Last week, we heard about some consumer focus groups that Casio had been running, and the phones that it was showing-off during them. We’re used to seeing chunky, ruggedized gear from Casio, so news of a super-thin quad-core powerhouse with a 4.6-inch display really caught our eye. We talked about that model at the time, but the source behind the news also claimed to have seen a new entry in the G’zOne series. Today we’ve learned that Casio may have been showing off that very phone at the CES, a super-ruggedized model bearing Casio’s G-Shock branding.
It’s difficult to say just why this model was so easily passed-over at the CES, but we wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few pairs of eyes quickly wrote it off as some new GPS receiver. The phone is positively bulky, even more so than the G’zOne Commando. From the pictures we’ve seen, it appears to be running the same software package as that previous Android.
While initial commentary on the phone suggested that this was just a concept device, and Casio hadn’t yet committed to its production (which might make sense in light of the focus group story), a recent Facebook post on Casio’s US G-Shock page makes it sound like this handset is absolutely coming to market.
We haven’t heard about potential hardware specs for this model, short of its ability to withstand the likes of a ten-foot drop, but extrapolating off the kind of hardware the Commando arrived with, we’re probably not looking at anything faster than 1GHz; single or dual cores is a tougher call to make.
What do you think of Casio’s design here? Has it taken the idea of a ruggedized phone a little too far? Would you feel any less safe depending on a regular smartphone tucked inside a heavy-duty case?