The iPhone 6 is where most consumers are looking for a Sapphire screen that is nearly impossible to scratch, but a rugged phone with Android just beat it to market on Verizon. For users that want a rugged smartphone, the iPhone 6 won’t likely deliver everything they need, but this new rugged smartphone on Verizon has users covered with a collection of features.
Verizon offers the Kyocera Brigadier, backed by none other than Bear Grylls, and a long list of things that this device can survive.
Part of this new rugged smartphone is the Sapphire Shield display that Verizon calls, “virtually scratchproof.” This is a feature many smartphone users want in a new device, right along with drop protection.
Although rumors suggest the iPhone 6 will use a Sapphire display this year, the iPhone 6 design is not engineered to the same extremes as the Kyocera Brigadier. Verizon pitches this Sapphire screen smartphone as a perfect device for moms, outdoor adventurers, construction workers and first responders.
The Kyocera Brigadier is $99 with a $50 rebate dropping the price to $49. Users can buy the device in Verizon stores on August 7th or buy it online starting today.
The Verizon Kyocera Brigadier is a rugged smartphone that offers more protection from drops than most other devices. While the Galaxy S5 is water-resistant, it is not designed to handle drops like a rugged phone. We typically see one or two new rugged phones each year, and the Kyocera Brigadier is a step up from the Casio Commando 4G LTE, which is in need of a refresh.
If you buy the Kyocera Brigadier you’ll get a 4.5-inch screen covered with a Sapphire Shield. The video above showcases the strength of a Sapphire display against sharp objects and against a drop to a pointed rock. The impact resistant screen shown here is similar to what we find on most smartphones. The drop test delivers an incredible visual, and offers hope that the Kyocera Brigadier’s Sapphire display can stand up to almost anything you can throw at it.
This offers hope that the iPhone 6 with a Sapphire display can survive drops as well as this device, but with a Military Standard 810G rating, the Kyocera Brigadier is ready for more than an iPhone. It is rated for shock, vibration, extreme temperature, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog and humidity. Users can also rest easy with 30 minutes of water immersion at up to 6-feet.
Other features include Glove & Wet Touchscreen Operation tech that lets users interact with the Sapphire display while it is wet or while they are wearing gloves. A recent report outlines how the iPhone 6 may offer the same options for gloves or wet screen usage.
Like the HTC One, the Kyocera Brigadier includes front facing speakers, that the announcement claims will offer clear audio even in noisy environments.
The Kyocera Brigadier runs Android 4.4, boasts an 8MP rear facing camera and a 2MP front facing camera. Users get 16GB of internal storage and MicroSD card support up to 32GB of additional storage. There is a 3100mAh battery and built-in wireless charging.
If you need a rugged smartphone, this looks like a good option that delivers more durability than current rugged smartphones. Even if the iPhone 6 includes a Sapphire display we don’t know if it will include a waterproof design and the aluminum may not handle drops as well as the Kyocera Brigadier.