Ultimately, the Cat S62 Pro proves rugged phones needn't look like bricks around a fishpond. It’s durable, surprisingly powerful and looks great while doing it all. Sure, the camera could be a little better and the battery could last longer but at the end of the day, this is a device that's remarkably powerful, with an excellent spread of internals and actual thermal vision
There are very few things that can cut a diamond. Most of the time, we resort to lasers to get the job done and while the Cat S62 Pro is anything but laser-precise, the phone seems built to crack open a diamond just by leaning on the thing. Which is great for Cat enthusiasts because if you’re looking at the S62 Pro, odds are you’re in need of a device that can withstand a (rather long) fall or will last on a single charge for days on end. If that sentiment rings true for you, you’re looking at Cat’s single greatest phone, offering both of above features by sacrificing some luxuries.
The Cat S62 Pro is an absolute weapon of a device. With a solid build, improved internals, some needed quality of life improvements, and a fantastic design overhaul, it is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of rugged phones. But like, 1980s Predator-era Arnie. Peak Arnie. And, like peak Arnie, this phone shrugs off the moisture — it’s rated IP69, so you’ll battle to kill it. We loved every minute of testing it… if we ignore the disappointing (regular) camera.
Cat out the bag
The most important aspect of the Cat S62 Pro is obviously its rugged efficiency. It’s clear that it was designed to withstand a hit. More than just a hit, this phone feels like you could take down a brick wall with it, in the event you forgot your bulldozer at home. Okay, that’s hyperbolic but every aspect of the S62 Pro feels built with endurance in mind. The build quality is tremendous and makes this one of the few devices we’ve reviewed that we weren’t terrified of breaking. We thought the Cat S42 was solidly built but it pales in comparison to this beast.
That’s standard for a Cat phone, right? Even more impressive is how Cat takes rugged design and fashions a phone that operates well and looks decent. We don’t want to be too mean to Cat but their previous phones have been… well, they’ve been pretty ugly and often sacrificed functionality for durability. That’s not the case with the S62 Pro, as the device sports decent specs… even if it isn’t up there with other flagships.
The Cat S62 Pro features a 5.7″ IPS LCD screen that supports a 1080×2160 resolution playback which is impressive, even though you can’t actually make great use of the 4K capture the device is capable of. Speaking of footage, the Cat S62 Pro features a pretty standard 12MP main camera on the back that has one rather unique function (which we’ll get to in just a second). Oh, and there’s an 8MP selfie camera capable of capturing video at 1080p at 30fps. You might think this inclusion seems like an afterthought but that’s because it is. It’s a passable selfie camera that does what it needs to without any special hooks.
Easily the most unique thing about the Cat S62 Pro is the inclusion of a Lepton 3.5 FLIR thermal camera. And it’s remarkably effective. Now, we’re not engineers here at Stuff so we’re not 100% on what makes a thermal camera accurate but from our tests it was certainly effective. The FLIR Lepton 3.5 is remarkably efficient at picking up differences in localised temperature, meaning that detecting things like electrical shorts and leaks is incredibly easy. Not that we had any of these, but you might. In that case, you’ll spot ’em rather quickly.
Cat’s FLIR addition picks up heat from over 30m away and detects a range between -20°C and 400°C. We didn’t have access to that particular range but it works as well as you’d expect at survivable temperatures. The Cat S60 had a similar thermal camera but it wasn’t nearly as accurate this this one. While we mainly used it to scan our PCs to help optimise the airflow in the machine, we’re sure that electricians, plumbers and general handy-people will appreciate having this tool condensed into their phones.
Even better is the thermal camera software installed on the S62 Pro. The MyFLIR PRO app provides users with a range of filters, which are useful for creating an overlay to highlight both thermal image and the underlying photo. You can also add notes, convert directly to PDF or include points of interest in pictures — perfect for filing reports, invoices or just to prove how cold your bedroom actually gets in winter and why you need to leave the heater on.
Landing on its feet
So the camera’s fairly standard but there’s one heck of an unusual addition. What about the hardware inside this monster? Well, it’s packing a Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660 (14 nm) alongside 6GB of RAM and an Adreno 512 GPU and while that’s not top of the range, it’s certainly powerful enough to run the S62 Pro with almost zero delay. Navigating menus and apps is seamless and smoother and while the phone did struggle to run some of the more intense moments in games likes Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, but generally they ran well enough.
One thing worth mentioning is that we were slightly disappointed in the battery. The 4,000mAh lithium-ion just didn’t last as long as we’d have liked. It’s still better than most standard phones but in terms of rugged devices, some of which last for an entire week on a single charge, we were only able to squeeze out three days. Now bear in mind, that’s three days of consistent, often intense use but still. In the markets the S62 Pro is competing in, it could (and maybe should) be way better.
We’ve also got to shout out the design of the S62 Pro because it looks gorgeous. If you’re buying into a rugged phone, you know that while it’s going to last. You’re not really buying into the most attractive of phones. Cat subverts that expectation with its design, that somehow unites the sleek presentation of companies like Samsung and and Huawei with a more bulky build. It looks great and while the side panel buttons might feel a little too exposed as first, you’ll get used to them. The fact that the device clocks in at 158.5 x 76.7 x 11.9 mm and weighs 248g is a bonus as most rugged phones are unbearably chunky to use.
Cat S62 Pro Verdict
Ultimately, the Cat S62 Pro proves that rugged phones don’t need to look like bricks around a fishpond. It’s durable, surprisingly powerful and looks great while doing it all. Sure, the camera could be a little better and the battery could last longer but at the end of the day, this is a device that’s remarkably powerful, with an excellent spread of internals and actual thermal vision. Which brings us right back to Predator…