Casio G'zOne Commando Review
The included 5MP autofocus camera is easy to use, as there is a standard 2-stop shutter key. Pressing it down half way will focus in on the center of the image (the square on the screen will turn green) and then pressing all the way down will capture the image. There are a few settings available, such as the resolution, quality, brightness, white balance, night mode, color effects, flash, focus, GPS location, and zoom. We were not impressed by the daytime images that we took outside as colors were dull and muted, and fine detail was lacking, with edges looking soft instead of sharp and defined. We also noticed that the auto white balance had issues a few times. When using the camera inside, it continued producing soft looking images, and color accuracy was lacking. Even though there is an LED flash, it is a joke, as the light stays on the entire time, and makes almost no difference in dark pictures. Videos can be recorded up to 720x480 resolution, but is limited to 15 frames per second. When played back on a PC, the video looks blotchy and there is plenty of stutter due to the low frame rate. Overall, the camera on the Casio G’zOne Commando is not one of its strong points, but is still useable for quick on-the-go pictures and videos when you don’t have a dedicated digital camera with you.
Casio G'zOne Commando Sample Video:
The gallery shows all of your pictures and videos categorized into folders for easy viewing. We were able to playback all of our MP4 videos from 320x240 to 1280x720 resolution without any problems, but some H.264 videos would drop the audio track while playing. DivX, XviD, and H.263 videos were not recognized.
There is also the standard music app that comes with Android 2.2, again nothing out of the ordinary, as it will show music by artists, albums, songs and playlists. When the song is playing, it will display the album cover art on the screen, but there are no other visualizations, equalizers, or sound effects. With the stereo speakers on the front of the device, the Casio G’zOne Commando is one of the few smartphones that can produce decent quality audio, without the need for using headphones. Music was loud and crisp, and low to high frequencies were reproduced nicely with good fidelity.
As we mentioned earlier, the Casio G’zOne Commando includes their G’zGear software app, similar to what we saw last year on the Ravine. The Earth Compass shows your current heading in degrees, as well as an arrow to North, and the Layer Compass shows where you are in relation to world cities, US Parks, world mountains, and world nature. The Walking Counter has a virtual trek for different trails, and a pedometer for how many steps you’ve taken for each day of the week, which is shown in a handy graph. Adventure Training has a selecting of running opponents to choose from, so you can see how well you match up to them, such as the men’s marathon world record of 26.224 miles at 2hr 03min 59 sec. The Trip Plot uses GPS to plot where you have been, so can bring it up again and take the same path, which is handy for hikers. The Thermometer shows what the current temperature is, and the temps of 3 cities you can select from, or view a global map of temps around the world. Tides show what the current high and low tide times are for your location as well as their height. The sun/moon will show how many hours until the sun rise/set and moon rise/set for your location. And the Star Gazer will show what stars and constellations are in the sky, through it isn’t as good as Google Sky Map. Overall, the G’zGear app has a lot to offer the outdoorsman, as some of these features can’t be found on other phones.
For GPS guided driving directions you have a choice of using Google Maps, which is free, or VZ Navigator, which is $10 per month. Both provide you with turn-by-turn directions and audio prompts, though their layout is slightly different. Our choice between the two is Google Maps, as it doesn’t have a monthly fee, but this is our personal preference.
If you are in need of viewing Microsoft Office files, there is the Document Viewer app, which can open Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and even Adobe PDF files.
Naturally, you can download a wide variety of apps from the Android Market.
1. NE-Phil (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Oct 2010)
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 (Posts: 371; Member since: 02 Feb 2011)
A nice product, I just wish they came out with a higher end version of this!
3. defy--- (unregistered)
get the moto defy
5. mikaelis1116 (Posts: 4; Member since: 28 May 2011)
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 (Posts: 4; Member since: 28 May 2011)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
How come my keyboard changed to grey instead of white?
14. dku (unregistered)
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 (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
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 (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
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 (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 May 2012)
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 (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Oct 2012)
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.