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September 4, 2014

CAT’s next phone is so rugged we’re surprised it doesn’t have a beard

by John_A

We’d hate to admit it. but you could never really mistake your humble narrator for a manly man, breaking cinder blocks with his pectoral muscles and hanging out at monster truck rallies. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t appreciate the engineering and effort that went into CAT’s newest rugged smartphone, the S50. We’re told that it’s designed “for the outdoors,” that terrifying world where there’s no WiFi and comfortable furniture we see only in our nightmares. The 4.7-inch handset is coated in a liberal helping of Gorilla Glass 3, but the first time we asked about resolution – which we later learned is 1,280 x 720 – the device just glowered at us as if we’d challenged its masculinity.

The body of the S50 is waterproof, certified dust proof to IP6X and waterproof to IPX7, which means that it’s capable of lasting under a meter of water for half an hour. There’s an 8-megapixel camera ’round back, but this phone believes that selfies are nothing more than silly nonsense, which is why the forward-facing lens is a meek VGA option.

You might be disappointed to learn that there isn’t a cuddly inside lurking beneath that austere shell. Alas, you’ll just find a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm MSM8926 paired with 2GB RAM alongside 8GB of internal storage that can be bolstered with a 64GB microSD card. Battery-wise, there’s a 2,630mAh cell tucked in there, rated for around 16 hours of talk time. The company is also promising access to its own app store, which claims to offer a curated experience such that its customers “don’t need to trawl through the 1.2 million apps on Google Play to find the one they want.” It’ll be available at some point in the near future, priced at $499 / €479, depending on which side of the Atlantic you reside.

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