CAT S60 Review

CAT S60 Review


Oh we’ve had a lot of people waiting for
this phone. If you’re after quick judgement then I’ll start by saying it’s definitely
worth the wait. There’re a lot of details to go over but
I don’t mind starting this review by saying the S60 the best rugged smartphone available.
Of course it also commands a pretty high price, so if you want to know why you should buy
one, listen on. Starting off on the spec sheet, the S60 beats
all its competition. Sure, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chip isn’t
the absolute top processor; however it’s still very capable and powers many mid to
high range phones, with efficient multitasking. You also get decent rendering from it for
games or other applications. This is matched up to 3 GB of RAM too; more
than enough memory to keep the system running smoothly.
A generous 32 GB of storage has been provided, plus the almost stock Android 6.0 installation
allows for SD cards to be formatted as internal storage.
It would have been nice to have a full HD panel but the 720p 4.7” screen is respectable
enough and also serves to limit the power draw.
The display on my review unit seemed a bit yellow / warm. I do tend to compare a lot
to the super-white displays of Samsung and Apple though, and a preference for cold/warm
screens is personal. The colour profile may also help with the
readability in direct sunlight. Corning Gorilla Glass 4 sits on top of the
screen to prevent scratches. Even with pretty rough treatment I’m yet to see any deep
nicks or scoring. Cat don’t advertise the S60’s screen as
being unbreakable. For that reason I didn’t go out of my way to properly wallop it, and
neither should you. That said though the results of a few tests left me feeling comfortable
about dropping it onto a pavement. It’s also worth mentioning the huge 3,800
mAh battery. It’s a beast and even heavy users should get well into their second day.
Inescapable is the size of the S60, unavoidable in such a robust design.
The 4.7” makes sure the front profile of the handset isn’t that large. The height/width
dimension is about the same as a new Galaxy S7 Edge for instance.
What adds bulk is the thickness and materials. Cat’s S60 is 13 mil deep – a good half
centimetre or more chunkier than your usual phone. A die-cast metal chassis pushes the
weight up too, so you’ll feel an S60 in your pocket.
Of course this is what we want from a rugged phone. Cat aren’t targeting the average buyer.
The S60 is for trades people and those with highly active outdoor lifestyles.
With this in mind I consider the S60 a fairly handsome product. Silver trim covers the sides
and breaks up the front and back. Splashes of Cat brand yellow appear here and there.
The back plate has a cool carbon-fibre effect finish to add grip. Even the ‘bump’ for
the FLIR lamp has been neatly folded into the overall silhouette. It seems a lot of
thought has been put into the modelling of this phone.
The Android system are physical buttons with satisfying click and travel. The same is true
of the volume, power and programmable key. Overall the build is solid and inspires confidence
that it will perform as advertised. Android 6.0 Marshmallow is installed and it’s
very close to stock, although there are a few tweaks and additional apps.
All new Marshmallow features are present, including the permissions structure, battery
management and formatting SD cards as internal storage.
In the settings all usual Android options are available with a couple of extras for
setting functions for the programmable & SOS buttons.
Compared to other lesser known brands, Cat tend to stay on top of updates. In the couple
of weeks we’ve had the S60, there have already been two major downloads.
In fact didn’t want us to form any impressions until a specific update was available – this
strikes me as a company interested in making sure the consumer experience is a good one.
A few added apps sit in the app drawer. The full written review covers these in depth.
Mostly these boil down to a hiking app with lots of useful on screen information, an SOS
messaging system, audio profiles and an interesting personal assistant tool for pulling up information
about the phone. You’ll also find the App Toolbox, a sort
of shopping window for finding new apps on Google Play. Some apps are promoted, other
links provide lists of popular apps for outdoor pursuits or particular industries. I actually
really like this and think it shows the team behind the S60 really thinking about their
users. Google Play can be a confusing minefield to
a novice user so having this additional layer, whilst in some ways abstraction, is a helpful
addition. The FLIR camera is the big draw to the S60.
If you’re unaware of the technology, FLIR stands for Forward Looking InfraRed. FLIR
Systems are a company known for providing world-leading hardware utilising this technology.
Their tech is traditionally developed for specific requirements, although recently popularised
due to the FLIR ONE module for Android and iOS phones. This gadget won awards and brought
thermal imaging technology to the masses with a well designed combination of hardware and
software. FLIR technology is built in to the S60 and
Cat have worked directly with FLIR Systems to seamlessly integrate it. You’ll also
find a modified version of the FLIR app that works perfectly with Android the 6.0 version
on the phone. The results are very good indeed. Even more impressive is that a dedicated FLIR
ONE module would set you back £200. Considering the overall price of the S60 and an initially
expensive phone becomes very good value for money.
The technical specs of the FLIR camera are available online so I won’t repeat them
here. Rest assured we’ve tried the system out in a variety of locations and found the
app to be solid and responsive, with the results clear and on par with example images and video
recorded from a standalone FLIR ONE. The FLIR app has a few options available for
stills, video or time-lapse and also allows you some customisation in the colouring of
the heat map overlay. Traditionally this is black/violet for cold
through to yellow/white for hot, although you can choose from nine separate options,
which may show differences better depending on your situation.
Of course the mileage you get from the FLIR camera depends on your personal requirements.
If you have no immediate use for it then it becomes little more than a cool toy bundled
with the phone. Although a very cool toy at that and something you may find fun or even
practical uses for later. For others, there are undoubtedly hundreds
of situations where the FLIR tech built in to a smartphone could enhance their work or
provide new opportunities. I’m a fan of companies trying something
new. Often new hardware tricks get sidelined as gimmicks not long after announcement but
here is something different. Hats off to Cat for investing in a feature that sets their
phone apart from the crowd. Moving on from the FLIR camera, the main cameras
are pretty standard fair for a mid range smartphone. The common 13 MP sensor matches up to many
other consumer level smartphones of similar price.
By default pictures are taken using the stock Google Camera app, the same as if you booted
up a new Nexus. This has improved a lot in the past 12-18 months.
A few tweaks are available in the settings – variable image quality, adjustable ISO and
exposure etc. The options aren’t massively in depth compared to a new Samsung, Sony or
LG, however that is to be expected. The big names of consumer smartphones have
had several years to develop their imaging software. Sticking to Google’s app was a wiser
decision for Cat than trying to develop their own.
As you might expect from the stock application, the results are OK. You can get some very
nice shots outdoors and in good conditions, however the image processing can start make
the results a little grainy when indoors or in low light.
The settings can improve indoor & low-light performance a little. 12 pre-set scenes let
you can tinker a fair bit, however there’s only so much you can affect things.
For most people the final images are perfectly acceptable. This isn’t iPhone or Galaxy
level mobile photography but the S60 doesn’t position itself as this. Instead you get a
functional 13 MP shooter that performs as well as any other mid-range phone would.
Cat could have taken a much easier route to success. Already a top recognised brand for
tough phones, all they had to do was put better specs in a basic rugged case.
This would probably still been the best on the market. Yet they’ve opted to take a risk
and develop a phone that is anathema to the bland, boring products we see cropping up
everywhere else. More commendable though is the result – more than just a decently built
tough phone with a gimmick. The S60 really is a high quality piece of
tech. It’s thick but balanced well and doesn’t feel oversized. The trim and splashes of colour
are finished neatly. The software has been well integrated. Even the FLIR camera’s
bump is worked in smoothly, with edging and branding to make part of the phone, not just
an afterthought. Until now the word “tough” preceding smartphone
was a justification. You could say “the phone isn’t great but that’s fine because
it’s been made tough…” Cat can banish that train of thought now.
The S60 stands on its own. Of course it’s not for everyone. But neither
is an iPhone. Or a Samsung Galaxy. Every brand differentiates with individual features. The
S60 has thermal imaging and a rugged build to stand apart, however it’s a good smartphone
first. That’s an important distinction. It can’t be denied it costs more than your
spare change to buy an S60, although if you’re part of the target market the price is easily
justified. Cat have raised the bar for this category
of phones. The bottom line is if you want the best rugged Android in 2016, you want
a Cat S60.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Могу дать ссылку, где купил за 38000 руб. из Германии. Это минимальная цена, что нашел.

  2. I'm not in any sort of trade field and this phone sounds awesome. I'm bad for dropping my phones, on concrete, in water, etc. Last time I went to get a phone I was after the Kyocera Brigadier. I guess being female the sales guy didn't think that was the for me and talked me into the Sony Xperia Z3v. Yes it looked nicer and has served me well. If you ignore that I'm on my second one due to what I can only describe as a possessed phone glitch and the charge-port cover is totally gone. It also overheats. My phone should not get up to 118 Fahrenheit.
    I actually could use the FLIR camera (I could use it to find the drafty spots in my old house and fix them). I have no idea if this is available in the US or not. If it is it's almost a guarantee they'd try to talk me out of it. (Yaaay the south. -__-)

  3. Just checked to see if Verizon offers this phone. Nope. Damn thing isn't even compatible with Verizon. Well f**kety doo dah.

  4. i have one Question.. how noticeable is the resolution difference between 1080 and 720 on a small phone screen like that?

  5. I'm getting mine in 2 days. I currently own a Note 7 but I have to return it and I'm glad because the S60 is probably the coolest phone I've ever seen! Also, this was a very good review. I loved the rundown and the footage you compiled. Great job!

  6. Voice call conversation quality is too poor. Opposite party of the CAT S 60 will not be able to hear the voice properly.

  7. Hi I forget to charge my S60 overnight and the next morning its totally off and its not charging anymore. Anyone can help?

  8. Super good and succinct review, great without the usual rubbish and fluff used to get views nowadays…
    Thanks!

  9. Very Cool phone but in advertising my Snopow M9 says 30 Meters for 30 minutes where can I find out if that's true

  10. Is this a good phone to switch to from iphone? I always seem to break my iphones 😂 I've also always wanted to try android

  11. THIS IS THE WORST PICE OF SHIT EVER MADE!!!! I got one watching this video. On the first week it went back to shop. Just went black and didnt do nothing. So i had to wait one week to get it back. It had software problem. After that it just does some wierd shit. It ceeps calling on random numbers in random time even when screenlock is on. After software updates the camera cant focus anymore. It has 13mp camera and it does pictures like a fucking 5mp camera. The nivo of the sound has gone down its not even near as loud it was at the begining. Menu is too difficult. Its like its made for people who has a shitload of time to figure out where is this thing and that thing hidden!?!? Its a ndroid. It should be like any other android but its not. I wanted to check calender but for that i need to log on to somewhere who knows fuck… l i want is to see calender. It doesnt matter that its waterproof dust proof and can take some punches. So does Samsung. Ive had Sony. Samsung S5 and now i have this pice of shit. Its so bad no one even dont wnt to buy it. So ia cant sell it even if it still has 1year gurantee left. It cost me 635euros and it just keeps making me mad. Phone with endless problems!!!

  12. Still, ONE question has not meen answered: does this phone have a resistive touchscreen indeed?? Does it react to finger nails?? If YES, this one will be my first smartphone… if NOT, I'll patiently wait until manufacturers realize some people have got NAILS! A capacitive screen is INOPERATIVE with my nails, so I will not buy a phone with such a screen…

  13. I'm very clumsy and tend to drop my phone often. It's made to be rugged but could it still play high maintenance app games as well. Like Pokemon go or mmo games in general? Does it load fast?
    I'm sorry if you mentioned in you vid.

  14. After 1year of using it i can say its fast and quick. But its not waterproof or drop proof my flir camera is broken on half and today i just washed it with water cause it was a bit dirty and i saw there was water in the camera and its gliching and started opening tabs (still is while writing this) the buttons aren't working and yes when i was washing it i had the speaker closed

  15. Had CAT S60, camera is bad, charger port in very bad position and does not fit in in-car holders,also battery life was to short and had to charge onese a day minimum, Dropped into a water on holiday time 1000 miles away and find it dead cause crack in a frame, had to open it to disconnect batteries and drie it out, ( that was my navigation device for traveling too), finally manage to save my pictures and very important data, also phone was alive again except proximity sensor. Sent to repair under warranty when returned home, unfortunatelly CAT REFUSED WARRANTY REPAIR cause was oppened.Tried to save phone and data- and they blaming me for that! DONT BUY CAT! I never had it dropped from higher than a pocket, and is broken, drowned, 1.8m drop test is bulshit ! If you need thermal imaging you can buy it additional to your phone from Flir..

  16. Old phone (Nokia 3310)
    Brakes the floor when you drop it

    New Phone
    When you drop the Caterpillar S60 at your house…
    The house collapses…
    (I have that Phone. So good!)

  17. Old phone (Nokia 3310)
    Brakes the floor when you drop it

    New Phone
    When you drop the Caterpillar S60 at your house…
    The house collapses…
    (I have that Phone. So good!)

  18. Do not buy this phone, I got one and had to send it for repairs 3 months after, it was replaced and the second one is coming apart in pieces and the repair cost for a cosmetic job is the same price of a new phone. The camera is terribly bad and the thermal imaging camera is really really slow. Don't waste your money, there are way better options out there. Cheers !

  19. runs hot, inferior camera, speaker grill falling off, usb port cover falling off. If you need repair you must send back and can take 30 days …. had for 9 months and having second thoughts …..

  20. I sell CAT S60 Very little use! It serves for replacement, screen broken by a simple fall, I sell for not having spare parts and no official services or representative or cat phone gave me a solution

  21. But wait

    If your getting an CAT S60 just for it's a battery or"better armed" you must be an idiot. If highly recommend this phone ONLY for engineer not for other kind of people…. Still want a strong phone that can't break easily, get a strong cover…..

  22. It's all a lie be aware! I have this phone with few months I had to change it and my colleague changed it 3 times in one year. Outside and inside it's by far not as good as these paid people are bs-ing. The flir goes only up to 150°C so can't even check the stove or lighting temp!

  23. just purchased one. the touch screen went out and it is unresponsive. I don't do games or have too many apps. I have the Microsoft office tool and a GPS app for the service co of a customer.

  24. After living with my S60 for a couple of months I can tell you Its been great but has flaws.
    Pros: I use the FLIR camera almost daily in my building maintenance business. Programmable button (why doesn't every phone have this? Hint: stupid Bixby key). 14hr day battery life. Very distinctive looking it stands out from all the cookie-cutter thin phones. Sturdy: my first accidental drop was 8ft onto concrete and it bounced away unscathed. Great support from the manufacturer Bullit they got back to me within hours when I was troubleshooting.
    Cons:
    No carabiner attachment spot I would like to see this as I work on ladders and roofs alot and dont want to drop it on someones head.
    Stuck with Android 6.01 they have no intention of offering an update.
    Main camera is pretty terrible my 2008 Blackberry took better pictures the work-around is installing a 3rd party camera app which made it slightly better.
    Sd card support is flaky despite trying several different brand new cards it constantly ignores/rejects/reformats so I gave up and use internal memory only.

  25. If they make an updated version in the future with a better processor, i WILL buy one.
    I'm not going to go from an s8+ down to this when my phone eventually die, but i will switch to a better version of the s60!
    The flir camera has so many good use-cases for me, i can diagnose electronics more easily, i can use it to optimise airflow in the computers i build, i can use it to see when my shower is hot enough for entry..
    I can use it to check my temperature (obviously it's not going to be acurate but it would be fun to see)
    I can check when my coffe has gone from scolding hot to slightly burning before i put it to my mouth…

  26. I kill my cat s60 at sand beach,main button look like stuck,dont mooved,and stay push on position,phone was locked 5m panels on,and all security flaps was close propely,I wash at water,start flash funny,android start on and black screen again android start and black screen,its hundred times, button not reacted,at my pocket try alone on ,cant switch of this ,main camera look like condenstation ,its water damege rugged phone:DDDD
    I got this phone 9mth from new and very disappointed,use this stuff for work Im smart repair enginer big car dealership Hendy Uk ,lost lots data,psc and lose money

  27. I bought one, didn't care for the navigation on it and the video/audio is sub par, very distorted sound recording at concert levels, my daughters Samsung S8 does a great job at high SPL with better video quality

  28. i have had this pice off slow shit whit a old android operating sys.. 2m fall secureti…BULL shit…speaker gave 2 weks in the work brand new… cat has cool features but NO work aplikasjons …And that was its fucking serlling point. im a worker and im a fool who byed a 800 dollar pice off advertasing shit…i just realaised that when ewer i by a smart pfone for work or private,,, im paying for my own shitti plutti barfy advert pop ups. i realesed im simpel…so no more "smart" phones. AND no more Gillette to:)

  29. سر جی اگر اس موبائل فون میں انسان کے جسم کے عکس سایہ پرچھائیاں وغیرہ بھی رات کے اندھیرے میں واضح طور پر تصویر محفوظ ھو اور دن کے اجالے میں گھوسٹ چیزوں کو با آسانی محفوظ کر سکے اور پھر کمپیوٹر پر واضح طور پر تصویر صاف اور شفاف آ ئیے شکریہ

  30. I had one for 2 weeks, went fishing on the dock and it fell in about 2 feet of water for about a minute, did not survive.

  31. …and in some special cases you can use it also for hammering purposes or as a chisel.I love the thermal imaging camera,soon i will have one.

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