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Casio G'zOne Brigade for Verizon review - QWERTY messaging for tough conditions

Review by Michael Oryl on Friday April 02, 2010.

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User Interface

The typical feature phone interface on the Brigade is about as intuitive as you can get. The main menus consist of six big blocks labeled with Mobile IM, Messaging, Recent calls, Contacts, Media center, Email, VZ Navigator, My Verizon, and Settings & Tools. Each of these has its own sub menu, too. While it lacks customization in terms of moving items around, I found the user interface made a lot of sense, was consistent, and was easy to use. Still, it does require a bit of digging at times.

I liked how there were three fun and unique animated wallpaper backgrounds. My favorite wallpaper was "Radar," which simulates a radar map inside an airplane or battleship, complete with the spinning detector hand. There are also four unique themes for customizing the device: White, Punching Metal, Paint, and Checker plate. All but the White theme have a construction feel to them, and I preferred the bright Punching Metal theme the best. The Checker Plate theme actually main the menu hard to read.

If you want to rearrange items on the home screen, there's a convenient option that lets you do so, so that in the future you can quickly get to what you're most often looking for. You can also swap out the grid of icons menu view for a list or tab view, although I found the tab view far less intuitive to use than the other two.


I've never enjoyed using a rugged mobile phone as much as I did the Brigade. The device has a solid QWERTY keyboard that makes messaging easy, a decent camera, good call quality, and solid push-to-talk functionality. It even has a few bonus features like an over-the-air music store. It was able to stand up to a few drops, as well as being dunked into water. Sure, its web browser could use a total revamping, but at least it serves up the basics. If you're in need of a rugged device and still want to stay in touch with friends or the kids using a QWERTY keyboard, the Brigade is certainly a solid choice. Overall, I give it a "Highly Recommend" rating.

You'll find a few sample photos taken with the Casio Brigade's camera on the next page.

Highly Recommended (explanation)
Good keyboard, solid camera, clear call audio, fast PTT, strong design
Lousy web browser, mediocre external keypad, bulky design
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jim @ 1:25:04AM EDT on Monday April 12, 2010

Bought one about w weeks ago. Your correct the browser is slow also I get a bad gateway error. However there is an optoin in the settings to change the view so the entire page can be viewd without scrolling left or right. Also I had trouble with the cradle untill I learned you need to hold it in position untill the red charging light comes after that its generally on solid. Love the phone I got mine free when we upgraded my wife to a droid. But I would have paid anyway its worth it. Only question I have is do you know anything about how good the warranty is because I'm debating dropping the isurance due too how rugged it is thanks.

WB @ 8:21:52AM EDT on Wednesday July 20, 2011

Dropped it once and the inside screen went black. The outside circular screen sucks in the sun, cant see it. Over all...two thumbs down. I feel like I was ripped off.

About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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