Everyone has a cell phone destruction horror story. Whether your sensitive electronic marvel been has dunked into the toilet, fumbled out a car window, or whipped against the wall in anger, the indispensable devices we depend on every single day inevitably catch a wave of bad luck (or abuse) sooner or later.
The latest phone from Casio’s well-established line of G-series mobile handsets is ready for that unforeseeable mishap whenever it comes. The Gz’One Boulder follows in the boot prints of the older Casio Type-S with extreme durability, but also piles on new features and adds an outlandishly rugged-looking shell.
It’s probably no accident that the phone’s styling calls to mind a Hummer H2. From its decidedly angular shape to its chunky dimensions, the Boulder picks up more than a few styling cues from GM’s iconic go-anywhere machine. It’s even available in an eye-scorching orange shade that Casio seems to have lifted straight from GM’s color swatches. (Although the cell company more modestly calls it “Orange” instead of “Solar Flare Metallic.”)
Outside, there’s a 1.2-inch monochrome display that doubles as a compass for navigation, along with a flashlight for those hairy situations that plunge you into darkness without warning. The phone’s internal LCD, a 2.0-inch model, is fairly standard, but still an upgrade from the 1.8-inch model on the old Type-S.
The phone’s reinforced plastic skeleton imbues it with its drop-proof durability. It’s been coated in polyurethane and sealed shut with a silicon rubber gasket to keep out both water and dust. With the ports sealed up, you should even be able to take the Boulder for a swim, provided you don’t attempt to go scuba diving with it. After that, more pedestrian cell phone hazards like rain and high humidity should be no problem.
But the Boulder’s versatility extends well beyond surviving the occasional bump and dunk. Casio has also brought the phone up to spec with a handful of other, more traditional cellular features. For instance, it gets a 1.3-megapixel integrated camera, Bluetooth, and Verizon’s Mobile Internet 2.0 for delivering news, sports and entertainment on the go.
For truly adventurous outdoor travelers and confused pedestrians alike, it also offers Verizon’s VZ Navigator for spitting out turn-by-turn directions, whether to Yellowstone National Park or the corner store. And if you’re having trouble turning up streets to help guide you in the middle of the desert, don’t forget that external compass to guide the way.
Although you might expect a phone named the Boulder with an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink feature set to weigh a ton, Casio has kept its digital Swiss Army Knife to a reasonable 139 grams. While that’s a hair more than its predecessor, it makes up for the extra heft a slimmer side profile of just 0.9 inches.
Fortunately, price has also been kept within the realm of reason. Verizon will offer the Boulder in late August for $129.99 with a mail-in rebate and two-year agreement. And short of losing it, you shouldn’t need another phone for a long, long time. More information on the Boulder can be found on Casio’s Web site.