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Thread: Kyocera Brigadier Release Thread

  1. #1
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    Kyocera Brigadier Release Thread

    I noticed there wasn't a release thread for this one so I figured I'd start one.

    I was looking for a upgrade from my Droid RAZR for a while. Bought the wife an HTC One M8 a couple weeks ago and I liked it too but through the screen a little large for my taste as I have a tablet I can use should I need/want as bigger screen. My choice is also narrowed down to the companies that still care about their users needs to include the microSD card slot instead of assuming we all won't go past cell coverage range. When I saw the Kyocera Hydro Elite I thought that might be a nice phone until I saw the specs and reviews. I thought about the HTC M7 but kept looking and watching and this new Kyocera Brigadier popped up the last week of July.The Brigadier seems to have addressed the shortcomings of the Hydro so even though there were no reviews yet I ordered one.

    First impressions: The battery life doesn't seem to be as good as they claim so I turned on the "ecomode" to see if that helps so I'll watch the life closely now and see if it improved. My work e-mail (GOOD), which is a sucky made for iphone then quickly ported to Android because we had to app, uses a lot of power so I'm going to have worse than average battery life.

    Pluses:

    - It is waterproof, upon receiving it and checking to make sure everything worked I promptly tossed it in the kids pool and can confirm that the touch screen does work when wet.

    - Seems plenty fast even though its hardware specs are a little on the low side. Heavy apps such as Facebook work fast without the slowness I grew to hate on the Droid RAZR.

    - Opening the door covering the USB port is a pain for those of us which short fingernails but I since it has Qi wireless charging a quick Amazon search for Qi charging pad found one for $20 and a couple days later I don't need to open the USB cover anymore. So I give this a plus because the Qi wireless is a worthwhile feature that a lower priced phone has that a higher end like the M8 does not.

    - Speakers are load like they say. They do distort some playing music but should allow hearing calls in noisy environments as advertised.

    - Barometer I find interesting and it works in airplane mode which leads me to think that its an actual,hardware sensor and its not just looking up some published data for my area.

    Minuses:

    - Camera. While its nice to have the dedicated button as well as the on screen I find myself still looking for the on screen out of habit and the on screen shutter button is the camera button which is normally used to switch between movie and picture so I look and have to think for a second trying to remember where the shutter button is.
    Pic quality is meh. My old Droid RAZR too better quality, I just can't get this one to give good pictures. Its about iphone quality when I'm used to better.

    - Only 16G on board storage. I suppose thats one way to keep the price lower but really 16 -> 32 isn't that big of a price jump and it does have the removable storage. But with all the Verizon pre-loaded apps I don't want taking up a lot of space I'd have preferred 32+removable.


    I can't decide if the dedicated button is a plus or minus. On the plus side its nice to have but on the minus side I can't think of just one thing I'd like to dedicate to it and I keep bumping it all the time.

    So thats my mini review so far. I though I'd post since there isn't must on this phone yet.

    Mods I hope its Ok that I started a release thread and that its not something special just for most to do, but if its ok for me to do one maybe sticky it like the others for a bit?

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    Hi, thanks for this review! I've been searching for hand's on reviews but they are hard to find given the newness of phone.

    What's your take on the heft of the phone? Easy to pocket and walk around with??

    Also, I saw a Brigadier next to an HTC 8 mini (I think) and the Kyocera white balance seemed to have a yellowish cast,,, do you notice this? (not on camera photos but more generally on applications white backgrounds)

    Finally, someone else reported that the phone mic is very sensitive and does not appear to mask ambient / background noise. Any comment around voice quality would be great.

    thanks in advance for any more deets / updated info to your review!

  3. #3
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    Yes, it was hard to find info on it since it was so new but I took a chance anyway.
    It is a little heavy but doesn't feel bulky. Since its a rugged phone I don't have any kind of case on it where my old phone even though it was thinner the case made it bulky.
    I haven't noticed a yellowish tint to mine, but I know there can be differences between phones. For example my wife and I both had Droid RAZR's and hers looked slightly bluish compared to mine.
    I haven't tried a call yet I maybe make one call every couple months.

  4. #4
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    Any word on call quality? It has a, to put it mildly, really unusual earpiece and mic and depends heavily on vibrating the entire phone to register itself in your ear. If it has respectable call quality despite this, I'd be very interested; it pretty much does everything else I think a smartphone should do, including work with gloves, resist dousing with water, have a bright enough display to read outside, have a big enough battery to run a smartphone, and survive drops without having to add a case.

  5. #5
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    Made a couple calls today and it seemed fine.
    Since you mention is, the display could be a little brighter, it does get hard to read in bright sunlight.

    Something I learned this weekend thats not related to the Kyocera as my wife's HTC did the same thing. We were visiting my parents house in the mountains where their house doesn't get a cell signal. We plugged our phones in to charge before we went to bed but both were dead by morning. Doing some checking, it seems these new phones will charge to 100% then sop charging then run dead. Our old phones would charge to 100% then stop charging then discharge a little then start charging again.

  6. #6
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    How is it for fingermarks? I've seen a test which indicates the display is even brighter than the iPhone, and it certainly looked impressively bright in the store, but the store sample picked up finger grease on the screen like I haven't seen since the original Motorola Droid. It was not lost on me that Apple recently filed a patent for oleophobic treatment of sapphire glass. How are you finding the fingermark situation to be in practice?

    Also, for everyone's information, the size is reasonable, smaller across than Samsung's full size phones (S3, S4, S5) even when they lack a protective case, and comparable in size to an iPhone with a solid case such as an Otterbox.

    Basically I liked everything about it except the fingermarks, which are almost at deal breaking point.

  7. #7
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    Doesn't seem to get fingerprints any more than any other phone/tablet.

    I wonder who Apple stole their latest idea from this time.

  8. #8
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    I just realized I had the display brightness set to auto so thats why mine was somewhat hard to read outside. Much brighter if I turn it up manaully.

  9. #9
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    For anyone interested, Ive now had it a couple weeks so I'm past the initial install and configure all my stuff and mes with it. I was up at 6am this morning and the battery was 98% then, used over the day with the normal e-mail, some web, facebook, weather app, its now 9:45 and the battery is it 54%. So it does have decent battery life.

  10. #10
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    I went in to Verizon to finally replace my aging G'Zone Commando, thinking I'd get the Kyocera. No luck, no longer carried by Verizon and there is no other equivalent phone so I will have to hang on to my Commando for a while. Very disappointed that Verizon no longer offers a rough duty phone.

  11. #11
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    OK, one Verizon store had them. Got it today. Just learning how to use it. Going to order a Qi charger since it is already set up for one.

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    So far I am liking this phone. Compared to the Casio Commando which it replaced, IMHO it is much "smarter" and faster. The slightly bigger and brighter screen is nice.

    Have only ONE issue and it's probably something I just need to figure out. The wireless "Qi" charging is nice. Lay the phone face up on the little charging pad (about the same footprint as the phone) and it starts charging. The issue is that when it reaches about 95% charged it starts to beep. The "battery charged alert" notification is OFF but I still get the beeps. I like to charge my phone at night, next to my bed, so having a middle of the night beep is a pain.

    Anyone have a solution?

  13. #13
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    Mine has never beeped. It will sometimes just wake up when charging so the screen is shining brightly.

    Only issue so far after 1.5 years of use is my son pulled the usb door off and neither Verizon or Kyocera will sell me one. They both want to swap the phone saying its not user replaceable even though I have had to re-attach it before when it was pulled off, it was just lost the last time.

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