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The CAT S61 Smartphone Review

So they have been making smartphones for construction workers now. You probably didn’t think that this was a real thing and that a handyman uses a regular smartphone like everyone else. However, when working on monumental architectural projects that require operating in a dangerous construction zone, your smartphone is bound to break if you’re not careful. That is the life of a construction worker after all. This is just one of the reason why CAT has happily unveiled one of their first ever line of smartphones; the CAT S61. While we did touch on this in an Instagram post a while back (@calixtech), we were able to get a small hands-on experience of the CAT S61 smartphone at CE WEEK 2018.

For those of you who don’t know, CAT (Caterpillar Inc.) is a  highly popular construction company that has been distributing machinery and equipment for over 90 years. If you live in the New York City area, you’ll notice some of their bulldozers and other construction equipment roaming around the streets and construction zones SINCE EVERY DAY THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING BEING CONSTRUCTED AND THAT ALWAYS CA– USES TRAFFIC JAMS IN THE CITY AND IT IS A NIGHTMARE! … But I digress. CAT is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction equipment, mining equipment, natural gas engines and diesel-electric locomotives and now they are expanding just an inch farther into the realm of mobile technology which, in my opinion, is pretty cool.  

When I first saw the design of the S61, along with the other models on display, it somehow reminded me of the Samsung Galaxy S2. This had me opinionated from the jump that this conceptual smartphone is a little old fashion but it’s amazing specs definitely make up for it. This is an actual upgrade from the S60 model and it comes with some awesomely handy features. It has a thermal imaging camera with software much more enhanced than its predecessor that it can read temperatures up to 400 degrees Celsius, can stream thermal video back to base and make the resolution of thermal images look twice as good. This smartphone is also programmed with an indoor air quality sensor that is capable of measuring temperature, humidity and high levels of indoor air pollutants in your environment. The CAT S61 is the world’s first smartphone integrated with a laser-assisted distance measurement. Of course, this phone is waterproof up to 3M for an hour and, with an ingress protection of  IP68 and MIL-SPEC 810G, it is dustproof and drop-tested onto solid concrete from 6 feet. Basically, this smartphone is waterproof and indestructible.

Other cool features include an underwater 16MP rear camera -with PDAF auto-focus and an 8MP front-facing camera. The S61 also has a massive battery (4500mAh), 4GB of RAM and 64GB of RAM. All of that memory is expandable using a micro SD card. The S61 is also optimized for outdoor usage with automatic wet-finger and glove support. Backed by a highly bright 5.2-inch FHD display with corning gorilla glass 5 screen protection. Along with the aforementioned thermal imaging camera, the S61 has a plethora of other useful sensors: an e-compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor,  accelerometer, gyroscope, a location sensor and a barometer. In terms of connectivity, the S61 has Bluetooth and WiFi with a Qualcomm SD630 Octa-core processor and Google Android Oreo as its operating system. All complete with a USB type C port and a 3.5 mm audio jack so you can still listen to music either on FM Radio or music player.

The wondrous people at CAT have literally combined a smartphone and a constructor’s toolbox into one powerful device and it is awesome. Whether it’s a big construction project or a small DIY fixer-upper, the CAT S61 smartphone is perfect for those who are handy with tools because it is made to help get any job done. It is currently retailed at $1000 and even though the device has a slightly outdated appearance (which seems like a nitpick at this point) it is definitely worth getting especially if you are an architect, a construction worker, or someone who’s just trying to fix that hole in the wall. Maybe this phone will help construction workers so much that they can finish their projects a little quicker so there will be less traffic in the city. That sounds irrational but if we can make a tough and powerful smartphone for the average handyman, it’s safe to say that anything is possible.

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