Kyocera Brigadier With Sapphire Can Handle What Life Throws at It

Kyocera Brigadier With Sapphire Can Handle What Life Throws at It
Meet the Kyocera Brigadier From Verizon Wireless
The Knife Test
The Brillo Test
The Old Coin Scratch Test
Bag-o-Rocks Test
Taking the Plunge
Some Details
It's Also a Flashlight
Charging Port
Audio Jack
MicroSD Onboard
The Magic Key
Speakers
Verizon Wireless
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Kyocera Brigadier With Sapphire Can Handle What Life Throws at It

By Michelle Maisto

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Meet the Kyocera Brigadier From Verizon Wireless

Verizon sent some members of the press a kit welcoming them to abuse the Kyocera Brigadier, a rugged Android smartphone with a Sapphire Shield display. Rumors say Apple will use the same material on what's popularly referred to as the iPhone 6.

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The Knife Test

While most phones aren't prone to knife attacks, it's impressive to know the Brigadier can survive one—as well as anything sharp being dragged across its surface, or an impact with a fine, sharp object. One can imagine a distracted field service worker throwing a phone into a toolbox and having it meet up with a screwdriver head.

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The Brillo Test

A pot-bottom-style scrubbing with steel wool resulted in … nothing. It was like I'd wiped the Brigadier with a tissue.

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The Old Coin Scratch Test

The only resulting evidence on having been shook up in a bag with coins and a bottle opener were a few burlap threads on the screen of the Brigadier.

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Bag-o-Rocks Test

The press kit included a bag of rocks and a jar. I placed the rocks and the Kyocera Brigadier in the jar and shook things up. This test felt the most brutal of all, particularly with each smack of the top of the phone in to the jar lid.

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Taking the Plunge

Then, it was time to wash off those burlap threads. The Brigadier, which has plastic covers over its ports, was unaffected.

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Some Details

The Kyocera Brigadier has a 4.5-inch HD touch-screen that's readable in bright sunlight and runs Android KitKat (4.4). It measures 5.37 by 2.69 by 0.52 and weighs 6.6 ounces. It can act as a mobile hotspot, offers simultaneous voice and 4G LTE data, has Isis Mobile Wallet on board and is a global phone.

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It's Also a Flashlight

On the left is the lens of the Brigadier's 8-megapixel rear camera. The camera on the front is 2 megapixels. To the right of the camera lens is a dedicated flashlight, accessible via one of the phone's home screens.

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Charging Port

On the bottom of the phone is its charging port. Thanks to a tiny indent to its side, usable with even very short nails, it's very easy to open, which isn't often the case with phones approved for water use.

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Audio Jack

On the top of the Brigadier is the speaker button, secondary microphone, audio jack and power button.

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MicroSD Onboard

On one side are the microSD and SIM card slots, plus a dedicated camera button, but when using the camera, there's also the option of an on-screen shutter button.

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The Magic Key

On the phone's other side are the volume buttons and a bright-red key that can be programmed to do various things. In cases where the phone's push-to-talk (PTT) functionality is useful, this button makes sense. But it can also be programmed to do things like launch the camera or just turn on the phone—more simply than touching the tinier power button up top.

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Speakers

Likely with the optional PTT capability in mind, Kyocera gave the Brigadier very loud speakers. Gorgeously crisp? No, but definitely loud.

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Verizon Wireless

The waterproof, dust-proof, kid-proof Kyocera Brigadier is available from Verizon Wireless for $49.99 with a two-year contract, or with Verizon's Edge offer for 20 monthly payments of $19.99. While not intended to compete with the iPhone, the sapphire-featuring Brigadier can give iPhone lovers hope that their next phone's face-plant onto concrete will result in nothing that a tissue can't wipe off.

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