Casio G'zOne Commando Review
The Casio G’zOne Commando comes with Android 2.2.1 Froyo installed, but layered over that Casio is using their own custom G’zOne skin. It’s not as feature-rich as HTC Sense or Samsung Touch Wiz, and only has 5 home screens instead of the standard 7, but there are some added features. At the bottom left of the home screen is a circular icon, and when you drag it out to the right side it will show 5 quick-launch icons for accessing the contacts, email, messaging, voice control, and calendar. What’s nice about this is those 5 icons can be replaced with anything that you use frequently, from device settings to different applications. This is a nice idea, and we did use it a few times, but we still would have preferred the extra two home screens where we could place icons on.
There is also a nice selection of desktop widgets, including some that use the G’zGear app, such as a compass, flashlight, moonrise, pedometer, sunrise, tides, virtual trek, and weather. It’s nice to have those as widgets right on the desktop, but you can still use the full featured G’zGear app (more on that later).
Phonebook, Messaging and Organizer:
Accessing your contacts is pretty straight forward, but it only displays contacts that are stored in the phone or ones from your Google account. What is missing is any way to import contacts from Facebook or any other social networking site. You can install and use the standalone Facebook app, and view its contacts in it. There is also a Social Beat app, which links your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and RSS feeds together, but since it lacks the functionality of the standalone apps, we didn’t really see much use for it.
For messaging, there is the regular messaging app for sending and receiving text and picture messages, an email app, and a Mobile IM app for connecting to your AIM, Windows Live and Yahoo! buddy lists. All of those work well, but we did notice that the email app is pretty bare-bones and doesn’t display pictures or HTML encoded messages, but instead shows them as plain-text. Because of this, you might want to install the K-9 Mail app or equivalent as a substitute.
The organizer is also pretty standard, as it only links to your Google Calendar, not Facebook or any other social network calendars.
Internet and Connectivity:
The Casio G’zOne Commando comes with the standard WebKit based browser, and since the device uses Verizon’s EVDO Rev A network, we were able to load the PhoneArena.com web site in 40 seconds, including all Flash content and ads. We also didn’t encounter the browser lock-up problem that we saw on the Samsung Droid Charge when visiting site that use Flash. Scrolling was smooth, as was pinch-to-zoom.
We also tested the data speeds using the Speedtest.net app and were able to get downloads of 1.57 Mbps and uploads of 0.88 Mbps with 137 ms ping times. These are about average for a Verizon 3G EVDO smartphone, but it would have been nice if 4G LTE were included, though you can connect to Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n.
1. NE-Phil posted on 13 May 2011, 12:05 1 0
Thanks! That's a very thorough review. I've been using the G'zone Boulder and have been very happy with it. I'm thinking it might be time to consider a smartphone and this would be one of my choices as I really need a ruggedized phone.
You noted that all email appears only in plain text. I'm assuming that embedded pictures don't appear either?
2. sgogeta4 posted on 13 May 2011, 23:35 1 1
A nice product, I just wish they came out with a higher end version of this!
3. defy--- (unregistered) posted on 14 May 2011, 06:05 0 1
get the moto defy
5. mikaelis1116 posted on 01 Jun 2011, 19:34 0 2
The phone is just OK......... yes it's droid, and its great that it is milspec 810G, but it has some severe issues.
1. Its screen is great to view inside a building, but very hard to see outside daylight.
2. It needs a REAL QWERTY KEYBOARD. What guy wants to tap on glass to text while on a construction project, or out in the woods? Besides being hard to use, the virtual keyboard takes up half the screen. Also a REAL keyboard would protect the screen (like the brigade did).
3. The phone is too smooth and slippery when wet or muddy.
4. Why can't we get it in safety yellow, or signal orange, or even the old metallic green of the LG ENVY? This gothic, dismal black and dark red from Verizon is depressing, not yo mention hard to see if you drop it into the pond or at night.
5. Typing is so slow on a virtual keyboard, that it will drive you and your boss nuts.
Come on Verizon, get a clue and build us what we need for once. My old brigade phone is looking better by the minute.
6. mikaelis1116 posted on 01 Jun 2011, 19:57 0 0
It took my 23 minutes to type that out on the wonderful virtual keyboard. I could have done it in 7 minutes on a REAL keyboard. I'm seriously ready to ship this commando back to Verizon. Its built for yuppie boys who are in an office all week.
10. machthree (unregistered) posted on 24 Aug 2011, 21:12 0 0
you should learn how to use the trace writing feature.
it is the bomb and even you could type faster.
I am not a yuppie, i do not sit in a cubicle, and i love this phone.
7. RFguy (unregistered) posted on 28 Jun 2011, 17:00 0 0
The fact that you say it would take you seven minutes to type a small synopsis explains why it would take you 23 with a virtual keyboard.
I too prefer a real qwerty over a virtual one but why did you get the phone knowing it did not contain a physical qwerty?
Also, Verizon does not build the phones. In this case Casio is the manufacturer. The carriers do require certain things from phones they will sell but the device itself is by no means a reflection of the network.
I will be receiving this device in a couple of days as a replacement for my old work phone, which was a blackberry curve. I do wish the processing was better but it is still going to be leaps and bounds over my old blackberry.
8. EFNY (unregistered) posted on 06 Aug 2011, 08:13 0 0
The phone is just OK......... yes it's droid, and its great that it is milspec 810G, but i have some severe issues.
Its screen is great to view inside a building, but very hard to see outside daylight.
It needs a REAL QWERTY KEYBOARD. What guy wants to tap on glass to text while on military maneuver, Besides being hard to use, the virtual keyboard takes up half the screen. Also a REAL keyboard would protect the screen (like the brigade thos).
Why can't we get it in safety yellow striping, or even the old metallic rust or green This gothic, not to mention hard to see if you drop it into the pond or at night.
Typing is so slow on a virtual keyboard, that it will drive you and your fellow soldier nuts.
Come on casio, get a clue and build us what we need for once. this is why i haven given up My old brigade phone.
9. mikaelis1116 a (unregistered) posted on 23 Aug 2011, 07:14 0 0
RF GUY, This was a weird package deal I was offered by Verizon. My old brigade's big flaw was that cargo can't make the calendar events announce reliably. They don't always go off. Even at that,after having this phone 2 months, I still at times long for my brigade' s real keyboard. Not only does the virtual keyboard take up 3/4 of the screen, but wait until you get the screen wet. It stops working until you dry it off. This is going to be interesting this coming winter in the rain. I just can't believe anyone would build an outdoors phone, that can't function when its screen is wet, or your fingers. Try using it in a shower or after swimming. Casio engineers just don't get it. Its obvious they don't actually use their own phones. It isn't rocket science, its just common sense . Oh, and to the yuppies who want a wafer thin phone, I want the bulky phone with fold down keyboard, to hang on to, and be usable in ANY environment. Marry this phone with the brigade, and make it in "Envy Green Metallic" and you would have the perfect outdoor phone.
11. Mom4hats (unregistered) posted on 24 Sep 2011, 23:29 0 0
I've had the Commando for about 3 wks now. This is my first smart phone and I love it. I'm very active running my kids around to sports, errands and sitting in the bleachers, so I wanted a phone which could handle being dropped or knocked around in my purse/pocket. This phone is great. Small learning curve with the virtual keypad for texting, but no big deal. The more I use the phone the eaiser it is. I have no regrets other than i wish the screen was a little bigger like the droid. But still thats no big deal. VERY happy with this phone.
12. mikaelis=waaaa (unregistered) posted on 25 Sep 2011, 21:13 0 0
Even a Soccer Mom can use the phone... what is wrong with YOU Mik?
A FOLD OUT KEYBOARD?? That is a major hangup?
Do you still use a wired mouse and keyboard? Oh, LOL you probably do
Next you'll tell us how much better the "bag phones" from the 90's are...
Get over it... trade in the phone.
No one is sympathetic.
YOU were the one who bought it
Deal with it like a Man... suck it up
13. makayla (unregistered) posted on 10 Oct 2011, 11:10 0 0
How come my keyboard changed to grey instead of white?
14. dku (unregistered) posted on 14 Oct 2011, 10:24 0 0
I've had the phone for 4 months now. My previous phone was an orange Env. Loved it. it was bulletproof. It seems that most new versions of phones are actually downgrades except fot the commando. My friend had a Gzone 1 and upgraded to a commando as well. The commando is a great phone. Rugged. Easy apps. long battery. If you don't like the color by a silicone sleave. The camera is not the best, as it does not have an auto flash, but being a camera junky, if I want to take a picture, i'll use my camera.
15. rachelle3260 posted on 22 Dec 2011, 20:56 0 0
Casio not living up to their word. My husband had his Commando phone for under 2 months. Carried it in a case that was made for just the Commando phone. 2 weeks ago, he took it out to make a call and the screen was shattered. It wasn't dropped, hit, or damanged by him in any way. He was riding in his truck with the phone in it's case. Called about having it fixed, assuming it was just a defect in the screen. But we were informed that it was just our loss. That was wrong of them. I even asked about buying a replacement screen, but was told that wasnt gonna happen either. The only thing available for him to do, was to try and find one on ebay unless he wanted to pay full retail for it since it was a new 2 yr contract that we got with the purchase of the phone.
17. kingoftow posted on 02 Feb 2012, 18:54 0 0
I got my Casio Commando in January, this phone rules!... it is rugged, (takes all of the abuse that you can throw at it and just keeps on working flawlessly. I own and operate the only Mobile Bicycle Repair Shop (Concept Bikes) in Upstate Ny, I am constantly out in wet, cold, and hot conditions and my Commando allows me to check my e-mails, send and receive texts from my customers reliably. I can stay in contact with my Distributors via the Internet and do it all without worriying about the environment...kingoftow
18. NomadS308 posted on 30 May 2012, 13:27 0 0
Anyone else have a problem with the flash on the camera? when I turn the flash mode to on the led comes on and stays on -like a flashlight ( it switches off for a second when I take the picture and then turns on again). Done this with the two commando's I have owned (third warrantly replacement is on its way). I think this might be a systemic problem but it is not getting reported because most people who buy this phone aren't buying it for the camera and don't use it enough to be bothered by it. If you have one.. please try out the flash and see what happens. If it malfunctions, contact your carrier and you might get it replaced for free. At least let them know it is a problem so they can work on a system wide fix.
19. Rush1 posted on 11 Oct 2012, 22:31 0 0
My husband and I have gone threw 6 of these phones. it has not worked well from day one! Now when you put in your pass word you have numbers missing. Tried to talk to Verizon but the are not doing anything about it. they just want to send another phone. I will pay to upgrade to another phone. This phone is not what I thought it would be.