The CAT S60 is a smartphone that can see in the dark

This ruggedized smartphone is waterproof to five meters, and will go on sale around June

Cat S60 smartphone

Cat S60 smartphone

It can see through smoke, it can dive underwater, and it can run Android Marshmallow.

The CAT S60 is a 4G LTE smartphone with a 3,800 mAh battery that owners of thinner and lighter phones might kill for. With its ruggedized case, designed to survive a drop onto concrete from head height, it sounds like the special forces of smartphones.

The phone's two stand-out features, though, are its water resistance and its thermal camera.

There are plenty of smartphones with IP68 ratings that can take a dip in a pool and live to tell the tale, but the CAT S60 is fully submersible to 5 meters -- as long as you remember to batten down the hatches first. It has two mechanical shutters to cover the earpiece and microphone, and if you forget to flip those closed first, water's going to find its way in once you go below 2 meters. Otherwise, you're good for up to an hour under water.

There's one other thing worth keeping closed: the trapdoor on the back covering slots for dual SIM cards and a microSD card.

"We put it on the back, not the side, because otherwise it's a structural weakness," said Tim Shepherd of Bullitt Group, the company that designs and manufactures CAT phones under license. Bullitt also makes ruggedized phones for JCB, although those are feature phones, not smart phones.

The thermal camera module is made by FLIR, and uses the same Lepton image sensor as FLIR's add-on modules for iPhones and Android phones. It has a raw resolution of 80 by 60 infrared pixels, but with some clever processing of the image from the adjacent 13 megapixel visible light camera, this can be interpolated up to a 640-by-480-pixel thermal image. An app allows a readout of the approximate temperature with a tap on the screen.

"It's accurate to 2-3 degrees Fahrenheit," said FLIR's Bruce Cumming. "For home inspectors and insurance loss adjusters, it's a good enough technology," he said, but recommended that they get trained in basic thermography first.

The S60's other features include a 4.7-inch touch-screen display that can be used with wet fingers or gloves, a Qualcomm Snapdragon octa-core processor, and 3GB of RAM.

Bullit expects it to go on sale around June, priced about US$599 (excluding sales tax) or €649 (including value-added tax) for an unlocked version.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on PC World

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?