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CAT S60 review

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CAT S60 review
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  • CAT S60
  • CAT S60
  • CAT S60
  • CAT S60
  • CAT S60
  • CAT S60
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Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • It gives you Predator vision
  • Rugged, close to unbreakable design
  • Near untouched Android OS

Cons

  • CPU could be faster
  • Regular camera is slow

Best Deals for Cat CAT S60

  • amazon
  • ebay

Key Features

  • Thermal imaging sensor
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Removable battery
  • Waterproof
  • Snapdragon 617 CPU
  • 13-megapixel rear camera
  • Manufacturer: Cat
  • Review Price: to be confirmed

What is the CAT S60?

The CAT S60 is one of the most interesting smartphones I’ve tested this year. Featuring a rugged, near-indestructible chassis, the S60 is the first phone I’ve seen with a built-in thermal imaging sensor.

The sensor not only gives me the Predator vision I’ve long yearned for, but also acts as a useful tool in a variety of work, DIY and extreme sports environments.

This, combined with its top-notch hardware and software, make it the ideal choice for everyone from adrenaline junkies to professionals working in hazardous environments.

Video: CAT S60 review

CAT S60 – Design

The CAT S60 puts function over fashion, and as a result looks markedly different to a regular consumer smartphone.

The device is built from a mixture of a hardened polymer and sturdy metal. The side-facing microSD and Nano SIM ports are covered with plugs, and the front’s adorned with a chunky bezel and clicky physical home, back and menu buttons.

Some people will be put off by the design, especially when they realise that, at 12.7mm thick, it’s almost twice as chunky as a regular smartphone, but I’m a big fan. The design is entirely fit for purpose and ticks all the right boxes a rugged smartphone should.

For starters it’s close to indestructible. You won’t get away with driving a car over it, but with regular use you’ll struggle to put a dent in the S60. Doing DIY around my flat, the phone survived a drop off a 7ft ladder chip-free. Though I wouldn’t recommend trying to recreate my test, CAT quotes the phone as being drop-proof from heights up to 1.8m.

The phone also managed to come out of an accidental encounter with a climbing wall, when strapped to my arm, without so much as a blemish.

Related: Best smartphones 2016

CAT S60

My attempts to drown it confirmed its IP68 rating to be accurate. It’s waterproof to depths of 5m – though be warned, if you want to dunk it down more than 2m, you’ll need to flick a switch on the phone’s front to seal its speaker grille.

The strengthened dye frame’s also impressively scratch-proof and remained blemish-free despite the punishment it endured.

CAT’s also loaded the phone with a custom SOS button, for people using it in hazardous environments. The button can be customised to fulfil various functions, including calling emergency services and sending out location alerts to team members nearby via SMS.

Buy Now: CAT S60 at Amazon.com from $630

Best Deals for Cat CAT S60

  • amazon
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The S60’s reasonably comfortable to hold, despite its chunky dimensions, and I never felt it was unwieldy or too heavy. Using it as my main phone, though, I got a few odd looks from people in the pub and around the office.

The microSD port lets you add a further 256GB of space to the phone’s built-in 32GB of storage, which will be handy for professionals who regularly need to save images recorded using the S60’s thermal sensor.

CAT S60

CAT S60 – Display

The S60’s 4.7-inch display is one area in which the phone fails to impress. In today’s world a 720p resolution is sub-par on phones close to half the CAT’s price. The resolution is sharp enough for text to be legible, but you will notice specific pixels when viewing pictures, or watching video.

The screen’s black level also isn’t great. This is likely due to CAT’s use of Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle (AHVA) screen tech. AHVA is based on IPS technology, which generally doesn’t offer as deep blacks as competing AMOLED displays. Blacks on the S60 have a grey tone and aren’t anywhere near as inky as I’d like. Whites also aren’t the cleanest I’ve seen and have a yellow muddy hue.

The combination of factors give the screen a dull feel, which is a shame as, these issues aside, it looks reasonably well calibrated. Viewing angles are solid and I didn’t notice any serious colour distortion when viewing the screen from the side. Brightness levels aren’t dazzling, but they’re high enough to comfortably use the phone in everything but bright sunlight.

Best Deals for Cat CAT S60

  • amazon
  • ebay

Pg

February 25, 2016, 2:10 pm

I'm guessing this can't tell you the temp of something that you are viewing.
Thinking along the lines of whether you can point it at someone and tell if they have a temperature - assuming that variation in temperature can be picked up.

Balázs Gunics

February 25, 2016, 11:55 pm

Does it have wireless charging?

Pek

July 15, 2016, 7:16 am

How about Blackview BV6000?

Bugblatter

July 26, 2016, 12:16 pm

It should be able to; it'd go by the frequency of the infrared radiation (the higher the hotter).

I've got an infrared thermometer for checking out baby's temperature; you just point it at the main vein in his right temple, no contact needed. Again this will be looking at the frequency of the IR rather than the intensity.

Bugblatter

July 26, 2016, 5:22 pm

Pretty sure I've seen thermal imaging cameras that can plug into a normal phone to give similar capability but without the compromises.

They're still too expensive for casual use unfortunately, which is a shame because it'd be a fun gadget to try.

StephenT

August 5, 2016, 8:46 pm

Have to disagree regarding the screen. I have used the S60 for two cycle rides now. Both on very hot days with bright sunlight. The screen was perfect. Very easy to read the maps etc in the sun and low battery use. Also the phone was nowhere near overheating. Also the sound seemed louder. I have normally had to used an external power source but the S60 still had 30% battery left after 8 hours use with the screen often on. Still to use in rain so will see how that goes. Love the LED for charging and the physical buttons. My 'main' phone is a Nexus 6 but if i had no other phone I could easily use this as my main phone.

Anon

August 18, 2016, 12:24 am

Is the battery removable? In the review it says it is removable, but on gsmarena it says it isn't. So confused.

I want to know how much it will cost to change a battery in such a phone?

Anon

August 18, 2016, 12:26 am

Yes, I think the product you are referring to is the FLIR 1. It is an add-on product.

However, reading reviews people have had compatibilities difficulties with it (on Android). I guess, they need to test on more phones, I think there is an approved list....

Mike Cleveland

September 9, 2016, 12:02 pm

I have had my S60 for about three weeks, it does get warm with heavy use and by the end of a 14 hour day the battery is low but never dead! last night I noticed a 15% battery signal, so I plugged it in. This morning the battery light is green but the phone will not turn on! Anyone had this problem?

IngeR

September 29, 2016, 5:35 am

Same problem here. The screen will not turn on anymore in the morning after charging, my alarm is still going, can't turn it off. Really annoying. Were you able to fix this problem?

Mike Cleveland

September 29, 2016, 12:04 pm

Reset at back use a pin

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