Caterpiller licenses their brand to a number of companies to promote their image of quality and durability. A company in the UK called Bullitt Group makes a line of Cat ruggedized phones from the low-end B30 to the just released S60.
We met the Cat guys at World of Concrete last February and they mentioned the possibility of including ShareMyToolbox in their app library. Hopefully it’ll be included soon, but in the meantime they sent me their newest phone, the S60, so that I could satisfy my techie desires! The S60 just started shipping at the end of August, so chances are you don’t know anyone that has this really cool toy. It’s as solid as a phone can be – waterproof to 5 meters, shockproof, Gorilla glass screen – and best of all it has a Flir thermal camera built in.
I’m not going to do an exhaustive review here, but let me just summarize it as follows:
- If you are a typical consumer, this phone is not for you. It’s much heavier than a normal phone, thicker and some of the specs are not top of the line. That being said, you would not notice unless you were running the S60 side by side with a Galaxy 7 Edge, for example.
- If you are a techie consumer that gets into the latest cool gadget, this is certainly something that will get attention.
- If you are a diehard Apple user, then forget it. This is an Android device.
- If you are a DIYer, contractor, tradesman, field worker or anyone else that works in a harsh environment then the ruggedized aspect of this phone makes it compelling. Yes, you could always get a $60 Otterbox case for a regular phone, and this would be your only option for an iPhone, but with the S60 you will be getting the Flir camera for free.
- If you are a big game hunter, the S60 is fantastic for seeing wildlife in low light conditions or following blood trails. Having a waterproof phone in the field is also nice.
- If you are an inspector, plumber, electrician or any other trade needing thermal imaging, the S60 is a no-brainer. Go buy it now.
The best part is that the phone is $599 – the same price as a base iPhone. If you add an Otterbox and Flir One to an iPhone you are at $910.
A quick note on the Flir thermal camera. Using their MSX technology, they combine an image from the regular and thermal cameral so that the thermal image has more definition. The image to the right is a great example of this. Normally you would see colors with no outline.
If you are on the bubble and want to compare the actual specs of the S60 to something else, here are a couple of sites to do so:
And one more thing. What’s uber cool is that it has a programmable button (1) with two modes. I programmed a short press to fire up the Flir camera and a long press to start the Flir tools app. There’s also an SOS button (2) that can be programmed for emergencies. It will send a predefined custom SMS message, including your current location, to up to 3 predefined contacts. Pretty useful for hunters or field workers that might find themselves in dangerous situations. The only thing that I potentially dislike about the phone is the charging port (3). It’s held on by a rather flimsy piece of plastic. Time will tell, however, if the charging door falls off.
I left the phone on all labor day weekend and still had 75% battery charge left Tuesday morning. And I used it several times over the weekend, so it wasn’t sitting completely idle. This is much better battery life than my Galaxy 7 Edge.
Forgot to include a link to the manufacturer’s website in case you’re too lazy to search for it! http://www.catphones.com/en-us/phones/s60-smartphone