Cat announces S50 rugged smartphone with high-end specs
Caterpillar, a company best known for making construction equipment, is launching a new smartphone called the S50. This device is designed to be rugged and durable, which means it should be able to handle the lifestyle of users who enjoy the outdoors, as well as those who need to use it for work.
The main selling point of this device is its durability, which Cat promises to be IP67 certified dust- and waterproof. It's completely dust tight, and able to block out water while immersed at up to one meter (3.3 ft). Additionally, the 4.7-inch touchscreen features wet finger tracking, which basically means that even if the screen or the finger of the user is wet, the capacitive screen will still be able to read touches and function normally. The screen is also made with shatter-resistant Gorilla Glass 3.
Moving away from the durability, Cat is additionally touting this as a phone that features solid specifications. To start, it has Android 4.4 KitKat installed, which is the latest version of the popular mobile OS. It also comes with an MSM 8926 Quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, which is on the upper-middle range of mobile chips. That's powered by 2 GB of RAM, with 8 GB of internal storage for apps and other files.
An 8 MP rear-facing camera is also included, as is a front-facing VGA camera. Videos recorded on the rear camera feature a resolution up to 1080p/30 fps.
As for connectivity, the device features 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, and a microUSB port for charging. A 2,630-mAh battery is installed, and Cat promises that it will offer up to 16 hours of talk time.
While the S50 has full access to Google Play, Cat is also introducing its own curated app store, aptly named the Cat Phones App Store. With this, Cat promises over 1,000 apps that it thinks it users will find useful. Selections range from popular apps to lesser-known ones.
An important thing to note is that, while it's Cat's name plastered all over the device, Bullitt Mobile actually manufactured the device. Previously, the company also worked with JCB, and has been working with Cat since 2012.
The new app store, along with the bigger screen, faster processor, 4G connectivity, and better camera are the main things that separate this new device from the company's previous C15Q device. The new S50 device features a US$499 price tag. The company did not announce exactly when it would begin shipping and in which territories it would launch.
If you're looking for a less expensive alternative, you might want to check out Cat's more basic B100 model.