CAT S60 with a thermal camera: is it the best smartphone for your engineers?

Marine Klein
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The CAT S60 brings pioneering technology to the mobile phone market, being the first smartphone to incorporate built-in thermal imaging capability. With its metal and polymer construction and world-leading waterproofing qualities for a mobile phone, the CAT S60 has a lot to offer the field services market.

Benefits of the CAT S60 in the workplace


The rugged construction of the CAT S60 means the phone can survive even the toughest working environments. We expect anything from the Caterpillar brand to be robust, but the CAT S60 excels, with its reinforced die cast frame and toughened glass screen. It even exceeds specifications set by the US military.

When your workforce uses robust phones, such as the CAT S60, you will see a reduction in the number of breakages. This saves on costly replacements, and also minimises work disruption, as engineers are not left to manage without a phone until a replacement phone arrives.


Touchscreen in Cornign Gorilla glass

The touchscreen is made from extremely tough Corning Gorilla Glass, and it is able to sense and respond to touch even when you are wearing gloves or if your fingers are wet. The rear of the camera is covered in a stylish black polymer with the look of carbon fibre, and it is highly resistant to scratches and dents.

The most waterproof phone in the world

The CAT S60 is the most waterproof phone in the world. It has pluggable Nano SIM and microSD ports, and grille making it fully waterproof to depths of up to 5 metres. Simply use the Lockdown switch, selecting up to 2m or 5m depth, to suit your needs. With the cover in place which protects the speaker grille, the phone can remain immersed for at least 60 minutes at up to 5 metres deep without any damage occurring.

Read also: Keeping your field service business up with the times

Thermal Imaging on the CAT S60

The CAT S60 is able to capture still images, video and time-lapse thermal imaging, all immediately ready to share. FLIR uses a Lepton thermal micro-camera, with a specially developed miniature core which allows it to be embedded in hand-held devices such as the CAT S60.

In the Dark switch to thermal imaging mode

The technology functions even in challenging conditions, for example, producing high-quality images in obscured, smoky environments. It is very simple to use, even in the dark, as you can switch to thermal imaging mode at the touch of a button.

The CAT S60 also has plenty of capacity for storing thermograms, if you need to save them to use later.

The thermal imager can be used for a wide range of applications:

  • Utilities engineers checking for electrical or gas faults
  • Plumbers checking for hot water leaks
  • Heating engineers identifying heat leaks in insulation
  • Firefighters searching for people through smoke
  • Surveillance activity.

Other features on the CAT S60:
  • Flashlight
  • Specialist apps, e.g. Hike which instantly brings you relevant and continually refreshed data on the screen, including location, weather, digital compass, local GPS signal strength and a distance counter.
  • SOS button: this can be programmed with your own contact preferences, for example for calling emergency services, or for transmitting location details via SMS to a pre-set group of people, such as other team members. 

Check how to manage field engineers device with Android at work 

How does CAT S60 compare with the iPhone7?



Price: from £529
Durability: water - fully waterproof to 5m (IP68 rating
Durability: drops/knocks - drop-resistant
OS: Android 6.0Marshmallow
Capacity: 32 GB (option to add more through micro-SD port)
Chip: Qualcomm 617
Battery life: talk time - up to 30 hours; standby - up to 43 days
Dimensions: 147.9mm x 73.4mm x 12.66 mm
Weight: 223g
Screen size: 4.7 inch
Screen resolution: 1280x720
Camera: 13MP rear, 5MP front


iPhone 7

Price: from £599
Durability: water - splash and water resistant (IP67 rating)
Durability: drops/knocks - handles drops of 1.8m
Capacity: 32 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB
Chip: A 10 with embedded M10 co-processor
Battery life: talk time - up to 14 hours; standby - up to 10 days
Dimensions: 138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1mm
Weight: 138g
Screen size: 4.7 inch
Screen resolution: 1334x750
Camera: 12MP rear, 7MP front

The iPhone 7 has some features which you won’t find on the CAT S60, and it is a significantly slimmer, lighter phone. On the downside, it is far more prone to scratches, chips and broken screens, and it won’t survive an underwater experience like the CAT S60 can.

Ultimately it is a case of deciding on priorities, but for anyone working in construction, engineering, utilities and other industries with demanding environments, the CAT S60 has some clear advantages. iPhone models, be they the now discontinued iPhone 5s or the iPhone 7, are arguably better suited to an office-based lifestyle.

Can you use it at home?

Although the CAT S60 is very much designed with the field service market in mind, there is no reason why it cannot be used as a personal smartphone too.

So whilst its main USPs, such as the thermal imaging and waterproofing, are geared towards the workplace, many of these same features have useful applications in the home and for leisure, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants a highly durable phone.

Its rugged appearance makes it stand out from the crowd, and although it is incredibly robust and chunky, it is still comfortable to hold and is not too heavy.

"If you are one of those people who can’t seem to keep a mobile screen intact for more than a few weeks, the CAT S60 could be just the phone for you."

The CAT S60 is also perfect for thrill-seekers and adrenalin junkies. Whether you’re careering down the ski slopes, climbing sheer cliff faces, or hurtling through the rapids, the CAT S60 will be able to handle all the knocks and scrapes which come its way.

You may even find the thermal imaging technology to be surprisingly useful at home, and you need never again get caught short of gas when you’re camping or having a barbeque.

If you’re looking for a smartphone with a robust construction, designed to meet the challenges of even the most extreme workplace, with a high spec and excellent battery life, the CAT S60 is hard to beat. Add to that the benefit of thermal imaging technology, and the CAT S60 really does look like a winner.

In the next blog post we review some lower-budget alternatives. Read more...

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