Cat S62 Pro rugged Android phone gets a US release price

Cat Phone's ruggedized S62 Pro smartphone has arrived in the US, offering a tougher option if you're prone to dropping devices or smashing screens. Announced last year, the new Android handset packs midrange specifications into a seriously resilient casing, without necessarily looking like a rubber brick at the same time.

On the front there's a 5.7-inch display running at 1080p resolution, while inside there's a Snapdragon 660 chipset paired with 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage. It's running Android 10 out of the box, with an Android 11 update in the pipeline and three years of security patches.

There's a 4,000 mAh battery – smaller than the 4,500 mAh pack in the old Cat S61, but Cat says it should still last for 1-2 days of general use – and a microSD slot. No 5G, but you do get 4G LTE Cat 13, and unlike the old phone the S62 Pro has a fingerprint sensor. For the camera, the 12-megapixel sensor is from Sony's line-up, with an f/1.8 lens.

Of course, that's not the only sensor the phone puts on the back. There's a new FLIR Lepton 3.5 thermal camera sensor, with four times the number of thermal pixels – 19,200 versus 4,800 – compared to the old Cat S61. That helps the Cat S62 Pro with a 30-percent improvement in thermal camera sharpness, and a 10-percent wider field of view.

A new MyFLIR Pro app includes "hottest" and "coldest" markets, image annotation, isotherms, and custom alarms. It can also be used to highlight particular areas of interest, and then produce a PDF for distribution. By tweaking the MSX and VividIR image processing it's possible to pull out a lot more detail from the end shot, Cat says.

While offering a bigger screen than the S61, the S62 Pro is actually slightly thinner and lighter. It complies with MIL-SPEC-810H, for thermal ranges between -25°C (-13°F) to 55°C (131°F) for up to 24 hours, resistance to humidity and salt mist, and Category 4 vibration testing. Cat says you can drop the phone repeatedly, onto steel, from almost six feet up, and it'll survive: even if it lands on the side or a corner.

There's IP68 and IP69 ingress protection from water, with the S62 Pro handling up to 1.5 meters of water for 35 minutes, and the display gets Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection. Cat even recesses that toughened glass between a protective ridge, for even more resilience, and the body is fully settled with waterproof connectors, a metal frame, and non-slip rubberized TPU rear housing.

If it's COVID-19 or similar you're worried about, you can wash the S62 Pro with soap and detergents, alcohol wipes and other disinfectants, and it'll even hold up to bleach and other common chemicals.

Clearly, this isn't the phone for everybody, but if your life or work takes you into challenging environments – or you're just plain clumsy – then the Cat S62 Pro seems to offer the benefits associated with ruggedized devices yet without a lot of the chunky, ugly drawbacks we've come to assume of them. It'll be available in April 2021 in the US, unlocked, priced at $699.