Closer look at the Casio Brigade

Even though it was announced late last year, we didn't get a chance to get a hands-on with the Casio Brigade until at CES 2010 at the Casio booth. The Brigade is a tough new rugged phone from Casio that also has a full QWERTY keyboard for messaging.

Even though we first heard of the Casio Brigade at CTIA Fall 2009 , we didn't get a chance to take a look at it until CES 2010. The Brigade is Casio's first foray into messaging phones, and like its other G'zOne handsets, the Brigade is military-certified to be resistant to shock, water, fog, dust, and more.

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The Brigade is a hefty device that measures 4.44 inches tall by 2.21 inches wide by 0.97 inches thick and weighs 5.49 ounces. It's clad in a very thick rubber material, which adds to its durability. There's a round OLED external display on the front followed by a navigation array and a number keypad.

Turn it on its side and you can then flip it open to reveal an internal 2.9-inch 65,000 color display plus the QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard feels quite solid and snappy when pressed thanks to the raised keys. Features include a 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus, EV-DO Rev. A, push-to-talk, threaded text messaging, and a suite of G'zGear applications that are geared for the outdoors (including an Earth Compass, a pedometer, an Astro calendar, and more).

We weren't able to find out pricing or availability of the phone, though there's a possibility it'll be out in February of this year on Verizon.

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