Frequent readers of this blog know about my dumbphone+tablet strategy, and why I recommend it for other world travelers. Here’s an update to say that I found the “plain jane” phone I was looking for a month or two ago. Well actually, this is more of a G.I. Jane phone…
The Casio G’zOne Ravine 2 (Yes, THAT Casio. Who knew?) has all the settings you need as a phone, it has more to but they keep these functions out of the way and allow you to program your own shortcuts very simply. It works without a sim in the US on CDMA with Verizon, but with a sim for other countries as a quad-band GSM phone.
This phone is compatible with 2012 technology (including Bluetooth 2.0), charges from USB with a separate headset port so you can use both at once, AND you can talk for 4+ hours without having to plug it in. It has very high usability displays & numeric keypad, and is bright enough to use as a flashlight for finding your keys or opening a combo lock at night as I often do. I love that it holds reception where other phones never have in the hills of West Marin, and that it has truly usable speakerphone. This thing generally feels much like you’d imagine Captain James T. Kirk’s original communicator would. Plus it’s rugged and dependable as they come, it withstands shock, dust, vibration, low and high temperatures, and even immersion in water. About the only thing it doesn’t do that I need is sync contacts with my computer, but that’s not the phone’s fault. It seems that AppleSync has been phased out of the operating system, probably to sell more iPhones. Silly Apple.
CNET has a good review of this phone that sold me. The camera is not great by today’s standards, but it’s good enough to take pictures of a car accident for insurance purposes in a pinch (which is about all I’d ever use it for when my trusty iPad has a camera anyway). The texting is slow without a qwerty keyboard, but if you’re texting through GoogleVoice or Skype on your tablet, who cares?
People in the SF Bay Area sometimes look at me with amusement when I pull out this honking brick of a phone. But then I throw it on the ground, pour a glass of water on it, pick it up, and make my phonecall. Try that with your pansy smartphone beeotch!
This is the smartest dumbphone I have ever met. After almost 2 months of using this phone, I am still pleased and impressed. I love it when good design wins.