Secondary Camera: 8 MPix
Average of 14 scores (from 23 reviews)
Reviews for the CAT S41
CAT Phones also goes with the times and updates its robust outdoor models according to the current hardware requirements. We clarify in our review what buyers can expect from the IP-68 certified S41 that has also been tested according to MIL-SPEC-810G.
The CAT S41 isn’t for everyone and isn’t a phone for the average consumer. It’s not pretty, it’s not expensive, it doesn’t run the latest software, and it’s not a status symbol. What it has going for it is it’s a functional and rugged tool that is meant to be used and can be abused. Buyers seeking those attributes will love this phone.
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 02/19/2018
Rating: Total score: 93% price: 95% performance: 100% display: 90% mobility: 95% workmanship: 95%
The Cat S41 rugged smartphone is designed for a particular field worker or adventuresome person and it is not for everyone. It is reasonably priced, especially when compared to today's flagships, and performs well at the jobs it is designed to complete.
Single Review, online available, Short, Date: 02/13/2018
Rating: Total score: 83%
Source: Tech Smart
There’s a reason why CAT has become the trusted name in rugged phones, with the S41 another example of a well-built device able to withstand care-free usage.
Single Review, online available, Short, Date: 01/22/2018
Source: Android Authority
The Caterpillar S41 is one of the most rugged devices we’ve seen to date. The physical keys, IP68 weather resistance, and Gorilla Glass 5 make it a respectable choice for those working in dangerous environments. However, this is not a consumer device. The sluggish processor and less-than-ideal camera will keep away anyone wanting to use their device for more than the simplest tasks.
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 01/14/2018
Rating: Total score: 74% performance: 65% display: 80% mobility: 96% workmanship: 77%
Source: Trusted Reviews
If you’re a self employed handy-person or extreme-sports enthusiast in need of a rugged smartphone, the CAT S41 is a great choice. Featuring a robust, albeit chunky build and offering excellent battery life and a pleasingly bloatware-free Android install, the CAT S41 is one of the best ruggedised phones to arrive this year.
Single Review, online available, Very Long, Date: 01/02/2018
Rating: Total score: 80%
Source: Tom's Guide
Few smartphones are built to suffer the kinds of abuse the S41 can handle and still hit a reasonable price point. CAT has done a commendable job of bringing that durability to the midrange market without making too many sacrifices. This is a decently performing handset with almost incomparable battery life, and for the right customer, it definitely suits a need.
Single Review, online available, Medium, Date: 11/03/2017
Rating: Total score: 60%
The Cat S41 has hit a sweet spot by going after an audience who will know about the brand, and are likely to request VAT refunds and look for a solid aftersales service – which similarly priced Chinese-sourced rivals won’t be able to match on either count.
Single Review, online available, Medium, Date: 11/01/2017
Rating: Total score: 80%
Source: Connect - 9/18
Single Review, , Short, Date: 09/01/2018
Rating: Total score: 60% features: 60% ergonomy: 60%
Source: Connect - 9/18
Single Review, , Short, Date: 09/01/2018
Rating: Total score: 80% features: 80% ergonomy: 80%
Source: Notebooksbilliger Blog DE→EN
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 12/21/2017
Source: Android Mag DE→EN
Single Review, online available, Short, Date: 10/26/2017
Rating: Total score: 89% price: 83% performance: 60% features: 80% display: 80% mobility: 100% workmanship: 100% ergonomy: 80%
Source: Notebooksbilliger Blog DE→EN
Single Review, online available, Very Short, Date: 10/11/2017
Source: Tech Stage DE→EN
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 09/13/2017
Source: Curved DE→EN
Single Review, online available, Medium, Date: 08/31/2017
Source: PC Guia PT→EN
Single Review, online available, Very Short, Date: 03/01/2018
Rating: Total score: 80%
Source: Notebook Italia IT→EN
Positive: Good price; nice performance; long battery life.
Single Review, online available, Very Long, Date: 10/06/2018
Source: Androidiani IT→EN
Positive: Nice design; solid workmanship; nice performance. Negative: Poor cameras; relatively high price.
Single Review, online available, Short, Date: 11/02/2017
Source: AndroidWorld.nl NL→EN
Single Review, online available, Medium, Date: 05/18/2018
Rating: Total score: 50%
Source: GadgetGear.nl NL→EN
Single Review, online available, Medium, Date: 10/11/2017
Rating: Total score: 80%
Source: Nieuwe Mobiel.nl NL→EN
Positive: Support waterproof; nice display; long battery life. Negative: Poor cameras.
Single Review, online available, Very Long, Date: 10/13/2017
Source: Antyweb PL→EN
Positive: Powerful hardware; nice display; waterproof and dust avoiding; long battery life. Negative: Heavy and bulky; no USB-C; high price.
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 03/22/2018
Source: Alt om Data DA→EN
Single Review, online available, Very Short, Date: 01/11/2019
Rating: Total score: 60% price: 60% performance: 50%
Source: Mobil.se SV→EN
Positive: Long battery life. Negative: Poor cameras in low light.
Single Review, online available, Short, Date: 10/20/2017
Model: The Cat S41 is part of the Caterpillar brand. Caterpillar is known for its bright yellow and monstrous construction machines. Bullitt Mobile Limited, a licensee, sells smartphones under this brand for those who are used to dealing with big tools all day long. According to www.digitaltrends.com, Bullitt has already turned out phones under the JCB, Caterpillar, and Kodak brands (e.g. the Kodak Ektra). The Bullitt Group focuses on producing rugged phones. The Cat S41 is IP68 certified and MIL-STD-810G compliant. It uses mid-range hardware and can be used as an emergency charger.
Design and Connectivity
The ruggedized 5-inch phone is both bigger (152 x 75 x 12.85 mm) and heavier (218 g) than a standard smartphone with a similar screen size. www.techradar.com describes that it features a rubberized outer casing with a Cat logo displayed prominently on top (next to an 8-megapixel front-facing camera), and at the back of the device (below a 13-megapixel Sony camera sensor). They mention large physical system buttons, something which is essential when you are working mostly outdoors, with gloves or dirty fingers. All ports are covered by flaps. The S41 features an earphone jack at the top, and a speaker grill and a microUSB port at the base. The left-hand side houses the SIM tray (nano SIM), a microSD card slot and a programmable key. The volume rocker and the power button can be found on the opposite side. There are dual SIM (~500 USD / 350 EUR as of 02-16-18) and single SIM (~ 450 USD / 500 EUR as of 02-16-18) variants available on amazon.com / amazon.de. www.trustedreviews.com finds, “the CAT S41 has been unashamedly designed for durability, not visual flair or comfort in hand.” www.tomsguide.com confirms that the phone is difficult to grasp for those with small hands. They summarize, “The S41 doesn't try to play down its rugged roots like the Galaxy S8 Active. It's not particularly elegant, but then, that's not the point.”
The phone features a kevlar laced polymer chassis and a Gorilla Glass 5 front. It is IP68 certified, i.e., it has been tested to survive drops from heights of up to 1.8 meters, temperature between -25 C to 50 C and prolonged submersion in water at depths of up to two meters. The tester from www.trustedreviews.com writes, “I didn’t get a chance to take the phone down to 50m depths, but it easily survived an attempted at drowning in my bathtub with its port covers plugged.” Moreover, it is MIL-STD-810G compliant.
The manual (can be downloaded from www.catphones.com) specifies support for 802.11 a (5GHz), 802.11 b/g (2.4GHz), 802.11 n (2.4G/5G) Wi-Fi (no faster 802.11ac here!), Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, AGPS, Glonass, and E911, FM RX, WiFi Direct, NFC. The following bands are supported 2G Band: GSM, GPRS, EDGE (Class 33), 3G Band: HSPA, R9, 4G Band: LTE Cat6. www.androidheadlines.com mentions that the Cat S41 supports plenty of global cellular network bands including those in the U.S. that are 4G, but it won’t work on Sprint or Verizon.
In contrast to the LG X venture and the Samsung S8 Active, the S41 lacks biometric authentication such as a fingerprint reader. It features the usual proximity and light sensor, accelerometer, and e-compass. Sadly, the phone uses an older micro-USB charging port instead of USB-C (better charge and data speeds).
While a FLIR thermal imaging sensor made the older CAT S60 interesting, the S41 lacks such a unique selling point. Nevertheless, www.trustedreviews.com think, “The S41 earns its place as one of the best ruggedised handsets yet.”
The S41 features a capacitive 5.0-inch display with Full HD resolution, which supports 4 points touch. The tester from www.trustedreviews.com evaluates that the FHD resolution ensures everything looks suitable sharp, but colors are a little cool for his liking, and whites are far from the cleanest he has seen. Moreover, he mentions that the phone does not come close to matching competing smartphones, like the Asus Zenfone 4, let alone mobile HDR-ready handsets such as the Galaxy S8 when it comes to max brightness. In contrast, www.tomsguide.com writes that the screen is bright at 595 nits. In their testing, the S41 reproduced 116.6 percent of the sRGB spectrum and turned in a Delta-E color accuracy score of 1.46. www.digitaltrends.com evaluates, “The 5-inch TFT screen is average. It’s a little dull, but still visible in direct sunlight”. The tester of www.androidauthority.com felt very mixed about the display. He mentions fine colors and a respectable pixel density of 441 PPI, but he thinks that the large bezels let the phone’s display feel outdated. The CAT S41 can be used with gloves on, but it attracts fingerprints easily. www.gsmarena.com finds that an oleophobic coating would have been appreciated since this is the kind of phone that has to worry about more than skin oil.
The S41 features a 13 MP AF rear camera with LED flash and a 8 MP FF front camera. www.trustedreviews.com thinks that while the camera combo is not industry-leading, but it is more than good enough for everyday tasks, though the 13 MP camera cannot match the shutter speeds or low-light performance of top-end dual-lens cameras. In contrast, www.tomsguide.com is really disappointed about the S41’s camera. They summarize, “The S41's shooter is so bad, it makes most mediocre budget handsets look like iPhones and Pixels by comparison.” They recommend never to use HDR on the S41 as this will worsen the image quality. www.androidauthority.com shares the opinion that the cameras are terrible. In contrast, www.zdnet.com reports, “The camera isn't going to help you win photo contests, but in decent lighting outside (which is likely where many use such rugged phones) the S41 fared well.”
The handset runs stock Android 7.0 Nougat, Google’s previous-generation operating system. Duplicate applications and bloatware have been kept to a minimum. www.trustedreviews.com confirms, “Outside of minor additions, like the aquatic mode, to the OS’s shortcuts menu, the UI is pretty much stock Android.” They think that the underwater aquatic mode could be useful for plumbers, since it could be great for people using the phone to spot the source of a leak, for example. They write that you will find a wealth of DIY and industry-specific services that help boost the phone’s enthusiast and industry appeal including the SOS Location Alert services, plus the Toolbox marketplace.
Hardware and Performance
With the Mediatek MT6757 (also known as Helio P20) and the Mali-T880 GPU, the S41 boasts faster hardware than the S60 (Snapdragon 617 Adreno 405). It features 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB on-board storage. The hardware is mid-range and targets average users. It has not been designed for gamers. www.techradar.com confirms, “The phone is fast enough for an average non-mobile gamer: there are enough resources, both in terms of compute power (don’t forget that the CPU has eight cores) and storage, to keep Android and a slew of apps running happily for the foreseeable future.” www.trustedreviews.com shares the same opinion, “The CAT phone opens applications reasonably smoothly and with no noticeable lag. Web browsing and video streaming run fine.” They mention that competing consumer-focused phones perform better in graphics performance and load times on titles such as Riptide GP2, but think that this is hardly a deal breaker in view of the S41’s focus. According to www.tomsguide.com, the S41 takes a hair longer than it should to boot up, but once it is ready, it performs admirably most of the time and you can expect the S41 to handle some light gaming. www.digitaltrends.com finds the Android 7.0 software experience to be smooth and responsive.
The 5.000 mAh battery is non-removable. Bullitt claims that it can keep the phone running for 44 days of standby time and 38 hours talk time. The phone can also serve as a emergency power bank using Cat’s proprietary Battery Share cable. You can set a minimal charge level, after which charging stops automatically. So, you do not have to worry about draining the phone's battery. The tester of www.trustedreviews.com praises,“The 5000mAh battery puts every other phone, including the gigantic Huawei Mate 10 Pro and Razer Phone, to shame when it comes to capacity, and makes the S41 one of the only phones I’ve tested that can constantly last a full two days off one charge with regular use.” He mentions that the The S41’s stamina even remained impressive when he threw more intensive tasks at it. www.tomsguide.com writes that this one of the longest-lasting smartphones they have ever tested. It lasted 15 hours and 19 minutes in their battery test (continuous website streaming over AT&T LTE). According to www.tomsguide.com the S41 lacks wireless charging, but it supports fast charging with the included Pump Express 2.0 wall adapter.
Speakers and Call quality
As many phones, the S41 only has one speaker. According to www.androidheadlines.com it does not belong to the best its kind. They report that it began to sound a bit tinny and would also start to sound blown out just a little bit at higher volumes (lower than they would have expected). www.trustedreviews.com observed “a tendency to pick up a minor hiss when recording or taking and making calls.” Hence, headphones are recommended for really good quality audio. According to www.androidheadlines.com phone calls sounded pretty clear on their end and they were told that they sounded fine on the other end too.
Advantages are robust, albeit bulky build, excellent battery life, and stock Android. A highlight is that the phone can serve as a power bank. Otherwise you will get a mid-range hardware. Moreover, the phone is a little pricey.
www.techradar.com summarizes that the S41’s IP68 rating and subdued rugged looks will make it popular with builders and outdoor professionals. However they note that a unique selling point is missing so that many might look for a similar smartphone at a lower price and give the Chinese AGM X1 and the Blackview BV7000 as examples. www.trustedreviews.com recommends the phone to self employed handy-person or extreme-sports enthusiast in need of a rugged smartphones. www.tomsguide.com explains that there are only few options when you are after a truly durable smartphone, which range from the quite expensive Samsung's Galaxy S8 Active, which is both tough and powerful, to devices like LG's X venture, a budget handsets, which compromises heavily on specs and features. In there opinion, the S41 does not make much sense unless you spend a lot of time on a construction site or in the unforgiving outdoors, away from a wall outlet. www.digitaltrends.com finds, “As durable and long-lasting the Cat S41 is, we don’t think those are enough reasons to buy it with its current price tag.”
Press Review by Martina Osztovits
ARM Mali-T880 MP2: Mobile graphics solution for tablets and smartphones, which can be found in ARM SoCs (for mostly Android based devices). The Mali-T880 can be built with 1 to 16 clusters, where the MP2 version features 2 clusters/cores.
Non demanding games should be playable with these graphics cards.
Helio P20 MT6757: ARM based octa core SoC (8x ARM Cortex-A53) clocked at up to 2.3 GHz. The chip also includes a Cat.6 LTE modem.» Further information can be found in our Comparison of Mobile Processsors.
This is a typical smartphone diagonal.» To find out how fine a display is, see our DPI List.
This weight is typical for smartphones.
CAT, which can be easier found under CAT Phones in the web, gets seldom reviewed, does hardly have any market shares and achieves average ratings (as of 2016).
74.42%: This rating is bad. Most notebooks are better rated. This is not a recommendation for purchase.
» Further information can be found in our Notebook Purchase Guide.