Cat has announced its new S41 rugged smartphone designed to withstand extreme conditions that will succeed the model S40 introduced several years ago. The new model has significant upgrades in terms of both performance and 'ruggedness', and will be available for the same price.

The key selling points of all Cat smartphones, produced by Bullitt Group, are the tough designs which they claim have special features that are useful for extreme environments keeping in sync with the Caterpillar brand. The new smartphone is IP68 certified, and is advertised to work underwater in depths of up to two meters for one hour (versus one meter for the more common IP67). Users will not be able to use apps in the underwater mode (because the touchscreen is locked), but will still be able to capture photos or videos using the external keys. When it comes to overall durability, Cat says that the S41 is built to survive repeated drops onto concrete from up to 1.8 meters, from every orientation. The hermetic enclosure is covered by rubber and the whole design can handle extreme temperatures (-25°C to 55°C) as well as a salty mist for going out to sea.

The Cat S41 is equipped with a 5” FHD IPS display with increased brightness to enable easy readability in bright sunlight. The display of the smartphone is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 5.  

Operation in extreme environments usually taxes a handsets battery life, so the Cat S41 comes with a 5000 mAh battery. The accumulator can be used to charge other devices due to Cat’s special Battery Share feature. The enforced enclosure as well as a high-capacity battery (for a 5” phone) naturally affected weight and dimensions of the device: it weighs 218 grams and is 12.95 mm thick. It will be interesting to see what low power modes the C41 supports to further extend battery life, such as reduced screen resolution or restricted App modes.

A design for harsh conditions is likely to focus more on the physical design than the performance of the internal components. With that in mind, the Cat S41 is based on MediaTek’s Helio P20 SoC (MT6757, eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores at 2.3 GHz, Mali-T880 iGPU, LTE Cat6, etc.) which is definitely more powerful than the one used in the S40 but it is not designed to set records in benchmarks. The smartphone is also equipped with 3 GB of memory, 32 GB of storage (expandable using a microSD card), an underwater 13 MP main camera with a LED flash as well as a 8 MP front-facing camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi, NFC, 4G LTE Cat6 and Bluetooth 4.1 wireless technologies, a host of sensors and so on. The phone has a 3.5-mm TRRS audio connector and a micro-USB port covered by a rubber pad to ensure sealing.

Caterpillar Cat S41 Specifications
  Cat S41
SoC MediaTek’s Helio P20 (MT6757)
8x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 2.3 GHz
ARM Mali-T880 GPU
Storage 32 GB
Display 5" 1920x1080 with Gorilla Glass 5
Network U.S.
2G 850/900/1800/1900
3G 850, 900, AWS, 1900, 2100
4G 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, 66
2G 850/900/1800/1900
3G 850, 900, 1900, 2100
4G 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20
Latin America 2G 850/900/1800/1900
3G 850, 900, AWS, 1900, 2100
4G 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28, 38, 39, 40, 41
APAC Version 2G 850/900/1800/1900
3G 850, 900, AWS, 1900, 2100
4G 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28, 38, 39, 40, 41
LTE Down: 300 Mb/s
Up: 50 Mb/s
Audio Stereo speakers
3.5-mm TRRS audio jack
Rear Camera 13 MP with autofocus and LED flash
Front Camera 8 MP
Battery 5000 mAh
OS Android Nougat
Connectivity 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, Micro-USB
Navigation GPS, GLONASS, aGPS, Beidou (in select versions)
SIM Size Dual NanoSIM
Water- and dust-proof IP68 certified.
Waterproof up to 2M for 60 minutes.
Shock, drop proof Shock and drop proof (up to 1.8m onto concrete),
category 4 vibration.
Extreme environments Salt fog, sand, dust, dirt,
vibration and pressure resistant
Operating temperature -25°C (-13°F) to 55°C (131°F)
Colors Grey
Launch Country NA, EMEA (certain locations), APAC
Price $449/€?/£399

The Cat S41 has MSRP of $449 and is currently available from at, as well as various retailers including,, eBay, The Home Depot and B&H. 

Related Reading

Source: Cat

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, October 30, 2017 - link

    Accumulator is a word used in context as an alternative to repeatedly writing the word battery. It's reasonable usage of the term though it seems a bit archaic to refer to a battery that way when talking about a modern handset. I do sympathize. When writing, repeating the same word over and over again is something most of us try to avoid so we have to pull out the thesaurus once in a while and this is the result.
  • serendip - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - link

    Looks like the special CAT cable combines an OTG cable with a male micro-USB plug. Old Nokia Symbian^3 phones could charge other phones by using an OTG adapter and a normal USB cable.
  • futrtrubl - Monday, October 30, 2017 - link

    It's more about extreme temperatures which negatively affect batteries, but also water and spray around touch screens can make them work hard to separate false input from real.
  • eek2121 - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - link

    No, not really.
  • protomech - Monday, October 30, 2017 - link

    It's probably more that extended operation outdoors will require the brightness to be pumped up.
  • chaos215bar2 - Monday, October 30, 2017 - link

    Sure, but sunny outdoors conditions are hardly extreme. I can see the extreme cold weather argument (with the phone rated down to -25°C), but even as extreme environments go, I'd still call that rather unusual.
  • eek2121 - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - link

    Not this either. (Hint: it's a marketing gimmick to get you to pay $449 for a $200 phone)

    The issue that 'Caterpillar' is having is that they can't charge a premium for their phones, because the regular smartphone market catches up within 3-6 months. Since they've learned that, they have switched to attempting to create a 'premium' low end phone. The issue I have with this is that most of the features are smoke and mirrors with little innovation.
  • Tams80 - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - link

    While CAT might be pushing the 'EXTREMENESS' of their phones a bit too much; their phones will survive and operate as before in quite extreme conditions that would destroy or at least damage most other phones.

    What people like you seem to forget is that there are people who do work in extreme environments who need such devices. In those cases, almost any device is better than no device.

    I'd also argue that it materially costs more to ruggedise a phone than it does to add most of the features other phones get.
  • will5400 - Monday, October 30, 2017 - link

    The temperature extremes might cause shorter battery life.
  • Tams80 - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - link

    First, don't reply to yourself with a further rant.

    As to your question? Nowhere in the article does it say or even imply that water, salt-spray, dirt, etc. are extreme environments. Now, they can be, but to infer that is your fault.

    Extreme environments usually refers to extremes in temperature. These absolutely do affect battery life. In cold environments especially, battery life can be much, much lower.

    Of course, you could have searched for this information yourself. Take that bee out of your bonnet already.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now