I bet that one point in your life, you’ve owned a smartphone that eventually failed you whenever it is exposed to the elements — cold, dust, sun, water — and most especially, when it is exposed to certain unavoidable circumstances — drops, scratches, etc.
The solution? A rugged smartphone.
HOWEVER, a problem still exists, because the issue with most of today’s rugged smartphones is that they can look really… well… ‘rugged‘. Apart from complete functionality, as consumers, we would still want a rugged smartphone that can look stylish for use. (No one wants to bring along a bulky phone that looks like a rock from a distance).
Thankfully, with the launch of Caterpillar’s refined ‘Cat Rugged Phones‘, thee said two problems are solved: protection and style.
Now these phones were actually built with industry workers in mind given how they are often exposed to harsh work environments; but going by my experience as I tested out a sample of a Cat S40 Smartphone that was sent to me by Caterpillar, I can say with absolute confidence that these Cat Phones are fit for us travelers too.
Besides, traveling often puts us at the forefront of ‘mishaps’! An example of which is when we accidentally drop our phones in some body of water or from a high point — I’ve been a victim of this in the past, and a ton of my friends have had experienced such as well. Therefore, for our travel lifestyle, we really need a smartphone that is not only feature-packed, but also strong enough to withstand whatever outside forces there can be.
For total disclosure, I own an iPhone too but here’s why a Cat S40 is the rugged smartphone that I bring for my travels — and why you should bring it for yours too!
Cat S40 Rugged Smartphone
Caterpillar dates back to 1904 and you probably best know them for being the biggest manufacturer of machinery and engines. Ever since 2012 however, they started to focus on phones and accessories too in order to answer the needs of the market. Today, their phone products are strong, practical and innovative devices that won’t let you down in tough situations.
» Why I love the Cat S40 for my travels
It’s a total package ‘proofed’ smartphone!
• DUST-PROOF: every nook and cranny of the phone is well-protected so it is absolutely impervious to dust.
• DROP-PROOF: the Cat S40 has an IP68 credential which basically means that it is tough! For instance, the phone is resistant on up to 1.8 or 6ft drops on concrete!
• TEMPERATURE-PROOF: it can stand up against the harshest environments. With its military-standard build, this rugged smartphone can still operate at -25°C (-13°F) up to 55°C (131°F) so it’s absolutely functional even when, let’s say, you’re out in the desert or a high mountain range.
• WATER-PROOF: you can definitely take your Cat S40 with you as you swim! As you can see from the photo on the left, I’ve submerged the phone in water and I left it there for up to 60 minutes. Guess what? It still remained functional. To add, it even has wet finger tracking so I was even able to use the phone while it was underwater! (Standard: it can stay submerged for up to 1 meter for 60 minutes).
It has a crazy long-lasting battery life.
One of the huge problems that I have when I travel…? The low battery capacity of my iPhone especially when I start to use my apps. So imagine my surprise when I first used my Cat S40 and I still had more than enough of battery power!!
I used Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter, and it was simply unbelievable how there was still more than half of the battery. Apparently, Cat S40 has over 3,000 mAh as it offers 18 hours of talk time and an impressive 39 day standby time! Ain’t that just awesome?!
It’s a dual SIM mobile!
Gone are the days when I worried about juggling my personal SIM card and the SIM card that I obtained in my new destination because my Cat S40 has a dual SIM card slot. So now, I can just simply switch between SIM cards — it’s really perfect for ensuring that I don’t mix the two. PLUS, there’s also no need for bringing along an extra phone for the other SIM which gives me lesser gadgets to mind while I’m on the road!
NOTE: The phone features 4G ultra-fast data, NFC, and GPS functionalities. The SIM should be a nano card.
It holds a lot of great tech features!
• 8 MEGA PIXEL CAMERA: The back camera has an auto-focus function that has a great photo resolution. It’s pretty decent if you ask me, and you can also capture videos at 720p, 30fps.
• RUNS ON ANDROID: The latest Android™ 5.1 Lollipop with Quadcore processor is installed into the Cat S40 and along with it as well is Caterpillar’s ‘App Toolbox‘ wherein you can download all the apps instantly that are relevant to your needs.
• A BIG HD SCREEN: The smartphone features a 4.7″ HD screen and it is actually made of Gorilla® Glass 4 screen so whenever you’re out in the outdoors, the ultra-bright display will help a ton.
CONTENTS: The Cat S40 comes with a warranty card, a quick-start phone guide, a USB cable, earphones, a screen protector, and an adapter.
» The “Cons”
I thoroughly test any product that I review and the Cat S40 is a fantastic rugged smartphone, but for total disclosure, let me divulge to you a few of the ‘cons’ that I saw:
- The dimensions of the phone are: 144.9 x 74.08 x 12.45 mm, and it weighs at around 185g. Even if the Cat S40 was built in a design that is better than most of the rugged smartphones out there, it still remains to be a bit “chunky”. But then again, despite this fact, I still find it as good trade off in exchange for the ultra protection that it gives!
- Even if the back camera has a great 8MP characteristic, the front camera on the other hand is not so good as it is only at 2MP. Therefore, this isn’t really the kind of phone that you should depend on when it comes to selfies, for example. Now I’m actually not a selfie person myself, so I personally didn’t find this as a huge ‘con’; however, I understand that some of you would find that as a problem (…unless you’re a pro at taking selfies with a back camera, then it’s not really a problem then, is it? ;)
- Lastly, I have a few qualms with the Android operating system and its processor because it tends to slow down the phone. In fact, at one point, my Cat S40 just suddenly died down for no reason — but rest assured, it came back up after a hard restart and it never happened again. This is not a fault of the phone itself but more of the Android system that it relies on. The way I see it, it’s not so much of a big concern because I believe that with an update, it should be fixed soon in no time. Still, it helps to inform you about it.
Without a doubt, the Cat S40 is both rugged and refined, and despite the few flaws that it has, its perks far outweigh the cons. With that in mind, I still find it as a sound purchase — AND a sound companion for any kind of adventure! (More so because it’s reasonably priced at $399.99!)
So what are you waiting for? Come and grab your own Cat S40 rugged smartphone NOW!
*To date, Caterpillar is continually releasing new smartphone models and if you want to see their complete list, go here. (They currently ship worldwide).
DISCLAIMER: I received a Cat S40 for free in return for an honest review. As always, I only recommend and write about brands that I personally use or believe in; therefore all views that are expressed here represent only those made by myself and NOT of any other entity in their favor. [Some images are from Caterpillar]
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I am Aileen Adalid. At 21, I quit my corporate job in the Philippines to travel the world. Today, I am a digital nomad (entrepreneur & travel writer) living a sustainable travel lifestyle.
My mission? To show you how it is absolutely possible to create a life of travel, and I will help you achieve that through my detailed travel guides, resources, and tips!
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CURRENTLY BASED IN: The Philippines
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