The S60 has a thermal camera, which isn’t available on any other smartphones!
The CAT S60 is among the most rugged and indestructible smartphones ever made. Not only the smartphone is fully waterproof, but also comes with a thermal Sensor. Some of the features of the device are new and unique in every way. However, the S60 also has a steep price tag of around 60,000 INR. At this price, it’s surely not for everyone. But does it deserve your attention? We find out in our review.
Design and Build
The CAT S60 has a heavy and solid body which is unbreakable. It’s extremely sturdy, which can easily take accidental drops without an issue. But sadly, it’s also bulkier and not very comfortable for use in extended periods. It’s also quite thick also due to an extra covering for camera and battery. The antenna dent is a bit bigger than the usual smartphones for better connectivity. The edges are of metal while the rear part is covered with rubber body.
The rear panel has dual camera sensors along with the flash. However, don’t confuse it for normal devices with a pair of shooters, while the one camera module works as expected, the other one on the CAT S60 is for thermal sensing. There is a port for inserting the SIM card and microSD card. The right edge has the volume buttons while the left one has the power key, assigned button, SOS button and micro USB port. All the ports are protected by a covering, to ensure waterproofing with the IP68 certification.
The front panel has the secondary camera, speaker and sensor on the top. There’s a speaker just below the display and three buttons for navigation. Alongside the speaker, the S60 has a 2m/5m option for its protection depending upon the depth of the water that the phone can handle.
Overall, the design might be bulky and quite big to hold, but surely gets marks for offering water and shock protection. It’s great for those who want a durable smartphone and it’s one of the unique designs I’ve come across.
The CAT S60 offers a 4.7inch of IPS display with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. It is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The display is good but not so impressive. The current era is of 2K displays, so we can at least expect the phone to offer 1080p display. That said, the colour reproduction is good and the screen is sharp. One can easily use it under direct sunlight and see it from different viewing angles.
Hardware and Software
The CAT S60 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 SoC clocked at 1.6GHz paired with 3GB of RAM. There is 32GB of internal storage and it can be expandable up to 128GB via microSD card slot. There is no fingerprint sensor however. It’s a dual-SIM smartphone with 4G connectivity.
It runs almost stock Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. The UI is minimal and user-friendly. It is preloaded with useful apps only like App toolbox and thermal camera. There is a lot of customisation features as per the users need, for battery saving, camera usage, location accuracy and other privacy control features.
The Snapdragon 617 processor delivers an acceptable performance on the CAT S60. The touch response is good and the multitasking is acceptable. There is a bit of lag while opening and closing of the apps, which may be due to the mid-range and old processor.
The gaming performance of the smartphone is just about average. One can enjoy the smaller games, but may find difficulty while playing high-end titles like Asphalt 8 or Modern Combat 5.
As per the S60’s promise, it easily passes our durability and water proofing test. I dropped it from more than 1.5 meters and there were no dent or scratches on it. While dropping it in water the smartphone alerts the user to close the speaker panel and the device still runs. On taking out from water, it offers to dry up the smartphone and speaker with the in-built process.
The connectivity and Audio/Video performance is quite good. There was no distortion in it while calling or any type of network issue.
The CAT S60 sports a 13MP primary camera with a secondary FLIR camera for thermal sensing. The thermal camera has a separate app for it. It senses the surroundings and shows the temperature value of different objects on the viewfinder. The value is not very accurate but somehow near to the original one.
The normal camera works fine, but seems less efficient, when compared to the other smartphones with similar cameras. The front camera is of 5MP, which gives acceptable results. Both the camera, i.e. the front and rear shoots images which seem dull as there is a lack of brightness despite the availability of light. The details are also very less.
There is 3800mAh of battery in the CAT S60 which seems quite efficient and gives almost a full day battery backup with moderate usage.One can easily get almost three to four days standby time with it. Sadly, there is no quick or fast charging in it so it takes almost four hours to charge fully.
As mentioned earlier, the CAT S60 isn’t a normal smartphone and shouldn’t be considered against flagships available in this price range. It’s for those who are looking to get a smartphone that has a durable and sturdy waterproof body and has a use for a thermal camera. However, even then, it requires a careful consideration as its processor isn’t very fast and the OS is also quite dated.