Ok I may have exaggerated a bit. The CAT S61 doesn’t really shoot lasers, instead, the built-in laser is used for distance and area measurement. Yes, you read that right, this is a smartphone with a built-in laser measurement tool.
CAT has been building smartphones for a few years now and being a brand that’s synonymous with construction work, you can understand why the S61 is a rugged phone. The rugged phone concept is not anything new though. Many brands have tried and are still building rugged smartphones but the S61 is unique because of the array of tools built-into the device.
The S61 features a built-in thermal sensor with a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensor that has a temperature detection range of between -20 to 400 degrees Celsius. There’s also the aforementioned laser measurement tool and an indoor air quality sensor that alert you if the air quality around you is unhealthy due to above normal quantities of air pollutants.
Being a CAT phone, you can expect the S61 to be built tough and it is with an aluminium reinforced die-cast frame, and IP68 rating for water and dust resistance in up to 3 meters of water for a period of one hour. It also has the Mil-STD-810G rating for shock resistance meaning that you can drop the phone from as high as 1.8 meters onto hard concrete and it will still be ok. The S61 is also protected against salt water and all types of dust.
On the inside, the S61 is still very much a phone with a 5.2-inch full HD display, a 16MP camera rear camera that supports 4K video recording. There’s also an 8MP front camera.
The device gets a very large 4,500mAh battery and it runs the mid-range Snapdragon 630 processor with 64GB of built-in storage, 4GB of RAM. You also get dual-SIM support and micro SD card expansion up to 256GB.
With all its ruggedness and built-in sensors, the CAT S61 is not going to be a phone for the masses. In my hands, the S61 is bulky and the interface is not as sleek at the Galaxy S9 or the iPhone X but if your work or hobby involves you looking out for heat signatures in potentially dangerous environments then this is the phone you want.
It’s not going to be cheap though, the CAT S61 retails for about USD1,100 which is about RM4,000 in today’s exchange rate and there’s no word on whether the CAT S61 will come to Malaysia. We’ll be sure to let you know when they do.