CAT S50 rugged phone hands-on - the Caterpillar flagship


The CAT S50 is one of the most rugged Android smartphones you can get! It meets military standards for ruggedness - it's resistant to water, dust, extreme temperatures and vibrations, and the screen is shatter-proof. That explains why the device is so thick and solid. It appears to be made of plastic, and it isn't as heavy as it probably looks or you'd expect it to be. The back has a really nice texture, designed so you'll get a good grip if you are using gloves. A quick drop test resulted in the phone remaining in one piece with not even a scratch, and we imagine we weren't the only ones at IFA to 'accidentally' drop the CAT S50, so this phone is definitely a tough cookie.


The CAT S50 has a 4.7-inch 720p display. It's a nice LCD display with pretty high brightness, which is important for a rugged device.


Stock Android 4.4! Need we say more? Okay, there are a bunch of CAT apps preloaded, and the odd icon here and there has been changed to a more rugged design. You will see the CAT App Store, a hub with over 1000 apps hand-picked for CAT users are available. Otherwise, this is Android as its mother had it.

Processor and memory

The quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU makes short work of the lightweight stock Android ROM. The phone has 8GB of storage on-board, and it has LTE support.


The CAT S50 has an 8MP main camera with 720p video recording and a LED flash. There's also a front camera for taking rugged selfies!


The CAT S50 truly ups the ante for rugged smartphones, and unlike the solid, but otherwise underwhelming CAT phones of the past, is going to give customers from this market a decent Android smartphone experience in addition to the hardened build. The CAT S50 will cost around $500 in the USA unlocked, or 479 EUR in Europe. It's a lot to ask for, but this is the CAT flagship, after all.



1. only1post unregistered

Which of their diggers do you recommend to go with That?

2. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

Finally a good rugged phone for reasonable price....

3. csoulr666

Posts: 116; Member since: Nov 04, 2013

That's how make rugged phones look good. Kudos to CAT

4. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

I don't understand why all water resistant phones don't have wireless charging as a standard feature.

5. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

A snapdragon 400 makes for a flagship now?

7. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Flagship does not really mean that something always has the latest and greatest of whatever parts it is build off. Flagship as I see it simply means it is their leading/best product, so yes snapdragon 400 can easily be flagship, and 'older' generations have had time to prove how stable they are and are therefor more used in products like this that focus on a rugged product rather then a speedy product. Sure a super speed car is going to run a lot faster then a say, Caterpillar truck, but we both knot which one is safest to sit in. Look at their CAT phone commercial. Those phones are designed to survive.

6. helrazr1586

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

Yeah it does in the ruggedized phone market. Especially when you consider the price. Ruggedized phones have a significantly higher cost in the construction of the case of the device to make it as tough as they are. Plus most of the people who get these will only be using them for work, which means they don't need to be playing the latest 3D video games.

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