If you habitually rock climb, scuba dive, ski cross-country, or do any of the things you might regularly see on a heath food or Viagra commercial, you're probably in the market for a ruggedized smartphone. And if you're on Verizon, your options have been somewhat limited as of late (try not to drool over AT&T's shiny new Galaxy S4 Active, please). Verizon just made the Casio G'zOne Commando LTE official: it's a super-sturdy Android device in the same vein as the former Commando and the G-Shock watch line. It will launch on Thursday for $99.99, after a $50 mail-in rebate on-contract. Big Red isn't saying how much it will cost outright.
The G'zOne (ugh) Commando LTE features decidedly mediocre core specs: there's a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor, a 4-inch 800x480 screen, and Ice Cream Sandwich. Throw in 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage space, and you've got a phone any gadget nerd would have been proud to own circa early 2011. But of course, the draw for the Commando is its tough-as-nails construction, and on that score, it doesn't disappoint.
The phone is rated to a MIL-STD 810-G level of protection, with guaranteed function after drops of 1.5 meters, immersion in water at 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes, and resists dust, vibration, humidity, high and low temperatures and barometric pressures. In addition to all that, the Commando LTE has a collection of sensors and data points that would make any phone jealous: barometer, thermometer, pedometer, a sunrise and moonrise calendar, and a built-in Star Gazer app that lets you identify stars and constellations from your GPS location. The phone includes an FM radio, and works with Casio's Bluetooth-enabled G-Shock watches out of the box.
Other specs include an 8MP rear camera with 1080p video recording, worldwide GSM roaming, a somewhat paltry 1800mAh battery, and NFC... with ISIS mobile payments. Because if there's anything a globe-trotting adventurer needs, it's a proprietary payment system that's barely notable in Verizon's home territory.
With Samsung and Sony creating flagship devices that are at least somewhat rugged and don't look like a licensed G.I. Joe walkie-talkie, it's kind of hard to get excited about the latest Commando, even if it can withstand a small bomb blast. Any takers?
BASKING RIDGE, N.J., June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Wireless is pleased to announce the release of Verizon's first 4G LTE Android™ rugged Smartphone, the CASIO G'zOne Commando® 4G LTE. With global roaming capabilities that enable network access in over 220 countries, the CASIO G'zOne Commando® 4G LTE is a durable device, which is designed to withstand the most severe conditions. The CASIO G'zOne Commando® 4G LTE is a combination of toughness and functionality that is essential for an adventurous life in both work and play. By improving upon G'zOne, CASIO delivers the brand's most durable and sophisticated mobile to date.
Propelled by a countless array of possibilities, the CASIO G'zOne Commando® 4G LTE remains true to CASIO's reputation towards excellence and technological innovation. High-speed processing allows users to browse the Internet, stream video and music, and video chat via the inclusion of an advanced Dual Core 1.5Ghz processor and Android™ 4.0.
Having undergone rigorous military standards testing, the CASIO G'zOne Commando® 4G LTE is designed to survive the stresses and strains of everyday life with shock, water and dust resistance capabilities. To enhance the user's experience while in compromising conditions, the CASIO G'zOne Commando® 4G LTE also offers Glove Mode, an interface that allows easy use of key phone features while wearing gloves that otherwise wouldn't be possible.
The CASIO G'zOne Commando® 4G LTE can connect to the G-SHOCK Watch (model GB6900AA) for instant updates and notifications. Receive notifications for calls, messages, and emails. Use the Find Me feature to find your missing phone when in close proximity, or get a notification when you walk too far away from your phone.The LIVE G cloud service allows G'zOne users to share sensor information on the map and to share locations for travel and sport activities, trekking records, photos and more using the newly enhanced social media application G'zWORLD.
- Verizon's 1st 4G LTE Rugged Android™ Smartphone Meets Military Standards 810G Shock (Drop 1.5m), Immersion (1m, 30min), Dust, Vibration, Salt Fog, Humidity, Solar Radiation, Low Pressure, and High and Low Temperature. The G'zOne Commando® 4G LTE display uses durable Corning® Gorilla® Glass 2
- LIVE G – a cloud service for G'zOne users enhances your outdoor life.
- Enrich your outdoor experience with the Barometer, Earth Compass, Walking Counter, and more by using G'zGEAR. Share your locations and photos with your friends using G'zWORLD.
- Glove Mode – use key features, even when wearing gloves
- NFC – with ISIS Mobile Wallet
- A Global Ready – GSM (Quad-band) / UMTS (Quad-band)
- BLE Link to G-SHOCK watch
- Bluetooth low energy technology (v4.0) Profiles supported; Find me, Alert Notification, Phone Alert Status, Proximity, Time Profiles for watch communication
- High-security encryption for corporate email, SD stored data, contacts, etc. Disable camera function through EAS settings, device password enabled policy
- Dual Front Speaker / Dual MIC Noise Suppression
- FM Radio
- Email features include Verizon.net, MS Exchange, Yahoo, AOL, Windows Live Hotmail, other
G'zGEAR operates in seven tools:
- (Newly added)Barometer – Forecast the weather from pressure trends, utilize Pressure Tendency mode that shows the current atmospheric pressure and graph of the pressure trend. The measurements from the pressure sensor can be used to predict weather trends. Then you can upload the pressure data to LIVE G. Pressure Chart – Map the pressure trend data collected through LIVE G. Use this local weather information to help in your field activities.
- Earth Compass – Functions as a standard compass, the GPS shows the distance and direction to several domestic and international landmarks. By entering the location in the compass, you can display the bearing and approximate distance to a target, which is supported by a gyroscope sensor for more accurate measurements.
- Walking Counter – Measures steps, distance and energy consumption, and total steps for the day, week or month. It also provides virtual trail functions allowing you to walk the seven continents.
- Tides – Access current tide information before planning an activity. With LIVE G you can find out tide information at various nautical locations.
- Thermometer – Displays the current temperature. By linking with Live G, you can compare your local temperature to various cities across the country.
- Sun / Moon – Checks the time of the next sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset, and tracks the moon phases for your current location.
- Star Gazer – Utilizes GPS to display the stars and constellation names based on the current season and time
Pricing and availability:
- The CASIO G'zOne Commando® 4G LTE will be available online at www.verizonwireless.com and in Verizon Wireless stores starting June 27 for $99.99 after $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement.