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Initial Experiences/Review

Discussion in 'Casio G'zOne Commando' started by crabbybahstid, May 2, 2011.

  1. crabbybahstid
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    crabbybahstid New Member

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    It's been entertaining so far. Most of the issues are my teething problems with the Droid OS, I think as in that area I'm a rank noob. Throw in the obvious differences between the way these devices work and the CrackBerry I was used to, and I'm confronted by some learning.

    First, and fortunately, it's pretty intuitive. Which is fortunate, because there's no manual, just the "tips and shortcuts" flyer from VZW. That flyer is largely useless; you'll figure those things out in the first couple hours. I'm going to scout around for a print (best) manual, because I'm a RTFM kinda guy.

    The phone part appears very good. I can hear, the party on the other end can hear. It's a little strange in that to answer, there's not virtual "button" to push if you're in snooze mode, you have to slide the action button toward "answer." I missed the first couple calls because of that.

    A bonus is that it appears to provide a better signal through the car Bluetooth (MINI Cooper) than the BB did. It hooks up completely, including my full contact list/phonebook. That's a little slow, requiring at least a minute. We have notoriously bad reception at the house, but it seems to pick up okay. At home, I turn on the WiFi for mail and web, as I figure the battery will work less that way than straining for the 3G signal.

    Browsing is very fast, either via 3G where there's good signal, or WiFi at home.

    The stock mail app is crap. Complete crap. In my case, complete, locked up doesn't work FC crap. It kept re-loading every email that I deleted, then finally crashed, and apparently can't be reset without doing a global hard reset, which I don't want to do because of apps I've loaded and the sync of contacts, etc. The VZW store loaded K9 mail to give me something that worked, and I like it a lot better, except that outgoing mail gets duplicated to the "drafts" folder instead of just the "sent" folder. I suspect I'm going to need some tutoring on Droid email, because the apps don't seem to recognize deleted emails as unwanted, and they keep reloading.

    I had installed ATK, but when I went in with the frozen up email, they took it off, saying that for Froyo phones (I take that to mean Droid OS 2.2?), ATK caused some problems. They directed me to the applications menu where you can turn off certain apps that you don't use (City ID).

    The Weather widget is goofy. I just deleted it, because it hadn't updated from New York, last Friday.

    Batter life is surprising. It went down fast the first overnight, but that could have been because of my setting it up and doing a WiFi sync. It charged through the evening Saturday, and overnight to Sunday AM. I had it on yesterday, and at this point (1d 14h 22m, according to the phone), I'm still showing 18% on the battery, and have just now been told to plug it in. Not bad, I didn't think.

    The screen is almost identical in size to the iP4, but it seems bigger because of the overall size of the phone, and the fact that the four function buttons are not part of the viewable part of the screen. It's plenty bright, and very clear. BTW, it comes with an OE plastic film on it that's as good as a lot of screen protectors you'll buy out there. Just tear the tab off the upper right corner (that's there to pull the whole thing off), and roll with it. There's nothing commercially available yet anyway.

    BTW, there are very few accessories out there. VZW lists two sleeves/cases for it, but that's cosmetic, since it's supposedly drop-damage-resistant. I think it looks better without one. I would like a clip/holster, as I'm used to having my BB on my belt or pocket, rather than in a shirt pocket.

    But overall, I really dig the phone. It looks the business, feels very good in the hand, and seems to work fast and reliably. I'll try to post up here as I settle in more, and would appreciate any pointers.

    Oh, I thought of one other thing: I'm not a fan of OTA sync. I'd just as soon keep my contacts and calendars in my pocket and on my home computer. So, since I'd used it before, I loaded MissingSync, along with Fliq Calendar, Notes, and Bookmarks, and synced over the home WiFi. I understand that I can do BT sync as well. It worked fine!
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  2. Littlecond
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    Littlecond New Member

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    Not for me as much as I really wanted it to be

    First off let me start by saying I did not purchase this phone and after my limited experience with It I no longer plan on it.

    I first attempted to look at it at an actual Verizon retailer, not an affiliate. I was greeted by a friendly associate who didn't seem to know a lot about the phone, but that was understandable seeing as the phone was only 3 days old. The demo on display had a malfunctioning screen and a mind of it's own. Took 4 tries just to swipe right to unlock it. Once unlocked, pressing any icon would pop up several things in random order. It was obvious the screen had issues. After a hard reset the phone still had the same issues. I was told a tech would have to look at it and come back in a few hours.


    A few hours later I returned with my wife (the intended recipient who has hands of butter and is exceptionally hard on a phone). The same rep told me it was fixed now. Apparently they had put a black plastic tie around the screen to hold the security cord in place and they said that was interfering. I was told it was removed and ready to go. Tried it again, no deal. Screen was still messed up and had a mind of it's own. This had me concerned seeing as this was being pushed as a rugged device and was malfunctioning after only 3 days on the floor. The manager came over and said they had no demos to show me, but they had plenty of new ones in stock for purchase. Why the heck would I buy one if I can't see it in all it's glory? Anyway he told me to come back the next day, which I did only to discover the same malfunctioning unit on display. The manager must have not remembered me because he told me he was unaware that the unit was Malfunctioning and this was the first time it was brought to his attention. Total BS and a very disappointing experience with Verizon.


    Anyway I found another store with one on display and it appeared to be functioning. Overall I was pleased with the size, appearance and design. It felt substantial and durable. What I didn't like was the touch screen was not very responsive. It seemed laggy and sometimes things needed to be pushed twice. Texting seemed to be fine, but overall lack of responsiveness from the touch screen was a deal breaker.

    As for my wife, who has no touch screen experience and is used to a slide out physical keyboard on a dumb phone found it useless and wanted to leave and was turning on me for wasting her time. She couldn't believe I was trying to push her into new technology that seemed primitive.

    To save face, I quickly had her try the incredible 2 and she fell in love with it. Very responsive and the onscreen keyboard was easy for her to use.

    As much as I wanted this to be the phone, it was not. The lack of responsiveness from the touch screen killed what otherwise would have been the "perfect phone".

    All I can say it try before you buy. My wife never ended up getting a new phone because she is too overwhelmed and afraid of breaking a "regular" droid. Guess otter box will continue to do well until someone perfects a durable phone.
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  3. crabbybahstid
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    crabbybahstid New Member

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    Not to defend the phone, and I'm sorry you and your wife had a bad experience with the VZW store and hit two bad display units, BUT, the display unit here and the one I bought both are very snappy to respond overall. There are some lag issues that I notice with text input in a couple apps, and the position sensor doesn't like me (works for my wife), but other than that, it seems pretty quick. Obviously YMMV.
  4. Bear in NM
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    Bear in NM Active Member

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    Crabby and Little,

    Thanks for the reviews. Little, sorry you had such a hard time with VZW. It sounds like you may perhaps be on another carrier. All I can say is that you are lucky to even have a VZW store:) My closest one is about an hour and a half away, and when I called them they did not even have the phone. Not discounting the phone actually having mfg. problems which caused it to be wacky, I would tend to take that with a little grain of salt as who knows what folks have done to the phone's settings. The keyboard has gotten a couple of bad reviews, I am hoping that if I can ever get my mits on one to test, the landscape mode might be acceptible. I have not used the "swype" type programs on the market, but one or two of the reviews said that the native "swiping" program was decent.

    Crabby, I would guess there to be a learning curve coming from a Blackberry. My D1 was my 1st smart phone, and I had spent a weekend getting a buddies Blackberry set up before my D1. Even with that little bit of a crash course in Blackberry made Android seem a little odd. You can find answers to most anything Android here on this forum, and if you have ANY questions, drop me a PM.

    I have attached a copy of the full manual. I gave it a zip extension due to the size, but it is NOT a zip file. It is a .pdf file. So download, and change the extension to .pdf and it should work for you.

    Yes, android 2.2 is called froyo. Google names all of their software upgrade with a desert "common name". 2.1 was eclair, 2.2 is froyo, 2.3 is gingerbread, etc. Froyo is mostly the official (stable) software across most android phones right now. A couple of devices have Gingerbread, and a lot more devices are using hacked GB.

    So, how is the sound for music from the speaker? Wondering it 75db is really that much louder than other devices?

    Thanks,

    Craig
  5. chrstdvd
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    chrstdvd New Member

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    Very interesting, I was waiting on this phone to come out and was about to snap it up until on the Verizon site it said only available for on line orders. After being stung with the BB Storm I would never buy a phone unless I can test it first.

    Anyway I read reviews about it that said the touch screen is not responsive and one guy said he gave up trying to send a text and just called the person he was trying to text.

    I will wait for a while and see if this issue is cleared up. I have the original Gzone one to talk on and it is magnificent even after all these years of abuse.
  6. emscapt47
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    emscapt47 New Member

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    I have had the Commando for about a week and so fare this phone is great. I VOL for Red Cross and i do Vol Search and Rescue and let me tell you this phone will be nice to have in the Field. I had the phone for three days before then returned it for a DINC2 and then returned the DINC2 for the Commando again...This is a great phone..If your waiting cause people say there keyboard is not as reponsive as say the TB then just get another phone..The keyboard and screen are suppose to be alittle less due to the ruggedness of the phone. This is what i was told when i called on this phone. I called CASIO not Big Red...So to each his own but to all that want to get this but are not sure...DO IT its a great phone....:icon_ banana:
  7. crabbybahstid
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    crabbybahstid New Member

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    I've had no issues so far with the keyboard. I'm using the swipe thing for all my emails, and for entries on a diet/fitness app I'm using, and 8.5 times out of 10 it works just fine. When it doesn't, it's usually some obscure word like "frappuccino" or something. And thats working in portrait mode, not tipped to landscape.

    Occasionally there's some lag, but nothing like the delays I was living with on the BlackBerry. It just seems like (as with a lot of electronic devices) it does what it wants to for a moment before coming around to the task at hand.

    I'm still pretty pleased with battery life. It lasted all day Friday, and essentially all day yesterday on a single charge. I charged it last night, then today I did a couple updates, some surfing, a couple of photos and emailing those pix, and it pulled it down. I'd rather get two days, but as long as I get a full day no sweat I'm good with it.

    I will be happy when I can get a holster or belt clip (without gluing a lug onto the back), and a non-glare screen protector. The word I've gotten is that stuff like that is about a month out.

    The short version is that if you're a power user or overly sensitive to the occasional droid-nap, then I don't think you're going to be happy with anything shy of a Thunderbolt in a 4-star 4G area. Other than that, this phone rocks.


    I have that one as well. Haven't used it in a couple years, but the thing was bullet-proof. That's one of the main reasons I looked at this one, and went with it with little hesitation.
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  8. kat89447
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    kat89447 New Member

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    My husband just got this phone and loves it. I'll admit I'm a phone snob and never even mentioned this phone to him when I was researching my next phone. We both were due for upgrades and researched many. Finally we drove an hour to the vzw corp store and tested out the ones we liked. They didn't have the Commando on display yet, and the salesperson went in the back to get their display model. It was only charged about halfway so my hubby only had a short time to play around with it. He loved it. I have to admit that the phone was sleaker then I thought it would be. It didn't look too big or bulky and the keyboard is very nice. I am not a fan of virtual keyboards and had been using a BB for years. The keyboard on the Commando was great. The ruggedness of this phone is great and the phone itself is just as good as any other smartphone out there. I ended up getting myself the Dinc 2, virtual keyboard and all, but honestly the Commando is a great phone.
    He has had the phone for a couple of days and the battery life is amazing. We live in a rural area and often suffer from low signal. This phone blows away his orig Droid on battery and is quicker browsing the web. Take it from a phone snob, this phone is great.
  9. tdiesel
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    tdiesel New Member

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    Commando Weather widget

    in order to change the location for the weather widget you need to enable gps. do this go into settings then location and security and highlight gps stand alone services. then go to the widget and hit update. it takes a few minutes to update and then shows the state you are in and the weather.
  10. wBootsw
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    wBootsw New Member

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    Good Phone

    I'm rough on things. This phone is good for me. It being my first 'droid' I can say its great for beginners to android as it's rugged and casio as I've herd backs up their claims on ruggedness.... if you have yours break down for any reason.. don't call Verizon, call Casio!

    Odd thing about the email.. maybe I'm just not used to emails or what not, but my email was set up about a week or so ago and its a good application. It says "mail 1.0" on the 'about' readout so it may have been a very recent fix. I've got four accounts set up on this phone and it makes deleting my flood of spam quite easy. (note: yahoo mail takes a while to respond where gmail takes very little time).

    It may be that the very knowledgeable fellow that set up my phone did an in house switch-up on the email app without my really seeing it. He's not a 'factory' store but an authorized reseller.

    Me not knowing the luxury of a 'sensitive' touch screen I'm not a good reviewer for those that are droid phone phanatics:), but if your a regular joe that keeps a phone for five years at a stretch then this is the phone for you:)

    Again.. any problems call casio!! Can't wait for the 4g casio smartphone!!

    Well I can wait, probably for a number of years, but it sounds good:)

    Boots
  11. cbreze
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    cbreze New Member

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    I've now been using my commando for well over a month and my impressions remain very positive. I've also never had a casio device before so another first for me.
    This being my first android device, and I think it is an excellent introductory type of device. After trying a t-bolt instore several times I thought this to be the better choice for me. The build quality is top notch, feels sooooo solid, and one of the biggest pluses imo. The rest of the phone is very smooth and works very responsively also. I change phones out annually, but this is a keeper for at least that long.
    Also, a quick observation using the GPS. It is one of the fastest if not theee fastest locking of any gps's I've used. This in combo with the upgraded google maps using the turn by turn works very well and coming off a 5500 mile roadtrip I can say I'll not be lost again. Anyone who has not tried the turn/turn directions of the google maps , should. It beats the he!! outta verizon nav and best of all it's free!:)
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