Kyocera teases the Sapphire Shield, but keeps quiet about when, or if, we can buy one

kyocera sapphire shield news
Sapphire crystal is one of this year’s hottest mobile trends, despite only really being used by luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu, but as Apple gears up to (we think) use a sapphire panel on one of its future products, so other companies are jumping aboard the bandwagon. The latest is Kyocera, and it’s talking about a new product called the Sapphire Shield.

Unhelpfully, Kyocera hasn’t explained exactly what the Sapphire Shield is, forcing us to take an educated guess. Confirmed in a short promotional video, it’s referred to as “a truly affordable pure sapphire display,” which could mean one of several things. The two most likely being a panel it’ll sell to other smartphone manufacturers, or a sapphire screen protector sold to the public.

If it’s the former, a promotional video like this would be an unusual choice to advertise its forthcoming availability, making the latter seem more probable. However, because Kyocera hasn’t confirmed anything about the Sapphire Shield outside the video, it may end up being neither of these possibilities. Sapphire crystal is known for being almost impossible to scratch, and extremely tough. Outside of the mobile industry, it’s most commonly used on expensive watches.

Kyocera has made a name for itself building rugged, durable smartphones such as the Hydro Vibe, and displays for the automotive and electronics industry, so making super tough glass panels – for us or other companies – keeps it firmly within its niche. Plus, strengthened glass screen protectors – often featuring Gorilla Glass, a sapphire competitor – have been becoming more popular too, and capitalizing on the interest in sapphire could mean an exciting new product line for the company.

That’s all we have to go on at the moment, and the video only mentions the Sapphire Shield is coming soon, so we’ll update here when more information is revealed.

Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.

Protect your new iPhone with one of our favorite iPhone XR cases

Apple's new iPhone range is the toast of 2018, with beautiful style and more power than you can shake a stick at. But beauty can often be fragile -- keep the damage to a minimum with the best iPhone XR cases.

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.