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Review: Casio G'zOne Brigade

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Calls

Dialing on the Casio Brigade was more difficult than it should have been. The columns of number keys on the exterior keypad are staggered, so the 2, 5, 8 and 0 keys aren't in line with the numbers next to them. This makes it tough to dial by touch without looking. For calling features, the Brigade covers all the bases. You can make 3-way calls by simply dialing a second number and pressing send. Then, conference your callers by pressing send again. This is intuitive once you've done it, but a menu or onscreen guidance is always nice. The Brigade has a dedicated speakerphone button, which is especially useful considering the excellent, loud speaker. If a call comes in at an inconvenient time, you can respond with a quick text message chosen from a preprogrammed list.

The Brigade does a nice job keeping track of your calls. There are multiple call logs for missed, received or dialed calls, and one that groups them together. The call logs don't include the call duration, but there is a handy tool that tells you the duration of your last call, and gives you other statistics to help keep track of your calling minutes and data usage.

 

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Contacts

The contact list on the Casio G'zOne Brigade is very basic. You can add multiple phone numbers and a couple of e-mail addresses, but you can't send an e-mail directly from the address book, which seems silly. At least you can browse your contact list from the Mobile Email app on the device. The address book also has fields for a street address, but you can't start a navigation session from the contact list, and the older version of VZ Navigator that comes with the Brigade can't access your address book, so the stored addresses are almost useless. I also found it strange that there are no fields for PTT contacts. There is a completely separate address book for the PTT function, which seems redundant.

There is a backup assistant to store your contacts on Verizon Wireless' own servers should you lose your phone, but the contact list doesn't come with a proper sync function. You can't sync with any online address books. There is a Corporate Mail app on board that gives you access to a Microsoft Exchange account if you use Exchange, and then you'll have access to your corporate address book from within the app, but you can't automatically sync with the phone's built-in contact list.

 

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