Kyocera is out with the world’s first “regular” smartphone with sapphire screen. I’m saying “regular,” because there are already few devices with such panel though they tend to cost few thousands of dollars. Think: luxury phone makers like Vertu and Gresso.
The Japanese company has made its own technology and chances are they’ll be looking to sell it to other handset makers, as well. For the time being, they are offering this tech — called Sapphire Shield — inside their newly announced Kyocera Brigadier which is available from Verizon Wireless.
Said phone fits the mid-end of the market, packing a 4.5-inch screen with 720p HD resolution, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core chip clocked at 1.4GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in storage and a 3,100 mAh battery. There’s also a pair of cameras, 8-megapixel one with LED flash on the back and 2-megapixel front-facing camera.
The Brigadier comes in a rugged shell that meets IP68 and Military Standard 810G requirements, making sure it’s protected from dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog and humidity, while also being able to withstand being immersed in water.
Verizon is offering Kyocera’s tough baby for $99.99 with a two-year contract or for $399.99 sans any strings attached. Alternatively, if you want it with Verizon Edge, you can get it for free as long as you commit to 20 monthly payments of $19.99.