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Caterpilllar's rugged S62 Pro touts a sleeker design and upgraded thermal camera

You do make some tradeoffs in return for the new design, however.

Published onJuly 28, 2020

caterpillar cat s62 pro
  • Caterpillar has introduced the Cat S62 Pro, the sequel to its best-known rugged phone.
  • It packs a bigger screen and improved performance, but a smaller battery and fewer sensors.
  • The phone arrives in August for $749.

Caterpillar (or rather, the Bullitt Group) is back with an updated version of its flagship rugged phone, and the new model is a welcome step up in most respects — but also a step back in others.

The newly introduced Cat S62 Pro is a major upgrade in most respects, jumping from the S61’s 5.2-inch, 16:9 ratio 1080p screen to a 5.7-inch, 18:9 ratio (but still 1080p) display. It also upgrades from the Snapdragon 630 processor with 4GB of RAM to a speedier Snapdragon 660 with 6GB of RAM, doubles the expandable storage to 128GB and ships with Android 10 instead of 8.0 Oreo.

The signature thermal camera has received a much-needed boost, too. The FLIR Lepton 3.5 sensor on the back of the S62 Pro offers roughly four times the resolution, or close to 20,000 pixels. That may not sound like much, but it could be crucial to workers who need to detect hot spots in machinery or find hidden wildlife. You can even blend thermal and visible light images, or add notes to help identify what you saw.

See also: The best rugged phones you can buy right now

It’s a sleeker design as well, with a smaller and thinner overall body. Staples like a programmable shortcut key and an FM radio remain intact.

There are some curious omissions, though. The laser-assisted distance measuring tool is gone, as is an indoor air quality monitor. You won’t find a headphone jack, either. It’s now rated for ‘just’ IP68 water and dust resistance, although it has been upgraded to the military’s tougher MIL-STD 810H standard instead of 810G. The battery has shrunk from 4,500mAh to 4,000mAh. And while the camera is a newer Sony IMX363 with an f/1.8 aperture, it’s a 12MP shooter instead of the 16MP from the S61.

The Cat S62 Pro should arrive in August for $749, or slightly more than the $729 of its predecessor. That’s expensive for a phone with these performance figures. As always, though, the Caterpillar isn’t meant to compete directly with typical smartphones. It’s built for field workers who need a device that can survive.