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Cat S60 rugged smartphone packs thermal imaging tech

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Grrr

Cat has introduced a smartphone with a genuinely new feature – a thermal imaging camera.

The Cat S60 is built for professions that involve a lot of time outdoors – it's a rugged model, it's waterproof, and it's the first to feature a thermal imaging camera.

The thermal imaging camera is made by Flir, which specialises in this kind of technology. It picks up on heat, and basically gives your phone Predator vision. Aside from looking quite cool, it has a number of possible uses, including detecting heat loss around windows and doors, spotting moisture and missing insulation, identifying if electrical appliances are overheating, and picking up on body heat in complete darkness.

It's sensitive enough to pick up on surface temperatures from up to 100 feet away. It can also see through smoke, which could be handy for the emergency services and building professionals.

cat s60

It's waterproof to 5m for up to an hour. Plus it's hard as nails – it can withstand drops onto concrete from up to 1.8m, and it's dustproof.

For a rugged phone, its specs are pretty decent too. Its 4.7-inch 720p screen supports capacitive multi-touch, and works if your fingers are wet or you're wearing gloves. The main camera is 13 megapixels, plus there's a 5-megapixel front-facer for selfies (or 'thermies', as Caterpillar calls it, if you use the thermal imaging tech). Heck, it's even 4G and runs Android Marshmallow.

Read more: Sony Xperia M4 Aqua review

It will go on sale later this year for £400-£500.

Usually outdoorsy phones are big on ruggedness, but light on bread and butter specs, so the S60 looks like a welcome change. We'll get a closer look at it next week at Mobile World Congress.

What other features do you think smartphones should have? Let us known in the comments below.

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