Kyocera Brigadier with Sapphire Screen

It’s one of the top buzzwords of the year in mobile technology: the sapphire screen. More appropriately called a sapphire crystal display, its remarkability lies not in clarity or resolution or thumb-feel … but in saving us from our oafish, clumsy-handed selves.

Sapphire crystal is hard, see – harder than anything on the good ‘ole Mohs hardness scale except diamond (as we discussed in a piece last year on why sapphire is awesome). And since we don’t generally carry diamonds in our pockets on the regular, the thinking goes that a sapphire screen would be harder than anything that could potentially scratch it – such as the quartz of beach sand, avowed nemesis of glass smartphone displays everywhere.

It’s thinking like this which led GT Advanced Technologies to acquire the sapphire production facility we toured last year, thinking like this which has fueled endless speculation about just why Apple recently bought a sapphire production facility of its very own. But the first sapphire screen-packing smartphone to arrive in our review labs comes not from Apple but from Kyocera, and it comes with sapphire crystal not from GT Crystal Systems, but from Kyocera itself.

Kyocera_Brigadier_Mud

It’s the Kyocera Brigadier, a rugged smartphone for Verizon Wireless featuring MIL-STD 810G and IP68 durability, a Snapdragon 400 processor backed up by 2GB of RAM, and a 4.5″ 720p display protected by a single sheet of Kyocera’s very own synthetic sapphire crystal.

The company was so confident about its scratch-resistant display protection that it even sent along a testing kit with the Brigadier –a smartphone torture set of sorts– containing everything from steel wool to coins to knives to honest-to-God rocks, all of it begging … no, daring us to test it.

And test it we did.

kyocera brigadier testing kit

Did we manage to scratch the very first sapphire screen we’ve ever laid hands on? You bet we did – but while you might be disappointed to learn that it took no diamonds to accomplish that feat, you’ll be glad (or at least entertained) to see just how much grief we had to give the Brigadier to earn those scratches.

Join us, then, for our Kyocera Brigadier torture test below. And if you want a refresher on just how synthetic sapphire screens come into being, we’ve embedded our GT Crystal Systems tour down at the bottom as well, in case you’re in a learning mood. Enjoy!

How to scratch a sapphire screen

The making of a sapphire screen

You May Also Like
Pocketnow Daily: iPhone 12 Update: Not So Delayed? (video)
On today’s Pocketnow Daily, we talk about the new possible launch date of the iPhone 12, the battery in the Galaxy Note 20 and more
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 could’ve appeared in some hot looking renders
We have found some fresh renders of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 that show is some changes in the possible design of Samsung’s upcoming flagship
TCL’s budget Alcatel 3X and Alcatel 1SE bring multi-camera hardware to the masses
Alcatel 1SE features a trio of cameras at the back, while the Alcatel 3X adds an extra macro camera and packs a more powerful MediaTek processor.