Notebookcheck

CAT S61 Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, 👁 Florian Schmitt, Andrea Grüblinger (translated by Mark Riege), 09/23/2018

Multi-functional. The robust CAT S61 puts all those who say that there are no innovations in the smartphone market to shame. However, with the built-in thermal-imaging camera, a laser distance measure, and the automatic measure of the indoor air quality, its most important features might be more useful for professional users.

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CAT S61

Some professionals often have to carry a lot of equipment, such as a laser distance measure to measure rooms, a thermal-imaging camera to discover leaks when insulating houses, or a device to measure indoor air quality that is particularly needed to protect one's health when using chemicals indoors. Anyone who purchases the new CAT S61 will get all these measurement devices built into the smartphone. In addition, you should also be able to operate your phone in the rain, and according to the manufacturer, it is of course also protected against shocks, drops, water, and dust.

Those are quite a lot of promises that might be very attractive to some professions in particular work areas. We want to find out in our test whether these features work well and can really replace specialized measurement devices. Of course we will also answer the question whether the CAT S61 is a good smartphone. After all, the manufacturer is asking for almost 900 Euros (~$1059; $999 in the US), a premium for which you can also get an iPhone 8. In comparison, the Land Rover Explore has less special features but is also outdoor suitable, and the Crosscall Action-X3 is more affordable. Also, what exactly are the differences to the significantly more affordable CAT S41?

CAT S61 (S Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
5.2 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 424 PPI, Capacitive touchscreen, IPS, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, 48 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm, Card Reader: MicroSD up to 256 GB, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Acceleration sensor, gyroscope, proximity sensor, compass, barometer, thermometer, hygrometer, air quality sensor (VOC), USB-C, infrared camera, laser distance measure
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, GSM (850/​900/​1800/​1900), UMTS (850/​900/​1700/​1900/​2100), LTE (B1/​B2/​B3/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B19/​B20/​B26/​B28/​B38/​B39/​B40/​B41), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 13 x 163 x 78 ( = 0.51 x 6.42 x 3.07 in)
Battery
17.1 Wh, 4500 mAh Lithium-Ion, Quick charge
Operating System
Android 8.1 Oreo
Camera
Primary Camera: 16 MPix Phase comparison AF, dual-LED flash, Videos @ 2160 p and ​30 fps
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Mono speaker at the bottom edge, Keyboard: Virtual keyboard, Quick charger, USB cable, Measure, Air, App Toolbox, FLIR, 24 Months Warranty, Protected by IP68 & IP69K; MIL SPEC 810G, Temperature resistance: withstands temperature changes between -25 °C (-13 °F) and 55 °C (131 °F) for up to 24 hours; vibration resistance: Category 4; resistant to moisture and salt fog; LTE Cat. 13 600 Mbps (download) Cat. 12 150 Mbps (upload); SAR value: 0.416 W/kg (head), 1.594 W/kg (body), fanless, ruggedized
Weight
250 g ( = 8.82 oz / 0.55 pounds), Power Supply: 91 g ( = 3.21 oz / 0.2 pounds)
Price
899 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case – The CAT S61 is robust and heavy

The CAT S61 is designed to be used in situations that are difficult for other smartphones. It is water and dust-proof, has a protruding case edge in front to protect the display in case of drops, and it also survived various drop, vibration, and temperature tests. Pressure on the front or back does not bother the CAT smartphone, and it cannot be warped, nor does it produce any creaking when trying to make it do so. In order to reach such resilience, it needs space for the ruggedizing features, so that the smartphone does not really look very delicate with its relatively wide bezels around the display and the hefty 13 mm (~0.51 in) case thickness. There is even an antenna stub like we know from older devices on top. At 250 grams (~8.8 oz), the weight is also quite high.

The design is kept fairly modest and much less playful than that of the Land Rover Explore or the Crosscall Action-X3. The back has a non-slip diamond pattern, the front is black, and it has a silver frame. The fact that it is only available in a single color also suits this utilitarian design approach: The CAT S61 is not a fashionable lifestyle device but is a real workhorse.

Size Comparison

Equipment – Special functions in the CAT smartphone

Of course, for 899 Euros (~$1058), you can get more from other smartphones than the 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage offered by the CAT S61, but you are really paying for the many additional functions and the ruggedness the smartphone offers. Overall, we can just barely justify the storage equipment for this price, considering that the iPhone 8 offers even less working memory.

The storage can be expanded by up to 256 GB using microSD cards that can also formatted as internal storage. However, apps cannot be installed on that.

Unfortunately, the USB-C connection can only handle USB-2.0 speeds for data transfer, but there is NFC and a dedicated audio port.

Surely the most important features in terms of its equipment are the special functions the CAT S41 offers? For one, there is a laser measuring device that can determine distances between 1 and 8 meters (3-26 ft) in combination with the camera. While you need to initially calibrate the device, which is a little laborious, you will then have a measuring tool that is quite reliable. In addition, you can also mark some lines in a picture and the smartphone will be able to calculate their lengths. All that works quite well.

There is also a sensor for air quality, protected behind a grid on the right side of the case. In combination with the corresponding app, this can determine the air quality once every four seconds, testing the indoor air for temperature, humidity, and pollutants that are often present in solvents, glues, varnish, or cleaning supplies. However, CAT itself admits that only some particular pollutants will be recognized, but it is unable to specify anything about other gases such as for example carbon monoxide exposure. So this is rather a general tool that can give warnings about particular harmful pollutants. 

In addition, there is an integrated thermal-imaging camera. This comes from FLIR, one of the most popular manufacturers of thermal-imaging cameras. You can also get the FLIR thermal-imaging cameras as a plug-in adapter for iOS and Android smartphones with USB-C port. The fact that the camera is integrated here of course saves some space, and you do not need to worry about a battery for an additional module. The thermal-imaging camera also produces good results in our short test.

Top: antenna stub, 3.5 mm audio port
Top: antenna stub, 3.5 mm audio port
Bottom: USB-C connector, mono speaker
Bottom: USB-C connector, mono speaker
Left: SIM slot, programmable key
Left: SIM slot, programmable key
Right: air quality sensor, volume keys, standby button
Right: air quality sensor, volume keys, standby button

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Software – Reasonably current security

Basically, CAT is using a fairly pure Android 8.1 and has only installed a few particular apps that support the special functions of the smartphone. There is an app to measure the distances via laser pointer and camera, an app to measure the air quality, and FLIR to record the thermal images. The App Toolbox is a special CAT app shop with focus on the customers of the CAT S61. For example, it offers apps for anglers and other outdoor themes, or apps for professional users.

The security patches on our device are on the level of July 1, 2018, so at the time of our testing they are still barely acceptable in terms of being current.

CAT S61 software
CAT S61 software
CAT S61 software
CAT S61 software
CAT S61 software
CAT S61 software
CAT S61 software
CAT S61 software

Communication and GPS – Fast WLAN and many LTE bands

The CAT S61 offers fast WLAN according to 802.11 ac. This is the standard in its price range. The speeds of the outdoor smartphone are mediocre, and during download in particular, the iPhone 8 is much faster. We measured this with our Linksys EA8500 reference router using our standardized measuring process. The page load times are average and you have to wait for images from time to time. The connection is available in full signal strength close to the router. At 10 m (33 ft) distance and through three walls, half the signal strength remains available and loading pages takes a little longer.

In terms of LTE, not only does the CAT S61 offer a decent speed of 600 Mb/s in the download, but it also supports a bunch of LTE bands, which allows using it for travel abroad. However, the frequencies for the USA are missing, for example. In a city, reception is also available indoors. We use the fairly well developed German D2 network for our testing, and most of the time half the signal strength is available here.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPhone 8
A11 Bionic GPU, A11 Bionic, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
915 MBit/s ∼100% +170%
CAT S61
Adreno 508, 630, 64 GB eMMC Flash
339 MBit/s ∼37%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=307)
211 MBit/s ∼23% -38%
Crosscall Action-X3
Adreno 505, 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
199 MBit/s ∼22% -41%
Land Rover Explore
Mali-T880 MP4, MT6797X, 64 GB eMMC Flash
61.1 MBit/s ∼7% -82%
CAT S41
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P20 MT6757, 32 GB eMMC Flash
38.1 MBit/s ∼4% -89%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPhone 8
A11 Bionic GPU, A11 Bionic, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
354 MBit/s ∼100% +4%
CAT S61
Adreno 508, 630, 64 GB eMMC Flash
341 MBit/s ∼96%
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=307)
207 MBit/s ∼58% -39%
Crosscall Action-X3
Adreno 505, 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
201 MBit/s ∼57% -41%
Land Rover Explore
Mali-T880 MP4, MT6797X, 64 GB eMMC Flash
62.7 MBit/s ∼18% -82%
CAT S41
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P20 MT6757, 32 GB eMMC Flash
38.7 MBit/s ∼11% -89%
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test near the window
GPS Test near the window
GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test outdoors

Indoors in rooms with a concrete ceiling, the Caterpillar smartphone is unable to locate us, not even near the window. Outdoors, it achieves an accuracy of up to 4 meters (13 ft) after a minimal delay.

In our practice test, we take the CAT S61 on a bike tour, also packing the Garmin Edge 520 professional navigation device. The results are mixed. In some sections, the CAT S61 is slightly inaccurate, also taking some short cuts we did not take in the area around the small forest. In other sections, it is fairly accurate during the bridge crossing and its approach, even showing the side of the road where we went more accurately than the Garmin. Overall, we can recommend the CAT S61 also for more-demanding navigation tasks, since it performs on the level of a real professional navigation device.

GPS CAT S61 – overview
GPS CAT S61 – overview
GPS CAT S61 – forest
GPS CAT S61 – forest
GPS CAT S61 – bridge
GPS CAT S61 – bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – overview
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – overview
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – forest
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – forest
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – bridge

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality of the CAT S61

While the telephone app reminds us strongly of Google's original app, it has a slightly adjusted design, and the tabs are now at the bottom. VoIP is supported by the smartphone.

The voice quality using the built-in ear piece and microphone are good. The voice of our conversation partner comes across quite clear and warm, but at higher volume levels you can hear some significant noise in the background. Via speaker phone, the voice quality of our conversation partner is still good; however, our voice now arrives sounding quite distant and a bit tinny to our conversation partner.  

Cameras – CAT smartphone with solid cameras

Picture taken with front camera
Picture taken with front camera

In addition to the sensor for the thermal-imaging camera, there is also a standard single camera on the back. It has a resolution of 16 megapixels and is supported by a dual-LED flash. The images appear slightly dark and their sharpness is only mediocre. While the brightness in weak light is decent, the image sharpness drops further. Overall, the camera is at the level of the upper mid-range. It does not need to hide with its image quality for snapshots, but it is surpassed by cameras in high-end devices.

Optionally, videos can be recorded in 4K resolution. The exposure is okay here, but like in the pictures, it is slightly too dark. Colors are reproduced well and the detail reproduction and sharpness are average.

The front camera has a resolution of 8 megapixels. Under normal light conditions, it takes sharp and well-exposed images. However, in light areas some of the detail quickly gets lost.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

When we verify the image quality of the main camera under controlled light conditions in our lab, we again notice that the pictures turn out fairly dark. Among dark color tones, it becomes difficult to differentiate with the naked eye. Text in front of red background becomes a challenge for the smartphone camera, but otherwise the reproduction is quite sharp. However, the sharpness decreases clearly noticeably towards the edges. The colors on the color chart are also reproduced slightly too dark.

Picture taken of the test chart
Picture taken of the test chart
Test chart detail
Test chart detail
ColorChecker: The target color is displayed in the bottom half of each field.
ColorChecker: The target color is displayed in the bottom half of each field.

Accessories and Warranty – Not much in the box

Quick charger for the CAT S61
Quick charger for the CAT S61

The manufacturer is a bit stingy with the included accessories. There is only a quick charger and USB cable in the box, accompanied by the usual writing material. In general, we like that you do not need any tools for the SIM tray but that you can open it with your fingernail. However, it sits quite tightly in the case, causing us to prefer using a screwdriver to protect our nails. While the manufacturer offers accessories on its website, these are some generic accessories, such as a power bank or a car charging cable that you can also get from third-party vendors.

The warranty is 24 months. CAT offers a two-year warranty for the glass screen, and there is a free pickup service and the promise to return the device to the customer within five days.

Input Devices and Operation– Physical buttons on the CAT S61

Although the touchscreen is particularly robust, it can be operated easily, and due to the relatively large bezels, the case edge that has been raised to protect the screen is also no hindrance. The touchscreen is quite responsive even at the edges and in the corners. The smartphone also has a glove mode but doesn't have a fingerprint sensor. This is probably related to the needs of the professional users, since companies usually use RFID cards that can communicate via NFC with the device for authentication.

On the other hand, there are several physical keys on the device. For example, the Android navigation keys below the display are real buttons. They offer a clear feedback via the key pressure and appear fairly high-quality. On the left side of the case is an orange key that can be programmed freely for use of an app, or it can also be used as a push-to-talk button, if you install the corresponding app. On the right side is the standby button and below that, the volume keys. The keys are fairly large and have a considerable distance from each other, so that they can easily be operated even when wearing gloves.

Keyboard, portrait
Keyboard, portrait
Keyboard, landscape
Keyboard, landscape

Display – 16:9 and very bright

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

The IPS display in the CAT smartphone has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and is a classic 16:9 display in the 5.2-inch format, so its whole area can be used for 16:9 content such as videos. At an average brightness of 672 cd/m², the display of the CAT S61 can be very bright if needed. At 90%, the brightness distribution is also quite even. 

We notice a significant display flickering below 20% brightness. However, thanks to its high frequency this should not be problematic even for sensitive people. 

675
cd/m²
705
cd/m²
667
cd/m²
670
cd/m²
693
cd/m²
678
cd/m²
631
cd/m²
669
cd/m²
658
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 705 cd/m² Average: 671.8 cd/m² Minimum: 27.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 693 cd/m²
Contrast: 900:1 (Black: 0.77 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.23 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 6.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
84.7% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.834
CAT S61
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Land Rover Explore
IPS, 1920x1080, 5
Crosscall Action-X3
IPS, 1280x800, 5
Apple iPhone 8
IPS True Tone, 1334x750, 4.7
CAT S41
IPS, 1920x1080, 5
Screen
-15%
3%
38%
-7%
Brightness middle
693
633
-9%
417
-40%
604
-13%
537
-23%
Brightness
672
604
-10%
425
-37%
580
-14%
506
-25%
Brightness Distribution
90
91
1%
91
1%
91
1%
86
-4%
Black Level *
0.77
0.84
-9%
0.29
62%
0.44
43%
0.9
-17%
Contrast
900
754
-16%
1438
60%
1373
53%
597
-34%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.23
6.41
-23%
7.12
-36%
1.2
77%
5.02
4%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
10.18
11.88
-17%
10.19
-0%
2.3
77%
7.98
22%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.9
9.2
-33%
6.1
12%
1.6
77%
5.3
23%
Gamma
2.834 78%
1.927 114%
2.687 82%
2.25 98%
2.154 102%
CCT
7137 91%
6165 105%
7687 85%
6688 97%
7226 90%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 2358 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 2358 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 2358 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8933 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

A black value of 0.77 cd/m² is of course less enjoyable, so the contrast ratio is only average at 900:1. The gray tones are covered by a blue tint with a slight green hue, and the color accuracy is rather mediocre overall for colors and gray tones. At least the display can reproduce almost the whole sRGB color space.

CalMAN Color Accuracy
CalMAN Color Accuracy
CalMAN Color Space
CalMAN Color Space
CalMAN Grayscales
CalMAN Grayscales
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Color Space DCI-P3
CalMAN Color Space DCI-P3
CalMAN Color Space AdobeRGB
CalMAN Color Space AdobeRGB
 
 

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
20 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 15 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 19 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
38 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11 ms rise
↘ 27 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 35 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Due to the high brightness, the CAT S61 can be used easily outdoors, but you have to arrange yourself carefully in regard to reflections due to the glossy display. In our test, the brightness sensor reacts to light changes fast and reliably.

We did not notice any brightness shifts on the IPS display of the CAT smartphone on viewing angles from the sides.

Outdoor use – brightness sensor
Outdoor use – brightness sensor
Outdoor use – maximum brightness
Outdoor use – maximum brightness
Outdoor use – medium brightness
Outdoor use – medium brightness
Outdoor use – minimum brightness
Outdoor use – minimum brightness
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance – The CAT S61 is faster than many outdoor smartphones

Thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, the CAT S61 outdoor smartphone offers good performance values that are quite suitable for the upper mid-range. It is at about the same level as the Land Rover Explore in terms of its performance, and we did not notice any stutters or delays during the test. On the other hand, the performance difference to the CAT S41 is clearly visible.

The Adreno 508 is used as the graphics unit, and while here the CAT S61 cannot quite keep up with the Land Rover Explore in the benchmarks, it still remains on a high level.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
CAT S61
44128 Points ∼22%
Land Rover Explore
75939 Points ∼37% +72%
Crosscall Action-X3
42924 Points ∼21% -3%
Apple iPhone 8
204270 Points ∼100% +363%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (44128 - 73617, n=12)
68642 Points ∼34% +56%
Average of class Smartphone (23275 - 254229, n=390)
76481 Points ∼37% +73%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
CAT S61
90674 Points ∼77%
Land Rover Explore
107921 Points ∼91% +19%
Crosscall Action-X3
57023 Points ∼48% -37%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (87300 - 90674, n=10)
89507 Points ∼76% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (17073 - 348178, n=170)
118332 Points ∼100% +31%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
CAT S61
4748 Points ∼97%
Land Rover Explore
4580 Points ∼94% -4%
Crosscall Action-X3
3666 Points ∼75% -23%
CAT S41
Points ∼0% -100%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (4636 - 5085, n=11)
4876 Points ∼100% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (3146 - 9868, n=256)
4551 Points ∼93% -4%
Work performance score (sort by value)
CAT S61
5548 Points ∼98%
Land Rover Explore
5041 Points ∼89% -9%
Crosscall Action-X3
4665 Points ∼82% -16%
CAT S41
4778 Points ∼84% -14%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (5083 - 6264, n=12)
5689 Points ∼100% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (6412 - 13531, n=423)
4958 Points ∼87% -11%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
CAT S61
896 Points ∼100%
Land Rover Explore
769 Points ∼86% -14%
CAT S41
731 Points ∼82% -18%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (666 - 936, n=12)
863 Points ∼96% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1731, n=499)
698 Points ∼78% -22%
Graphics (sort by value)
CAT S61
1499 Points ∼86%
Land Rover Explore
1222 Points ∼70% -18%
CAT S41
1126 Points ∼65% -25%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1470 - 1523, n=12)
1501 Points ∼86% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 15969, n=499)
1737 Points ∼100% +16%
Memory (sort by value)
CAT S61
1228 Points ∼97%
Land Rover Explore
1230 Points ∼97% 0%
CAT S41
1269 Points ∼100% +3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (838 - 1405, n=12)
1217 Points ∼96% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 6283, n=499)
1244 Points ∼98% +1%
System (sort by value)
CAT S61
3283 Points ∼100%
Land Rover Explore
2889 Points ∼88% -12%
CAT S41
2372 Points ∼72% -28%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1763 - 3319, n=12)
3147 Points ∼96% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 12202, n=499)
2512 Points ∼77% -23%
Overall (sort by value)
CAT S61
1526 Points ∼100%
Land Rover Explore
1352 Points ∼89% -11%
Crosscall Action-X3
Points ∼0% -100%
CAT S41
1255 Points ∼82% -18%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1152 - 1570, n=12)
1487 Points ∼97% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (150 - 6097, n=503)
1255 Points ∼82% -18%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
CAT S61
3930 Points ∼87%
Land Rover Explore
3605 Points ∼80% -8%
Crosscall Action-X3
2045 Points ∼45% -48%
CAT S41
2888 Points ∼64% -27%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (2910 - 3956, n=11)
3714 Points ∼82% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (836 - 21070, n=197)
4524 Points ∼100% +15%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
CAT S61
4202 Points ∼40%
Land Rover Explore
4927 Points ∼47% +17%
Crosscall Action-X3
2360 Points ∼23% -44%
Apple iPhone 8
10380 Points ∼100% +147%
CAT S41
3414 Points ∼33% -19%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (883 - 4234, n=12)
3733 Points ∼36% -11%
Average of class Smartphone (883 - 11598, n=247)
4308 Points ∼42% +3%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
CAT S61
885 Points ∼21%
Land Rover Explore
1739 Points ∼42% +96%
Crosscall Action-X3
634 Points ∼15% -28%
Apple iPhone 8
4162 Points ∼100% +370%
CAT S41
869 Points ∼21% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (710 - 4210, n=12)
1132 Points ∼27% +28%
Average of class Smartphone (394 - 4824, n=248)
1270 Points ∼31% +44%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
CAT S61
1711 Points ∼86%
Land Rover Explore
1668 Points ∼84% -3%
Crosscall Action-X3
1098 Points ∼55% -36%
Apple iPhone 8
1989 Points ∼100% +16%
CAT S41
1529 Points ∼77% -11%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1631 - 1822, n=12)
1742 Points ∼88% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (2281 - 4216, n=352)
1642 Points ∼83% -4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
CAT S61
708 Points ∼27%
Land Rover Explore
892 Points ∼35% +26%
Crosscall Action-X3
234 Points ∼9% -67%
Apple iPhone 8
2581 Points ∼100% +265%
CAT S41
613 Points ∼24% -13%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (707 - 729, n=12)
719 Points ∼28% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (815 - 5241, n=352)
1186 Points ∼46% +68%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
CAT S61
814 Points ∼34%
Land Rover Explore
995 Points ∼41% +22%
Crosscall Action-X3
284 Points ∼12% -65%
Apple iPhone 8
2421 Points ∼100% +197%
CAT S41
707 Points ∼29% -13%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (811 - 839, n=12)
827 Points ∼34% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (951 - 4734, n=360)
1134 Points ∼47% +39%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
CAT S61
1729 Points ∼97%
Land Rover Explore
1610 Points ∼91% -7%
Crosscall Action-X3
1099 Points ∼62% -36%
Apple iPhone 8
1774 Points ∼100% +3%
CAT S41
1261 Points ∼71% -27%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1698 - 1816, n=12)
1751 Points ∼99% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (532 - 4215, n=384)
1540 Points ∼87% -11%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
CAT S61
1234 Points ∼76%
Land Rover Explore
1103 Points ∼68% -11%
Crosscall Action-X3
492 Points ∼30% -60%
CAT S41
909 Points ∼56% -26%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1234 - 1289, n=12)
1259 Points ∼77% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (46 - 8312, n=384)
1632 Points ∼100% +32%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
CAT S61
1318 Points ∼95%
Land Rover Explore
1186 Points ∼86% -10%
Crosscall Action-X3
561 Points ∼40% -57%
CAT S41
969 Points ∼70% -26%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1318 - 1374, n=12)
1343 Points ∼97% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (58 - 6454, n=392)
1387 Points ∼100% +5%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
CAT S61
12945 Points ∼54%
Land Rover Explore
10223 Points ∼42% -21%
Crosscall Action-X3
8864 Points ∼37% -32%
Apple iPhone 8
24131 Points ∼100% +86%
CAT S41
12063 Points ∼50% -7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (12667 - 13217, n=12)
13007 Points ∼54% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (3958 - 37475, n=539)
12880 Points ∼53% -1%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
CAT S61
18375 Points ∼16%
Land Rover Explore
17173 Points ∼15% -7%
Crosscall Action-X3
9342 Points ∼8% -49%
Apple iPhone 8
112424 Points ∼100% +512%
CAT S41
13844 Points ∼12% -25%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (16508 - 18635, n=12)
18313 Points ∼16% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2465 - 162695, n=539)
17994 Points ∼16% -2%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
CAT S61
16808 Points ∼27%
Land Rover Explore
14919 Points ∼24% -11%
Crosscall Action-X3
9231 Points ∼15% -45%
Apple iPhone 8
62006 Points ∼100% +269%
CAT S41
13404 Points ∼22% -20%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (15466 - 17032, n=12)
16789 Points ∼27% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2915 - 77599, n=540)
15114 Points ∼24% -10%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
CAT S61
29 fps ∼18%
Land Rover Explore
32 fps ∼20% +10%
Crosscall Action-X3
15 fps ∼9% -48%
Apple iPhone 8
161.3 fps ∼100% +456%
CAT S41
23 fps ∼14% -21%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (29 - 30, n=12)
29.8 fps ∼18% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 251, n=564)
31.4 fps ∼19% +8%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
CAT S61
29 fps ∼24%
Land Rover Explore
33 fps ∼28% +14%
Crosscall Action-X3
26 fps ∼22% -10%
Apple iPhone 8
119.8 fps ∼100% +313%
CAT S41
23 fps ∼19% -21%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (28 - 31, n=12)
29.5 fps ∼25% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (6.9 - 120, n=567)
25 fps ∼21% -14%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
CAT S61
14 fps ∼20%
Land Rover Explore
16 fps ∼23% +14%
Crosscall Action-X3
6.7 fps ∼9% -52%
Apple iPhone 8
70.8 fps ∼100% +406%
CAT S41
10 fps ∼14% -29%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (13 - 14, n=12)
13.9 fps ∼20% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (2.2 - 132, n=486)
16.8 fps ∼24% +20%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
CAT S61
13 fps ∼11%
Land Rover Explore
19 fps ∼17% +46%
Crosscall Action-X3
14 fps ∼12% +8%
Apple iPhone 8
114.5 fps ∼100% +781%
CAT S41
10 fps ∼9% -23%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (13 - 15, n=12)
14 fps ∼12% +8%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 115, n=489)
16 fps ∼14% +23%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
CAT S61
9.7 fps ∼18%
Land Rover Explore
12 fps ∼22% +24%
Crosscall Action-X3
4.4 fps ∼8% -55%
Apple iPhone 8
54 fps ∼100% +457%
CAT S41
6.8 fps ∼13% -30%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (5.2 - 10, n=12)
9.38 fps ∼17% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (10 - 88, n=349)
14.3 fps ∼26% +47%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
CAT S61
5.3 fps ∼5%
Land Rover Explore
13 fps ∼12% +145%
Crosscall Action-X3
10 fps ∼9% +89%
Apple iPhone 8
109.7 fps ∼100% +1970%
CAT S41
6.8 fps ∼6% +28%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (5.3 - 11, n=12)
9.49 fps ∼9% +79%
Average of class Smartphone (9.8 - 110, n=352)
13.9 fps ∼13% +162%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
CAT S61
5.5 fps ∼56%
Land Rover Explore
6.8 fps ∼69% +24%
Crosscall Action-X3
2.4 fps ∼24% -56%
CAT S41
4 fps ∼41% -27%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (5.3 - 5.6, n=12)
5.5 fps ∼56% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (6.3 - 54, n=280)
9.86 fps ∼100% +79%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
CAT S61
5.4 fps ∼61%
Land Rover Explore
7.3 fps ∼82% +35%
Crosscall Action-X3
5.3 fps ∼60% -2%
CAT S41
4 fps ∼45% -26%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (5.2 - 6, n=12)
5.58 fps ∼63% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (6 - 58, n=283)
8.89 fps ∼100% +65%

Legend

 
CAT S61 Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, Qualcomm Adreno 508, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Land Rover Explore MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X, ARM Mali-T880 MP4, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Crosscall Action-X3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 8 Apple A11 Bionic, Apple A11 Bionic GPU, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
 
CAT S41 Mediatek Helio P20 (LP4) MT6757, ARM Mali-T880 MP2, 32 GB eMMC Flash

In the browser benchmarks, the CAT S61 performs at an average speed, looking at the comparison field. The iPhone 8 is much faster on the net, and the Land Rover Explore is also able to complete the benchmarks slightly faster than our test unit. The CAT S41 is a bit slower than its bigger sibling, but the differences are only marginal here.

Demanding HTML5 content such as Google's Interland run absolutely smoothly and with fast load times.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Apple iPhone 8
206.7 Points ∼100% +635%
Land Rover Explore (Chrome 67)
48.863 Points ∼24% +74%
Average of class Smartphone (10.8 - 273, n=422)
36.7 Points ∼18% +30%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (27.4 - 30.8, n=12)
28.3 Points ∼14% +1%
CAT S61 (Chrome 68)
28.136 Points ∼14%
CAT S41 (Chrome 67)
26.675 Points ∼13% -5%
Crosscall Action-X3 (Chrome 68)
18.048 Points ∼9% -36%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Apple iPhone 8
34163 Points ∼100% +564%
Land Rover Explore (Chrome 67)
9798 Points ∼29% +90%
Average of class Smartphone (1506 - 43280, n=558)
5562 Points ∼16% +8%
CAT S61 (Chrome 68)
5146 Points ∼15%
CAT S41 (Chrome 67)
5024 Points ∼15% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (4398 - 5202, n=12)
4971 Points ∼15% -3%
Crosscall Action-X3 (Chrome 68)
3251 Points ∼10% -37%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Crosscall Action-X3 (Chrome 68)
13331 ms * ∼100% -38%
Average of class Smartphone (603 - 59466, n=578)
11474 ms * ∼86% -18%
CAT S41 (Chrome 67)
10444.4 ms * ∼78% -8%
CAT S61 (Chrome 68)
9692 ms * ∼73%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (8396 - 10236, n=12)
9656 ms * ∼72% -0%
Land Rover Explore (Chrome 67)
4261.4 ms * ∼32% +56%
Apple iPhone 8
730.8 ms * ∼5% +92%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Apple iPhone 8
359 Points ∼100% +212%
Land Rover Explore (Chrome 67)
156 Points ∼43% +36%
CAT S61 (Chrome 68)
115 Points ∼32%
Average of class Smartphone (91 - 362, n=284)
111 Points ∼31% -3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (86 - 117, n=10)
106 Points ∼30% -8%

* ... smaller is better

We perform an analysis of the storage speed by running AndroBench on our test unit. Considering its price, it is unfortunate that the CAT S61 only has built-in eMMC storage. But at least the access rates are above those of the comparison devices that also use this kind of storage.

We test the microSD storage card access rates by using our Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 reference storage card. The values are typical for it and attest quite fast access.

CAT S61Land Rover ExploreCrosscall Action-X3CAT S41Average 64 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-23%
-15%
-31%
-2%
-23%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
63.3 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
66.3 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
5%
56.17 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-11%
5
-92%
54.3 (14.1 - 74.7, n=68)
-14%
45.6 (3.4 - 87.1, n=319)
-28%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
83.4 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
75.2 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-10%
84.13 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
1%
23.87
-71%
73.2 (21.1 - 86.9, n=68)
-12%
63.8 (8.2 - 96.5, n=319)
-24%
Random Write 4KB
15.1
11.2
-26%
8.4
-44%
12.99
-14%
19.8 (3.4 - 87.1, n=78)
31%
16.1 (0.14 - 164, n=607)
7%
Random Read 4KB
44.7
28.7
-36%
47
5%
65.47
46%
50.3 (11.4 - 149, n=78)
13%
38.3 (1.59 - 173, n=607)
-14%
Sequential Write 256KB
212.2
104.5
-51%
139.3
-34%
117.16
-45%
164 (40 - 246, n=78)
-23%
79.9 (2.99 - 246, n=607)
-62%
Sequential Read 256KB
284.7
237.3
-17%
264.7
-7%
253.02
-11%
269 (115 - 704, n=78)
-6%
230 (12.1 - 895, n=607)
-19%

Games – Outdoor gaming?

While the CAT S61 is no dedicated gaming smartphone, it does quite well in this category. In our two test games Arena of Valor and Asphalt 9, which we test with the GameBench app, the smartphone reaches 30 FPS quite reliably. Only at high graphics settings are there some frame rate drops at times. 

The control via touchscreen and position sensor also works quite well in the games we tested.

Asphalt 9
Asphalt 9
Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor
Asphalt 9: Legends
 SettingsValue
 High Quality30 fps
 Standard / low30 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
Arena of Valor
 SettingsValue
 min31 fps
 high HD31 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!

Emissions – High heat development and good speaker

Temperature

GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test

Under maximum load, the device heats up to a maximum of 43.3 °C (~110 °F) in the upper front area, after the device is in use for a while. Since the warming is clearly noticeable, you might not feel like putting the smartphone near your ear anymore. However, this value is not dangerous, since the warming is locally very limited to the top area of the smartphone. In idle mode it warms up much less, and you can hardly feel it with your hand.

Using the battery test of GFXBench, we can evaluate whether the device is still able to maintain its full performance even after longer use. Indeed, the performance hardly drops even after 30 runs of the benchmark, so that we can assume the CAT S61 does not throttle under load.

Max. Load
 42.4 °C
108 F
36.5 °C
98 F
33.9 °C
93 F
 
 43.3 °C
110 F
36.8 °C
98 F
33.6 °C
92 F
 
 42.2 °C
108 F
37.3 °C
99 F
34 °C
93 F
 
Maximum: 43.3 °C = 110 F
Average: 37.8 °C = 100 F
34.2 °C
94 F
36.2 °C
97 F
42.1 °C
108 F
34.3 °C
94 F
36 °C
97 F
42.5 °C
109 F
33.9 °C
93 F
36.2 °C
97 F
41.3 °C
106 F
Maximum: 42.5 °C = 109 F
Average: 37.4 °C = 99 F
Power Supply (max.)  47.2 °C = 117 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.8 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 43.3 °C / 110 F, compared to the average of 35.7 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 42.5 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 34.2 °C / 94 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29 °C / 84 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
Heat map, front
Heat map, front
Heat map, back
Heat map, back

Speaker

Pink Noise speaker test
Pink Noise speaker test

The speaker characteristic is very similar to that of the CAT S41, so that the conclusion lends itself that the manufacturer builds the same speaker into both devices. In very loud surroundings, its power will not be sufficient to still be able to hear anything, but at a maximum of 79.4 dB(A) it is sufficiently loud for medium-sized rooms.

The sound quality is average. While the speaker does not boom even at maximum volume, music and voices do not sound very clear either. Low mids are barely present, but the sound is quite warm overall.

You can connect a headset, headphones, or a speaker to the device via the 3.5 mm audio port or Bluetooth 5.0. Both ways work flawlessly and deliver a clean sound.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.342.32525.635.43125.732.94027.428.2503738.46323.327.28021.424.810021.728.812519.934.516017.440.5200174725016.450.131514.552.740014.259.150014.161.863012.664.280012.568.610001267.4125011.864.9160011.668200011.470.6250011.369.2315011.471400011.167500011.265.6630011.363.1800011.265.81000011.363.11250011.350.61600011.346.5SPL67.365.824.179.4N21.617.80.644.8median 11.8median 63.1Delta1.7932.334.125.630.125.733.227.429.73738.823.327.921.422.921.72519.932.417.434.51741.116.445.414.548.914.25714.159.212.662.312.565.61265.311.864.911.66911.472.511.371.711.470.911.169.411.261.711.357.211.263.211.365.311.353.311.345.865.824.180.117.80.643.4median 11.8median 61.71.78.6hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseCAT S61CAT S41
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
CAT S61 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 20.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.8% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 4% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 93% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 29% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 65% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

CAT S41 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.6% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.2% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 16% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 73% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 47% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 44% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Life – The CAT S61 with a lasting battery

Power Consumption

Even though the CAT S61 is not very efficient with its minimum idle consumption, it scores with low consumption values in all the other measurement categories. Considering the performance capabilities, the maximum load consumption is pleasantly low. Although the iPhone 8 is still the efficiency king, the CAT S61 also fares very well overall.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.2 / 0.9 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.4 / 1.9 / 2.6 Watt
Load midlight 3.5 / 5.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
CAT S61
4500 mAh
Land Rover Explore
4000 mAh
Crosscall Action-X3
3500 mAh
Apple iPhone 8
1821 mAh
CAT S41
5000 mAh
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
-13%
-16%
19%
-11%
12%
10%
Idle Minimum *
1.4
1.2
14%
1.1
21%
0.54
61%
1.4
-0%
0.733 (0.35 - 1.4, n=12)
48%
0.88 (0.2 - 3.4, n=637)
37%
Idle Average *
1.9
1.5
21%
1.9
-0%
1.63
14%
2.2
-16%
1.808 (1 - 2.31, n=12)
5%
1.719 (0.6 - 6.2, n=636)
10%
Idle Maximum *
2.6
3
-15%
2.9
-12%
1.67
36%
2.8
-8%
2.16 (1.4 - 3.8, n=12)
17%
1.997 (0.74 - 6.6, n=637)
23%
Load Average *
3.5
4.5
-29%
4.8
-37%
2.74
22%
4.1
-17%
3.85 (2.82 - 6.2, n=12)
-10%
4.04 (0.8 - 10.8, n=631)
-15%
Load Maximum *
5.6
8.6
-54%
8.4
-50%
7.78
-39%
6.4
-14%
5.64 (4.56 - 8, n=12)
-1%
5.75 (1.2 - 14.2, n=631)
-3%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

With 4500 mAh, the battery has less capacity than the one found in the CAT S41. This might be due to all the special feature equipment that naturally also needs space in the case. Yet in the realistic WLAN test, the battery life is not much worse than in the smaller CAT model: There is only half-an-hour difference between both smartphones. 15:23 hours is a very good value for the CAT S61, and the smartphone also does well under load, which we already expected, seeing its low power consumption. Thus several days without a charger during normal use should not be a problem with the CAT S61. Even when used constantly, the device has sufficient reserves for a workday and longer, despite its built-in battery.

You can quickly charge the smartphone via QuickCharge 3.0: The included charger needs barely two hours for a complete charging cycle.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
31h 31min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
15h 23min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
16h 02min
Load (maximum brightness)
5h 41min
CAT S61
4500 mAh
Land Rover Explore
4000 mAh
Crosscall Action-X3
3500 mAh
Apple iPhone 8
1821 mAh
CAT S41
5000 mAh
Battery Runtime
-43%
-9%
-30%
3%
Reader / Idle
1891
1629
-14%
H.264
962
698
-27%
WiFi v1.3
923
529
-43%
843
-9%
585
-37%
953.4
3%
Load
341
202
-41%

Pros

+ comprehensive and practical special functions
+ robust, well-protected case
+ fairly accurate GPS
+ great battery life
+ very bright display
+ good performance
+ decent cameras

Cons

- only worth its price if you use the special functions
- hefty case
- display with low color accuracy

Verdict – Special tool with many qualities

In review: CAT S61. Test unit provided by notebooksbilliger.de
In review: CAT S61. Test unit provided by notebooksbilliger.de

The CAT S61 is of course a specialist. With its hefty exterior and the very specific additional functionalities, it is not really a smartphone for everyone. But anyone who often uses a thermal-imaging camera might enjoy the built-in solution. The distance measure via laser also works well, even if it is not quite as smooth as a dedicated device. 

Anyone attracted by laser distance measurement, air quality measurement, and a thermal-imaging camera will get a versatile tool into their hands with the CAT S61. 

Naturally, other features are important for professionals than for regular customers, but the display and the camera of the CAT S61 are quite usable. Likewise, the performance is okay, there is sufficient storage, and the GPS also works quite accurately. While the CAT S61 can be used in many areas, for someone who does not use its additional functionalities, there are better choices in the price range of this smartphone: With more performance, more storage, and better cameras. There are also more affordable ruggedized phones such as the Land Rover Explore or the CAT S41, if you are only looking for a robust smartphone.

Overall, the CAT S61 is a versatile device that is worth its price, as long as you are also going to use its special features.

CAT S61 - 09/20/2018 v6
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
67 / 75 → 89%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
52 / 60 → 87%
Weight
87%
Battery
98%
Display
84%
Games Performance
41 / 63 → 65%
Application Performance
52 / 70 → 75%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
61 / 91 → 67%
Camera
74%
Average
75%
84%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > CAT S61 Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2018-09-23 (Update: 2018-09-23)