Casio G’zOne Brigade C741 Review
The Casio G’zOne Brigade C741 doesn’t really bring anything new to the table in terms of the included software. The Main Menu is typical for a Verizon feature-phone with categories for Media Center, Contacts, Messaging, Recent Calls, and Settings & Tools. You do have the choice of four Themes (white, punching metal, paint, and checker plate), as well as being able to display them in Tab, List, and Grid view, where you can even replace and move menu items around the grid. This, along with wallpapers and clock formats does allow for basic customization by the user. Storing up to 500 contacts is also standard, as you can enter in their name, 4 phone numbers, 2 emails, group, picture, ringtone, IM screen name, and street address. There is still a separate phonebook just for storing PTT contact names and numbers, though we wish these were integrated into the main phonebook.
Most other features remain the same that we’ve seen for other Verizon devices, such as the appointment calendar, text/picture/video messaging, MP3 music playback, VCast video streaming, and VZ Navigator for GPS guided driving directions. A few features we miss on the Brigade, which are found on the Rock, are the compass, walking counter and tide levels.
The Casio G’zOne Brigade does come with an HTML browser, though we found it to be quite limited. When going to large sites, such as PhoneArnea.com, it breaks the site up into smaller pages called Optimized View, which to us is not true HTML. You can choose to turn the Optimized View off, however in doing so most large site will not fully load and it becomes difficult to navigate. Because of these browser limitations, we can only see using it on occasion; not on a daily basis.
The 3.2MP autofocus camera can be used with the internal or external display, through we’d recommend opening up the Casio G’zOne Brigade C741 so you can use the color TFT display as the viewfinder. We were fairly pleased with images taken outside on a sunny Florida day, as colors were pretty accurate and the autofocus worked well, through images weren’t quite as sharp as we would like, there was a bit of purple fringing, and bright areas were somewhat overexposed. But it is still the best we’ve seen from a Verizon PTT device. Images taken indoors only came out well if there was plenty of light; as they got grainy and blurry as light-levels decreased. Even though the LED flash is bright, it doesn’t have much of an effect on taking pictures in the dark. Turning on the Best Shot mode did make flash images brighter, but the slower shutter speeds make it too blurry. Videos can also be recorded up to 320x240 resolution and for up to 1 hour at a time, which is decent for watching on the phone or posting to YouTube, though the quality isn’t going to be stellar.
The Casio G’zOne Brigade C741 uses the Verizon EVDO Rev A. network for PTT connectivity. This allows the connection time between the devices to only be about 1 second, with voices also taking about 1 second to transmit. Using the PTT on the Brigade works quite well, as the orange PTT button is easy to find, and the stereo speakers produce loud and clear voices. We also like the fact that it can be used with the phone open or closed.
Call quality through the earpiece speaker on the Brigade was better than what we’ve experienced with past Casio G’zOne models, as voices were louder and clearer, instead of sounding thin and distant. Though there was a small amount of distortion if the volume was turned up all the way. People that we called said that we sounded clear and natural on their end, without any background noise. Signal reception was also good, as we didn’t drop any calls and had 4 bars of 3G and 3 bars of 1X showing in high-coverage areas.
The included 1440mAh battery is rated to provide up to 6 hours of talk time or 3.75 days of standby time on a full charge. During our testing we were able to get up to 5.5 hours of talk time with standard calls or 4.5 hours of continuous PTT use on a full charge.
Out of all the PTT phones that have been released by Verizon, the Casio G’zOne Brigade C741 is by far the best device overall. It has a lot of features going for it, including good call quality and reception, excellent build quality with military specs, large internal display with full QWERTY keyboard, and a 3.2MP autofocus camera. Plus don’t forget about the loud stereo speakers on the front that are used for PTT calls, as well as for music playback and speakerphone. We just wish the device wasn’t as bulky. At almost 1” thick and 4.5” tall; it’s currently the largest PTT phone available for Verizon.
Casio G'zOne Brigade C741 Video Review:
- Excellent QWERTY keyboard
- Good call quality and reception
- PTT performance
- Bottom hinge sticks into palm
- Phone is bulky
- HTML browser is limited
1. mbridge8 (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Oct 2011)
The Brigade is the worse phone I ever owned. It's slow in every function it has. I have never had a phone this slow in the last 15 years of owning a cell phone. Now the phone has decided not to accept or receive text messages. Oh by the way this phone is 4 months old.