OUR VERDICT

There’s no question the latest Cat smartphone can take a beating. But can it beat the competition?

FOR

  • Extremely durable
  • Bright display
  • Long-lasting battery doubles as an external pack

AGAINST

  • Terrible camera
  • Underwhelming performance
  • A little pricey
  • No fingerprint sensor

Fortunately, the $449 Cat S41 is here to fill the void. Another smartphone from the famed producer of construction machinery, the S41 is actually produced by Bullitt Group, the same company that designed the Kodak Ektra. If you’re in a particularly demanding line of work or need a phone that can withstand nature’s harshest elements, the S41 won’t let you down. Just don’t use it to share pictures of your next vacation.

Price and availability

The Cat S41 costs $449 and features 32GB of internal storage, paired with 3GB of RAM. The phone is only sold unlocked, but you can still take it to GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile; CDMA networks, such as Verizon and Sprint, are not compatible. You can preorder it now from Cat’s website, with delivery slated for Nov. 16, or pick it up from the likes of Best Buy and Amazon.

Specs

Price
$449
Screen Size (Resolution)
5 inches (1920 x 1080)
Size
6 x 3 x 0.51 inches
Weight
7.7 ounces
CPU
MediaTek Helio P20
RAM
3GB
Storage
32GB
MicroSD?
Yes
NFC?
Yes
Rear Camera
13 MP
Front Camera
8 MP
Battery Life (Hr:Min)
15:19

Configuration: Built for a beating

There are extreme telephones, and afterward there’s the Cat S41. Clad in hard plastic and a finished rubber treated material around the sides and back, the S41 doesn’t attempt to make light of its rough roots like the Galaxy S8 Active does. It’s not especially rich, however at that point, that is not the point.
Weighing almost 8 ounces, the S41 is weighty, despite the fact that it just houses a 5-inch show. It’s additionally very thick, estimating a large portion of an inch. This can make the telephone hard to get a handle on for those with little hands, however the grippy material fairly mitigates the clumsiness. It resembles having an uncompromising case on your telephone consistently.
Gorilla Glass 5 makes the screen nearly as solid as the remainder of the telephone, however the showcase pulls in fingerprints like no one’s business. Luckily, CAT gives a screen defender in the crate for additional piece of brain. The entirety of the telephone’s ports (counting the 3.5-millimeter earphone jack) are given defensive folds to guarantee water obstruction, which is a critical part of the plan.
The best waterproofing most telephones can expect to accomplish is IP68 — useful for 5 feet of submersion for 30 minutes. This is the thing that you’ll get from both the LG X endeavor and Galaxy S8 Active. The S41 admissions somewhat better, however. Because of those folds, CAT’s handset can get by under 6.5 feet of water for 60 minutes.
It can take a fall, as well. The S41 holds fast to the military’s MIL-STD-810 norm for solidness, and is worked to get over 6-foot-high drops onto concrete. A tumble onto the walkway just left our unit with scratches on the corners; the presentation remained flaw free and the telephone worked totally well thereafter.
The S41 doesn’t attempt to make light of its tough roots like the Galaxy S8 Active. It’s not especially exquisite, yet at that point, that is not the point.
The individuals who every now and again wear gloves will see the value in CAT’s choice to go with thick actual route catches underneath the showcase, just as a programmable multifunction key on the left side. Not at all like the Bixby button on the Galaxy S8 arrangement, this gold key can be redone to dispatch explicit applications and highlights, similar to the spotlight and noting calls.
Tragically be that as it may, in the midst of the collection of catches, a unique finger impression sensor is mysteriously gone. You could contend Cat’s intended interest group probably won’t have presented fingerprints to give, however both the X endeavor and S8 Active have sensors, putting the S41 in a difficult situation.

Battery: Power to save

Other than adding defensive cover, the S41’s massiveness additionally houses a muscular 5,000-mAh battery, which gives sufficient juice to make this one of the longest-enduring cell phones we’ve at any point tried. The Cat S41 endured 15 hours and 19 minutes in our Tom’s Guide Battery Test, which comprised of ceaseless site spilling over AT&T LTE.
The Cat S41’s battery accomplishes something other than last, nonetheless. Feline incorporates a Battery Share highlight that successfully changes the telephone into an outside power pack. To make it work, you’ll need to utilize the Battery Share dongle that accompanies the telephone and plugthat dongle into the S41, instead of the gadget you’re charging. Force will move from the telephone to the subsequent gadget, and you can even set a base hold on the S41, with the goal that you don’t run the handset’s battery totally dry.
The S41 needs remote charging, yet it upholds quick accusing of the included Pump Express 2.0 divider connector. Siphon Express is MediaTek’s partner to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge innovation, however 2.0 is really an obsolete norm — more current gadgets sport Pump Express 3.0. In any case, it helps the S41 top off 45% quicker than it would without quick charging.

Display: Surprisingly sharp

The S41’s 5-inch, full-HD LCD show is shockingly very pleasant, regardless of whether it’s important for a strength first handset. The principal thing you notice is the way splendid the screen is — 595 nits when turned as far as possible up, which blows away the 433-nit cell phone normal and even outperforms the Moto G5 Plus at 591 nits.
Next to each other with the just-delivered $399 Moto X4, which additionally has a likewise estimated 1080p LCD board, the S41 portrayed marginally more immersed colors during a review of the most recent Justice League trailer, however more unfortunate white equilibrium and more quieted contrast left opportunity to get better.
The S41’s shooter is so awful, it makes most average spending handsets look like iPhones and Pixels by examination.
In testing, the S41 imitated 116.6 percent of the sRGB range and turned in a Delta-E shading exactness score of 1.46 (numbers more like 0 are better). Neither of these are essentially class-driving outcomes, however the S41’s screen generally stands its ground against the best LCD shows at this value point — an unforeseen pleasure.

Camera: Where this phone fizzles

There’s nothing of the sort as a truly extraordinary camera in a $400 cell phone. All things considered, the S41’s 13-megapixel shooter is so awful, it makes most unremarkable spending handsets look like iPhones and Pixels by examination.
We piled up the S41 against LG’s X endeavor, a not-exactly as-rough, yet at the same time quite durable, $329 gadget selective to AT&T. The X endeavor’s 16-MP camera squashed CAT’s earnest attempts, especially with a predominant HDR mode.
As a dependable guideline, never use HDR on the S41, or you’ll get results like what you see above. The S41’s openness is tremendously dim, cleaned out and totally without appropriate differentiation. It neglects to get control over the features — especially the light gotten by the blossoms — and does not have the unpretentious foundation obscure of the LG telephone’s shot.
The S41 doesn’t have the foggiest idea how to manage concentrated wellsprings of light, yet fortunately, it admissions somewhat better once you leave the shadows. These scenes from a lovely day in New York totally fly on the X endeavor, with better white equilibrium, more energetic tones, sufficiently bright shadows and generally speaking more keen detail. The S41’s endeavor is perceptibly more boring, however with HDR off, in any event it is anything but a blanched wreck.

Execution: Middling, however not irritating

Driving the S41 is MediaTek’s Helio P20, a chipset generally comparable to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625; the telephone likewise includes 3GB of RAM. That is a strong blend for a midrange telephone, however I ran into some little spaces of worry in everyday utilization.
The S41 takes a hair longer than it ought to boot up, however once it’s prepared, it performs outstandingly more often than not. Shuffling applications, perusing Chrome, snapping photographs and real time YouTube recordings never represented any issues, however exploring Google Maps wasn’t pretty much as smooth as on other, likewise specced gadgets. Playing first-individual shooter N.O.V.A. Heritage and arcade exemplary Crazy Taxi weren’t any difficulty, so you can anticipate that the S41 should deal with some light gaming or assignments that correspondingly charge the CPU.
On the off chance that you need a tough telephone that makes no penances in speed and force, look to Samsung’s Galaxy S Active line all things considered.
On Geekbench 4, which tests generally speaking execution, the S41 dealt with a score of 3,221 — a long ways from the Moto X4’s 4,122, however obviously superior to the LG X endeavor’s measly 2,613. The S41 likewise added up to 12,892 on 3DMark’s Ice Storm Unlimited designs test, again putting it between the Moto X4 and LG X endeavor at 16,815 and 8,290, separately. In any case, on the off chance that you need a rough telephone that makes no penances in speed and force, look to Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Active all things being equal, which profited by its Snapdragon 835 processor to smoke the S41 on the two tests.

Software: Clean Android experience

However occupied as its outside seems to be, the S41’s client experience is amazingly simple. The telephone runs Android 7.1 Nougat, and that is it; there’s no superfluous maker skin and practically no bloatware. The just nonstock applications you’ll discover are Office Suite, Battery Share and Cat’s App Toolbox — the last of which offers a curated choice of rough programming, from mainstream route application Waze to more particular devices like an electrical mini-computer and an application to help steers reproducers.
We like that Cat kept it basic, instead of objecting with Android. Furthermore, the highlights the S41 adds, as Underwater Mode and the programmable-key capacities, ought to be helpful to precisely the sorts of purchasers the organization is seeking. We contacted the organization to decide whether an update to Android 8.0 Oreo is standing ready, and we’ll refresh this survey when we know more.

Bottom Line

Few cell phones are worked to endure the sorts of misuse the S41 can deal with and still hit a sensible value point. Feline has made an exemplary showing of carrying that sturdiness to the midrange market without making an excessive number of penances. This is an acceptably performing handset with practically unique battery life, and for the correct client, it certainly suits a need.
In any case, except if you invest a ton of energy on a building site or in the unforgiving outside, away from a divider outlet, the S41 doesn’t bode well. Various contenders, from the Moto E4 Plus and G5 Plus to ZTE’s Blade V8 Pro, give quicker execution — and, particularly — better cameras for hundreds less. Feline’s contribution is shockingly balanced contrasted with other extreme telephones, similar to Kyocera’s less amazing yet more expensive Dura Force Pro, however it’s as yet not for everybody.

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