- Water, dust, temperature, solar radiation, shock and vibration proof
- Sapphire screen protector makes display virtually scratch proof
- Touchscreen usable with gloves and when wet
- Good battery life
- Mediocre camera life
- Performance issues playing graphics-intensive games
- Chunky and heavy
The Kyocera Brigadier takes the term rugged seriously. Like other devices in this category, the Brigadier is IP68 certified, which means it is dust proof and can waterproof for up to 30 minutes in up to 6 feet of water. It ups the ante, however, as it also meets the US Department of Defense Military Standard 810G to protect against shock, vibration, temperature and weather extremes and solar radiation. Phone Scoop describes the Brigadier as, "One tough mother of a phone…that kicks butt and takes names…" As a rugged phone, the Brigadier is not dainty by any means. It measures 5.37 x 2.69 x 0.52 inches and weighs a hefty 187 grams. While on the thicker side, experts point out that the variety of textures and materials making up the chassis create a very nice phone to grip, even with wet hands.
If that doesn't impress you then perhaps the sapphire coating on the display will. Kyocera touts the Sapphire Shield screen as virtually scratchproof and reviewers fully back this claim after failed attempts to scratch the display with rocks. Behind the sapphire is a less than awe-inspiring 4.5-inch, 720p LCD display. Although experts weren't wowed by the screen quality, they didn't find any issues with it. They note that it is relatively sharp thanks to the 326ppi pixel density, offers good viewing angles and decent bright light legibility. What really won critics over was its Glove and Wet Touchscreen Operation feature. As the name suggests, users can operate the phone even if they are wearing gloves (up to 3mm thick) or the screen or their hands are wet.
Although the phone's 1.4 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM can't compete with iPhone 5S, it performed well enough for reviewers that they could have perform day-to-day tasks without any lag issues though there was stuttering during graphically intensive games. In order to keep all the components damage and weather proof, there are no removable parts including the battery. Still, critics found the 3,100mAh battery perfectly adequate as it lasted a full day of moderate use. The Brigadier also comes with 16GB of internal storage and a microSD expansion slot. The 8MP rear camera failed to impress critics due to its grainy low-light images and inaccurate colors. Gotta Be Mobile notes, "…the cameras are not the best you'll find on a smartphone, but they may be the best you'll get on a rugged smartphone."
Despite a less than stellar rear-camera and average hardware, reviewers still approve of the Kyocera Brigadier. PC Mag gave it the Editor's Choice award for rugged smartphones due to its "impregnable durability, high-quality display and solid midrange performance for the price…"
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Adama D. Brown, Brighthand
It’s neither the slimmest nor the sexiest device out there, but the Kyocera Brigadier offers lots of extra value for its relatively moderate bulk. It’s not that much larger or heavier than a slightly older phone like the Motorola Droid MAXX, which offers similar battery capacity isn&rsqu...
- Ben Schoon, iTechTriad
Overall the Brigadier is a pretty decent option, if you fit the target demographic. The phone is aimed at those who need a phone that can handle some tough conditions without damage and for that it certainly fits the bill. For the average person, I probably wouldn’t recommend this phone simply...
- Joe Fedewa, Phandroid
The question I always ask myself when rating a device is “would I recommend this phone to someone?” The answer to that question is tricky for the Kyocera Brigadier. On one hand it’s an excellent device for people who need something durable. But on the other hand it’s nothing...
- Josh Smith, GottaBeMobile
If you lust after the new iPhone or Galaxy S5 but you want a rugged smartphone you’re better off getting a rugged case, but if you absolutely need a rugged smartphone that can withstand drops, water and more the Brigadier is a good choice.You’ll need to live with a 720P display and camer...
- Blake Stimac, PCWorld
Like most heavily ruggedized phones, the Brigadier is a hyper-specific smartphone that caters to a small subset of users. Nonetheless, the mid-range phone performs well, has a battery that will easily last you all day, and is very affordable. Plus, you'll get a Sapphire Shield display and Qi-Wireles...
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Kyocera Brigadier user manual here.
Kyocera backs up the Brigadier with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Brigadier has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Kyocera support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Kyocera's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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Manuals / User Guides
- Kyocera Brigadier Manual (PDF)
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