Cat S62 Pro review: Integrated thermal camera shines in this rugged mid-range smartphone Review

Despite the fact that it is really billed as ‘the top function phone’, it need to be stated that Cat phones’ new flagship Cat S62 Professional is focused at a subset of the workforce — especially, workers who demand a fully rugged smartphone with a condition-of-the-art built-in thermal digital camera.

Created below licence by Bullitt Team, Cat-branded rugged smartphones include the slender, consumer-friendly S52 (£380) and the reasonably priced, company-ready S42 (£229). The Cat S62 Professional (£599) reviewed right here succeeds the 2018 S61 (£649), but does not supersede it, as the latter consists of a few of attributes — an indoor air high-quality sensor and laser-assisted length measurement — that are not accessible on the new telephone. Also, the S61 is accessible worldwide and supports a lot more 4G LTE frequency bands (fourteen in Europe/RoW, fifteen in the Americas) than the S62 Professional (11 bands), which is not officially accessible in the US and Canada.

Design and style

Cat phones have experienced some thing of a design and style makeover a short while ago, with significantly a lot more consideration paid to making them seem fewer ‘industrial’ and a lot more mainstream — devoid of, of program, compromising on their rugged credentials, which are main to the brand name.

The Cat S62 Professional appears to be like like a standard, if chunky, smartphone with a steel body, a flat five.seven-inch Gorilla Glass six-secured display screen and a grippy, rubberised again with two digital camera lenses in a marginally protruding lozenge in the prime remaining corner and a centrally positioned fingerprint reader. It measures seventy six.7mm extensive by 158.5mm deep by 11.9mm thick and weighs 248g. That shaves 1.3mm off the width, 4.5mm off the depth, 1.1mm off the thickness and 2g off the pounds compared to the Cat S61, which has a smaller five.two-inch display screen.

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The five.seven-inch Cat S62 Professional runs on Qualcomm’s mid-selection Snapdragon 660 chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of inner storage. At the again there is a traditional 12MP digital camera and a FLIR thermal digital camera, in addition a fingerprint reader. 


Photos: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

There are sizeable bezels all over the five.seven-inch FHD+ (2160 x 1280) IPS display screen, specially at the prime and base. This results in a display screen-to-body ratio of just sixty nine%, which is perfectly adrift of today’s negligible-bezel flagships with ratios over ninety%. The entrance digital camera, ambient mild sensor, earpiece and position LED are all in the prime bezel. The contact-display screen will function if the person has soaked fingers or is wearing gloves, though Cat phones notes that “we can not ensure that all gloves will function with this feature”. We experienced no difficulty with the gloves we tried out, including disposable vinyl kinds.

The remaining side homes the steel SIM/SD card tray, below a doorway that you prise open with a fingernail. Our review device could accommodate two SIMs, or one SIM and a MicroSD card, if storage growth trumps the 2nd SIM. Also on the remaining is a copper-coloured programmable vital that can hearth up a press-to-discuss (PTT) application, convert on the flashlight, or start any other application which is frequently significant to you.

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Still left side of the Cat S62 Professional, demonstrating SIM tray (two SIMs or 1 SIM in addition MicroSD card) and Programmable Key.


Picture: Charles McLellan

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The power button is on the proper side, textured so it is really quickly located, together with quantity up/down buttons. The base homes a microphone, a USB-C port and a speaker. There’s no three.5mm headset jack — in contrast to the S61, which experienced one at the prime, upcoming to a protrusion housing the thermal digital camera.

The Cat S62 Professional feels strong and trusted in the hand, and which is reflected in its rugged credentials. These include IP68/sixty nine certification, which means it is really ‘dust tight’ and can stand up to both immersion in drinking water at up to 1.5m depth for 35 minutes and ‘powerful large-temperature drinking water jets’. The handset has also been ‘repeatedly’ fall-analyzed onto a steel surface from 1.8m (6ft) and passes armed forces-grade MIL-STD-810H checks, which contain thermal shocks, large and minimal temperature extremes, tumble and vibration checks, and salt mist ailments.

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Cat phones also notes that the S62 Professional can be consistently submerged and scrubbed with very hot drinking water and cleaning soap, which is specially pertinent in the current wellness/hygiene disaster.

There’s absolutely no want for a protecting situation with this impressively hardy handset — in contrast to so several mainstream phones, with their fancy but generally brittle industrial design and style.

Attributes

The Cat S62 Professional runs on Qualcomm’s mid-selection Snapdragon 660 cell system, which consists of an eight-main CPU comprising four quickly two.2GHz cores and four power-successful 1.8GHz cores, an Adreno 512 GPU and an X12 LTE modem. This is supported by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of inner storage (expandable, as mentioned over, by means of MicroSD card) — a considerable up grade on the S61’s Snapdragon 630, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of inner storage.

As perfectly as Europe-centric 4G LTE connectivity, there is dual-band (two.4/5GHz) 802.11ac wi-fi, Bluetooth five LE, GPS, NFC and an FM radio. As mentioned earlier, the indoor air high-quality sensor and laser-assisted length measuring resource present on the Cat S61 are omitted from the Cat S62 Professional. At some position, it would be excellent to see Bullitt Team/Cat phones take care of the trade-offs involved so that these beneficial sensors can be reinstated in the flagship handset along with a finest-in-course thermal imaging digital camera.

Speaking of which, the most important attraction with the Cat S62 Professional is its built-in thermal digital camera, which uses FLIR’s most current Lepton three.five infrared sensor. This has four periods the amount of thermal pixels compared to the earlier-generation Lepton sensor (160×120 vs . 80×60), resulting in smaller 12µm pixels and 1440-by-1080 output by means of FLIR’s VividIR impression processing technological know-how. The Lepton three.five can detect warmth resources up to 30m absent, and evaluate temperatures amongst -20°C and +400°C in ‘low gain’ method, or -10°C to 140°C in a lot more correct ‘high gain’ method (with a common precision of ± 5°).

It’s pleasurable to clearly show off the built-in thermal digital camera to jaded smartphone customers, but its most important intent is to serve a extensive selection of specialists — electricians, plumbers, very first-line staff, healthcare professional, for case in point — as perfectly as Do it yourself enthusiasts.

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Palettes for the thermal digital camera (remaining) the MyFLIR gallery of thermal photographs (proper).


Photos: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

The thermal camera’s in depth functionality is accessed by means of a separate MyFLIR Professional application, which has its possess impression gallery. There’s a standard Android digital camera application much too, of program, but that only controls the visible-spectrum cameras (12MP at the rear, 8MP at the entrance). You can choose from a selection of palettes for the thermal digital camera — the default is Iron, but there are nine solutions in total, which screen as dwell thumbnails when you press the swatch icon at the base remaining of the application workspace.

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Imaging modes in MyFLIR Professional (remaining to proper): thermal only MSX Alpha Blending visible only.


Photos: Charles McLellan / ZDNet  

MyFLIR Professional can clearly show a number of forms of impression: output from the thermal and visible cameras by yourself MSX (Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging), which overlays linear detail onto the thermal impression to deliver higher context and a new Alpha Blending method, which overlays thermal and visible photographs. In both MSX and Alpha Blending modes, sliders allow for you to align the thermal and visible photographs and change their relative intensities.

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Thermal photographs can be turned into PDF studies, with a decision of templates.


Photos: Charles McLellan / ZDNet    

Other beneficial attributes for specialists include the ability to increase notes to thermal photographs and create PDF studies. You can also position up to a few movable spot meters and a number of ‘regions of interest’ on photographs — either during or publish-capture. These ROIs can be complete-body or movable and scalable rectangles, circles or strains. Isotherms allow for you to clearly show a specific temperature selection with a spotlight color you can also set an alarm — a notification, vibrating the telephone or capturing an impression — when the digital camera sees some thing that falls within just the specified selection.

It’s simple to ignore the visible cameras — 8MP at the entrance, 12MP at the again. The latter, with a dual-pixel Sony sensor, big 1.4µm pixels and f/1.eight aperture, takes good pictures, even in minimal mild.

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Images taken with the Cat S62 Professional rear digital camera (12MP, f/1.eight).


Photos: Charles McLellan / ZDNet      

Android ten was put in on our review device. There’s no OS overlay, but a truthful sum of pre-put in application, including the FLIR application and gallery, and Toolbox, which provides a curated collection of applications below a variety of headings — Company Equipment, Cat Applications, Design, Farming, Outdoor, Rugged Equipment.

The Cat S62 Professional supports Android Company attributes, including Zero-contact enrolment, and has been analyzed for enrolment and coverage provisioning with foremost EMM (Company Mobility Management) answers. It will come with a two-year warranty and security updates for a few several years, and is certain to obtain at the very least one Android up grade (to Android 11) in its lifetime.

General performance

A Snapdragon 660 chipset with 6GB of RAM is a mid-selection Android ten system, which is specifically what the benchmarks we deployed clearly show. The Cat S62 Professional is a step up from the Snapdragon 630-dependent Cat S61, but can’t contend on performance with a flagship-course handset like the Snapdragon 865-dependent OnePlus 8 — primarily when it will come to gaming:

Processor performance 
Geekbench five

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Mainstream productiveness performance 
PCMark for Android (Get the job done two.)

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Gaming performance 
3DMark (Sling Shot Intense)

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Despite the fact that the Cat S62 Professional has a smaller battery and a bigger display screen than the S61 (4000mAh/five.seven inches vs . 4500mAh//five.two inches), it will come out on prime in phrases of battery existence. The manufacturer’s claim of 1-two day’s existence appears to be justified.

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Charts: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

Conclusions

Thermal imaging has long gone from the maintain of the armed forces, to an high priced specialist application, to, now, the mass sector. The £599 Cat S62 Professional isn’t really the only smartphone with an built-in thermal digital camera, but it is really arguably the finest now accessible. This is nevertheless a area of interest merchandise, while: it is really absolutely pleasurable to use, but not all people wants built-in thermal imaging on a rugged smartphone, and several would favor to commit the exact same dollars on sleeker industrial design and style and a lot more in depth traditional pictures attributes. That stated, as the selling price and measurement of thermal digital camera modules go on to shrink, we be expecting to see them deployed a lot more broadly in smartphones.

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