Casio G'zOne Rock, Motorola Barrage and Samsung Convoy: side by side
Motorola Barrage V860 (which replaces the Adventure), Samsung Convoy U640, and the Casio G’zOne Rock C731 (which replaces the Boulder). All three PTT devices have differences, both in appearance and features, so it’s important to choose the one that’s best for you. Let’s take a closer look at each device.
Naturally, the retail package for each includes the phone, battery, wall charger and user manual. The only difference is that the Casio Rock also comes with a desktop charger that you can place the phone in.
The Motorola Barrage looks far different from the Motorola Adventure, as it no longer has a RAZR-type appearance. It is larger overall, coming in at almost 1-inch thick, and feels the biggest in your hand out of the three PTT phones. The device is all black with some red and dark gray accent pieces. However, the construction feels cheap and light weight, almost toy-like, which does not impress us. The Casio Rock, on the other hand, looks quite similar to the Boulder and continues the G’zOne tradition with bold lines, which gives it the look of durability and ruggedness, though the Rock is now all black in color. This also translates into the way the Rock feels, as you can clearly tell it will hold up to almost anything you can put it through. The Samsung Convoy is the most “traditional” looking out of the bunch, as its styling is quite boring and says “I’m a flip phone”, with charcoal gray and black plastic used throughout, though it does feel sturdier than the Barrage. Between the three PTT phones, we like the appearance and construction of the Casio Rock the best, as it feels the most durable and is the most unique looking.
All three devices meet MIL-SPECS-810F for shock and dust resistance, vibration, salt fog, humidity, solar radiation, altitude, and temperature extremes, but only the Motorola Barrage and Casio Rock are also water resistant, which you can tell by the rubber seal on the inside of the battery cover.
The external displays also vary between the devices, as the Barrage has the largest one at 1.75”, while the Convoy’s is 1.3”, though both are color TFT. The Rock, however, uses a small 0.9” PMOLED display in white, but the advantage is that it’s the easiest to read. With the Barrage, you can use the external display with the music player and voice commands, while the Convoy can also access the inbox, Bluetooth, schedule, camera and video recorder. The Rock also offers music control while closed, as well as access to features of the G’zGear set like a compass, walking counter, thermometer, tides, sunrise/sunset, and moon phases.
All three devices flip open quite easily, but only the Rock has a release button on the right side of the hinge. Pressing on it will allow you to do your Star Trek impression, as the phone flips open by itself. The 2.1-inch internal display on the Rock is also the best looking out of the bunch, as it has 240x320 resolution, which means that images and text don’t appear pixelated like they are on the 176x220 displays used by the Barrage and Convoy.
The d-pads on each are circular, but we found the one on the Barrage to be the most difficult to use, as the surrounding plastic doesn’t give a lot of room for your finger, whereas the Rock and Convoy both have larger d-pads, which is not only easier to use, but also more comfortable. We found that using the numeric keyboard on the Barrage feels almost like using Braille, as the keys are raised, but there is also texture between them. The Convoy is the complete opposite, as the keyboard is flat and smooth, but the buttons are still large and produce a nice “click” when pressed. The Rock is somewhere in the middle, as the keys are slightly raised and angled, yet are smooth and lack any grip or texture. After using the different keyboards for a while, we prefer the one on the Rock and Convoy the best, as they are the most comfortable.