Hey folks, Valkor here. When it comes to mobile phones, most people right away reach for the iPhones or the Droids that are sweeping the globe. And why wouldn't they? I mean they're pretty nice and they do some amazing things. But what of the average folk who have no need for such things such as apps? touch screens? People who simply want a phone they can use to make calls, send a message, oh and in the case of Casio Mobile G'zOne Brigade phone, drop it off a cliff or two? I mean that's all anyone really wants, right? If you own or want to own the Brigade, then that's exactly what you're gonna get.
The Brigade mobile phone is one tough as nails mofo, built to military standards. That means no matter what you toss at it (or toss it at), this water/shock resistant phone was meant to stand up to the worse scenarios - rain, dust, cliffs, brick walls, your dog Sparky, your little sister Peggy, your fumbly neighbor Ted, or the newspaper kid with the good aim; this phone was meant to withstand all of that and then some. You have a standard mode of use, but for faster texting, emailing, etc you'll want to switch to clamshell, where you can access the heart of the phone all with the use of a QWERTY keypad – email, mobile web, messaging, VCast (for music and videos), and the VZ Navigator, which is a GPS type app that provides voice turn by turn direction.
But of course this is Casio, so the camera has to be key right? The Brigade's camera is 3.2 mp, has a high resolution of 2048x1536 and of course Casio's BestShot, which gives you seven presets to choose from. And finally you have a flash, which most mobiles don't have, so that's a definite plus.
Additional features include push to talk, visual voice mail, and a family locator among other features this phone has locked within its industrious confines. So what does the Val-man have to say about this baby?
First, the Casio Mobile people weren't kidding when they stated this phone can survive just about anything. Now I'm not one to take it to the extreme, but I did give the Brigade a workout and it's still going strong. This is a phone meant for military, construction workers, firefighters, policemen and just about anyone who's line of work puts them through some rigorous hazards. For what it is, The Brigade is just a basic phone with a shell that will survive the worst drops, plops, and spills. Voice calls are exceptionally clear, maybe a bit too clear, but that's not a negative. You wanna be able to hear the other person and vice versa. The main (inner) LED screen is visually sharp and crystal clear – it's not a touch screen, though it is fun to watch people press the screen thinking it is. And the outer screen looks just as good, though monochrome. Finally the battery life on the Brigade is extremely good! And I'm not just talkin standby time, I mean talk time – you're gonna get at least a week out of this bad boy, before you have to charge it up again (and that's just me using it for talking. Imagine if I used the browser and other features). So in that sense, the Brigade is a clear winner... until...
Surprisingly it's the camera! And Casio knows cameras so I was thrown for a loop to see that the weakness of the Brigade would be its inability to take good pics. I wasn't expecting anything great like a point and click, but my Pantech actually takes better, sharper, more colorful pics. And the video is framey… very, very framey – definitely not something I wanted to see from a Casio Phone, especially when the Exilim phone scored well (Then again that was 5MP and it was a camera wrapped around a phone. Here we're dealing with 3.2). And what's funny is that you can record video from the front screen, which is just as bad… actually its worse! Finally the phone needs some guidance in the form of color coding; it took me a good few minutes just to figure out how to turn the thing on. I'm not talkin rainbow, but something to make the much needed buttons more obvious.
Overall and for what it's worth, the G'zOne Brigade does what it's supposed to do and that's make calls and be one heavy duty motherfather. And if you want serious durability and reliability (The Brigade uses the Verizon wireless network) then this is, without a doubt, the phone for you. Out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving The Brigade a mighty 3 and it's been Valkor tested and TOV Approved.