Casio G’zOne Ravine: when a smartphone isn’t tough enough

Proving there might still be some consumers in the market for phones that aren’t smartphones, Verizon Wireless today announced it will soon be offering the Casio G’zOne Ravine ruggedized phone. Although the G’zOne Ravine may not be able to tap into application stores or markets—and is saddled with what might be the most awkward name in the industry—the G’zOne Ravine is engineered to stand up to the rigors of an active outdoor lifestyle, whether that be hunting, surfing, biking, hiking, skiing, or just being subjected to the rough-and-tumble of a typical workday.

casio gzone ravine when a smartphone isnt tough enough g zone  verizon wireless oct 2010

Even though it’s not a smartphone, the Casio G’zOne Ravine isn’t entirely feature-free: it packs a 3.2 megapixel camera, text-to-speech and voice dictation for hands-free text messaging, a built-in voice recorder, noise-cancellation technology for clear calls, a full suite of mobile messaging clients (including email and Web access), the ability to tap into Verizon’s VZ Navigator function for turn-by-turn directions. It also offers push-to-talk capabilities powered by Verizon’s 3G network.

The G’zOne Ravine also sports seven G’zGear modes to assist owners on their outdoor adventures, including a walking counter, a GPS-assisted compass, a thermometer, a tide calculator, astro calendar that tracks the moon’s phase, sunrise-sunset indicators, and a star gazer feature that identifies major features in the sky. And the whole thing resists shocks, heat, cold, dust, vibration, solar radiation, humidity, altitude, and even salt fog, conforming to MIL-STD-810G standards.

The G’zOne Ravine will be available for $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, if purchased along with a new two-year service agreement. When will it be available? Verizon Wireless hasn’t given a solid date, saying only that the G’zOne Ravine is “coming soon.”

casio gzone ravine when a smartphone isnt tough enough g zone  verizon wireless oct 2010