The CAT S50 and B15Q reach the USA - tough smartphones finally get decent

The CAT S50 and B15Q reach the USA - tough smartphones finally get decent
The CAT S50 was the toughest smartphone to be found at this year's IFA expo. Now, it's also one of the EU-only phones that managed to cross the pond and step on American shores. The smaller CAT B15Q accompanied it on the trip, which means a new duo of extra-buff smartphones is ready to make our weak, skinny handsets shut up and eat their protein.

The CAT S50 is a 4.7-inch 720x1280 screen, Android 4.4-running, LTE smartphone that boasts IP67-certified waterproofing, wet-finger tracking, scratch resistance, and covers the Mil Spec 810G military rating for operating in harsh environments. It's a bulky, brick-like phone that's encased in a thick plastic armor with rubber bumpers on its four corners. Its 2630mAh battery is rated at 16 hours of talk time and up to 33 days of standby time. 

The CAT S50 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor paired with 2GB of RAM. Its spec sheet includes an 8MP rear camera with flash and HD video recording, and 8GB of expandable storage. The price and date of availability are not announced yet, but the phone is listed as "coming soon".

What about the CAT B15Q? It has the same extra-rugged build and Android 4.4 KitKat, but it's more pocketable thanks to its smaller, 4-inch 480x800 screen - also a scratch-resistant panel that tracks wet fingers. The spec sheet is reduced to a MediaTek 6582 1.3GHz quad-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and a 5MP main camera with LED flash and 720p video recording. 

The phone is powered by a 2000mAh removable battery that's also rated at 16 hours of talk time. It also offers 21 days of dual-SIM stand-up time. The phone is one sale at US retailer Home Depot, priced $349 for the single-SIM and $359 for the dual-SIM version.

Until the S50 and B15Q showed up, rugged smartphones were rather lackluster in terms of specs and functionality. These models finally bring along decent hardware and fast data to their niche, but important market.

source: Caterpillar (1, 2) via CNET

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