A couple weeks back, we saw Kyocera release a video teasing some upcoming tech we’d be finding in its smartphones. Normally, this isn’t a company we expect to see pushing many limits, but this time we were intrigued, as it was talking about sapphire screens. As we look forward to see if Apple’s really delivering its next-gen iPhones with sapphire protection, Kyocera teased its own Sapphire Shield, a “truly affordable, pure sapphire display.” But just how would that arrive? We may have the answer, as one of our sources clues us in to the coming availability of the Kyocera Brigadier on Verizon.

The Brigadier will have a 4.5-inch 720p display, an 8-megapixel main camera (with 2MP front-facer), run a 1.4GHz quad-core SoC, have 2GB of RAM, and offer 16GB internal storage with microSD expansion. If that were the end of the phone’s story right there, it would hardly be worth sharing with you.

Then we get to the ruggedization stuff: Kyocera has designed the Brigadier for operation in harsh environments, giving it IP68 dust and water resistance, protecting the phone while submerged in up to six feet of water for half an hour. It’s also US MIL-STD-810G-rated against a number of other environmental conditions, including vibration and temperature extremes.

And then there’s that Sapphire Shield. The documents we’ve seen don’t go into much detail about the level of protection offered, but based on that “pure sapphire” language Kyocera employed in its teaser video, this sounds like the real deal, and it will absolutely be present on the Brigadier.

We haven’t heard anything about pricing (will the Sapphire Shield demand a big premium?), nor when sales of the Brigadier might begin, but based on the presence of this past Saturday’s date in the render up top, we wonder if a launch might not be imminent.

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