Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Hands-on with the Cat S48c rugged phone, available now on Verizon

CAT's new phone brings the same rugged construction as previous devices from CAT, but will new carrier availability bring more popularity to the company?

Published onJanuary 10, 2019

CAT is primarily known as a heavy equipment company, but what most people don’t realize is they also make smartphones. These devices are primarily made for people who work in construction and contracting, where they need their devices to be rugged and also tools to help them work. While CAT has traditionally made devices with specialized features like distance-calculating lasers and heat-measuring cameras, the company is looking to appeal to a wider audience with the introduction of the new CAT S48c.

These are the best rugged phones you can buy right now
Best products
Cat S62 Pro pylon
The S48c looks extremely similar to a number of previous CAT phones, with a rugged, rubberized construction and colors that fall in line with the tractor company’s branding. It’s definitely a bit thicker than most phones we come in contact with on a daily basis, but these devices are made for those who are likely to rough their phones around a lot. Think of it like a permanent Otterbox case. There are even rubber gaskets covering each of the ports on the device, like the USB Type-C port, headphone jack, and SIM tray.

The sturdy construction helps give the device a number of ruggedness certifications, including IP68 water and dust resistance, MIL Spec 810G, and Non-incendive Class I, Division 2 drop and vibration certification. This isn’t surprising considering the CAT S48c’s construction, and I got the impression I couldn’t break this phone if I tried. I’ve thrown previous CAT phones across rooms with little more than a scratch, and the S48c is no exception.

With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, the S48c isn’t meant to compete with the likes of Samsung and Huawei flagships. Rather, CAT’s new phone is made for people who are subjected to stressful conditions on a daily basis, and need something with a lot of protection and killer battery life. The phone is packing a 4,000 mAh battery, so it should last quite a while, especially with a 5-inch Full HD display. There’s even a remappable key on the side of the device that allows for things like walkie-talkie functionality, as well as quick launching of your favorite apps.

I got the impression I couldn't break this phone if I tried.

Other CAT S48c specs include 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, a 13MP rear camera and 5MP selfie camera, and Android Oreo with an update to Pie coming in the near future. These are fairly average specs for a mid-range device in this category, but the real news here is that the CAT S48c will be available from both Sprint and Verizon Wireless. Verizon customers can purchase the device for the full retail value of $599 or buy the device on a two year contract for $249.99.

It’s interesting that the CAT S48c doesn’t include any special features like we’ve seen in previous CAT devices. Most of the company’s phones have included some kind of extra feature to make the phone extra compelling to hardcore users, but, besides the ultra-rugged design and certification, the S48c doesn’t seem to offer much extra. Still, for those looking for a device that won’t break and can take photos underwater, this could be a compelling option.

What do you think of the device? Would you buy a rugged phone like this? Let us know!

You might like