Most people want their phones to be slim and stylish, but a few are happiest with bulky monsters. Rugged mobile phones have always sold well with construction workers or anyone with a job that risks scratching their phone. Smartphones have generally failed to match the robustness of older mobiles, which is fair enough when you’re carrying a touchscreen computer in your pocket. CAT, a company you probably associate with bulldozers and hard hats, has a new flagship phone that promises to be tough and has a standout feature: thermal vision.
The smartphone branch of CAT has released several rugged smartphones already with fully waterproofed bodies, drop-proof casings, and Gorilla Glass touchscreens that work with wet fingers and gloves. CAT’s phones are perfect for construction sites and other environments where phones might have a tough day.
Their newest flagship, the S60, has a thermal imaging camera that might make it the electrician’s dream smartphone since many faults have tell-tale heat signatures. It could even prove useful in fires as the camera will spot unconscious victims hidden in the smoke. Some people might even find a use for the phone as an underwater thermal camera when investigating faults. Police could check to see if a car’s engine has been running recently or you might just be curious to know how much your computer components are overheating.
Thermal imaging isn’t new for smartphones but usually comes in the form of accessories. The S60’s thermal camera was designed by FLIR, who have previously released smartphone attachments to provide thermal imaging. The S60’s camera takes ordinary photos and thermal photos at the same time and combines them for greater visual quality, though you can view either version later. You can even get a temperature reading by touching on the area of interest.
As a phone the S60 doesn’t stand out as an Android game-changer, but it certainly holds its own. It runs Marshmallow, uses a 3800 mAh battery, connects with 4G, and has the components to run any current Android apps. With a 4.7″ screen and 105 dB speaker, it should be a great Netflix player during construction breaks.
The S60 will be launched in June for £500. You can register interest at CAT’s website. An unlocked handset will be available but there’s currently no information about contract prices.
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