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. 

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Source: Cat

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  • Wolfpup - Monday, October 30, 2017 - link

    I want this, but running iOS!

    Damned lightning port is FRAGILE.
  • negusp - Monday, October 30, 2017 - link

    ewwww iOS
  • leo_sk - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - link

    The chipset is the weakest link. Mediatek for some reason always has shorter battery life than the battery capacity should warrant
  • serendip - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - link

    Maybe those who trash this thing don't use their phones in the outdoors constantly, as on a boat, by the beach or on a farm in all weather conditions. Even a farmer uses a mobile computer when out and about.

    I've got a chunky case on my phone with rubber grommets covering all ports and I still can't use it in the rain. This CAT phone can be used in rain and snow with gloves on, unlike 99% of smartphones out there. The drop protection is similar to third party cases but the weatherproofing and touch sensitivity make it unique. Too bad about that horrible Mediatek chip though.
  • peevee - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - link

    Would be perfect if the CPU included 1 fast core and it had USB-C instead of Micro USB.
    802,11ac would not hurt either.
  • peevee - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - link

    Oh yeah, and Oreo too.
  • c4v3man - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - link

    Their website background video makes a case for their phone, however I have to argue that many of the uses shown seem quite reckless. What struck me as a bit of a odd clip was the dockyard user who had their phone nestled in a bit of rope, which made me wonder if the S41 will float if dropped in water? Hey, the phone survives you throwing it on the floor, great. What about taking a picture of that fish you caught on the lake, when the fish twitches and you drop your phone in 30ft of water?

    This reminds me of the G-Shock phone, and probably markets to a similar group of people. I would argue most here would be better served by something more along the lines of a Galaxy S? Active, meaning good performance, fair durability, rather than Cat's fair performance, good durability.

    It seems like many ruggedized devices use plastic screens with poor optical properties, and resistive touch, while this device is using Gorrila Glass 5 (which is still plastic, I know) and seemingly combined resistive/capacitive touch? It should work more like a normal smartphone, than some purpose built 'tool' with a crap screen, so that's nice.
  • ZeDestructor - Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - link

    I do have to ask.. why don't they make a $599 version with flagships specs? I wouldn't mind having an AMOLED-screened, S835 phone with a 5000mAh battery that looks so ugly nobody'll want to steal it.
  • peevee - Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - link

    Businesses buying these for their construction workers might not like the extra expense.
    And it is not for playing 3D games.
  • ZeDestructor - Saturday, November 4, 2017 - link

    I'll be honest here, all I really care about is the 5000mAh battery. If you gave me a regular non-rugged flagship with that big a battery, I'd be just as happy :P

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