Alternatives include phones like the AGM X2, which beats the Cat S61 in terms of specs, but doesn’t offer all the features or the protection that the S61 offers (in fact, no phone on the market that I could find has that level of protection).
On the software side, the S61 comes with Android Oreo, but Bullitt promises the phone will be updated to Pie, which is important as most users will likely be buying it to last a couple of years.
This combination of tools, which aren’t just software-based gimmicks, makes the Cat S61 a unique phone on the market: It’s not just incredibly tough (up to IP69 specifications), but it’s also a bit of a Swiss Army knife for people who work with their hands.
You can also buy a rugged case for a regular phone, but it won’t give you stuff like the thermal camera or the air quality sensor.
With those caveats, if you must have the toughest phone out there, or you’re one of those users that often encounter conditions that wreck all other phones, the S61 might be a good choice.
The phone has a thermal camera which actually has a use beyond pretending you’re in a Mission: Impossible movie, as it can help you identify overheating appliances, moisture, and heat loss around windows and doors.
A particularly nasty one would turn the phone’s screen into a seizure-inducing glitch fest after I’d switch to videos from the main camera screen.
Unfortunately, some of its software sorely needs work; the phone sometimes feels sluggish, and, at 799. 99 pounds ($1,022) it’s quite pricey.
The Cat S61, which I’ve used as my main phone for about a week in August, is the latest flagship from Bullitt, a company that sells extra-tough phones under the Cat brand.
If you’re worried about your phone breaking, just regularly backup your stuff and if the phone does break, buy a new one — you can get one with the same specs as Cat S61 for a third of its price.
If you take it to a mountaineering expedition, or if you work at a dirty, dusty construction site, the chances of it kicking the bucket are lower than probably any other phone.
It’s a phone that will appeal to many, the crazy high price tag be damned, because it simply feels more durable than most phones out there.
Its Cat S60 was the world’s first phone with a thermal camera when it launched in 2016; now, the Cat S61 adds some significant improvements into the mix.
Most of the time, the phone worked alright, but I’ve gotten used to our phones being so dependable that any bug such as these is unacceptable.
The Cat S61 is an interesting phone, which is a label that doesn’t fit too many phones these days.
Hopefully, down the line the phone’s software will be ironed out, bugs squashed, and (one can dream) performance improved.
For all of these tools, the same principle applies: They’re not as good as professional, standalone tools built for the specific task, but since your phone is almost always with you, they’re far more convenient.
It can take up to a few hours to fully dry out, though the process can be aided by tapping the phone to help expel water," the company told me in a statement.
A couple more details: From a phone like this, I expected a strong flashlight, and it delivered — it’s far brighter than the flashlight on, say, the iPhone X.
The Cat S61 really becomes interesting when you consider its special features, which aren’t present on your typical phone.
Also, I often used the shortcut button on the left side of the phone, which I’ve set to open Chrome on a short press and start/stop the flashlight on a long press.
You’re not buying this phone for the amazing photos, though; basically any phone in this price range will do a better job.
Here’s a quick test to see whether you need a phone like the Cat S61: Do you work in construction?
And if you think you can get the same level of toughness by applying a case to your normal phone, the answer is no.
And it doesn’t have a fingerprint or a face scanner: It’s back to the old PIN/password data protection on this phone.
In my experience, it works as advertised; there’s noticeable lag as you turn your phone around but it’s not deal-breaking.
Cat S61 review: Tough as nails but not for everyone https://t.co/WCXccDBCNI— Mashable (@mashable) September 5, 2020
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