CAT S41 Review: a Most Upto Date Rugged Smartphone

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About Caterpillar Phones

Since 2012 Bullitt Mobile Ltd is manufacturing phones and accessories globally under license by Caterpillar Inc., sold over 30 countries.

Rugged phones are not made to be beautiful or designed to be pretty. They are made to be strong enough to be used in rough terrains and designed to protect fragile parts such as display from a drop impact.

Cat phone are not exception and design may not impress you but they are not ugly to carry around.

CAT S41

The CAT S41 is the successor of the S40. With a massive 5,000 mAh battery (compared to 3,000 mAh on the S40), you can use the S41 to recharge other devices or never have to worry about recharging your smartphone.

It features a MediaTek Helio P20 MT6757 Octa-core 2.3GHz processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 13MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5 to protect its 5-inch full HD display and expandable storage upto 2TB via the MicroSD slot and runs stock Android Nougat.

The S41 cat is beyond IP68 certified – dust and water proof (up to 2m for 60 mins) device & enjoys excellent hard drop prevention backup from up to 1.8 meters (6 feet). The phone is a center of amazing certifications of MIL SPEC 810G that guarantees 100% safety from Shock and drop, salt spills, sand, dust, dirt, vibration and pressure resistant.

Features

Main features
Programmable button
Physical navigation buttons
E-compass
Battery Share
Single speaker
Pump Express 2.0 fast charging
FM Radio

Cat S41 does not come with fancy gestures or heavy theme on top but as pure stock Android 7.0 Nougat with few bloatware.

Built-in FM Radio will serves as a mini–entertainer for you. Juts plugin your headphones, set up your favorite channel & get started while traveling. All the ports are waterproof other than SIM and microSD card slot.

Design

Charging port is micro-USB and inside is a cable that lets you use the S41’s Battery Share feature. That turns the phone into a portable power bank, letting you juice up another gadget via USB.

On left hand-side it houses programmable key in rose gold colors that can launch any specific app or perform any action by short or long press.

There’s a lot of stuff you can do with this but the default options are Push-to-Talk mode (using PTT apps like Zello PTT) and an Underwater Mode toggle. That way you can activate the camera underwater without all the faffing about in the quick launch menu and take pictures with this button.

But unlike Samsung‘s Bixby button, this is designed to be set up by you. That means you can use programmable button to do  something like opening an app or perform an action such as turning on the torch, showing notifications or answering calls.

Use All in one Gestures APP to quickly navigate back and forth.

It also lets you differentiate between long and short presses making this a two-in-one button that enhances what your phone can do. Above the programmable button we have nano-SIM card slot and SD card slot.

On right hand-side we power button on top and volume under that, this sequence of button is unusual so most of the time i touch volume down instead of power button but after getting use to it I didn’t face any issue.

Using this phone with one hand like my small hands is little difficult when you are holding a phone and you have to reach to other corner for back / recent buttons.

Operating System

S41 comes with Stock Android Nougat 7.0, very stable, Fully optimized and no themes on top of it. After using it for over a week i haven’t observe any bug in OS.

Though it comes with few needed bloatware by CAT

View Full Specification of Cat S41

Bloatware

Cat phone S41 comes with apps including Camera, Battery share, App Tools, catphones, AVG Antivirus (removable) and registration (removable).

Bloatware
Bloatware

Portfolio of rugged phones is unique so bloatware in CAT S41 are. These are very helpful and i feel they are meant to be there unlike useless bloatware added by other manufacturers.

Camera

These days the high-end phone market is focusing on features of camera such as dual cameras, better apertures, optical zoom and all the other things that we haven’t really seen before.

S41 offers simple and basic features including picture-in-picture feature that allows to take picture or record video from rear and front camera as same time, other mode for video and picture are auto & panorama.

It’s got a 13MP rear camera (with autofocus) and an 8MP front camera. Video capabilities reach 1080p at 30 frames per second.

It has some filters which aren’t all that special anyway though it does have HDR. That’s a good thing. you can take picture of max 4208 x 3120 resolution.

Camera Interface
Camera Interface
Picture and Video Mode
Picture and Video Mode
Video Recording Settings
Video Recording Settings

Camera of S41 fully supports Camera2 API but unfortunately default camera app does not take full advantage of it.

Camera2 API Support
Camera2 API Support

All 3rd party camera apps can record 4K video, unfortunately which is not possible with default camera app, Open camera also can take raw images.

RAW image support
RAW image support
4K support
4K support

Catphones & registration app

catphones and registration apps are simple web links to official support and registration of your device.

Camera is obviously we expect to be in any phone so we have it with very simple user interface.

With 5000mAh battery and OTG support, battery share app allows you to turn your Catphone as power-bank to charge another device.

Battery Performance

With big 5000 mAh battery CAT S41 can charge other devices and overall performance of battery is great too.

It gives On-Screen time over 13 hours while playing youtube videos out of total 30 hours battery life.

On Mid to heavy usage it give battery life of 45+ hours including 9-10 hours on-screen time.

Phone takes between 2 to 2 and half hours to charge using included 5V2A Pump express 2.0 charger while maintains temperature between 29-35 Celsius degree during charge.

Battery Performance
Battery Life
Battery One-Screen Time
Battery One-Screen Time

 

 

What’s Missing?

There are no bio-metrics, which is disappointing, yet you can enjoy this phone during day to day task. With facial recognition still in its infancy, But you’ve still got pattern, PIN, and passcode lock, which is good enough.

There is no gyroscope sensor in there as well, which would be great to take sphere pictures.

Pros

5000mAh battery, can charge other device,Support Camera2 API, on-screen time, Pure Android, Supports Contact-less payment such as Android Pay

Cons

No fingerprint sensor, doesn’t have gyroscope, Default camera is basic,

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Battery Charging Time
Battery Life
Camera
OS
Performance
Price
Ruggedness
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Tech reviewer and gadgetologist with over 6 years IT experience and enthusiastic blogger, love to collaborate with other tech bloggers, Passionate about latest technological development in AI, Cloud and Smart Gadgets

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