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printed October 1, 2014
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Review: Casio G'zOne Ravine

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Menus Calls / Contacts Messaging Outdoor Gear  

The Caso G'zOne Ravine offers an interesting selection of outdoor apps, all collected under a single G'zOne Gear menu. Some of these are old standbys from G'zOne phones, like the compass and the pedometer. The compass will display very precise heading information with the clamshell open, or you can get a less accurate heading using the external screen with the flip closed.

In addition to the compass and pedometer, the G'zOne includes a built-in thermometer. It isn't very useful in a hurry. Casio's tutorial suggests that the thermometer might take up to a half hour to get an accurate reading, and it can be easily thrown off by body temperature, the temperature of the phone, or other distractions, like a warm, charging battery. Indeed, in my 70-degree office, the thermometer registered a sweltering 82-degrees. But if you turn it on when you wake up and leave it outside your tent, you might know the air temperature by the time you're ready to start cooking breakfast.

The G'zOne Gear apps also offer a few informational features. You can check the lunar phases for any date. You can get tides and sunrise or sunset times. There is even a star map based on your GPS coordinates. It won't automatically change as you move the phone, as you'll find with Google Sky Map on more advanced Android smartphones. But you can slowly rotate the star map to match the sky above you, then point out constellations like a true expert.

Most of these apps can be used while the phone is closed, as well. You have to open the apps with the shell open, then close the lid, but once the G'zOne Gear apps are running, you can switch between the various features using the volume keys. With the clamshell open, you can even switch between the apps by waving the phone in the air, which is a completely useless option.

 

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