Cat S61 overview | TechRadar

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Almost two years after the launch of its first flagship smartphone, the Cat S60, the Bullitt Group has put its observe up, the Cat S61, on sale. First unveiled at MWC 2018 in February 2018, it’s a important enchancment on its predecessor, but additionally bumps the worth fairly significantly – extra on that later.

Apart from the generic {hardware} enhancements, it additionally boasts an indoor air high quality sensor in addition to a laser-assisted distance measurement software.


There’s no telephones available on the market fairly just like the S61 in relation to the design. For one factor, it’s the solely handset that has a outstanding bulge, one which Bullitt describes as being a design selection which makes it distinctive from the remainder of the competitors.

Certainly, whereas its predecessor, the S60, wanted a bulge to accommodate the additional FLIR sensor, that’s now not the case within the S61, and but the bulge is current extra for, let’s consider, branding causes.

The S61 has been constructed with a selected viewers in thoughts. For those who’re on the lookout for a Galaxy S9 or an iPhone X lookalike with the notch, then this isn’t the place one can find it. That is no skinny system: at 162 x 77 x 13mm with a weight of 259g, this can be a substantial piece of equipment. There aren’t any issues about its construct high quality – Bullitt has common this product to final.

A part of the explanation for that’s the further reinforcement wanted to move two vital certifications, MIL Spec 810G and IP69, that means the cellphone is designed to endure even excessive strain water jets that are frequent in lots of industries. There’s loads of polycarbonate and rubber to soak up shock and shield the system from drops, and a steel body to enhance its general construction.

The entrance hosts three bodily navigation keys, that are nice for these – who put on gloves, for instance – who need some correct suggestions when urgent buttons. We’re awarding further brownie factors for the standing gentle, which some producers foolishly omit.

An earphone socket is situated on the prime, subsequent to the massive bulge, and a bottom-firing speaker plus a Sort-C connector are beneath. A combo SIM/microSD card tray will be discovered subsequent to a devoted button on the left-hand facet, whereas the ability button, an air high quality sensor and two quantity buttons are on the alternative facet. The present mannequin doesn’t help twin SIM performance.

Flip the handset on its again and you’ll discover the FLIR digicam, a standard picture sensor and a twin LED flash, a Class 2 laser (situated simply beneath a large sticker) and at last, an enormous Cat emblem.

Cat S61 specs

CPU: Snapdragon 660

GPU: Adreno 508


Storage: 64GB

Display dimension: 5.2-inch

Decision: 1920 x 1080

Weight: 259g

Dimensions: 162 x 77 x 13mm

Rear digicam:  16MP

Entrance digicam: 8MP

OS: Android 8.1

Battery: 4.5Ah


The S61 was by no means meant to compete in opposition to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S9, so it is smart that it doesn’t run the newest (and sometimes the most costly) {hardware} mixture. So there’s no Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip however the slower (and older) Snapdragon 660 as an alternative, and ‘only’ 4GB of RAM and 64GB on-board storage, which locations it just under flagship units.

The show, a 5.2-inch Full HD mannequin, is protected by the newest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 expertise. The remainder of the specification is pretty commonplace: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, a 16-megapixel rear digicam, 8-megapixel front-facer, quick charging capabilities (by way of Qualcomm’s Fast Cost 3.Zero expertise) and a tiny 18W energy provide.

The system’s actual promoting factors, nevertheless, include the options that no different telephones available on the market supply. There’s the improved built-in thermal digicam from FLIR, which may now find warmth sources as much as 400 levels centigrade. It has a a lot larger decision in comparison with its predecessor and maybe its most spectacular functionality is the power to livestream content material.

There’s additionally a laser-assisted distance measure software that’s included on the again resulting from suggestions from S60 customers. Simply keep in mind that as a result of the laser itself isn’t mounted, it could actually solely give estimates, not exact measurements, and you will have to calibrate it pretty often.

The third helpful function is an indoor air high quality monitor that measures humidity and ambient temperature in addition to the standard of the air. The outcomes are displayed in an simply digestible site visitors gentle format with pink indicating harmful ranges of VOC (Unstable Natural Compounds).

The 4.5Ah battery is among the largest we’ve seen on a rugged system in current reminiscence. It recharges quickly due to the aforementioned Fast Cost expertise, nevertheless it might need been a good suggestion to implement wi-fi charging. Perhaps that’s one thing for the S62.


Right here’s how the Cat S61 carried out in our suite of benchmark exams:

Geekbench: 882 (single-core); 4,192 (multi-core); 3,760 (compute)

Antutu: 90,422

PCMark (Work 2.0): 4,831

Passmark: 5,808

Passmark CPU: 117,514

Androbench (sequential): 281 (sequential learn); 213 (sequential write)

Androbench (random): 50 (random learn); 15 (random write)

3DMark Slingshot: 1322

3DMark Slingshot Excessive: 822

3DMark IceStorm: 17,018

HWBot Prime: 3,839

In use

By way of efficiency testing, we found this handset was one thing of a combined bag. It held its floor on graphics benchmarks however was marginally behind Mediatek-based rivals. That stated, we didn’t expertise any sluggishness through the restricted time spent with the system, and the one benchmark that did not run was BaseMark, which we consider might need been right down to an incompatibility with Android 8.1, the OS which powers the system.

A brand new Android replace landed throughout our take a look at which brings the safety patch stage to June 2018, the newest out there. The show is first rate with out being distinctive though, reality be informed, it’s refreshing to pay money for a smartphone with a smaller floor space.

The display screen is reasonably brilliant and sports activities a better pixel density, trying sharper than many we’ve examined earlier than. It’s a disgrace concerning the lack of an oleophobic layer on prime of the show. Count on greasy fingerprints to stay.

We preferred the bodily navigation buttons and the three primary options of the S61 have been comparatively simple to become familiar with. The devoted programmable button on the left can set off a PTT (push-to-talk) name as soon as paired with a third-party utility.

The hump is ideally situated to relaxation your thumb whereas watching a video in panorama mode. There’s additionally an antivirus bundled without spending a dime (AVG), OfficeSuite productiveness suite and a curated app retailer centered on rugged system customers, aptly named App Toolbox. In contrast to a few of its Chinese language rivals, the S61 doesn’t include devoted bundled apps (e.g. barometer, plumb line and so forth).

The competitors

The Cat S60 is the apparent different for these on the lookout for a digicam with infrared capabilities. It’s far cheaper (by virtually 45%) however can be much more restricted in its scope. Nonetheless, it’s a really succesful handset in case your funds or wants are restricted.

The AGM X2 alternatively has a VOC detector however no FLIR digicam. It’s much more highly effective with a Snapdragon 653 CPU plus 50% extra system reminiscence, but additionally suffers from some bizarre design selections like a glass again.

Enterprise take

The Cat S61 is a uncommon beast – it’s a smartphone that’s larger than the sum of its elements. By committing to supply complete aftersales help – together with the assured supply of Android P and safety updates for not less than two years, alongside free display screen alternative in case of unintentional harm – Bullitt Group exhibits that it means enterprise, and sees the profitable B2B market as being a significant progress space.

Which brings us to the apparent query: when will Cat be part of the listing of Android Enterprise Really helpful units? That may open a totally new marketplace for the seller, as the one present rugged smartphone that makes the listing of 36 is the Sonim XP8, which isn’t broadly out there.

At £799 ($999), that is an costly system, however given the {hardware} that’s crammed inside, it’s a real cut price. A devoted FLIR One Professional digicam, a standalone VOC meter and a laser-assisted distance measuring software in all probability price simply as a lot, which implies that basically you get the cellphone without spending a dime.

We’re due to this fact delighted to current the primary editor’s selection award for a rugged smartphone to the Cat S61.

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