From Verizon, a water-resistant cell phone

Just what I need: a phone that won't die if it's dropped in the toilet.

Verizon Wireless said Thursday it will be offering the shock- and water-resistant GzOne from UTStarcom starting Oct. 20 through its Web site and Oct. 23 in stores. Earlier this week, before the phone was announced, CNET's Kent German had the skinny on this phone on the new Crave gadget blog.

Credit: Verizon Wireless

I know from experience that water is no friend of mobile phones. And because people take their mobile phones everywhere, it shouldn't be a big shocker that lots of them get dropped in the toilet. (Come on, I know I am not the only person who has done that!) So thank you, Verizon Wireless, for finally selling a phone that fits my lifestyle.

But UTStarcom, which makes the phone, wasn't really targeting customers like me when it designed the GzOne. It's really going after "extreme" cell phone users. You know the type--outdoorsy people who like to hike Mount Everest, cross-country ski the Arctic Circle and scuba dive off the Great Barrier Reef. This military standards-compliant phone is built to withstand harsh environmental conditions including exposure to temperatures in excess of 140 degrees F, extreme vibration, solar radiation, torrential rainfall, high winds and submersion in one meter of water.

The phone, priced at $299 with a two-year contract, also comes with a slew of multimedia features that help justify its high price. It's V Cast-enabled, which means it can use Verizon Wireless' 3G data network to offer music, games and video downloads. It also features a 2-megapixel camera for taking still and video images while on-the-go. And it has mobile IM to send and receive instant messages using AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger or MSN Messenger.

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