Caterpillar’s Rugged S31 Smartphone is a Welcome Surprise in the Constantly Changing Market

Caterpillar Cat® S31 Smartphone. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.
Caterpillar Cat® S31 Smartphone. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

YBLTV Review: Caterpillar – Cat® S31 Smartphone

When being asked to write a review for Caterpillar’s S31 smartphone, I have to write honestly — I was a little skeptical about how the phone would actually look and work. I can tell you, my fears were for naught, the phone is incredible. Though I was unable to test the calling quality because the phone came unlocked without a Sim card, the rugged smartphone’s features and abilities were quite enough to give me an idea of the phone’s capabilities.

Caterpillar’s S31 Rugged Smartphone

The S31 smartphone is more than comparable to some of the best phones on the market today. The phone is not a technological change from what’s currently available. Instead, it takes every innovation in phones over the last decade and make them work better. Its 4.7 inch screen is not as big as the most recent phones released. It’s more inline with the iPhone 7 — though the 7 may be thinner. The S31 has a width of 2.9 inches, making it a bit thicker. I feel more comfortable with the S31 than with other smartphones on the market. The main reason being is the piece of mind the S31 rugged smartphone provides.

Caterpillar Cat® S31 Smartphone. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.
Caterpillar Cat® S31 Smartphone. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

The Rugged Part

Cat’s S31 is drop proof, waterproof and dust proof with scratch-resistant gorilla glass. The S31 can even be used when your fingers are wet. The S31 may not be a phone for everyone. It’s heavier than the iPhone 7 and the 2/8 megapixel front/back cameras on the S31 are lower than the 7/12 megapixels present on the iPhone. The S31 is never the less a powerhouse from Caterpillar Inc., a company that is generally not known for their smartphones.

Caterpillar Cat® S31 Smartphone. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.
Caterpillar Cat® S31 Smartphone. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

Pros

  • Waterproof smartphone – IP68 certified – still works after being submerged in 1.2m of water for 35 mins. (higher than iPhone 7’s IP67)
  • Drop & shockproof – though I could only bring myself to drop the phone 7 times — far below the 26 drops that go with the mil-spec 810 rating given to the S31
  • 4,000 mAh capacity battery – lasts twice as long as most phones on the market with one charge (30 hrs talk time, 38 days stand-by time)
  • MicroSD Storage expansion up to 128GB
  • Scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Voice dialing, as well as the “Ok, Google” voice match command and control; users can even take advantage of the feature to unlock the phone
  • Programmable button that uses soft and hard presses to complete actions the user chooses
  • Scheduled power modes; set when the S31 powers on and off

Cons

  • Weighty phone; thicker and heavier than many smartphones currently available
  • Camera does not take the best pictures
  • Videos and downloads sometimes take longer to load

“Cat S31 Smartphone: when more than just aesthetics are your concern with a smartphone,”Washington Thompson III, YBLTV Writer / Reviewer

Cat® S31 Smartphone. Image Source: Caterpillar, Inc.
Cat® S31 Smartphone. Image Source: Caterpillar, Inc.

Specifications

Listed below are full specs for the Cat® S31 Smartphone:

Battery

  • Type: Non-removable Lithium Ion
  • Capacity: 4000mAh
  • Talk Time: 30 hours
  • StandBy Time: 38 days
Display Type
  • Display Type: 4.7” HD 720 IPS, wet finger/glove on working technology*, Super Bright Display
  • Display Cover: Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Camera
  • Main/Rear: 8MP Autofocus, LED flash
  • Front: 2MP Fixed Focus
Connectivity
  • Audio Jack: 3.5mm
  • Bluetooth: 4.1
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n (2.4G)
  • USB: micro-USB 2.0, USB-OTG
  • Sim Type: Nano sim, dual and single SIM variants
  • GPS: GLONASS, GPS, aGPS, Beidou

Data Speed

  • Maximum Downlink Data Rate: 150Mbps
  • Data Speed (Maximum Uplink Data Rate): 50Mbps
Memory
  • ROM Flash: 16GB
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Extended Storage: microSD™ up to 128GB
Network
  • 2G: GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • 2G Frequencies: Quad-Band 850/900/1800/1900
  • 3G: B1(2100), B2(1900), B5(850), B8(900) (EU) ¦ B1(2100), B2(1900), B4(AWS), B5(850), B8(900) (US/APAC)
  • 4G Bands (LTE): EU: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20; US: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 17; APAC: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28

Processor

  • Processor Type: Qualcomm MSM8909 Quad core
  • Platform/OS: Google Android™ Nougat

Rugged

  • IP Rating: IP68 Certified
  • Waterproof: Up to 1.2m for 35mins
  • Dust Proof: Dust Resistant
  • Drop Test: Up to 1.8m (6ft)
  • Military Standard: MIL-SPEC 810G, Shock and Drop, Operating Temp: -30°C (-22°F) to 55°C (131°F), Category 4 vibration
Sensors
  • Accelerometer: Yes
  • Proximity Sensor: Yes
  • Ambient Light Sensor: Yes
  • Compass: Yes

Size

  • Size: 146 x 74.42 x12.6mm
  • Weight: 200g
Caterpillar Cat® S31 Smartphone. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.
Caterpillar Cat® S31 Smartphone. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

Final Thoughts

Though my time with the S31 was short, I was able to get a good understanding of the smartphone Caterpillar is offering. The S31 may not be for everyone — it’s a rugged smartphone. It is a great phone for those in construction and other professions who do hard work and expect the same from their smartphone. The S31 was a welcome surprise for me. It didn’t reinvent the wheel but I believe Caterpillar is one step closer with smartphones like the S31.

RELATED: The Caterpillar Cat® S41 Smartphone – Rugged Functionality at Your Fingertips

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Disclosure of Material Connection: YBLTV Writer / Reviewer, Washington Thompson III was provided on loan the Caterpillar CAT S41 Smartphone from Caterpillar in consideration for a Product Review.

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