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Review: Casio G'zOne Brigade

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Menus Calls / Contacts Messaging  

The messaging features on the Casio G'zOne Brigade are useful, but not at all impressive. You get text messaging with MMS capabilities for sending pics and videos. Unfortunately, text messaging is not threaded, so you can't follow an entire SMS discussion as a long conversation, you have to read texts message by message. That seems outdated, especially as competitor AT&T is making a push to improve these basic messaging features on its non-smartphones.

The Brigade gets the same old Instant Messaging client Verizon Wireless has been using for years. If you use Yahoo, AIM or MSN, it certainly gets the job done, but don't expect any advanced features or a stylish interface. It's basic, but our messages went through with little delay on either end of the chat.

For e-mail, the options are a little better. There is the Mobile Email app that let me access my Gmail account with ease. The Brigade is actually better than most feature phones at keeping you updated on incoming messages. Even when the app wasn't running in the foreground, I was notified about new e-mails right away, sometimes even before my Android phone picked up on them.

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The text in e-mail messages is a bit thin and wiry looking, and it could be easier to read, but otherwise the interface is clean. The Brigade can't handle HTML e-mails, and I couldn't open attachments sent to my e-mail account. Like I said, there is also a Corporate Email app for Exchange users, but this is not a proper Exchange sync like I'd want in a business phone.

The phone doesn't come with any special support for popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. You'll have to use the e-mail and SMS options those services provide to update your status or send pictures to your pages.

 

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