Review: Casio Gz'One Commando 4G LTE for Verizon Wireless
The Commando's screen is a smidge bigger than last year's model, but keeps the same resolution. It improves from 3.6 inches across the diagonal to 4 inches across the diagonal. Resolution measures 800 x 480 pixels. The smaller size (relative to other Android phones) helps keep the pixel density at an acceptable level, but I still noticed some individual pixels here and there. They are most obvious when looking at text and icons. The screen is bright enough to be used outdoors under the shining sun. Viewing angles are good, though there's a little bit of brightness drop-off when the Commando is tilted from side-to-side. The screen can be used when wearing gloves, but it works best when the Commando is set to Glove Mode (more on that later).
The Commando was a signal hound. Throughout my testing period, there was no time when the Commando didn't remain connected tightly to Verizon's LTE 4G network (last year's model was limited to 3G, which was a serious hindrance). The Commando was always able to make calls on the first dial and never dropped or missed a call even under the worst network conditions. Data speeds on LTE were consistently quick whether the Commando showed one bar or five. The Commando is a good network performer.
The Commando is a very good voice phone. Calls in the earpiece were nearly always free of noise/interference, and had a pleasant tone to them. Further, the earpiece produces plenty of volume when set up all the way. I was easily able to hear callers in a crowded restaurant during a busy lunch rush, as well as when walking around the streets of Manhattan with blaring taxicab horns and rattling diesels. Those with whom I conversed through the Commando, however, said I sounded a bit "tinny." The speakerphone loses a little bit in terms of quality, but the volume is quite good. I was able to hear calls in all the same noisy places when using the speakerphone. Out in the quiet woods, the speakerphone came across like a peace-disturbing jet engine, defiling the sanctity of what would otherwise be a calm repose. Yeah, it's loud. The ringers and alerts were all loud enough to get my attention from several rooms away, and the vibrate alert has plenty of strength to it.
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The Commando includes an 1800mAh battery and it was sufficient most of the time. When the device is used normally in a city environment for phone calls, email, social networking, browsing, and such, it easily lasted throughout a full day. But the Commando comes with a lot of outdoorsy features (more on those later) that suck down on battery life if used all at once. Bottom line, be careful. If you need the Commando to act as a pedometer (which also turns on the GPS) for a day, be sure you have a spare battery or access to an outlet. There's a "power saving" mode, but it only controls the Commando's radios and brightness settings.
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