CAT, a company more well known for their big machinery is also in the ruggedised phone business and ahead of Mobile World Congress they’ve unveiled the CAT S61 with an updated thermal camera.
The CAT series phones haven’t made a big splash in Australia, but they are here with the S41 sold briefly by Optus. The new S61 is an improved model, which is built by the Bullitt Group and the phone looks as tough as the story the specs and design of the phone tell. The major attraction, apart from that rugged design, is the built-in thermal camera which appeared on the CAT S60 last year, like the specs on the S61, that thermal camera has been updated for an improved handset overall.
The CAT S61 includes a Snapdragon 630 processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB of onboard storage with microSD card slot. The phone has a 5.2″ FullHD resolution display that they say is optimised for outdoor use and can be used with wet or dry hands, and with or without gloves on. The phone is powered by a 4,500mAh battery that includes support for Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 4.0 to ensure you can top it up fast.
The big feature though is the cameras. It comes with a standard 16MP camera sensor on the rear and 8MP camera sensor on the front, but also includes a Lepton FLIR Thermal camera which can gauge between -20°C to 400°C through the MyFLIR app included on the phone. If the Thermal camera isn’t enough of a feature the S61 also includes a Laser assisted area and distance measurement, up to 10m and a VOC indoor air quality meter and humidity sensor.
In terms of ruggedisation, the phone is built with an Aluminium reinforced die-cast frame and has a MIL Spec 810G rating that can withstand drops onto concrete from up to 1.8m. It’s IP68 dust and waterproof in up to 3m of water for an hour. The screen is covered by Gorilla Glass 5, so overall the phone should stand up to the punishment involved in most peoples day.
The great news is that the phone will be launching with Android 8.0 Oreo on board, but we haven’t had much experience with their software update history so we’ll keep an eye on that.
The CAT S61 will be launching in Q2 this year but only European pricing has been announced so far. In Europe you’ll expect to pay €899 or £799 in the UK.