GCN LAB REVIEWS
Casio G'zOne Brigade rugged phone would make James Bond proud
We felt a bit like James Bond carrying around the Casio G’zOne Brigade, a phone specifically built and sold for use on the Verizon network. It looks like a normal phone, perhaps a bit larger but not by much. There are dialing buttons that sit below a large circular window that displays the time or the phone’s status.
But crack that phone open, and it reveals a large internal screen and full QWERTY keyboard. You can surf the Web on the 3G network, and never once did we have any trouble getting a good signal during our testing around the Washington, D.C., area. It even has push-to-talk capabilities.
Casio G’zOne Brigade
Pros: Works underwater; good signal; hides a full QWERTY keyboard.
Cons: Nothing significant.
Rugged Level: A+
Ease of use: A
Price: $249 with $50 mail-in rebate and two-year customer agreement
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The Brigade satisfies mil specs for shock, water and dust. We dropped the Brigade, with the screen facing down, 4 feet to the ground below. It landed on two inches of plywood sitting over concrete and made a heck of a noise. But the screen was unharmed. We didn’t even lose our Internet session. It survived 36 drops at that height and didn’t seem to mind one bit.
The Brigade also conquered our heat and cold testing, plus 15 minutes of having dust blown across it. Finally, we dunked it into a tank of water, where it sank right to the bottom. While it was there, we actually called the phone, and it received the call. Flappy the dolphin can finally use a phone inside his tank!
At just 6 ounces, the Brigade weighs little more than a regular phone but is rugged enough to withstand just about anything you could throw at it. That and a very cool design make it the perfect tool to use as a phone or portable Internet surfing tool. It easily earns our admiration and a Reviewer’s Choice designation for this review.
Verizon Wireless, www.verizonwireless.com/govt