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.