on May 15, 2011
I have had my Commando for several days now, and really enjoy it. I am new to android and smartphones. I have an iPad, so I have experience with Apple. I wanted something different than an iPhone. I was doing a ton of research on the latest and greatest phones. When this phone came out I was intrigued by the toughness. I hunt, fish, hike, camp, and spend a lot of time outdoors. I wanted a phone I didn't have to baby, and this is it! I have dunked it several times in water (my ice water was 40.7 degrees). I dared my friends to do the same, or purposely drop their phones....no takers....lol.
I have only downloaded a few apps. The gps, which is important to me, is spot on. The speakers are awesome! Even in the car testing the navigation, I had the volume down from max.
The screen clarity is fine. Compares to my friend's Incredible. Screen size is the same as an iPhone. As reviewed by others and on forums, the touch screen is not super sensitive or buttery smooth. The texting is a bit touchy. I downloaded a texting app that I like. I am still getting used to using swipe.
The camera, while not fantastic, meets my needs. The video is choppy if you try to pan or if things are moving fast. Maybe an upgrade will fix this?
But, for all the little quirks, I dig this phone. I am getting it dialed in for my personal likes.
If you need a tough smartphone, and don't need dual core, HDMI, front facing camera, or 8 mega pixel camera, then consider this phone. I had never even heard of the Casio G'Zone phones. This one is very cool. There are lots of videos on You Tube for g'Zone phones.
Size of the phone is fine for me. Not as svelt as iPhones or Galaxy S2, but on line with Thunderbolt, Atrix, EVO.
I highly recommend if you need a tough phone. If you want pretty, slim, and buttery smoothness, look elsewhere. Just don't get those other phones wet! Lol
Oh.... Battery... I am a moderate user. The GPS pulls on the battery pretty hard. I keep it off unless needed. I have been getting a full day off usage......12-15 hours. When the newness wears off I am sure it will go longer. I would rate it as typical for a smart phone. I will keep a charger in my car. My next purchase will be the cradle charger and a 32 gig card. I want to download my music files and some pics.
on May 10, 2011
Ordered directly from verizon the first day it was available. Previous phone was gz'one type V.
Pretty happy with it so far. Two issues - phone will not charge from a PC USB port if it is off (tried quite a few different models, all Dell, desktops and laptops). I brought it to the local Verizon store and they confirmed that issue. If they get some in and they don't have that problem, I will be exchanging. Not only does it not charge, but it constantly cycles through a boot screen, which actually drains the battery.
Also, built in camera app will not turn on the flash. Installed a camera app from the app store and flash works fine.
LED seems marginally less powerful than on type-V.
I think the micro usb port might eventually be a weak spot, ie the plug can wiggle around too easy and will eventually break it. I'll get a cradle as soon as I can find one, or an inductive charger.
Battery life seems to be improving w/ each cycle, to what is now an acceptable level. Aside from those issues, and the need to rip out some junk apps (like bing...) I love this phone!
on May 3, 2011
Came to this phone from a Droid X with no regrets whatsoever. Display is very crisp. Call clarity and volume are excellent. The speaker is very loud and clear. Comes with Android Froyo.Phone is very sturdy, but not to big. Highly recommend.
on July 22, 2011
This phone is indestructable. I accidently left it laying on the back of my truck and drove off with it on there. When I went back to look for it I found it lying face down in the middle of the road about a 1 1/2 miles away. It had been ran over and the cover I bought for it was destroyed but the phone only had a couple of minor scratches on the outside edges. The screen didn't have a scratch on it.
on November 30, 2011
It is truly a tough hombre. I have carried mine for three months and in that time it has been dropped several times and drowned once. I just shrugged off the abuse and keeps on working. What I really appreciate is the small size it possesses, especially when I compare it to all of it's Otterbox Clad brothers. My wife and my daughter have iPhone 4 and both hide inside their cases. That makes them overly large, in my opinion.
This phone arrived with a bit of Verizon-installed bloatware. If it was really a problem I'd jailbreak and uninstall. I highly recommend buying the charging cradle. First of all, it eliminates the need to open the charging hatch, preserving the fit of the waterproof seal. Secondly, the phone is programmed to act as a bedside clock when you snap it into the charger. You cannot overcharge the battery, so you are in no danger of messing up your battery that way.
My battery performance is not typical as I use every feature to the max and just charge it religiously. My wife's iPhone only lasts a scoche longer on a charge.
Call quality is very high. My only complaint is how easy it is to accidentally disconnect someone if you try to hold the phone between your cheek and shoulder. It is also easy to put someone on speaker phone the same way. The sound quality is excellent in both conventional and handsfree modes.
I am loath to give anything a five star rating unless it is a complete game changer. I consider the rugedness of this phone the answer to a lot of problems. I consider the phone part of this to be above average.
One last thought. Why don't they build ALL phones this way?
on June 14, 2011
The Casio Commando is rugged and stylish considering it's designed to take a beating. I work construction and mow acres of lawn every week. I need a phone that works as hard as I do and can take any abuse I can throw at it. The Casio Commando is up to the task. However, toughness may be its only real attribute.
This phone is 'supposed' to attract the outdoor enthusiast with its G'zGear functions. These features are what attracted me to this phone. However, you can d/l ALL of these types of apps FREE from the Android Market.
My roomie has a Droid X. It's an incredible phone. The Droid X is easier to type text on because of its larger screen. Droid X takes stunning pics/videos and has tons of editing features for a phone, but will it survive in my pocket mowing all day? How about a drop from a roof? How about a drop in the lake? I doubt it. There is a trade off it seems.
If I didn't have the Droid X to compare my phone to I would probably rate the Commando 4 stars.
Casio Commando Pros:
-Aforementioned ruggedness. Water, dust and drop proof.
-Android 2.1 OS
-Pedometer works well. Can edit height, weight, age length of stride etc. Downside is that it registers bumps from my riding mower as steps.
-Sun/Moon feature gives detailed info on position of sun/moon, rising and setting times and length of day.
-Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS work as they should.
Casio Commando Cons:
-Battery life is ABSOLUTELY pathetic! Needs a recharge in the middle of the day. A few texts, surf Face Book a bit, answer a few emails, play a few games and take a pic or two and it's done for! Forget about listening to MP3's for the work day. Many say "hey it's a smartphone, the battery life is not supposed to be great". Well...I don't buy that argument. As of 6.14.11 there are NO extended batteries on the market. The battery technology needs to catch up w/ smartphone advancements.
-LED Flashlight is WEAK. My roommates Droid X is 5x brighter and covers 3x more area.
-MP3's skip like an Ipod generation 3 or 4 when running or mowing. Starts back at beginning of song/album.
-Very poor photos/videos in low light situations. LED does NOT work in Camcorder mode. The Droid X has tons of video settings (edit, extract frame, text etc). The Commando is basic like a $60 cell phone.
-G'zGear Thermometer isn't accurate at all when tested against other thermometers. It must register the heat from the phone?
-Can't tell which side is UP/DOWN. Phone looks exactly the same either way until illuminated.
-Notification LED (blinks when you have a new email, text or missed call) is on the side of phone. Works well at night, but in daytime you never know it's blinking.
-No dedicated music button. Have to click on widget. Has dedicated camera/video, G'zing Gear and power button, but nothing for music.
If you're looking for a smartphone with a touchscreen that can survive in heat, dust and moisture then this may be a good option. If you want the sleek responsive screen with tons of features for pics/videos, then look elsewhere. If Motorola made a Drod X with the above specs I'd pay $100's more!!!
on May 25, 2011
Full Disclosure: I previously had a Motorola Droid smart phone, so I already knew what I was getting from an Android standpoint. But the "out of the box" experience for this device was much more satisfying than my old Droid. I'm a big fan of Casio's rugged design...and yes I tested it under running water and dropped it 4' on to ceramic tiles. No damage with either test. (Although the texture of the plastic outer ring leads me to believe the outer case could get scratched -- even if the device overall keeps working.)
As for the software, no complaints. It runs like other Android phones, which means you'll want to download custom apps to make it more functional. For example, I recommend Documents to Go (by DataViz) and "ICE: In Case of Emergency" (by Appventive). But you can find something to do just about anything in the Android Market -- most of it free.
The two gotchas with this phone: Verizon put too much bloatware software on it. I don't need the NFL network on my phone, and worse, I can't uninstall it. (Maybe I'll use it to watch the playoffs.) And be careful about enabling Verizon's "Contact Backup" during initial setup...you can't uninstall it later. It's also annoying that you have to download Google Maps and the text-to-speech Navigation feature separately. (Both are available for free from Google.) Clearly, Verizon needs to rethink it's business model of charging for VZNavigator.
One tip: If you use the Sound Recorder app, there's no help or menu. But your recordings get saved to the SD-Card. And you need a utility like Astro File Manager (free via Android Market) to access it. Or else you can listen to it when you connect your phone to your PC and access the card.
It may not be the fastest smart phone, or have the biggest screen, but it's the toughest. And if you have little tykes, like me, you'll appreciate that. ;)
on March 7, 2013
The Phone Body: After having used BlackBerry for a while, I decided to switch to the Droid craze and finally settled on the Commando. If you're searching for a smartphone that looks as rugged as it actually is, then you cant find a better model. It seems the design of the phone incorporated a body that is almost like a protective after market case you see with other phones. It almost eliminates the need to even buy a protective case! The ports, such as the USB charging port and headphone jack have protective plugs that seal off like gas caps to prevent water leaking inside. The battery cover locks and snaps into place VERY TIGHT as well. Almost too tight at times though, which can be frustrating for a quick battery pull. However its a design limitation that sacrifices battery pulls in order to better protect the phone. So it can be a pro or con depending on your outlook. One notable feature I was was surprised by: THE SPEAKERS! These things can put out some good sound! They are actually louder than a few laptops I've used! I've had the volume at full blast before, with lots of sound and almost no crackling or sound distortion! Everything about this phone screams rugged! Keep in mind however rugged DOES NOT MEAN INVINCIBLE. This phone can be damaged, but its made to withstand wear a tear which it has done for me when other phones were already showing signs of wear. Fortunately I've had this phone for a few months now and it still looks as good as the day I got it. Its suffered a few drops, some rain water, and mud, but nothing hard core yet. While it is said that it can take more, I bought mine brand new so Im still playing it safe. To a certain degree you should take care of your phone as much as possible no matter what brand you use.
The Touchscreen: The glass is very sleek, smooth coated, and hasnt suffered a single scratch yet. Ive gone months without the screen protector and have yet to actually do damage. I would still recommend a screen protector just in case though. In addition, having to switch from a physical keyboard of BlackBerry to touchscreen of Commando was a bit frustrating. It does take getting used to. But thats not really the fault of the Commando. The default keyboard works ok but I would highly recommend getting a keyboard app from Google Play (Google Play is the store at which you will be using to download apps and comes installed on the Operating System). I highly recommend SwiftKey or GO Keyboard, Ive used both and like them the best. GO Keyboard has extra themes and Red Fusion matches the Commandos look perfectly. A nice additional feature, the phone switches from portrait to landscape when you tilt the phone which comes in handy when you need to use both hands. The touchscreen can be a bit wonky, but almost all touchscreens have hiccups no matter what you do. There is occasional ghost touches and unresponsive touches at times, nothing major that really breaks the phone itself however. But another pro this phone has for it is the screen itself is a nice size, not too big to make the phone overly bulky but displays the images with nice resolution and clarity!
The OS: As you probably already know, it uses the Droid Operating System. The version on mine seems to run smoothly. Keep in mind the internal specs of the Commando is nothing mind blowing, but it gets the job done. Also keep in mind if its your first time using a smart phone there WILL BE GLITCHES with the OS. I've used multiple smart phones and multiple brands and all have issues from time to time. They are computers and like all computers they have problems. But in comparison, I use my Commando more than I do my laptop, which says alot! I've played a few games and all seemed to work great. I played The Sims and a few other 3d games and had no problems. I use alot of apps, Facebook, YouTube, Netflix...all work great for me on this phone! A neat bonus that comes with the Commando is the addition of GZ Gear. This program incorporates maps, thermometer, star gazer, compass, and more. All of which can be shortcut keyed to any of your multiple home screen panels. This is handy for outdoorsmen who use their phones for navigation, and gives the GPS a bit more usefulness.
The Camera/Camcorder: Neither are nothing special but so far they are better than other phones I've used before. One thing I like is the Commando incorporates a flash, which is one thing I can understand why other phones leave out. A cool feature is the ability to use the flash as a flash light at the push of a button. Other phones can do this, but many require a third party app to be installed. But luckily here its included right into the design!
Battery Life: Depending on what you use it for, the battery can last a few hours from a full charge. I watched NetFlix for 5 hours straight to test it out and only then was it at the yellow caution and I decided to plug the charger in. Battery life for phones are varied though. My five hours may be only 3 for someone else. It depends on frequency of use and how much you take care of the battery. Ive found it best to just let it drain to the red before even bothering to charge. Constantly using your phone while leaving it charging can decrease the long term life span of the battery.
All in all I could go on with all the pros and cons, so with those key points in mind, I love this phone. Its been the best one I've owned to date, and dont look to replace it any time soon!
on December 29, 2011
The biggest draw (thus a large focus of my review) was the ruggedness of this phone.
About a week after I received the Commando I took it on a multiple day camping and kayaking trip. My intent was to use the device as irresponsibly as possible to see if it held up... And it did.
I used the phone several times during a full downpour. I jumped into the river with it. I left it in my soaking wet shirt and shorts for hours. I've even dropped it a few times on accident and on purpose just to test it. Even with all the high humidity I didn't see any evidence of this device starting to fail.
The only problem I've had is sometimes after it gets wet the speaker doesn't work at full volume and I have to use speaker phone until it dries out.
So yes, it is a tough phone. I've had many other phones brick under less severe conditions.
In terms of its use as a smart phone I think this device functions very well for the price. Does it spec out better than some of the other phones out there? No. Does it have the biggest screen? No. Does it have the best virtual keyboard setup? No.
But I can run Facebook, Twitter, ESPN Fantasy Football, Words with Friends, Angry Birds, Pandora, YouTube, etc with no problems. Web browsing experience is reasonable. It also has the Google product (docs, gmail, etc) integration you expect from Android OS phones. I go from 1 day to about 2 full days of battery life by doing this.
A tip on battery life, turn off the data sync when you're not using it. If I'm at my work computer all day I turn off data sync. This will greatly reduce battery usage but it will still accept calls/txt message but won't update the weather or emails.
on October 25, 2011
It looks like phones are similar to cars, in that if you get a bad one, you get a bad one; and if you get a good one, you get a good one. I got a good one.
I've had my Commando for a couple of months. I bought it at a Verizon store; with my final "New Every Two" credit, I walked out of the store with this new phone for $100. Previous to this, I had a G'Zone Type S, then a G'Zone Rock, and then an original Motorola Droid.
As with past G'Zones, the ergonomics are absolutely excellent. The speaker is loud. I enjoy texting far more with the Swype interface than I ever did on my Droid with the hardware keyboard. I live out in the country where cell phone reception is very bad, and all of my G'Zones (including this Commando) have above-average reception, even out here.
I'm not sure what kind of conditions the other reviewers are subjecting their phones to, but I regularly get 48 hours of standby battery life. I do a bit of Facebook, GTalk, GMail, etc. during the day, but never Pandora or other music. And I don't ever use GPS or 802.11, and very rarely do I turn on Bluetooth. I am more interested in battery life than these niceties.
There was a firmware update a couple of weeks ago that vastly improved the UI experience. The sluggishness and UI problems that other reviewers note here, are largely gone.
I highly recommend that if you get this phone, you also get a charging cradle. It's a shame that Verizon is selling a $1 plastic piece for $30, but it makes the phone far more convenient. I always hated to open the cover on the USB charging port, because on the older G'Zone phones, people who opened the covers often ran into problems with the seals and water got inside their phones. With the charging cradle you don't have to open any of the covers.
The camera is solidly average and you don't get an HDMI port or dual-core processor with this phone. But the utility factor in being able to not care about dropping the phone, as well as the superior ergonomics, make the phone well worth $100, even $150.