CAT S52: The outdoor smartphone for design fans?
Mobile phones for inhospitable environments are usually chunky and heavy; after all, the sensitive components need to be well protected. Often it was the case that you had to make a choice: Either very good protection and a bulky design in exchange, or a fancier appearance, but then you had to make some compromises with the durability of the smart companion.
CAT Phones wants to change that now and has released the S52, a device that should combine an elegant appearance with a high degree of protection. The smartphone also wants to include a great camera, which is often a weak point for other outdoor smartphones.
In our test, we were happy that CAT Phones not only makes big advertising promises here, but actually presents a well thought-out, stable and fancy smartphone that does not neglect the practical values for which many customers value the brand. Unlike the CAT S61, the S52 is not a special tool with additional sensors and special capabilities, but in the best sense, an everyday mobile phone with a bright and color-accurate screen, an exact GPS, a lot of processor power and actually a good camera too.
The single lens on the back won't win any prizes overall, but it can definitely convince for an outdoor phone; it delivers image quality at the mid-range level with passable brightening in dark scenarios and good detail sharpness.
We also liked the non-slip coating on the back of the CAT S52, which was also surprisingly scratch resistant. These are only details, but it's precisely these little things that create a high practicality in everyday life.
Naturally, there are also minor points of criticism: For example, when travelling abroad, it should be noted that the smartphone does not support an insanely large number of LTE frequencies, and the graphics card is significantly weaker than the processor. In addition, there's a lot of third-party software preinstalled that won't be of benefit to every user.
The biggest problem of the CAT S52, however, is probably the small battery, which can survive a workday at 10:37 hours of runtime in our Wi-Fi test, but it has to be charged afterwards, a process that is quite slow.
In our detailed review you can read more about other elements that caught our attention with the CAT S52 and find out why it's a good outdoor smartphone for design fans despite its quite short battery life.