CAT S48c Review – It’s Practically Indestructible [2020 Update]

CAT’s known for some of the most durable phones in the game. The S48C is no exception. It was made to be indestructible, but is this all there is to it? Let’s talk about this.  

CAT S48c Specs

Device Specifications:


 Launch date

 2019

 Weight

 9.1 ounces (257.9 grams)

 Measurements

 5.9 x 3.0 x 0.5 inches (149.8 x 76.2 x 12.7 mm)

 Graphics Card

 Qualcomm Adreno 508

 Display Screen

 5-inch (127 mm) IPS LCD 1920 X 1080 pixels

Operating System 

 Android Oreo

 Chipset

 Qualcomm SDM630 chipset

 CPU

 Octacore 2.2GHz

 RAM

 4 GB

Internal Space 

 16 GB

 Front Camera

 13 MP

 Rear Camera

 5 MP

 Supported Sim types

 Single (Nano Sim)

 Network Coverage

 2G, 3G, 4G

Battery Coverage

 4000 mAh

Features

The phone will catch your attention at first glace. It’s built geometrically, having sharp sides. This doesn’t make it the most comfortable to hold, especially if it’s in your hand for a while.

You won’t drop it, though. It has a non-slip coating. CAT says that you can work the handset even if you have gloves on.

Does size matter? Because the S48c’s screen is only 5 inches (127 mm). If you have larger hands, using it might be a headache. 

We think its buttons are pretty tactile. We love how they click against our fingers.

No, there’s no fingerprint sensor. If it’s any consolation, you’re looking at a seriously durable phone. It is IP68 rated. It can handle sand, dust, and water up to 4 feet (1.21 meters).  When you look at it, not only would you notice its unique shape, but you’d notice how heavy-duty it is. That’s why it can withstand drops up to 6 feet (1.82 meters) onto concrete. This makes it one of the best durable cell phones for construction workers, don’t you think?

Being able to handle a beating, it shouldn’t shock you that it’s thick. Its dimensions are 5.9 x 3.0 x 0.5 inches (149.8 x 76.2 x 12.7 mm). It’s a brick as it’s heavy too – it’s over 8.81 ounces (250 grams).

The handset has a pretty good screen. Although it’s small, it’s got a great resolution. It is 1920 x 1080 pixels. You’ll have to look close to notice any pixelation. The S48c has some bezel action going on, though. If you want an immersive viewing experience, you might want to stay away.

CAT S48c smartphone

Did we mention what panel is on its display? It is an IPS LCD. It’s not OLED level vibrant, but it produces colours well.

The phone was made for the outdoors. That’s why its screen can handle glare. It produces 514 maximum nits, so it’s bright. 500 is the gold standard, which it exceeds.

You won’t easily be able to crack its front. CAT designed the S48c to be hard to kill – you’re getting Gorilla Glass 5. With tempered glass, it’s even more indestructible. 

Processor wise:

Are you expecting anything flagship-level? It hosts the Snapdragon 630 chip. It’s everything you’d want from a mid-range processor. Anything extensive would be painful. If you’re an Asphalt 8 fan, there’s no way the S48c would be able to handle hours of it.

Out of the box, Android 8.1 is available. It won’t be getting the Android 10 update.

One of the reasons it can handle everyday tasks so well is due to the amount of RAM it has. There’s 4 GB by your side.

Speaking of memory, you’re met with superb storage options. There’s 64 GB of space available. If you don’t pick it up unlocked, you might have to purchase it from Sprint or Verizon. The thing is, they’re notorious for installing carrier bloatware into units. You’ll be left with way less space than 64 gigs.

Luckily, it comes with a MicroSD slot. You can expand it up to 128 GB. It also has a 3.5 mm headphone jack, which has started to be removed from phones.

The battery in it is impressive. It’s a 4000 mAh unit. The device would last you around a day and a half, with regular use. With non-stop usage, it would drain from 0-100% in a little over 13 hours.

Considering it’s not the cheapest, we’re glad it charges fast. It fully charges in an hour and a half. It makes use of the Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, and a USB-C port to deliver such speeds. Can it handle wireless charging? Sadly, no.

We’re not too fond of its camera:

To begin with, you’re met with a single shooter. It’s a 13 MP lens. As there’s only one sensor, you don’t get an additional one for wide or bokeh shots. This might be a make or break deal if snapping pictures is a priority.

Its primary lens works alright in well-lit environments, like most phones its price. We found that it can oversaturate certain settings, though. It blurs important details out too. Don’t get us started on low-light pictures, they are atrocious. What about its front camera? There’s a 5 MP fixed shooter. It’s nothing to write home about either.

Connectivity-wise, how does it do? Well, it’s capable of 2G, 3G, and 4G. It also comes with Bluetooth v5.0.

Alternatives

Now that you know everything about it, we thought about comparing it with similar devices. This would help you decide if you really should pick it up or not.

CAT S61

Like the S48c, the S61 is one of the company’s many indestructible handsets. It is IP68 rated. If you forgot, this means that it is dust and sand resistant. It can also handle up to 4 feet (1.21 meters) of water for 35 minutes.

It can be dropped onto concrete. However, you won’t be able to drop it from a height as high as its counterpart. You can only do so from 5.90 feet (1.8 meters).

The phone doesn’t feel the most comfortable in your hands. It’s plastic and looks rugged. No surprise, it is a brick. Its dimensions are 6.42 x 3.07 x 0.51 in (163 x 78 x 13 mm). It’s one of the thickest phones we’ve ever used.

Its screen is small. It is 5.2 inches (132.08 mm). The fact that it weighs 8.81 ounces (250 grams) is the final nail in the coffin.

There is an IPS LCD panel in-place. It’s as sharp as its brother. Its display is also as durable – you’re met with a Gorilla Glass 5 front. We, unfortunately, don’t know how bright it is, but we know how immersive it is. Its screen-to-body ratio is a disappointing 58.6%. This explains the serious bezel action going on.

The battery in it is huge. You’re looking at a 4500 mAh unit. It would last much longer than its alternative. You’ll be utilizing fast charging once again.  It fully charges in around an hour and a half.

You’re met with a familiar chip. It’s the Snapdragon 630. The CAT S61 comes with familiar storage options as well. There is 64 GB of space, with 4 GB of RAM. Yes, a MicroSD slot is available.

Camera-wise a 16 MP primary sensor is present. On its front, an 8 MP lens is by your side.

We should probably talk about its thermal imaging. What other phone do you know comes with the feature? It can read temperatures up-to 400 C (752 F).


CAT S41

Like its counterpart, it is also IP68 rated. It looks heavy-duty too. That’s because it can withstand drops of up to 5.9 feet (1.8 meters) onto concrete.

It is as thick as the S61. Its dimensions are 5.98 x 2.95 x 0.51 in (152 x 75 x 12.9 mm). It’s smaller, though. The handset is 5 inches (127 mm) like the S48c. Thankfully, it’s not as heavy. It is 7.69 ounces (218 grams).

The panel on its display isn’t very good. You’re met with a PLS TFT screen. It produces colours that are from vibrant. But it is sharp. Its screen resolution is an impressive 1080 x 1920 pixels. It’s also durable. You’re getting Gorilla Glass 5 on its front.

Its battery is really good. It’s a jaw-dropping 5000 mAh. You’ll easily last 2 days with the S61 by your side. To charge it, you’ll be making use of fast-charging. The handset would take around 2 hours to go from 0-100%. Unfortunately, it charges through a MicroUSB port. It’s dated, so if a USB-C one was present, it’d charge faster.

The processor inside it is not Snapdragon. It is the Helio P20. When compared with it, it sadly isn’t as fast. You also don’t get good storage options. There’s 32 GB of space and 3 GB of RAM available. Of course. Yes, you can expand its memory.

Android 7 is available out of the box. Android 10’s here, so its operating system would make you bite your nails. It’s especially bad when you realize that the Android 11 Beta is in the works.

Its camera set-up is something we’ve seen before. Its primary lens is a single 13 MP shooter. Its front camera is an 8 MP lens.

Final Thoughts

Let’s sum our CAT smartphone review up. It’s super durable, but you’ll find a ton of other CAT phones that can handle just as many beatings. It comes with decent specs. However, they aren’t anything too special. It’s a functional device, but you might want to look else-where if a super-fast phone is what you want.

Its geometric design is eye-catching. Just remember that it’s not that handy. It makes the phone hurt to hold for long periods.

You’ll find all similar devices on our Pinterest page. We regularly create all kinds of lists and reviews for you. So check them out.


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