CAT S42 SmartPhone Review: Are Rugged SmartPhones In Right Now?
You should review this product and that’s this one here. Cat uh cat makes a phone cat. The construction company, like bobcat now i’m sure almost anybody in construction. Pro probably has seen or heard of these i hadn’t um. So of course i ordered one, and i got one. This is the cat s42 smartphone it’s, a rugged phone uh and uh here’s. My full review i’m gon na start off with the specs, because uh it’s it’s got weird specs right um this this phone retails for 299 or 300 bucks usd i to really dig to figure out what processor it’s running and i found this is a mediatek helio. A20 mt quad core 1.8 gigahertz processor. Now what does that mean? Because i’ve never actually really heard of that processor or even that brand processor? So i went and compared it to a phone that i think is probably around the same, not same category but same like budget for this one, which i use the google pixel 3 and a geekbench score on this phone. Gets you a single core score of about 133 and a multi core score of 485, comparing that to the pixel 3, which gets a single core score of 342 and a multi core score of 1’2 ish it’s, a pretty bad processor? But i figured this is not for your average person. This is more of like a work, phone and it’s, definitely not trying to compete on that front.
It’S got three gigs of ram and 32 gigabytes of storage, plus a slot for a micro sd card. So you can expand it up to 256 gigs it’s got two sim card slots and a headphone jack as well. It’S ip68 and 69 water and dust resistant it’s got a 1080p 30 frame per second camera and it doesn’t work on 5g only works on 4g lte. Just fine now it’s got it’s got a 720p lcd display for a rugged style phone like this, i guess that’s, not that surprising. I mean it’s not meant to be you’re like sitting there having fun phone. I think you have this as your like construction phone. You bring this around your construction site or whatever also it’s got a 4200 milliamp hour battery um, which, with that specific display running nearly stock, android phenomenal battery life that’s one thing: i’m gon na give this phone it’s great battery life great rugged. This is your all day: work phone slip it in your tool, tool, belt, yeah tool, belt, uh phone. The display is meant to be able to work with wet hands or, like a gloved hand, um. So yeah i mean the fact that they’re, even advertising that shows how much this is really focused on that specific niche of phone. So i really would only recommend this phone if you’re in specifically working in construction, there’s a lot of things about it. I don’t like it all so before we even dive into any other categories, while we’re on the specs here still um i’m, just gon na i’m gon na list them off.
There are no biometrics, there’s, no fingerprint reader. The face unlock is there’s, i mean it’s. Just a single camera, so there’s not a real face, unlock or anything like that. As i mentioned, the display being a lower resolution being an lcd instead of an oled display not ideal for most media consumption it’s, not at all competitive with any phone uh even close to its price point. And for me the biggest deal breaker thing that i dislike. The most uh, the port on the bottom uh, is it’s uh, it’s micro, usb i’m, a usbc type c guy. I can make an exception for an apple phone, because it’s still able to charge wirelessly uh, which this cannot now. Why would that be necessarily a problem for like a construction like site type people, okay, put yourself in the mind of a construction worker who’s, given this phone as their work phone now either a this? Is your work phone and it stays on site? And you lend you you know just you use it there at the site or you share it with a bunch of other people, it’s just another tool in your tool belt, or this is the phone they give to. You you sign out or whatever, and then you take it home with you. Well, you either have an iphone at home or you have another like android phone that’s using usb type c, meaning whatever chargers you already have in place are not gon na work with this.
So you’re gon na have to have a separate charger now that you give to your workers to send home with them and they’re gon na have to figure that whole thing out so bad experience right. I just think that’s a bad customer experience, it’s not really putting themselves in the mind of the consumer. I think they should have usb type c on this phone, all right, it’s yeah, but i do have to give it praise for being very close to stock android. I think that was a really good call. Um you you’re not going to want to have developers spending a lot of time trying to customize the ui and stuff like that. If this is meant to be a very function over form type of phone, which it really is, i mean it’s, it’s, thick it’s thicker than most uh phones would be even with a case on them, and actually that brings me to my the last thing i want To talk about is just the overall design of this phone um. Obviously it’s a dated looking design it’s got a big old forehead, big old chin. I don’t think anybody that’s targeting this phone is going to care about that. What they might care about is some of the more the subtle things that i think they did on this phone that some i liked and some i didn’t one when you plug it in there’s, a bright red light right on the front that shows that it’s charging It’S, just like a red dedicated charge, light um that makes sense on a utilitarian phone like this, when you plug it in you need to know that it’s charging so that it’s going to be ready to go the next day, because if this is dead, the next Day for all, you know, that’s stopping your project, so that’s that’s a business need another thing it has, which is something i’ve always not liked um, but i don’t know.
Maybe people that are in in the industry do like. It is the little flaps over the ports. So there’s like a little flap over the headphone port, little flap over the uh micro sd card, slash sim card port and then a little flap over the charging port on the bottom. Now, personally, whenever i have these types of flaps that are guarding ports, i end up prob, i i’m going to be honest. I end up pulling them off myself because they annoy the crap out of me and i feel like it’s, going to get pulled off anyway, but yeah. That does make it more like a i guess, better to handle dust and dirt and and that kind of stuff. But yeah i hate the flaps. I always want to just snap them off because it’s so thick um, the design kind of elicits the question: should you just get a cheaper phone install the apps? You need and get a case. Instead, i mean, in my opinion, probably yeah – you can get a google pixel 3 refurbished on amazon right now for like 170, get that with like a lifeproof case or an otterbox case, or any kind of really rough and rugged case and you’re, probably gon na. Be fine, i think that would be enough for most people to have this a similar experience to this, but with a much better performance, probably going to last a lot longer, get support longer, have a better camera, have a better display have have usb type c, and The one last thing about the design – i guess while we’re talking about it – is it has this dedicated button, uh just that’s the orange button, and at first i thought it was the power button and i had to actually dig through the settings to figure out it’s A it’s a custom button.
You can customize it to do what you want kind of like the bixby button on a samsung phone uh, but actually useful right. So this one you can customize to either do a double tap or a tab or a tap and hold and uh double tap. I’Ve set up to do flashlight, so it’ll just turn the flashlight on you can imagine on a construction site that being useful and actually in life. I wish more phones had that or some way to set that up a really quick don’t, even turn the display on just turn the flashlight on button. I love that i want more of that it’s just it would be nice. Then i set the tap and hold to activate the camera. Unfortunately, to activate the camera, you do need to unlock the phone which requires me putting in a passcode without a biometric which defeats the point of having a quick way to get to the camera. So i don’t know that’s a dumb software thing. I think the camera you should be able to open and use to take a picture without having to do that anyway, something i i thought was interesting. I can say i would not recommend anybody buy this phone for their personal device as a construction site on site thing. Maybe i mean it’s it’s real, durable, real rugged it’s supposed to work with your your gloves and get wet and it’s ip69 water and dust proof. Uh it’s got a long battery life it’s got everything.
You’D want on a construction site specifically, but as far as this being a main daily driver device for anybody that isn’t actively doing rugged like work. You know if you’re, not a lumberjack. I wouldn’t i wouldn’t. Personally, i would instead go and buy a hundred and sixty hundred seventy hundred eighty dollar refurbished pixel, three and i’d slap a case on that bad boy and call that a day overall, you know it’s a it’s, a phone that’s good at doing exactly what it’s meant To do and nothing else anyway, uh, let me know if you have any opinions on it in the comments below if you’re new here uh consider subscribing if you’re returning. Thank you, as always for watching my name’s ryan. This is the text box i’m gon na go.