GCN Lab Review: Verizon Wireless G'zOne Boulder

 

 

On call: The G'zOne keeps calls coming, no matter the environment.

IT'S BEEN SEVERAL years since we tested a rugged phone,
and the Verizon Wireless G'zOne Boulder kind of took us by surprise.
The unit looks stylish, like an expensive sports watch, rather than
the bulky brick we were expecting.


The G'zOne Boulder is a flip phone not much bigger than a
typical phone of the same type.


It's 3.9 inches long, 2 inches wide and 0.9 inches thick.
It weighs 4.9 ounces.

The Boulder also has a lot of neat features, such as voice
dialing for handsfree operation and an electronic compass that can
help you find your way if you set the unit on the ground
horizontally and let it orient to the Earth's magnetic field
for a moment.


In fact, there are a ton of interesting things to do with the
G'zOne Boulder, so much so that the menus can get a little
confusing.


There is even access to the Verizon Wireless V CAST network on which you
can download thousands of songs and video.


One negative thing is that for a phone that puts such a heavy
emphasis on multimedia, the internal speaker is poor. I downloaded
the new James Bond theme to give it a listen, but the song broke up
when I tried to play it louder than about half the phone's
volume and was hard to hear if turned down further.


The phone does work with Bluetooth or regular headsets, which
should improve audio quality significantly.


In terms of ruggedness, there is nothing to complain about, even
with the non-military looking design.


The G'zOne Boulder is surprisingly rugged, passing all of
our mil-spec tests for shock, salt fog, humidity and
temperature.


Never did we think the phone would work after two days in the
salt fog chamber or one day in the freezing test chamber or eight
hours in the GCN rain forest environment, with its near 100 percent
humidity and 120-degree temperature.


It even survived full immersion in water.


We don't know how many calls you plan to make from the
bottom of your favorite lake or river, but you can take it with you
on your next swim and have it work just fine when you're back
on dry land.


The G'zOne Boulder would be a perfect phone for first
responders or anyone who needs a rugged cell phone but does not
want to compromise on style or fun.


And both the Verizon Wireless data and voice networks never let us down
despite trips all around the Washington, D.C., area looking for
weak signal spots. So maybe that 'Can you hear me now?'
guy is onto something.


Verizon Wireless, 800-293-3048,
www.verizonwireless.com


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