- Editor's Rating
- Quick boot time
- 16GB of storage with option to expand
- Outdated version of Android with no upgrade in sight
- Mediocre perofmrance
- Not rugged enough to make up for poor performance
Quick TakeThe Casio G’zOne Commando is a ruggedized phone, but its outdated Android software and lack of performance might not make its durability worth the purchase.
The Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE is built to be a rugged smartphone with modern features. Consumers have to make some sacrifices to have a truly rugged phone, so whether or not the Commando is a good buy depends on how durable the device really is. The Commando features a heavy-duty build and a unique shape that includes a slightly pointed bottom. The smartphone is half an inch thick and weighs 6.17 ounces. Brighthand called the device’s aesthetic attractive and flashy due to red and silver accents to the primarily black phone.
The casing of the device is a soft-touch plastic held together by visible metal screws. The back of the device is made of a textured plastic, which Brighthand notes gives it some grip. The Commando is Mil Spec MIL-STD-810G certified, which states it can be submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes, can withstand a 26 four-foot drops and is resistant to a range of elements. However, Brighthand found the smartphone “isn’t as tough as it looks or sounds.” Reviewers found the device held up well to dust and dirt and was reasonably water resistant, however when dropped once from waist height the device suffered both cosmetic and internal damage.
The Commando has a 4-inch Gorilla Glass display with 233 dpi resolution. Brighthand noted the display “gets the job done” but isn’t overly impressive. The display is slightly lacking in sharpness and color saturation, but it is above average when it comes to generous viewing angles and good brightness. The screen fights glare well. The smartphone includes a menu/settings key below the screen as well as a back, home and window key. The Commando also has a volume rocker, programmable tactile key that can be set to launch a specific app, a lanyard loop, covered charging port, contact points for docking, 3.5mm headphone jack and a power switch. The battery is removable by flipping a switch on the back panel and another switch inside the back of the device.
A 1.5GHz dual-core processor powers the device, which also features 1GB of RAM, which Brighthand called “respectable.” Reviewers found the device generally ran smoothly, but struggled with quickly processing data from the sensors. Brighthand also noted the device has a quick boot time and the 16GB of onboard storage should be enough for causal users, but can be expanded via the microSD card slot.
The Commando’s software suite and user interface is geared towards active users with features including a compass widget, advanced weather information, a glove mode and a flashlight widget. The device also comes with a preloaded set of apps including G’zGear, which is a set of outdoor tools like a star map. The biggest downside Brighthand noted when it comes to software is that the Commando runs an elderly version of the Android software (Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich to be exact), and likely will not be getting an upgrade. Using outdated software could cause issues with app compatibility.
The device has an 8-megapixel camera which Brighthand called “utterly forgettable” and “a disappointment.” The battery lasts about a day on a full charge with fairly heavy use, but died about halfway through the second day. With lighter use, the battery could be stretched about another full day.
Overall, Brighthand found the Casio G’zOne Commando is not as tough as it looks and users don’t get enough durability for the concessions they must make on performance. Brighthand was impressed with the smartphone’s unique software and widgets designed for the outdoorsy types, but was underwhelmed with the dated operating system, camera and level of toughness. In the end, Brighthand said the concessions that must be given up for the slight amount of added toughness “just may not be worth it.”