- 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…"