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Anyone who doesn’t go for phones with ten thousand buttons and every dubiously-useful gadget on the market these days may find their salvation in Casio’s G’zOne Boulder phone.

In spite of the impossible name, the G’zOne (gee zee one) Boulder has an interesting feature list. It meets a military standard (810F) for resistance to water, shock, vibration, salt fog, humidity, high- and low-temperature storage, altitude, and solar radiation. Short version: it’s a tough cookie.

Other features range from debatable (the built-in digital compass) to downright dubious (a flashlight). Contractors will likely appreciate push-to-talk compatibility, though the orange paint scheme is a love/hate affair. Fortunately, flat black is also an option for anyone who doesn’t want to call attention to the GzOne.

While I can’t vouch for the Boulder, I am the extremely pleased owner of its predecessor, the Type S. Miscellaneous mishaps this phone has encountered include half a dozen drops to concrete and asphalt, a proof-of-product dunking in a glass of beer, an accidental fall into a pan of used oil, and a drop into a snowbank while shoveling snow. I didn’t even notice it was missing until three hours later, but I still have the phone, and it works perfectly.

I’m hoping the new model is perfect for carrying in hazardous environments like jobsites and shops, just like the one I have now has survived. The keyboard is glove-friendly as well. Instead of a smörgåsbord of minute keys, there are only the usual 12, large and easy to operate. Durability is the main selling point, and some owners have performed some deliberately vicious tests. How bad? Well, this test of a Type S is right up there.

Casio Gz One Boulder [Verison]
Testing Video [You Tube]


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