The Kyocera Brigadier was released last week! Okay, unless you’re an outdoor enthusiasts, or adventure junky, you probably haven’t heard of it. So, why should you care? Good question!
The Brigadier is packed full of features to make it dust proof, water proof, and drop proof. One of it’s more notable features is a Sapphire display. With the tech bloggosphere erupting with iPhone 6 sapphire screen speculation, the Brigadier is a good way to get a hands on look at sapphire, on a production smartphone. Since we fix it, of course, we had to break it.
Sapphire is incredibly hard, it’s second only to diamond on the hardness spectrum. Using sapphire in a screen means incredible scratch resistance. But, sapphire is also pretty stiff, about 5 times stiffer than glass. This usually implies brittleness. So, how does is sapphire display fair in actual impact tests? We drop tested it to find out.
One stand-out feature of the Brigadier is a raised bezel that surrounds the display. This means that a face down impact , which in our experience is most likely to shatter a screen, won’t contact the glass directly. This feature alone significantly improves the phones impact durability.
Our tests started with a 3ft face down drop. Then climbed to 4.5ft, 6ft, and finally 8ft. As expected, the phone fared well. Other than a beat up bezel, the sapphire display remained completely intact.
This had us wondering, is the durability due to the sapphire material, or other factors, like the raised bezel? To find out, we removed the display from the phone and dropped that face down on its own. The results may surprise you. The sapphire display cracked on the first drop attempt, from a height of just 3 feet.
We suspect that though sapphire is a great material for scratch resistance, it is not the indestructible super-material that is has been proclaimed to be. Though Kyocera has built an impressively tough phone, we believe the elevated bezel and other factors do more to increase its impact durability than its sapphire screen.

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uBreakiFix specializes in the repair of all things tech. With locations worldwide, uBreakiFix is one the fastest growing companies in the repair industry.

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