTL1616 - but the watch still runs only 6 months on a full charge while modern day solar models run for up to a year with a fully charged CTL1616 - so it's not only size that counts but also energy consumption of the watch). It has one advantage over the standard solar Casios with a CTL1616 - the features all stay fully activated on H, M and L - on all other solar Casios I have - the beeps and illumination gets deactivated when it reaches L. On this one there's like H,M,L - then R (recover) and C (charge). It also has full auto EL of course and power safe (which I turn off when wearing the watch). The EL is a nice blue color similar to the MRG-100 (on the picture it's slightly off - it's bluer in reality):
The display is also very crisp and clear - one of the best - I have to do a comparison shot to the G-8000-1ER which so far is the best display I have (at least on the EL models - the SGW-300 is also very very crisp).
Some wristshots that show the crispness of the display and the size on the wrist (wrist is about 18cm):
And some comparison shots:
with the little brother DB-37:
with the Spike Lee:
And last but not least some pictures to show you how nicely the watch "plays" with the light:
So for now I'm really happy with this one - has all the features I want and is dirt cheap. I also like the looks. So far I have found no other Casios (except the DB-36/37) with that kind of feature-set. Now Casio: Please take that module and stuff it into a GX-56 case !
This is certainly a strong buy in my book. Unbeatable price and so far the best feature set I have ever seen. If you like nerdy looks and cheesy bling and a top-notch module - this is the watch for you! Btw: there's also a nice youtube review of that watch - just look for "DB-E30".