Casio G’zOne Type-S Rugged Cell Phone Review

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A rugged cell phone eh? One you can toss in your pack or pocket on your next backcountry ski trip and never worry about destroying. One that your kids can drop in the bathtub and still make it out alive. One that can withstand a drop to the dirt, rocks or cement and still show the happy signs of solid 4-bar coverage.

Cell phones are a necessity these days–even in the backcountry. I know, some of the purists will shun me for saying this. Now I don’t mean to say it’s OK to blab to your best buddy for hours in the backcountry, but I feel more comfortable knowing that I’ve got cell coverage just in case of an emergency. And, in the case of an emergency, the Casio G’zOne rugged cell phone just might be the ticket.

Casio G’zOne Type-S Rugged Cell Phone

Built to pass military standards, the Casio G’zOne is shock, scratch, dust and water resistant (tested to 30 minutes at 1 meter depth). It is also resistant to humidity, salt, fog and solar radiation. Not that I know what solar radiation is, but I guess it’s the nemesis of most under performing cell phones. Goodness knows I would never take a pricey Apple iPhone with me on a Colorado River trip, unless I had purchased insurance on it. But the Casio G’zOne, with all its durability, could prove to be a trusted partner that you wouldn’t have to worry about–no matter where your adventures take you.

Casio G’zOne Review

Recently, I got the chance to test out the new Casio G’zOne Type-S cell phone to see how it would withstand the rigors of being banished to a hydration pack and generally abused. I let my daughter run around with it, chew on it and drop it at will. I fully immersed it in running water and generally did stuff that I wouldn’t do with my own cell phone. The thing kept on humming without so much as a blink.

Casio G’zOne Type-S Rugged Cell Phone

I’m no cell phone expert, but the voice quality seemed good and the overall menu structure and navigation seemed intuitive enough to learn without a manual. The rubberized dialpad provided just the right feel when dialing numbers and navigating the menus. The circular exterior display is clear and large as compared with most other phones I’ve seen. Photographs taken from the phone were clear and crisp–not that it will be replacing your Nikon D40.

The phone is a bit larger than most current flip phones (probably the only major negative aspect of this phone), but they’ve got to do something to absorb the shock and stave off the elements, so the case is pretty burly. The durable plastic shell feels nice in hand and really gives you the confidence that the phone isn’t going to break into a million pieces should you drop it to the ground. There’s even a large d-ring so you can attach a lanyard or carabiner to keep it from falling out of your pack or pocket.

Some other notable features of the Casio G’zOne cell phone include:

  • Built-in Bluetooth wireless
  • VZ Navigator GPS Navigation with turn-by-turn
  • 2.o MP Digital Camera
  • Camcorder
  • Web-enabled
  • Built-in speakerphone

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a durable cell phone that can go anywhere you go and work anywhere you work, the Casio G’zOne Type-S is the ticket. No more worries about dropping it into the drink, or having it break into a million tiny pieces when dropped to the ground. Looks like a great phone for outdoor enthusiasts who don’t want to worry about their cell phone in the backcountry.

The Casio G’zOne Type-S rugged cell phone is available exclusively at Verizon Wireless for $149.99 with 2-year agreement.

To purchase other Verizon phones or plans, visit LetsTalk.com.

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

23 Comments

  1. This phone is pretty shock proof. I put it though quite a bit and it was able to handle it. It’s also pretty water proof, however I through it in the pool and some of the buttons stopped working. So, i guess don’t forget about it in your pocket.

    Anther thing. This phone is about as intuitive as a rock. I don’t think they did any beta testing on it to see how well the interface worked. If I entered a phone number into the contacts list the name wouldn’t come up if they called. Only the number. Often times the speaker phone would turn on at random so when i answered the phone it would blast into my ear and more… Over all I hate this phone.

  2. Good to know… I only used this phone for a few weeks and found it acceptable, but definitely not iPhone intuitive. No cell phone is as intuitive as an iPhone.

    Every phone has its quirks, but if you want a rugged, durable phone, this is still one of your best options.

  3. If you want something rugged that won’t break when you drop it, get a rock. That is essentially what my GZ one is. The volume control that is on the outside of the phone will turn the ringer and vibration off. So when I put it in my pocket the phone will ring without my knowledge. When I went and bought a holster, it still turned the ringer off. I haven’t broken it yet, but when I pull it out of my pocket and find I’ve missed three calls because the ringer is off I’m often tempted to see what it would take to break the piece of junk. Possibly my worst purchase ever!

  4. Sounds like user error to me… 🙂

    I hear you man… each phone has its own idiosyncrasies for sure. I always tend to call people randomly from my pocket with my Blackberry Pearl. Or, start texting people from my pocket. For some reason the button location is just right.

  5. One of my company phones was dropped into a lake where we were building a dock. The water was 12 feet deep and it was the next day before I got a diver to go look for it. After about an hour of looking for it in the black water 12 feet down, he came up with it. I could see right away that the time was showing on the cover and opened it to see that everything works. That’s 12 feet for over 24 hours. I was totally relieved and very happy to not have to replace the phone.

  6. If you are bad with phones and you can’t seem to keep one very long without breaking it, like me, this is the phone for you.. I’ve tested this mother with everything i had.. i dropped it 9 stories and all that happened was the battery came out.. turned on like nothing ever happened… I’ve texted in the shower with it and even in the pool. taking underwater pictures and even throwing it against a brick wall.. Mine has definitely taken a beating.. and overall.. it works almost flawlessly… Only one negative as of recently.. i may have beat it up too much, but it sometimes turns off randomly and back on again.. it may be shorting out.. hell.. I’ll just take it back and use my manufacturers warranty and get another one… A+ for Casio on this one.. wish it did tricks like my dog though

  7. Had my first one for about 7 months. It started shorting out during calls, texts, and other random times and then turned back on again. Sent it in to get a replacement phone. After about 4 months of having this phone, I stopped getting service. Couldn’t make or receive calls or texts. I kept trying to turn it off and on and it would reset to Jan 6, 2008 12:00 AM and search for service. I let my dad take it in and they told him it was because water got in to the contacts and was giving it a bad connection? wtf!?

  8. I’ve had the g’zone for 2 years. It has been dropped numerous times and my husband is even harder on his phone than I am with mine. Both of our phones work great and we never worry about reception or having the phone stop working due to shock, water, etc. Our 2 year contract w/ Verizon ends on May 13 & we looked into the new g’zone model. I don’t like that the new version has an internal antennae so we’re going to keep using the g’zone model that we’ve had for two years. This phone has been the best cell phone we’ve had. No, it’s not an iphone and it doesn’t have a million gadgets but if you want a phone that actually works like a phone and don’t want to have to worry about it surviving some abuse then this is the phone for you!

  9. yea okay shock proof bull crap this is the most over rated phones ever i was just riding my bike yesterday when it fell out my pocket. Naturally i didn’t think anything of it because i have heard how industrectible it is. it is all over hyped i picked it up opened it and have the screen was blank. i tried everything to get the phone to work nothing work. overall i hate this phone yea this is the worst phone ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Are you guys kidding me?! This phone is a god send! I have had this phone since the day after christmas. And i have abused the heck out of it. It is such a cool party phone, what better way to prank somebody then to accidentally drop your phone into there drink and freak out lol? I have dropped this phone while running, i even keep it in my pocket when i do motocross. And i get to watch all the Verizon videos, use GPS, PTT, and ESPN MVP! This is true bang for buck, nothing comes close to this phone, nothing. I bought this cause i’m clumsy, and you know what, it pays. My old nokia 5700 cracked after just one hip high drop, and the only advantage that one had was the better integrated music player, but with my Zune, i can live without. 2mp camera and video with flashlight, compass, bluetooth, etc. This is the best rugged phone on the market bar none, all this plus all these other accessory features, which none of the other sub par ruggedized phones come with. Gz’One is the winner all way.

  11. There is no reason to praise this phone. The processing power of this phone is almost non-existent. Want to end a call hit “end” then wait..wait..wait..wait some more..Oh…call finally ended and goes back to main screen.
    My son’s GI Joe 2ways have an antenna that is 5 times better than what is in this piece of junk.
    For in city calling and roaming around town this phone will do the job but for outdoor, rugged use this thing looks promising but is overly disappointing..I will never buy another Casio phone, ever.

    Plain and simple the only feature on this phone worth noting is the superior flashlight.

  12. it may be rugged (i haven’t had it long- company phone) but it is not dependable, unless you want to depend on very poor reception, long connect times, not able to hear, calls usually dropped, if they even go thru. battery life seems very short, controls are poorly designed, buttons are flush and too small/too close together, requiring both hands and both eyes to be focused on the keypad, ptt button placement on side causes you to accidentally key it nearly every time you remove it from the holster.i’ve had the same negative experiences that the above commenters mentioned, like the ringer turning off and the phone powering off on its own. the charger port is a step back in evolution, it requires you to carefully try to figure out which way to insert the plug or risk damaging the little connectors, let’s compare this casio junk to my old nokia 3585, which i have used for 5 years in police work, the nokia has been dropped hundreds of times, exposed to rain, etc. the screen is more subtle on my night vision when working at night than the boulder. the battery life on nokia is fantastic compared to the boulder. the 3585’s controls are simple – buttons are raised and distinct, i can dial without looking at the keypad, the nokia has a round charge plug, goes in safe and perfect every time – its designed so you can’t put it in the wrong way — bottom line, don’t believe the hype about boulder, its no better for communications than holding a rock. and what kind of name is “geez one”, must be greek for “junk phone”

  13. I thought this phone was a good one when I got of but not to long after I got it it broke every time I turn it on it shuts rite back off does anybody know what I can do to fix it

  14. The Type S is the phone my company supplied me with. I really was not too impressed with it until it showed me its ruggedness. At the end of a day of working we were all standing around talking, and I had set my phone on the rear bumper of my pick-up truck. A sudden thunder storm hit our location and we all scrambled for our trucks and headed to the hotel. When I realized the phone was gone I was angry at myself and wondering how to re-construct all the phone numbers on my next phone.

    The next day a co-worker spotted my phone in the ditch, 1.5 miles from where we had been working. The phone survived a drop off the truck bumper at approximately 45 mph onto a gravel road and spent the night in a ditch during several thunderstorms.

    Other than a couple of small scratches to the antenna loop at the top of the phone, it is unharmed. One tough cell phone!

  15. I had the original Casio G’Zone for 2 1/2 years and it rocked my wild world. I provided it with daily abuse ranging from drops, kicks, swims in the lake and in my drink, clipping it to my harness while rick climbing, using it as our emergency lifeline on canoe trips, and even using it as a hammer in a pinch. Loved it. It finally suffered from an unexplainable “software glitch”. It can no longer connect to a network, but all the other functions work fine. Still makes a great flashlight, alarm clock, and phonebook. Casio get’s an A for this one!!

    By the way, I totally agree that getting rid of the carabiner loop was an unfortunate move, still trying to rig one on to my current phone.

  16. The (free) traffic update feature has already saved me time on several trips. Interface is intuative, love the ability to associate my own pictures with “Favourite” locations. My son especially loves the “Black Pearl” as the ‘car’ icon.

    Highly recommended.

  17. Has anybody been able to get the Casio G’zOne Type-S work with ATT? I have an Iphone ATT which is great for work but would like to get an unlocked Casio G’zOne Type-S and swap out the sim card when I go on mountaineering trips as it seems more practical than the Iphone.
    Thanks

  18. Hi,

    I’ am from Bahrain (Middle East). I wanted to enquire about Casio G’ zone Handsets – Rock and Ravine. I want to know whether these phones have an ability to insert SIM cards or they have built-in SIMS. I know that they are CDMA phones. But yet I wanted to know if they had a SIM slot as well and can I purchase them from USA and use it anywhere in the world?

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