Review: Casio G'zOne Ravine
The Casio G'zOne Ravine has plenty of messaging options for a feature phone, though most of these options haven't changed much in the four years I've been looking at G'zOne phones. Basic text messaging has gotten better looking, and messages are now presented in a threaded, conversational format. But the phone does a poor job indicating from which side of the conversation the message is coming, and it only shows the first dozen or so characters of a 160-character SMS message. My picture messages came through, but I had to click through two screens to see the picture, and it was not obvious when a picture was attached.
The Ravine uses the same instant messaging app Verizon Wireless has been using since the telegraph was invented. It's stodgy and dated looking, but if you want to connect to AIM, Windows Live or Yahoo, it gets the job done. There are a trio of email options available, but none of them are very good. There is a mobile email client that connects through the phone's horrible Web browser. This will, of course, require the addition of a data plan. There is a standalone client to which you can subscribe for $5, though this option is also free if you have a data plan that includes email. Finally, there is a basic Exchange client for corporate users, but this option costs another $10 on top of a data plan. None of these options are very good. The phone did a poor job notifying me of incoming emails promptly, and the interface on the two standalone products was sluggish and feature-poor.
AD article continues below...
The phone comes with the new iSkoot Social Beat app that is showing up on more and more feature phones these days. Social Beat lets you check status updates on Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook. It also lets you check your Gmail, and offers another IM client for Google Talk. If you're a social networking fan, Social Beat is definitely the best all around messaging option on the Ravine. But there are so few good Internet and data-intensive apps on the phone that it's hardly worth paying for the extra data plan that Social Beat requires. If you don't subscribe to a data plan, Verizon Wireless charges a near-criminal $1.99 per megabyte.
When a new message arrives, the phone will notify you on the external screen. Though that screen is incapable of showing fancy images and menus, it should be good enough to display a few lines of a text message, so I was disappointed to find that you don't even get a preview of a new message without opening the clamshell.
Hands On with Casio's Android Wear Watch
Casio is finally getting into the proper smartwatch game with an Android Wear watch, in the form of the creatively-named "Smart Outdoor Watch". Weirdly, it doesn't don the G-Shock brand, but it's clearly of that lineage.
Hands On with the Casio WSD-F20 Smartwatch
Casio trotted out its second-generation Android Wear smartwatch this week. The WSD-F20 is a major improvement over last year's model thanks to the addition of GPS and Android Wear 2.0.
Review: Catalyst Case for Apple iPhone 7
Catalyst's case for the iPhone 7 is fully rugged and waterproof. It provides a high level of protection from various threats, including those that adventure seekers are prone to encounter when out and about.
Review: Samsung Galaxy S7 Active for AT&T
Samsung's latest semi-rugged smartphone for AT&T dials back the good looks of the Galaxy S7 in favor of a stronger, studier frame. The S7 Active is tough enough to take a tumble without the brick-like bulk of some fully rugged handsets.
Casio's First Android Wear Watch Defines Ruggedness
Casio today announced the WSD-F10, the company's first foray into the modern smartwatch market. Casio has long made rugged, outdoorsy watches, and the F10 looks to entice outdoor adventurers who might be seeking more than just a timepiece.