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Casio has been making various rugged phones for Verizon Wireless
for many years now, with the last version being an Android powered
smartphone. But that has been 2 years ago, and in the ever-changing
smartphone world, that is nearly an eternity. So to freshen things up a
bit, Verizon has now introduced the new Casio G'zOne Commando 4G LTE. As
you can gather from the name, the main difference between the two
G’zOne Commando units is that the newest model runs on Verizon’s 4G LTE
data network – but there is also a larger screen, faster processor, more
memory, and a higher resolution camera on board. All of which comes in a
form-factor that can take abuse, with a reasonable price.
Like its predecessor, the Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE shares a similar look and feel, though it is more refined and less “in your face” with fewer orange accents. Its hardened rubberized exterior feels sturdy and provides a nice firm grip that is easy to appreciate.
Located above the display is a 1.3MP front facing camera, while on the left side is the volume rocker and programmable tactile key, which comes assigned to toggle the Glove Mode, but can be used for other software functions. Up on top is the power/lock key, which we felt was a bit too small and hard to find, as well as the protected 3.5mm headset jack, while on the right side is the protected microUSB port and charging-dock connections, and around back is an 8MP autofocus camera with LED flash. There is a movable lock-release to open up the battery cover, which has the same type of rubber O-Ring that is on the USB port and headphone port, to help protect it from the elements. With the battery removed, you can then gain access to the SIM slot and microSD memory card slot.
We are glad to see that the display size has increased from 3.6” to 4.0” on the Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE, which does make it a modest size, but unfortunately the resolution still remains 480x800 pixels (WVGA), meaning that small text and images can appear jagged at times. Also the TFT display that is used doesn’t have the widest viewing angles, which means it only looks best view viewed straight-on. Furthermore, we noticed that the display’s backlight doesn’t really get as bright as we would like, so when using it outside, the screen appears dim and hard to view, even though the backlight is set to the brightness level. Overall, we’re feeling somewhat disappointed by the display, as it should be a bit larger (4.3”) and with a higher resolution (720p) to compete with other smartphones in this price range.