Kyocera Brigadier Review

Call Quality


Can we just say that it’s a chore having conversations with this?

Meh. Its call quality could’ve been better, especially seeing that it’s a bit tough hearing voices through the earpiece unless we jam it close to our ear. On the other end of the line, our callers complain about the amount of distortion and noise that its microphone picks up. The one saving grace of the experience is the speakerphone, which somehow manages to produce evenly toned voices.

Battery


For a rugged phone, we’re ecstatic to know that its battery life is long lasting enough to provide even the most demanding users with plenty of juice.

Going camping for the weekend? Well, you’ll be in good hands with the Kyocera Brigadier – that’s because its beefy sized 3100 mAh battery has a lot of longevity with its charge. In our battery benchmark test alone, it’s able to pull out an excellent time of over 8.5 hours. And in our real life experience, we’re able to get in a solid 1.5 days of normal usage.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Kyocera Brigadier
8h 40 min (Excellent)
Motorola Moto E
8h 8 min (Excellent)
Motorola Moto G
7h 12 min (Good)

Conclusion


Not surprisingly, Kyocera excels at what it does best – making ruggedized phones that are meant to withstand all that life has to throw at us. With the Kyocera Brigadier, they’ve made the proper enhancements to make its offering suitable for the hardened user. Indeed, it’s one solid phone that’s nearly indestructible, enhanced further with the addition of Sapphire Shield glass to protect its display. Still, at the end of the day, it’s still a phone that largely targets one specific demographic, due to its rugged look.

Flaunting a price of $49.99 with a 2-year contract through Big Red, it’s a great offering if you’re in the market for a ruggedized smartphone. In contrast, though, its $399.99 outright cost is rather steep. Looking solely at the ruggedized smartphone space, it’s no doubt a cut above the rest, but it doesn’t have the commanding authority to topple some of the generals in the smartphone universe.

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 4.4.2
Baseband Version: 1.102VZ
Kernel Version: 3.4.0-g42c25d8


Pros

  • Sturdy construction makes it impervious to most damage
  • Sapphire Shield glass is durable and resilient to scratching
  • The display churns out an amazing 610 nits of brightness
  • Deafening internal speaker
  • Excellent battery life that goes the distance for most people

Cons

  • The design doesn’t go out of the box for a rugged phone
  • Rather choppy performance with its Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Unimpressive photo and video quality from its camera
  • Lots of distortion and noise with its call quality

PhoneArena Rating:

8.5

User Rating:

7.3
11 Reviews

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14 Comments

1. uzimafioso

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

Woah. A minimum brightness of 72 nits?! That's bad for night use. Even though the rest is good enough for someone who can afford it. Kinda like a Batman phone. Costs in thousands and rugged enough to fight Superman. XD

2. uzimafioso

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

Edit: Costs high. Though not in thousands. I had some Opera beta feature on which converted $ into Qatri Riyal. ~_~

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7380; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

So far its for Verizon only. Where did you see a price for this device? I even tried to find it on Verizon.

3. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

I was expecting a little more for a 3100mAh / 720p display combo.

5. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

Kind of looks like Alienware :)

8. EugeneNine

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

One of the features the review has missed is that its not only water proof but you can use it while wet. Water on the screen doesn not mess with it. My son was able to play Minecraft while holding the phone underwater. I seem to be unable to get the camera to focus. Tapping somewhere to focus will move and shrink the white square but then it focuses elsewhere.

9. dannyc32

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

The price for this phone is $399. That's w/o a contract. The battery life on this phone doesn't last the 12 to 20 hours. Its more like 8 to 10 hours if you don't have any apps running in the background. I like the looks on this phone because its across between a blackberry and the droid 2. It uses the same system as what's on a basic tablets.

10. EugeneNine

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

I get more than 8-10 hours. I get up at 6am and by 9 or 10pm its usually 60-70% battery. I did turn on their eco mode but I also have a power hungry corporate e-mail program called Good.

11. wesright

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 17, 2014

I also get more. I have bluetooth running everyday for about 9 hours for my Audible listening which runs a majority of that 9 hours. Not all obviosly but often I leave it running and just rewind back to go over what I missed. I thought I'd lose a lot of battery power because of the bluetooth connection to the external speaker or wireless earbuds but that 9 hours drains it down to 60-70% I used to have a wifi app shut off wifi when not in use at home but even without it I almost never go under 40% with all day use. To be honest, I've only had the phone for just over a month but I love it. It is fast and efficient and super rugged. It spanks every other smartphone I've ever had. Sure, some had one feature better than another but overall this phone is my favorite by far. One thing I must note, the phone calls from the car are so sensitive they pick up everything. If I have the radio playing whomever I call can still hear me scratch my nose! Because of that I have to close the windows when making a call, because the wind noise is so overpowering. With the windows closed its great but with the windows open people have a hard time understanding me. I can hear them clearly even in loud environs which surprises me but it has some special features for that which I have to read up on. Sorry for babbling on so long.

12. jerrylong

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 27, 2016

is there a fix for the sim card all of a sudden it will not stay locked in !!! and my carrier has informed me that it is a common problem with the brigadier is this true and is there a fix for ?

13. kuta92

Posts: 6; Member since: May 20, 2017

Aermoo M1 is the best performance phone i have ever seen ... It is good enough to take a photo for daily use with an 84MP camera. Aermoo M1 powered by Mediatek MT6757 chipset, Aermoo M1 runs on Android OS v7.0 (Nougat) out of the box. It features a 5.2 inches IPS display...It comes with 5000 mah huge battery ..it is very reliable phone and shock proof phone and water proof too ...give it a try and you will be proud of yourself for this techno beast :) :)

14. scapistron

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 12, 2018

After having this phone for about 20 months and regretting it for the last 19 I can say that I wouldn't go for another Kyocera ruggedized phone again. I've gone from a Samsung Rugby (2012?) to a Casio Commando LTE (2014) the Kyocera is a let down. I've never put any of my phones in a case or applied a screen protector, I find them antithetical. The Rugby held up well over two years. Come upgrade time the only Verizon choice was the already year old Casio. It held up very well physically, but the hardware wasn't great to begin with so after two years it was painfully slow. At the time the only option left at Verizon was the Kyocera and it looked good on paper. After about a year both port covers had broken and it took forever to get Kyocera to send out replacements. After about 16 months the screen has started to delaminate along both long sides. At 20 months the phone doesn't want to take a charge and the buzzer has all but stopped working. I never found the call quality to be very good from the beginning and some people I talked to said it was extremely poor on their end. I'm admittedly tough on my phones and my purchasing timing has been bad (early spring), but the Kyocera just didn't cut the mustard. I've resorted to using the very old Casio for the last couple of weeks and am amazed at how much better physical condition that phone is in. It takes a full 60 seconds to send a text, but it works. Given the apparent bad build quality / design of the brigadier I don't plan on continuing with Verizon and getting the Kyocera DuraForce.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Brigadier
  • Display 4.5" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Quad-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 3100 mAh(20h talk time)

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