The Good The Casio G’zOne Ravine 2 has a durable build that should withstand a lot of abuse. Call quality is admirable and the navigation controls are spacious and easy to use.
The Bad The Ravine 2 has a 2.5mm headset jack, and its photo quality is low.
The Bottom Line Casio G’zOne continues the long tradition of Casio Ultrabook phones with the bonus of enhanced call quality.
Casio G’zOne Ravine 2
Editors’ note: Although we viewed the Ravine 2 with the camera, the phone also comes with no shooter. This is the only difference between the two models.
If anything is known for Casio phones, it is extremely durable. And in this regard, the new G’zOne Ravine 2 supports the company’s standard. Like the original Ravine , the Commando and other G’zOne models before them, Ravine has to withstand virtually any physical condition, offering a range of mid-range features including world roaming, 3G support and push-to-talk (PTT). Of course, the design is voluminous and the quality of the photos continues to be disappointing, but the call quality on Verizon Wireless is improving compared to previous phones.
Being hard to mistake with Ravine 2 for any other mobile phone. It is large (4.33 inches long by 1.99 inches wide by 0.83 inches deep) and heavy (4.85 ounces), and has distinctive features such as a ribbed loop and a ring around the external display. It’s not pretty, but it’s not really the point of a solid phone. And if you didn’t know it was a Verizon device, the black and red color scheme will tell you this.
Thick plastic leather also stands out, especially if you are jumping to Gully 2 from a trendy thin tube. The absence of any rubber siding was amazing, but the ravine had a comfortable, solid feeling that inspires confidence. And even with the extra volume, the phone easily slides into bigger pockets.
Casio promises that the handset can withstand shocks, dust, vibration, salt fog, humidity, low and high temperatures, and immersion. Casio has a handy list of these durability requirements on its site, most of which do not seem to meet. We gave Ravine 2 a bath, put it in the freezer, lowered it to a hard surface and hit it in general (now I just need to find the salt mist). In each case, he survived and kept poking. The moving parts, like the oversized ribbed hinge, are also built to last.
Thick skin and abundant ravine loops contribute to durability.
The 1.38-inch external LCD displays conventional information, including date, time, signal strength, and caller ID. The display is also full-color, although we prefer to have access to basic features without opening the phone.
The back of the phone has a camera lens and a flash, although there is no mirror to capture the fuss. The back cover is fixed with a sliding lock to prevent moisture and dust from entering, but it is still easy to remove. Fortunately, the microSD card slot is located on the right side of the spine just below the Micro-USB charging port. Both have locking lids, as you would expect on a durable device. On the left of the spine is a bright red PTT / shortcut button (which you can program), a volume rocker, and a voice command key. All this is easy to find when you hold the ravine 2 to your ear. On the other hand, the headphone jack is only 2.5mm, so you have to use the adapter for most headsets.
Gully 2 is so hard that you can even swim.
The internal TFT display measures 2.2 inches with a full color resolution of 320×240 pixels. As you might expect, it is hardly a quirky smartphone display, but it is not needed. The colors are bright, the graphics look great, and the standard menu designs (you can choose between grid and list formats) are easy to navigate. You have the usual set of options such as brightness change, backlight time, display theme and wallpaper, menu and font size of the set, as well as a banner.
I couldn’t have asked for a better design for navigating. There is a large silver switch with a central OK button that can be programmed to give one-touch access to four functions. There are two softkeys around it, a camera control and a combo shortcut for the loudspeaker, and to activate the camera flash as constant light. Compared to many phones, this is a useful set of keys that provides the best features in easy accessibility.
The Ravine 2 keyboard buttons have a comfortable, spacious design.
What’s more, there are the usual Talk and End / Power buttons and the Clear key, which also opens long-pressed GPS features. The keys below the keyboard have a spacious tactile design. There is plenty of space for quick texts and you can dial. I also liked the bright backlight and the large numbers and symbols on the keys.
The primary function of the Ravine 2 is making calls, though it is not without some performance options. I’ll start with the basics. The phone book contains 1000 room contacts in each entry for multiple fields. There is also a separate PTT phonebook containing 500 additional contacts; You can connect to other VerT PTT phones. The Verizon Backup Assistant will store your contacts on the carrier’s servers for storage.
Other basic features include messaging, voice commands and dialing, calculator, calendar, Bluetooth, alarm clock, stopwatch, countdown timer, world clock, and notepad.
Like most mid-range phones, Ravine 2 offers access to Microsoft Exchange accounts and POP3 accounts such as Yahoo, Windows Live and Gmail. You will need to use the Verizon mobile email app for $ 5 a month, but the interface is not entirely worth the effort. Similarly, instant messaging requires data usage, and I did not enjoy the full conversation while using T9 predictive text.
The camera lens and flash are sitting on the back of the Ravine 2.
The 3.2 megapixel camera takes photos in six resolutions, from 2,048×1,536 pixels to 160×120 pixels. In addition to the flash (which doubles as a flashlight), there are brightness and white balance controls, night and multi-light modes, digital zoom and five color effects. There is a default shutter sound in the camera, but you can turn it off. The DVR shoots clips at a resolution of 320×240 pixels with a variety of editing options. Unfortunately, you can only shoot for 60 seconds, whether you save the clip in your phone or send it in a message.
The Ravine 2 camera took medium-quality photos.
The picture quality is just average, unfortunately, with blurred colors and some image noise. Make sure your finger is not removed during shooting.
You can easily transfer photos from your phone using a data card or via PC sync via a USB cable (Ravine also has USB mass storage mode). Inside, the phone has 512MB flash memory with 256MB of RAM. However, thanks to the whole phone, users only have access to 216 MB of space. The microSD slot can hold cards up to 32GB.
Ravine 2 has a number of applications from both Verizon and other vendors. They are not entirely malicious as they do not displace the main menu, but most require the use of data networks. VZ Navigator stands for GPS directions and turn, V Cast TV offers streaming video, and Daily Scoop promises personalized news and deals. Yes, I accurately conveyed the latter. City ID will display the city and status of incoming calls, though it is annoying that you need to have a subscription when Sprint offers the service for free. There is also an Opera Mini browser that includes access to applications such as Facebook, WeatherBug and YouTube, but it is scary to use it on such a small display.
I tested dual mode (CDMA 800/1900) Ravine 2 in San Francisco with Verizon. Due to the fact that some of the previous Casio phones went astray when it came to call quality, I did not have high expectations. But after a couple of days of use, I am delighted to find that the Ravine 2 is a nice improvement over its predecessors. I didn’t notice the subtle sound quality that Nicole Lee heard in the original Ravine and my callers were more positive about the sound at their end.
For me, the volume of the calls was loud and the sound was clear and static-free. The voices sounded natural, and I heard no distortion. My only complaint is that I heard a few very short audio gaps, but not enough to color my experience. I also had no problems with automated call systems or using voice commands. For the latter, just make sure you speak slowly, do not mutter, and use the appropriate commands (such as “Call Eric” instead of “Phone Eric”). Since the commands are independent of the speakers, you do not need to train your phone. Moreover, I could use this feature even if there was background noise.
As I mentioned, subscribers reported better terms for their termination. My friends could hear me loud and clear, and my voice lacked the strict quality that arose with the first Yar. Subscribers could tell that I was using a cell phone and several friends mentioned the noise of the wind, but none were unusual. Loudspeaker calls were approximately the same. The speaker becomes very loud and at the highest volume level only a touch of distortion is visible.
Ravine 2 supports 3G Verizon EV-DO Rev. No, it’s not LTE, but there’s really no need for 4G on a midrange phone. If you are used to 3G speed, you will not be disappointed by the ravine. Mobile web pages load fast and streaming video works well.
As a dual-mode phone, Ravine 2 uses the Verizon CDMA network in the United States and GSM and UMTS networks abroad. The SIM card shipped with your Verizon phone means that you will be locked in to Verizon roaming partners, but it is still a great option to get overseas service. You do not need to activate the service, but it is worth investing in one of Verizon’s global best-rate service plans (see the CNET Worldwide Quick Start Guide for more information).
Ravine 2 battery life is 4.68 hours and 21.1 days of standby time. According to FCC radiation tests, the Ravine 2 has a digital SAR of 1 watt per kilogram.
Like its predecessors, the Casio G’zOne Ravine 2 stands out from the crowd of cell phones for its rugged and overly reliable design. It is at least that, but it doesn’t matter when you can take the snorkel without giving it a scratch. Similarly, although it does not have a number of features, call quality is important and offers everything you need to communicate. So if you need a device to call for help while stuck in a sandstorm, the Ravine 2 is a great buy. I just wouldn’t recommend taking this sandstorm with a Ravine 2 camera.