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Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Most smartphones nowadays feature beautiful metal and glass constructions that push the boundaries of screen-to-body ratios. Unfortunately, all that glass makes these phones a little more vulnerable. Luckily, Cat has been filling a specific niche requirement for smartphone buyers: durable smartphones that can survive almost anything. Here’s a list of the best Cat phones available for anyone looking for one of the most rugged Android devices you can get.

Best Cat phones:

  1. Cat S52
  2. Cat S42
  3. Cat S48C
  4. Cat S61

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Cat phones regularly as new devices launch.


1. Caterpillar Cat S52

cat s52

Caterpillar hasn’t refreshed its high-end offerings in a while, but it has a great new device available that blurs the lines between rugged and mainstream phones — the Cat S52.

In terms of specifications, the S52 features entry-level hardware and comes with quite a sleek design compared to previous Cat phones. It’s not any less protected, though, with its IP68 rating for ingress protection and MIL-STD 810G certification for impact protection. The phone has been drop-tested repeatedly on concrete from a height of 1.5m and can be submerged completely in water.


Caterpillar Cat S52 specs:

  • Display: 5.65-inch, HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio P35
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Cameras: 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,100mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie


2. Caterpillar Cat S42

cat S42

Joining the list of Caterpillar’s 2020 releases is the Cat S42, which was launched as the Cat S32 at CES this year before the company decided to rename it. It’s a decidedly entry-level device, and while its pricing and availability information hasn’t been announced yet, it’ll likely be the cheapest Cat phone you can get. Of course, there’s been no compromise has far as its rugged features go.

The phone comes with an IP68 rating for dust and waterproofing and a MIL-STD 810G certification for impact protection. It has also been drop-tested numerous times from a height of 1.8m onto steel, with drops on every side and all the corners. Despite the low-end processing package and less RAM and storage, the S42 has its advantages over the S52 as well, like a slightly better primary camera, a larger battery, and the latest version of Android out of the box.


Caterpillar Cat S42 specs:

  • Display: 5.5-inch, HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio A20
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Cameras: 13MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,200mAh
  • Software: Android 10


3. Cat S48C

Best Cat phones

The Cat S48C made its debut at CES 2019 and remains one of the best Cat phones you can get. It’s a mid-ranger that’s built to last. It features a rugged body like the rest of Cat’s lineup and is IP68 rated for protection against water and dust. It also has a MIL-STD 810G certification.

It’s a solid mid-range offering, at least as far as rugged smartphones are concerned. Of course, it’s not about blazing fast performance and DLSR-like cameras with these phones. If you’re looking for a mid-range device that can survive almost anything, this a great option. You can get the Cat S48C from Verizon or Sprint.


Cat S48C specs:

  • Display: 5-inch, Full HD
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 630
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Camera: 13MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 8 Oreo


4. Cat S61

Cat S61

The S61 was announced at MWC 2018 and is the successor to the S60. One of the highlights of the S60 was the fact that it was the first smartphone — rugged or not — to have a thermal camera. As expected, its successor brings key improvements to this feature while also coming with the necessary hardware upgrades.

The S61’s thermal imaging camera shows greater image contrast and a larger temperature range, which goes from -21 to 400 degrees Celsius. The S61 also takes HD images from its regular rear camera to enhance the thermal images. The phone also includes a laser that measures things up to 33 feet away and a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) that can detect air quality every 30 seconds.

As with Cat’s other rugged phones, the S61 has IP68 and IP69K ratings for dust and waterproofing and water pressure resistance. It also comes with the MIL-STD 810G certification for impact protection. It’s certainly showing its age at this point but remains among the best Cat phones you can buy.


Cat S61 specs:

  • Display: 5.2-inch, Full HD
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 630
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Camera: 16MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery:4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 8 Oreo


These are our picks for the best Cat phones you can get! We’ll be sure to update this post once new models hit the market.