A Tougher Android: Brigadier’s Sapphire Shield Display (Part 1)

With the introduction of 2014’s leading mobile devices, consumers and pundits were buzzing about a highly anticipated feature — the virtually indestructible sapphire crystal display. Last fall, Verizon broke new ground with the introduction of the Kyocera Brigadier, the world’s first mass-market, ultra-rugged Android to feature a pure sapphire display, called Sapphire Shield. To date, Verizon’s Brigadier remains one of the only smartphones available that offers the durability and protection of a sapphire display, which is made from a synthetic crystal that is second only to diamond in its hardness and strength.

A tougher Android designed for personal and business use in the most challenging and unpredictable conditions, the Kyocera Brigadier offers a 4.5″ HD touchscreen that delivers superior resistance to impact, scratches and drops. Further improving upon its inherent durability, the sapphire display is surrounded by an elevated bezel, lending yet another layer of protection to the ultra-durable touchscreen. These features, coupled with the Brigadier’s rugged design and rubberized polymer casing, offer state-of-the-art damage protection. By building Brigadier specifically for usability and survivability, the device surpasses existing case solutions that may offer some drop protection, but don’t take into account the necessary waterproofing and usability to ensure all buttons are easy to push with a tactile feel. This specialized design from the ground up makes Verizon’s Brigadier the go-to choice for adventurous consumers and business users working in challenging environments like the construction, fleet, manufacturing and utility industries.

The Brigadier 4G LTE smartphone offers an Android experience with Dura Widgets that provide users with one-touch access to the commonly used rugged applications such as barometer, compass and weather, as well as a dedicated side key to enable Verizon’s Push-to-Talk Plus service for instant walkie-talkie-style communications with 1 to 250 people at a time. And with a maximum output of 610 nits of brightness, the Brigadier’s display far exceeds that of most mid-range devices, lending greater visibility to users in bright outdoor conditions.

With seamless Glove and Wet Touchscreen Operation, the Brigadier is specifically designed to meet the daily requirements of on-the-go field force workers. Built to comply with Ingress Protection (IP) and Military Standard 810G certifications, the Brigadier can withstand the harshest environmental elements with protection against rain, dust, heat, humidity, vibration and solar radiation, and is waterproof for up to 30 minutes in up to six feet of water. The Brigadier is also OSHA certified for safe operation in hazardous locations where high concentrations of flammable gases, vapors and mists may exist (Nonincendive, Class I, Division 2, Group A-D, T4). The Brigadier delivers the utmost safety and confidence to crews operating under the following conditions:

  • Construction workers facing harsh seasonal conditions;
  • Fleet truck drivers responsible for transporting flammable gases or hazardous materials, often through rain and inclement weather;
  • Chemical processing plant floor workers who must navigate around ignitable gases, vapors and mists, and operate their devices with gloves on;
  • Workers at refineries, storage and service stations, who operate in strictly controlled environments and must eliminate any and all potential spark triggers;
  • Utility maintenance crews who need to stay connected when responding to weather-related outages.

While rising to meet the challenges of the rugged lifestyle and potentially hazardous workplace, the Brigadier also delivers the usability expected from an Android smartphone. The Brigadier is powered by a powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon processor and offers 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, which is microSD expandable up to 32GB. It also features a 3100mAh Lithium ion battery to last all day, and an 8MP rear camera that is one-touch accessible from a dedicated side button. The Brigadier integrates Kyocera’s Smart Sonic Receiver technology, making it easy to hear calls even in the presence of heavy background noise such as that created by construction and manufacturing equipment, traffic or large crowds.

Find out more about the Verizon Brigadier for personal or business use.


John is director of corporate communications at Kyocera. He has worked on the Kyocera team shaping its communications strategy over the past 15 years – 13 of those years in-house and two with a Kyocera agency partner. John has always had a passion for writing and began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Whittier Daily News, part of a multi-paper syndicate in Los Angeles.  When not working, he and his wife can usually be found coaching, shuttling, refereeing or cheering for his three sons and their numerous plays, concerts and sports teams.