Kyocera Releases Sapphire-Screen Smartphones Earlier than Apple

6 Aug

Apple’s soon-to-be-released iPhone 6 is reportedly equipped with sapphire display. However, Japanese cellphone maker Kyocera, which has a pretty good market share in the U.S., unveiled its sapphire-screen“Brigadier”smartphone before the new iPhone hits the market. Kyocera was ranked seventh in the U.S. smartphone market in Q3, 2013, outperforming Sony, which didn’t make it to the top 10, according to Japanese media Android Smart.

Kyocera officially released the handset using sapphire glass display on Aug. 1, said rbmen, a blog posting news about smartphones and tablets in Japan. “Brigadier” is expected to be exclusively sold by Verizon for US$ 99 on a two-year plan and US$ 399.99 without a contract.

The device comes in 4.5-inch display and features Qualcomm’s snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 3100mAh battery. It operates on Android 4.4 KitKat and has a camera of 800 megapixels (along with a 200-megapixel front-facing camera). Moreover, “Brigadier” has a waterproof and dustproof rating at IP68 and meets the standards for the U.S. Military Standard (MIL-STD) 810 tests, making it an impact-resistant, waterproof, and also UV-light resistant durable product.

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In a video uploaded to YouTube on July 10th by a person known as“Randy Katz,” a sapphire display made by Kyocera is embedded in a template shaped similar to a smartphone and underwent different scratching and drop tests. The tester also showed a comparative template equipped with impact-resistant glass. The test results revealed that the sapphire screen remained intact while the tempered glass ended up with many scratches and cracks after being scratched hard with a stone or directly dropped on the ground with gravels.

Many smartphone makers began to use sapphire display after word spread that Apple would do so when making the latest edition of iPhones. In addition to Kyocera, Chinese handset maker Gionee was one of the first to equip their smartphones with this kind of glass earlier this year.

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