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Casio said to be prepping quad-core handset

Details of a focus group leak, indicating Casio is ready to spread its wings a bit by a releasing a quad-core Android smartphone.

Casio's rugged handsets like the Ravine 2 may be a quad-core sibling. Josh Miller

Casio, a name typically synonymous with rugged (read: ugly) handsets like the Ravine 2, may be ready to compete with the likes of Samsung and LG.

A Droid Life tipster who claims to have spent time in a Casio focus group advises that the hardware maker is readying a number of new Android products. One model, an unnamed device referred to as "Big Boy," is said to feature a Super AMOLED display in the range of 4.5 inches or larger.

Providing details based on memory, the Droid Life source goes on to say that the handset had a quad-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, a 2,000mAh battery, and 4G LTE connectivity. Additional details include a front-facing 2-megapixel camera, NFC, a microSD card expansion slot, and a curved design much like the Galaxy Nexus. In terms of software, the Casio handset was running the "latest Android version" and pictures resembled 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Yet, Casio isn't quite ready to walk away from the strong military-grade handsets as the focus group also learned of a potential G'Zone Commando successor, Droid Life says. Participants were treated to demonstrations of phones that were submerged in water for more than a half hour and dropped from around 4 feet. The tipster indicated that phone also had the familiar rugged texture on the outside.

I don't know about you, but I've yet to see something from Casio that gets a second look. That's not to say it can't put together a tough device, rather I can't justify putting extreme protection ahead of internal hardware. I'll be anxious to see how it handles a more-powerful smartphone and whether consumers ultimately pay any attention.