30
Jul
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Last Updated: August 5th, 2014

Update: Verizon's specification page has been changed to indicate that the LG G Vista has an "HD" screen. It looks like there was an error in the original spec list. We're going to assume that means that it's a 1280x720 screen.

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Looking for a mid-range phone on Verizon? Then you've got two more choices starting today. The LG G Vista, an enormous "phablet" device, and the Kyocera Brigadier, the latest in the company's line of "tough" phones, are both on sale now at Verizon's website. They should be in at least some company-owned retailer stores starting Thursday, July 31st. Both phones are being sold for $99.99 on-contract, and both are $400 without a commitment.

vista

The aptly-named G Vista uses an enormous 5.7-inch display, matching the Galaxy Note 3 for the largest display in Verizon's current lineup. But since this phone is decidedly mid-range, you'll only get one-quarter of the resolution (960x540). (See update above.) The rest of the phone is on about the same level: 1.2Ghz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 8 lonely gigabytes of storage space plus an open MicroSD card slot, and an 8MP rear camera. At least the G Vista looks good, with slim bezels, rear-mounted control buttons, and a basic design similar to the G2. With a 3200mAh battery it should last a while, and it runs LG's customized version of 4.4.2 out of the box.

brigadier

Kyocera's Brigadier, which leaked back in April, is another kettle of fish altogether. The 4.5-inch screen is much smaller, with a higher 720p resolution. That isn't the major selling point, however: this is a "rugged" phone, designed to take a lickin' and keep on using various digital outputs and syncing mechanisms to display the time. For example, that screen is covered in a layer of synthetic sapphire glass, the first we've seen on a US smartphone, and theoretically unscratchable by anything other than diamond. (Don't get too enthusiastic - it can still shatter.) The phone can be used with gloves and in wet conditions, and the chunky body with physical navigation, camera, and speakerphone buttons is rated to Military Standard 801G for dust, shock, temperature, pressure, radiation, humidity, and (wait for it) water resistance.

kyocera-brigadier-tough

Most of the rest of the specs beat out the G Vista, including a 1.4Ghz Snapdragon 400 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage plus a MicroSD card slot, and an 8MP/2MP camera setup. Kyocera highlights impressively loud 100 decibel front-facing speakers, and the 3100mAh battery can be charged wirelessly. Software is Android 4.4.

The Brigadier looks like an impressive entry in the admittedly niche rugged segment, while the G Vista is yet another big-screen phone for those on a budget. Any takers?

Verizon Wireless: LG G Vista, Kyocera Brigadier

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Chris Webster

    5.7 inch screen with a qHD resolution in 2014? MY EYES BLEED JUST THINKING ABOUT IT

  • DrMacinyasha

    A ruggedized phone with Qi charging? That's interesting, but makes sense compared to having someone fiddle with the dustflap on the USB cable all the time.

    More surprised that Verizon doesn't force you to buy a $60 wireless charging accessory to enable it.

    • CeluGeek

      Is it really Qi charging? They went with PMA wireless charging for the Hydro Icon.

      • GuestGeek

        It has Qi built-in out of the box so you can keep all the ports covered when charging it. Hydro Elite from Verizon is also Qi built-in - though I think Brigadier replaced it.

  • ccccc

    if you like unlocked bootloaders and/or a phone company that actually updates their product after it is released then avoid kyocera. i had the misfortune of buying one of their phones last year. the bootloader is locked and they never bothered to update it except for minor things. mine will never see kitkat, and since it is locked down, there is no way to get even a custom recovery on it.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Why would you buy a Kyocera device?

      • ccccc

        it was cheap. like $30 off of ebay. Now I know why lol. needless to say it was my first and last kyocera. if they are going to be so lazy as to not bother updating their phones then they should have at least allowed people to do the work themselves. but nope.

  • shamatuu

    Why would you get this. Its 2014 not 2012?

  • Rahul Gupta

    "The phone can be used with gloves and in wed conditions"..

    Excuse me.. WED Conditions? :D

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      English is so hard :(

    • CeluGeek

      Using phones on Wednesdays kinds sucks. It's good to know Kyocera is doing something about it.

      • Rahul Gupta

        LOL

      • ETR

        Hmmm, I thought it meant you had to be married. You need to be rugged for that....

    • Guillaume

      Can't use the phone if you're single.

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      Sorry. I posted this story after midnighd.

      • Rahul Gupta

        No Problem Michael :) We're just having fun. :P

  • black

    They should call this phone "The Jack Bauer".

  • CeluGeek

    The Brigadier is the best of the two. I still wouldn't get excited about it because of the cameras. If the Hydro Vibe and Hydro Icon are any indication, audio capture during video recording is absolute crap, making the cameras useless for taking videos. I've had ZTE phones that can take more usable videos.

  • Johny M

    If the Vista had 720p display and was below $300 i would buy it and use it on TMobile. $400 though is too much.

    • Dan

      Get the Hauwei Ascend Mate 2.

      It's got a 6.1" screen, 720p display, faster processor, more ram, more gb of storage and battery and $299 @ amazon or gethauwei.com

  • BoFiS

    The Kyocera Brigadier is certainly way more appealing than that stupidly huge, low-res LG monster. I appreciate that it has sapphire glass, water resistance, microSD, camera button, and 4.4.4 already. I hope it's close to stock, though I'd have been more fine with a 4.3" 720p screen so that overall the phone was even smaller.

    What is LG thinking though? My 4" Droid 4 screen runs at the same resolution as this G-Vista, which has got to look terrible to almost anyone's eyes!

  • atlantaguy

    Don't assume too much on the Vista specs being wrong - I was just informed by Verizon reps on their Facebook page that the screen resolution is 960 x 540... this is after I called THREE stores in my area and no one at any of the stores knew a thing about this phone (two hadn't even heard of it ... one didn't have any and still knew next to nothing). I went to Verizons site and on the page it just says "HD display" so clicked the "chat" to ask a live chat rep. Their response? "Verizon doesn't sell this phone".

    Alllllllllllllllrighty then.