The Good The Cat S60 comes with a built-in thermal imaging camera. It can constantly undergo 6 feet of concrete drops and can take a 16-foot dive. It has an expandable microSD card slot and loud front speakers.
The Bad It is much thicker and heavier than other smartphones. The thermal imaging function, though cool and fun, is largely useless, except in a few specific cases.
The Bottom Line The sturdy construction of the Cat S60 is impressive, but its appeal is limited only by those who can make good use of the built-in camera.
The Cat S60 is thick and bulky with a neo-industrial design. In addition to being a tough SOB that can withstand 6-foot drops, and the most waterproof phone made to date, it has one that no other phone has: a built-in heat chamber.
If you have to ask why someone needs a sturdy, waterproof phone with a thermal imaging camera, the Cat S60 is probably not for you. However, those of you whose ears hang when you mention the features of your phone should definitely stick around.
The phone is available for pre-order in the UK for £529 unlocked. US and Australian pre-orders have yet to be announced, but the UK price converts to around AU$920. In the US it will sell for $599 unlocked and work with GSM networks like T-Mobile and AT&T.
Cat S60 is a the first phone to pack a FLIR thermal imaging camera
The thermal imaging camera is on
A thermal imaging camera gives you powerful power. It allows you to visualize the temperature of objects like an animal in the dark or frozen pipes. The integrated Flir thermal camera is located on the back of the phone, above the 13MP rear camera and next to the microSD and SIM card slots. This is the same one found on the Flir One thermal camera, which is available for iOS and Android devices for $ 250 or 200 pounds ($ 330, converted) – an agreement given that most thermal cameras cost thousands of dollars.
The Flir Camera app takes a whopping 10-15 seconds to launch on the S60. The app offers nine different filters (they vary in color palette and help make certain temperatures more noticeable than others) and you can take photos or videos. There is also a Flir Tools app (free of charge in the Android App Store) that lets you see a variety of detailed data added to thermal images (such as the temperature of a particular location or the temperature range in a photo) after they are taken. .
I did like using a thermal camera to capture colorful, triple photos and psychedelic videos, but I personally found it to be of little use. This was helpful when my friend needed to know the exact temperature of her oven when baking a cheesecake (the temperature marks on the tile handle faded) and when I wanted to find out if my coffee was cool enough to drink, but that’s all. If you are a firefighter, independent contractor or construction worker, you are likely to encounter situations where this type of technique is useful.
Even with its small 4.7-inch screen, the Cat S60 still feels cumbersome. It is almost twice as thick as the iPhone 6S and tired my wrist when I held it for too long.
It is still convenient to use in short spurs. Smooth, rounded edges gave it a satisfyingly tactile feel, and its buttons are conveniently large and easy to press (like a toy). Woven etching on the back also makes it easy to squeeze and use if your hands are wet or you are wearing gloves.
It is IP68-certified and can withstand a 6-foot (1.8 m) drop on concrete, and can be submerged underwater up to 5 feet (5 m) for 60 minutes, making it the most waterproof phone on the market.
I didn’t take the Cat S60 diving, but used every opportunity to get it wet. (I sprayed it many times with water and immersed it 3 feet underwater for three episodes of Friends.) After a quick towel, it worked great every time. Sometimes, if the screen was still a little damp, my fingers and touch would not be recognized, although the Gorilla Glass 4 touch screen would have to be a “compatible wet finger”. Full screen drying eliminated the problem.
This phone is definitely intended for more than just Snapchat and Twitter.
The SOS button is hidden behind a watertight valve and, when pressed for a few seconds, activates an application that can send location alerts to emergency contacts.
There is also a programmable yellow button under the power button, which can perform its own functions, such as opening an application or displaying notifications.
The pre-loaded application curator contains specific categories – such as sports and outdoors, construction and agriculture – and is pre-loaded to the home screen.
But how is this done?
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- Qualcomm octo-core MSM8952
- 1280×720 pixels resolution
- 32GB internal storage
- 3GB RAM
- 3,800mAh battery
Compared to theSamsung Galaxy S7and Motorola Droid Turbo 2, the Cat S60’s features are still valid. However, I was never disappointed; Games and applications started in seconds, navigation was fast, web pages were loading fast, and the screen was sharp and bright. The front and rear cameras are a bit disappointing (lots of visible noise and grainy in dark conditions), but the rare presence of a FLIR camera makes it somewhat forgiving.
Using the provided charger fully charged when the battery is fully discharged took about two hours. We are now testing it in the CNET lab and will be updating our final review soon. Anecdotally, the phone’s battery is comfortable all day long. With high usage (lots of program downloads and games) and brightness still up, it took me about five hours.
Should I get it?
Most thermal imaging cameras cost thousands. Alternatively, if you were to buy a decent, cheap, waterproof Android phone and add it to your Flir One accessory, you would pay only $ 50 less than the S60.
Having all these features in one device, in my opinion, is worth the extra money – if you like these extra features.
The sophisticated design of the Cat S60 brings functionality and durability to the fore. The fact that it’s designed to work in horrendous conditions – the ones that literally break most phones – makes it ideal for those who work in an unstable environment or lead an active outdoor lifestyle. That said, it’s not worth it for me – who doesn’t do any of these things – to sort through and use every day.
Features compared to similar phones
|CAT S60||Samsung Galaxy S7 Active||Motorola Droid Turbo|
|Display size, resolution||4.7-inch; 1,280×720 pixels||5.1-inch; 2,560×1,440 pixels||5.4-inch; 2,560×1,440 pixels|
|Dimensions (Inches)||5.8×2.9x.5 inches||5.8x3x.38 inches||5.9×3.1x.36 inches|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||147.9×73.4×12.7 mm||148.8x75x9.9 mm||150x78x9.2 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||7.9 oz;225g||6.5 oz; 185g||6.0 oz; 169g|
|Mobile software||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 5.1.1 Lollipop|
|Camera||Main: 13-megapixel; Thermal: FLIR||12-megapixel||21-megapixel|
|Processor||1.5GHz + 1.2GHz octocore Qualcomm MSM8952||2.15GHz + 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapgradon 820||2.0GHz eight-core Snapdragon 810|
|Storage||32GB||32GB||32GB or 64GB|
|Battery||3,800mAh (nonremovable)||4,000mAh (nonremovable)||3,760mAh|
|Fingerprint sensor||No||Home button||No|
|Special features||Waterproof up to 5m for 60 minutes, dust-resistant, shatter-resistant for drops up to 6-feet, military grade body, SOS and customizable action key||Water and dust-resistant, shatter-resistant for drops up to 5-feet, military grade body, customizable action key||Shatterproof screen, two types of wireless charging, fast wired charging|