Casio G'zOne Rock, Motorola Barrage and Samsung Convoy: side by side
There is very little difference when it comes to the phone’s main menu, as all have the same categories for media center, messaging, contacts, recent calls, and settings & tools. The Rock includes 4 themes (white, surfing, metal, and polyhedral rock), while there are 3 themes on the Barrage (white, slick black, steel) and on the Convoy (white, eclipse, laser wave). When trying out the different themes for the phones, we noticed that the Barrage was the slowest when navigating through the main menu, while the Convoy and Rock were noticeably faster.
For storing contacts, you have two phonebooks available for each phone. The first one allows you to store people’s name, 5 phones numbers, email and street address, while the second phonebook is strictly for storing PTT names and numbers. We wish these two phonebooks were integrated, so you wouldn’t have to enter information in twice.
Casio G'zOne Rock C731
Motorola Barrage V860
Samsung Convoy U640
For storing contacts, you have two phonebooks available for each phone
Most other software features remain the same between the three phones as all of them come with a calendar for saving appointment alerts, text/picture/video messaging, MP3 music playback, VCast video streaming, and VZ Navigator for GPS guided driving directions. There is also Mobile Web for basic web browsing, but it is limited as it doesn’t fully support HTML and changes the layout of most pages. Only the Casio Rock comes equipped with a unique program called G’zGear. It is located in the Tools menu, but as we mentioned earlier it can be accessed by the front display as well. Earth Compass shows a red line designating North and your current direction and degree heading (0-360), while World Nature tells you what Earth features are in your direction, such as the North Pole or Mt Everest. Walking Counter tracks your steps on a daily basis and shows them on a graph, including miles walked. Tides shows the current tide levels for cities around the US coast line and Current View displays an animated graphic of what the tide level would look like. Going into Sunrise/Sunset shows how many hours there are until the event, and even a day/night chart. Lunar Phase, as the name implies, shows the current phase of the moon (from full to new-moon), and Cosmic View (our favorite) displays the current location of the sun, moon, and earth in relationship to each other. You can also use the d-pad to change the day, thus animating the cosmic view. All of these features are nice as each one has a useful function for the outdoorsman.
A built-in 2MP camera is included with each device, though only the Casio Rock comes with an LED flash. Images taken outside with the Motorola Barrage were the most disappointing, as they were generally out-of-focus, had least amount of detail, and poor color representation. The Samsung Convoy did better, with outside images being sharp and in-focus, and also with neutral colors. The Casio Rock was better than the Barrage, but still not as good as the Convoy, as some images were slightly out-of-focus and colors weren’t accurate. While indoors, the Convoy also continued to provide the best looking images, but in complete darkness, of course the the Rock gains the upper hand, as it is the only one to come with a flash, even though it is almost useless. Both the Barrage and Rock can record videos at 320x240 resolution, but the Convoy is limited to only 176x144. Still, all of them produce videos with poor quality that should only be viewed on the phone.
Darkness with flash
Casio G'zOne Rock C731
Motorola Barrage V860
Samsung Convoy U640
Regardless of everything else, the Push-to-Talk capability is the main feature for these phones. It has been about a year and a half since Verizon has re-launched its PTT service using its 3G EVDO Rev A network. Connection time between the devices is only about 1 second, with voices also taking about 1 second to transmit. Both the Rock and Barrage reproduce voices the loudest and with very little distortion, through the Convoy still sounded good, but was not as loud. We’re not sure why this is, as the Convoy and Rock both have stereo speakers on the front flip, while the Barrage only uses a single speaker on its bottom edge. One thing that we didn’t care for was the black PTT button used by the Motorola Barrage, as it does not stand out like the orange button used by the Rock and Convoy.
1. CCrider77 (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Feb 2010)
I was a little disappointed by this review which almost read like a payola plug for the Casio. I carefully tried out all three products myself and shopped around for several weeks before choosing the Motorola. While the Casio and Samsung are excellent phones, and all three are built well, the Casio has several drawbacks. One is the extremely stiff feel to the cover and opening mechanism. This makes one handed operation tough and awkward. The sharp corners and angular shape of the Casio is also not nearly as ergonomic as either the Samsung or Motorola. If you use your phone a lot, especially the push to talk feature, this may be a problem. The lack of a nice square color display on the closed cover was also an issue for me, as was the bizarre, Flash Gordon styling. It may be cool looking if you're a teen into the latest gizmos, but something more conservative and business-like is in order for the rest of us. After using the Motorola for some time, the phone is easy to use, works perfectly, is incredibly rugged and is a good balance between an ordinary flip phone and a strange looking toy. The rubberized coating on the sides give it an excellent feel in your hand and help prevent shock damage. The optional belt clip is rugged and works extremely well also. Contrary to some reviews, I'm getting exceptional battery life from mine too - about 5-7 days between charges with several calls and texts made each day. I recommend that you visit your local store and try them all out for yourself.
2. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)
What did you think of the Samsung Convoy? How did it compare to the Motorola?
3. hawkh13 (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Jun 2010)
I had a rock, which replaced my boulder. The rock was a good phone but could not get but 3-4 hrs of time out of extened life batteries.(tried 4 phones and 4 batteries) Got the convoy instead and very pleased with it.
4. casio (unregistered)
Casio is very nice!!!
5. peter57 (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Jan 2011)
Bought the Barrage. Not a wise choice. Poor battery. Friend went with the Casio. I should have followed his choice. Another year and a half of pain to endure.
6. codi (unregistered)
what chargers from different phones will work on the casio g'zone rock?