New toy preliminary review: CAT S61 Phone
AkioOhtori last edited by AkioOhtori
Earlier in the week I wrote a post about how I was considering a new phone and had become quite smitten with the CAT S61 and S62 line of ruggedized phones. I wasn't in love with the ruggedness, or the FLIR, or the distance measurement, or the little bump at the top, and certainly not the size, age, or price but as a whole package... It was just.... cool.
My fellow Oppos all made good, sensible arguments as to why I shouldn't buy either phone and instead should keep my working-just-fine existing phone or buy a superior and/or cheaper alternative.
Given what you guys (I say as a gender neutral term) know about me, you just knew I wasn't going follow any rational advice. I'd again to point out my fleet of problematic beaters.
Anyway, I bought an S61 on the basis that is is cheap enough to be a "oh sure why not" phone, specs above my G6, and has a lot of fun toys.
And here is what I think after about 2 hours with it
It is a chonk.
I knew this going in, but that doesn't prepare you for the brick-like heft of this boi. On the chonk scale I'd probably rate it a HEFTYCHONK or maybe MEGACHONKER. I'm sure there are larger phones out there, but I haven't seen one...
That said, despite the visual assault I find the phone feels just fine in your hand (heyo) an while it feels bulky, it also feels substantial and sturdy in a good way. Size wise here is it next to a Zippo and a Galaxy S10e (work phone, in a case).
Look and feel
The phone looks weird, in a good way. The feel, as mentioned, is substantial and reassuring. The physical back, home, and app buttons are clicky and satisfying. The power button is ribbed
for my pleasureto make it easily distinguishable from the volume buttons. The "custom" button is easy to configure and does everything I'd want it to. The display looks nice overall, but isn't as vibrant as the G6's, though that might be a consequence of better color accuracy.
Complaints are, obviously, the lack of fingerprint sensor, which I expected, and that the volume and power buttons aren't quite where I expect them to be. Unsure why that is, but I keep hitting volume down instead of power. Also the back is very plain looking and has a sort of diamond plate rubber on it which you just know is going to get gross. Good thing you can wash the phone off!
Are really what this phone is all about... right?
As expected, the FLIR is sort of low res. IIRC the sensor is like 60x80, so it isn't going to blow any minds. That said, it is shockingly awesome. Really, super in love with having this capability in my pocket. A couple oppos noted a thermal camera can be purchased for around $200 and give the same functionality, but there is a lot to be said for having the functionality built in. I imagine if it were a separate dongle I wouldn't use it nearly as much.
Complaints, other than the low res, are that it doesn't auto-generate JPEGs. Instead you have to go into the FLIR Gallery app and export them. The upside of this is you can add annotations, measurements, scales, etc as it seems to save all the raw data, not just the image. The down side is all my cool FLIR images don't automatically get uploaded to Dropbox.
So what this does is shoot a laser out, you take a picture, and then you can annotate dimensions on the picture... which is not at all what I thought it was going to be. EDIT: Oh hey I found where it also tells you distance. Neat.
Accuracy seems to be within a couple percent, which isn't bad for what it is. In the included photo my actual laser distance measurer read within a cm of what is shown.
Dark magic here.
Also apparently my house has crap air.
Temperature and humidity seem to be accurate, though obviously the readings aren't right when it is in your pocket. Air quality I believe as the house is currently being painted so... I'd expect high VOCs? Maybe?
I'M NOT FREAKING OUT YOU'RE FREAKING OUT!
I haven't had a chance to give it a go. Maybe once I'm 100% on keeping it.
The rear camera seems fine. Pictures are crisp and colors are accurate. Low light performance is better than expected.
Front camera seems very crisp and works fine, but does lack a front flash, which I'll admit I've never used on my previous phones. Looking at the uploaded low light selfies there is a lot to be desired... but that just might be my face.
I think I like it!
It is weird and solid and much less janky than I expected. I'd say it probably isn't quite worth the $550 price tag, but I might be willing to pay the extra to have a phone with some WOW factor.... or at least some WTF factor...
CB last edited by
@akioohtori "Complaints are, obviously, the lack of fingerprint sensor, which I"
WHICH YOU WHAT?
Good review, let us know how battery life is.
MM54 last edited by
This is very cool (and a huge phone). The FLIR is a cool capability, and for the resolution looks pretty good to me. I wouldn't worry about the air quality reading too much, but I would like to know what it has to say about laying under a car in a cloud of brakleen!
Growing up we had a cat which on your scale would have been a solid megachonker. He was cute but so fat.
AkioOhtori last edited by
@cb Ooops. I probably got booped by a needy Dog B and forgot what I was doing. Fixed!
This is what we'll show... last edited by This is what we'll show...
I would happily take chonk, especially if it meant a bigger battery. I have man hands and these wafer thin phones suck to actually hold and use without a chonk-adding case. I also have 90's sized pockets because skinny jeans are for women as far as I'm concerned, so toting a thicc boi handset is no problem for me.
I've nearly pulled the trigger on the Cat phone a few times, mostly for the Flir, which is super neat imho.
SmugAardvark last edited by
I'm going to just go ahead and say what everyone here with the mentality of a 13 year old boy is thinking...
...I would just take FLIR shots of my junk in various environmental conditions and from multiple angles. Not to share or send to anyone, but just because it seems like the right thing to do with such power.
AkioOhtori last edited by
@smugaardvark I really want to shoot some FLIR pron
SilentbutnotreallyDeadly last edited by
How does it perform as a hammer? Oppo needs to know this....
jayvincent last edited by
@akioohtori Doggo's nose is clearly ice cold, as it should be!
That's an amazing set of features, keep us posted on what you discover with them!
davesaddiction last edited by
@akioohtori That cold doggo nose is crazy.
I think you could, if desired, do very well with an Insta filled with artsy thermal images of cars & car parts.