Cell Phone Reviews

The G'Zone Commando is Casio's newest rugged phone. It is their answer to anyone that ones a tough phone and a smart phone. It packs some impressive features that will be explored in this review. It is available now from Verizon for $199.99 with a new two-year contract.



Here are the main features of the Commando:
  • Android 2.2
  • Meets military 810g testing standards for immersion (leakage), rain, shock, dust resistance, vibration, salt, fog, humidity, solar radiation, altitude, and low and high temperature
  • 5mp camera w/ auto-focus & flash
  • 3.6 inch 480x800 TFT screen
  • Security encryption for corporate email
  • Wi-fi
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • Mobile hotspot capable
  • 800mhz processor
  • 512mb RAM
  • 1gb internal storage - comes with 8gb microSD card
  • Accelerometer, thermometer, and pedometer


Cosmetics
Obviously this phones main feature is to be tough. The look of the phone certainly gives off that impression with just a tiny bit of cheesiness . The phone is surrounded by a rubberized bezel which is held in place by four screws (they are actually screws by the way and are not just decoration).



On the back you'll find some red styling which makes the phone look even more like it came straight out of Transformers. Under the waterproof back cover you'll see the battery. Under the battery is the microSD card.



The right side features capped 3.5mm jack, charger/usb, and camera button. The left side has your volume buttons, a button programmed to open G'zGear (see software section below), charging terminals, and camera button. The top and bottom have nothing other than a dimple for a future dock.



I personally do not like the way this phone looks. It's too "grrrr, I'm a tough phone". for my taste. You may think differently if you drive a truck that does well with muddin.

Screen
The screen is a 3.6 inch 480x800 screen. It's smaller compared to some of the larger phones out right now, but that is probably a good thing. You wouldn't want a huge, easily crackable screen in your pocket if you need this type of phone.

The screen is more than adequate for this phone. Everything is crisp and clear. You can turn auto-rotate on and off. You won't be disappointed.

Keyboard
The keyboard may be a little small, especially if you are not used to an on-screen keyboard and have large hands. I could not find a setting to enable haptic feedback while typing. This is something I would've liked to see as well. In fact, the only haptic feedback I'm getting is when I hit a menu button. Even then it feels kind of wimpy and cheap.

Software
The Commando is running Android 2.2, which is a great choice in my opinion. In the past Casio has used their own software, which is usually pretty basic. I should note that most applications, like the texting interface, camera, and browser are all stock Android.



Casio also included some nifty widgets, like the compass, and a software suite called G'zGear. G'zGear includes some really cool features like:
  • Compas - functions just like a standard compass. GPS shows the distance and direction to several domestic & international landmarks
  • Walking counter - measures steps, distance, and energy consumption along with total steps for the day, week or month. One hint here as to what this phone is marketed towards - the default settings for the walking counter are a 5'10" 177lb male between 20-29..
  • Adventure training - allows you to run with vitrtual opponents, like world record holders, animals, or your own best performance, which is stored in memory.
  • Trip memory - plots and records outdoor activities along with location information that can be shared with friends on Facebook and Twitter
  • Tides - shows you tidal graphs for the day, tide times, and current, past, and future sea levels.
  • Thermometer - displays current temperature which can be compared with multiple locations
  • Sun/Moon - checks the time of the next sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset. Can also track moon phases based on your location
  • Star Gazer - utilizes GPS to display the stars and constellation names based on your location (Google sky map does it better)


Casio/Verizon chose not to include Google Maps on this phone and opted to push VZ navigator. This is because they also push Bing search and maps on this phone. There's no real reason to pay for VZ Navigator when you get get Google Maps/Navigator for free. To get around this you can simply download Google Maps from the market.

Also included is V CAST Apps, Music, Tones and Videos.

Browser
The browser works pretty well. You can pinch zoom, bookmark pages, and select between different windows. One thing I noticed, however, is some jerkiness when scrolling and zooming. It's not as fluid as some phones I've used. After I disabled Javascript the problem was mitigated.

Performance & Battery
The 800mHz processor is certainly adequate, but I did notice some occasional lag when opening programs. For the price I think they could've included a 1GHz processor. Are you going to notice the difference? Probably not.

The battery is 1460mAh and rated at 7.5 hours of talk time and 270 hours of standby time. This is just below average for talk time, but very low for the standby time. I'm actually surprised the standby time is not better.

Camera
The 5mp camera performs very well. The flash is a nice inclusion. Although the camera software is stock Android, it's still very good for this type of phone.


Conclusion
The Casio G'zOne Commando is a great phone for it's purpose. You'll sleep better knowing that the phone can take a pounding and still survive. There are only a few small things I would change on this phone; give it a slightly faster processor, improve haptic feedback, and make it look more simple.

Why to get this phone:
  • You work in an environment that is prone to damage phones
  • You want a smart phone, but still need something rugged
  • You want to impress the ladies with pinstripes and exposed screws
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Comments 4 Comments
  1. Daniel Josey's Avatar
    Daniel Josey -
    Get them here for $49.99 with new verizon contract or upgrade Shop for ACN Products & Services | ACN Independent Business Owner PUT IN MY ID:02060241 SO I KNOW YOU ARE MY CUSTOMER AND I CAN GIVE YOU THE BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Thanks


    See More: Article: Casio G'Zone Commando Review
  1. jacob11's Avatar
    jacob11 -
    Casio has been known for producing rugged Push-to-Talk phones for Verizon Wireless, from the Type-V and Type-S to the Boulder, Rock, Brigade, and Ravine. But this time around Casio brings to the table something different, the G’zOne Commando – a rugged Android smartphone. I understand why Casio has done this, as more people are moving to smartphones, while some still want a device that can withstand a certain amount of abuse, whether it is from a construction site foreman to a guy coaching his kid’s football practice. Included in the retail package is the Casio G’zOne Commando C771 smartphone, 8GB microSDHC memory card pre-installed, 1460mAh battery, and wall charger with detachable microUSB cable. Even though the Casio G’zOne Commando is a candy-bar style smartphone, it has some design aspects carried over from the Casio Ravine, such as the all-black construction with orange accents. On the front is a 3.6” WVGA TFT display, which is a pretty nice size, of course not as big as the 4.3” ones in use with some of today's smartphones. Text and images look sharp, and color is pretty accurate, but unfortunately it is hard to view while in direct sunlight.
  1. paulvincent's Avatar
    paulvincent -
    It's great that casio is entering the cellphone industry, and if they maintain the quality and durability of their watches with their droid phones, then I might just find my way at ebay right now and look for a great deal.
  1. Bryan Stacey's Avatar
    Bryan Stacey -
    I have had this phone for 3 monhs now, It is everything it says it is. that said,The bad first. 1) It needs a bigger battery. Majour fupaw. 2) The screen lock is a pain, you have a button on the side, that's all you need. 3) You can only use the bluetooth H/S on the phone. 4) The base charger can only work if you don't use the case. 5) The hands free audio is not loud enough. 6) You have to put the camera down to 3 megs to get the zoom to work. 7) The light for the camera is useless. 8) Biggest Fupaw, You cannot remove apps you don't use that come with the phone. 9) Keyboard is too small. 10) Can't surf when talking. 11) Apps that come with the phone should be free. 12) No missed call reminder. You have to get the app
    The Good. 1) video is great 2) As a phone it's great, no dropped calls when roaming across the us, on the phone for over 100 miles 3) The screen is good anytime, day or night. 4) Mil spec is dead on, run over by a forklift truck, no damage 5) Drop tested 40' from ladder. Still new shape 6) Good wi/fi coverage. 7) Back up assistant works well when set up. 8) Music works grea. t9) Pic Gallery works great. 10) USB downloading & uploading works well. If I've missed anything, let me know. Hope this helps. Bryan KC9GRH
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