Pros The battery life is insanely long, waterproof (swimming for over 45 minutes with it in my pocket), drop proof, dust proof, can surf the web, great call quality, great camera
Cons Could have come with a more comprehensive user's manual rather than having to download the manual from an online site.
Summary My husband has had the G'Zone phones since the beginning. From the original G'ZOne to the Boulder, and now the Brigade. Every one of them he has left in his pocket while we swim - sometimes for hours at a time. The Boulder was a bit of a disappointment - so he went back to his original G'Zone until finally, a few weeks ago, he got the Brigade (only after my encouragement after buying an Android phone). He couldn't be happier! The QWERTY keyboard is excellent. He received the phone on a Tuesday, charged it up for the first time - and he was "playing" with it constantly. We were trying to get it to die (the battery) - and did everything - left videos playing, left the flashlight on, left our phones on "talk" to each other - and it took until Friday night about 11pm for it to die - and that took a LOT of effort! On my Ally, I maybe get a full 24 hours out of a charge. The Brigade takes better pictures than my Ally, and can surf the web, is super fast on application load, power-on/off, etc. The call quality is excellent, and it is rugged as anyone could possibly ever need. He works in a steel shop - and leaves it on his work center around the flying sparks and dust and heat - then swims with it in the evenings. And, just like his original G'Zone did - it is taking it all just fine. He even has several underwater pics from it - just as he did with his original phone. Also, something that is not mentioned near as much as it should be, is the fact that you can do almost EVERYTHING without even opening the QWERTY keyboard (except for surf the web or open applications that require the larger screen). It should be stressed more that this is really 2 phones in one - a totally functional candy-bar style phone, and a fully functional QWERTY keyboard phone. My husband has very large hands, and he could not type well at all on my old LG Voyager due to the key size. He can type like lightning on the Brigade, with no mistakes or accidental key-strokes. The keys are very large and rubberized and easy to feel when you type. I myself have played with it a lot over my Ally.
While the Android is the "hot" item right now, I can completely understand the higher price for the Brigade - as it will be the last phone you will ever have to buy. You just can NOT "kill" these phones - no matter what you do to them! I am constantly amazed that more people (men, especially) do not flock to the Casio G'Zone family of phones.
"I'm a happy camper."on by chkls99
Pros The phone is rugged, battery life is great, the camera is good, sound quality is good.
Cons It's big, but I knew that going in. I wish it had the goodies that were on the Rock and Boulder.
Summary I love my phone, I knew going in that it was big, but it really isn't as big as I expected and I do carry it around in my shirt pocket. The rubberized covering on the outside is nice because it doesn't slide out of my pocket when I bend over. I read that the battery should be power cycled 3 times before it will reach optimal life and it's true. I now get 4-7 days out of a single charge. It depends on where I am and how much of the time it is searching for a cell tower as I am in a remote area with spotty service. I'm not a big texter/talker, but comparing it to my Boulder, it has about twice the life.For me the sound quality has been very good. At first people would tell me that I sounded like I was in a barrell or far away, but I turned off the voice privacy setting and that seems to have cured that issue. I use the camera to take quick snap shots and it's quite adequate for that. I do take them with the phone open because, quite frankly, the external display sucks as a view finder. I love the internal keyboard, it's actually big enough for man hands. The external keyboard, not so much.Two months after my original review and I have to say that I'm extremely happy I made this choice. I spend a lot of time on the Colorado river and I don't bother to take the phone out of my pants pocket anymore. It's been dunked multiple time and is still rocking. When I'm off the river I carry it in my shirt pocket and it does fine. Size and weight wise it is very comparable to my son's Droid. I don't know if you can call this a real complaint, but the darn thing is LOUD. I turn it up when I'm in a noisy environment and if I forget to turn it back down it will get everyone in the areas attention.
The biggest thing I wish the phone had is the compass that was on the Boulder.
I'm not sure what the deal is with the data requirement. It must depend on your plan. I had the option to pay as you use, which costs nothing. I did not have to pay extra for a data plan.
Updated on Jun 18, 2010
Pros SPACIOUS, EASY TO USE KEYBOARD. REAL BUTTONS, NONE OF THIS TOUCH SCREEN B.S.
EXCELLENT BATTERY LIFE. CAN TAKE A LOT OF ABUSE!
Cons A LITTLE BULKY, BUT I DON'T CONSIDER THAT A CON, GIVEN IT'S RUGGEDNESS.
Summary IF YOU ARE INTO TECH TOYS, AND ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES THAT GO ALONG, THIS IS PROBABLY NOT THE PHONE FOR YOU. HOWEVER, IF YOU NEED A FUNCTIONAL, DURABLE, RELIABLE PHONE THAT CAN TAKE A POUNDING YOU CANNOT GO WRONG.
"Coo phone but...."on by mazzolar
Pros Rugged. Great keyboard. Nice camera.
Cons Bulky, Requires a data plan even if you don't use it for data.
Summary Verizon's insistance on making anyone who wants this, and most other messaging phones, buy a data plan is nothing short of extortion. I pay $30/ mo. for texting, and there are currently only two phones on the verizon web site with qwerty keyboards. They recently made all their best selling phones require data plans, rather than raise their monthly rates for phone service. I think this is a very underhanded way of doing business and don't intend to renew my service at the end of my current contract. Oh, by the way, if you're thinking of getting service from verizon check the new contract terms. For many of their better phones they raised the cancellation fee from $175 to $350 per phone.
"Bulk beef is bunk"on by denys00
Pros I did my homework, so 2 things were confirmed. The "big and bulky" rap on the Brigade is untrue. My old LG Voyager (Try finding a used one) is virtually a trade-off in dimensions, weight and balance. I am a guy; I do not worship at the Altar of Tiny.
Cons Well, speed compared to an I-Phone, with downloads, but ya know what? I save browsing for when I'm on a laptop. And my laptop isn?t too heavy, either, cupcakes. Everything on this phone looks and works great.
Summary Trust me cupcakes: Unless you have a mitt the size of a Geisha girl's, you will love this heftier, more solid handset.