Casio G'zOne Commando hands-on!

Our friendly FedEx man was kind enough to deliver us the soon-to-be-released Casio G’zOne Commando from Verizon Wireless. Unlike most full-touchscreen smartphones, this Android 2.2.1 device is designed to be abused. The Commando meets military standards 810G for immersion, rain, and shock, dust resistance, vibration, salt fog, humidity, solar radiation, altitude, along with low and high temperature storage.  The handset, which is not the lightest full-touchscreen we’ve handled — but certainly not the heaviest at 5.4-ounces— sports a ruggedized composite case which protects a 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with flash, 1460mAh battery, 512MB RAM, 3.6-inch WVGA touchscreen display, and a host of other assets. Want to know what our first impressions are? Good. Have a look at the gallery below and hit the jump to read on.

The first thing we noticed about the device is how crisp the screen is. With ruggedized anythings, function is oft sacrificed for the sake of form. But with the Commando’s screen this does not appear to be the case. The 3.6-inch window has a 480 x 800 pixel resolution and, from what we can tell so far, doesn’t disappoint. Blacks are very black and the touch sensitivity seems to be on-par with most other Android devices — we fired off several emails and text messages without issue.

The exterior of the Commando is well accented with red composite inlays that compliment the phone’s drop-me-I-dare-you physique quite nicely. The phone has no fewer than five physical buttons on its left and right sides and we’re not sure how we feel about that — we seem to always hit a button when picking up the phone. We’ll wait to levy judgement on this design choice in our full review.

The Commando is running a slightly modded version of Android 2.2.1, but we don’t think even the most devout Android purists will mind. The modifications, for the most part, add a more ruggedized look to things — like the dialer and homescreen — and, thus far, have stayed out of the way.

We’ve ripped off a few test pictures with the device’s 5 megapixel shooter and so far the results have been favorable. The handful of close range and landscape shots we’ve taken appear to be very clean and there doesn’t seem to be anything glaringly wrong with the Commando’s camera.

The handset also support Wi-Fi hotspot creation, which, again, provides those needing a phone that can survive the elements with a nice blend or form and function.

Those are most of our initial musings.  We plan to take this handset out on the mean streets of Boston and drive it like it’s stolen — it is a rental after all — and we’ll be sure to bring you are full writeup ASAP.

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