Casio unveils rugged G'zOne Type-L smartphone with barometerBy Matthew DeCarlo
Casio has unveiled the latest version of its rugged G'zOne smartphone series, introducing new features geared toward outdoor enthusiasts such as an integrated barometer. On paper, the Type-L seems familiar enough: it packs a 4-inch 800x480 IPS touchscreen, a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage with a microSD card slot, an 8-megapixel camera, LTE support, and Android ICS.
However, the internals are wrapped in a body that is designed to withstand harsh conditions. It measures 15.9mm thick (more than twice that of the iPhone 5) and it weighs 181g (nearly 62% more than Apple's latest handset). With that added bulk, Casio has managed to make the device dustproof and it cites an IPX5/IPX8 waterproof rating, which means the phone can be submerged in up to 1.5 meters of liquid for at least 30 minutes.
Interestingly, we can't find any specifications claiming the device is sturdier when it comes to surviving drops and such, but most of the press material is in Japanese. However, there is word of integrated sensors you typically don't find on smartphones, including a thermometer and a barometer. These seem to be paired with applications that provide information about the weather, including forecasts based on previously recorded trends.
Although it's is much bulkier than mainstream smartphones, the Type-L is a little weak on battery life. The device's 1800mAh battery is reportedly rated for about 10 hours of talk time and 15 days of standby on LTE. Other features include FeliCa for mobile payments, a 1seg TV tuner, an infrared transceiver, and support for Casio's upcoming Bluetooth Smart Watches. The G'zOne will hit Verizon eventually, but precise details aren't available.