Smartphones are those devices that nobody wants to drop, that also in water, no chance. However, adventurers and travelers need a phone that can handle all the elements including water. Here is good news for them. Casio has launched a new rugged smartphone in combination with Verizon wireless, the G’zOne commando. Now you will think how a rugged cellphone can be a Smartphone, but the Casio G’zOne is.
This is not the first time that Casio has produced a durable and rugged cellphone for Verizon Wireless, but the G’zOne commando is the first one to run on Android 2.2 Froyo. The phone will be available for $199 with a two-year contract and a promise to be the best friend outdoor.
The phone package comprises of an 8GB micro SD card, a wall charger with removable USB cable, and a 1460mAh battery.
The G’zOne comes with notable features like Wi-Fi, GPS, encryption for official emails, and mobile hot-spot capability for up to five devices. It has tools like thermometer, compass, tidal charts and a special application called G’zGEAR, which includes pedometer, trip recorder, sun, and moon dial, start gazing app, adventure-training module, and tide monitor. Apart from that, it is equipped with stereo Bluetooth and VZ navigator for GPS and audible turn-by-turn directions.
The Commando comes with a 5 Megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus. It features an 800MHz processor and 512 MB RAM.
If we talk about design, the black colored Commando has aggressive red highlights, lots of crevices and angular buttons. It has four touch-sensitive buttons to success the menu, search, back and home. The cell phone has port covers and a lock in the battery cover that gives it a unique look and feel and makes it waterproof. Four metal bolts are present on the front and back side of the phone and a silver plastic runs around the device.
On the sides, power/lock key, camera key, a multi-function button and a volume controller is present. The earpiece and the temperature and light sensor are present above the display. The length of the 480-by-800 pixel touch screen is 3.6-inches and the weight of the phone is 5.5 ounces.
You can subject the Commando to worst conditions where you cannot even imagine your current Smartphone. A worst condition means exposure to rain, extreme heat and cold, water and dirt. Company says it can withstand around 30 minutes under three feet of water. It has been tested and passed Military Standards 810g for all the conditions including vibration, fog, solar radiation, temperature, humidity, and altitude. It is also shock resistant. The display, which is the most fragile part, is made of the Gorilla glass.
Aside from that, it is very comfortable to hold for long conversations because of the nice ridged appearance on the sides. The sound quality is as good as other smart phones. The display shows the perfect and sharp pictures.
Being a Smartphone, G’zOne does not carry the latest hardware. The default search engine is Bing and the Google map is not pre-installed. It can only run on 3G despite the fact that Verizon itself is going to launch 4G LTE and related products within some days. It is very difficult to see the display while in direct sunlight. The snap-out menu as not as smooth as it should be and the camera quality is average. Unlocking the screen can be tough sometime because it has a habit to miss the finger swipe.
The rugged phones that are available in the market are
a. Motorola i1: It has a responsive touch screen but comes only with Android OS 1.5.
b. Motorola Defy: The phone is really touch with its Gorilla Glass and features a 5 Megapixel camera same like the commando. However, the same problem in this Smartphone is present that it does not take good pictures.
Overall, the Commando feels well made and is the right choice if you want a rugged Android Smartphone, but you have to be ready for the negatives. It clearly aims on selected users that emphasizes on ruggedness and durability instead of screen size and proper responsiveness. The Commando is not perfect or a flagship phone but it is a good for its target market.