Not only is it builder proof, it’s dual SIM too
When GoMo News was offered the chance to test the Cat 15 handset from Caterpillar the other day, we leapt at the chance. We have a long history of testing ruggedised handsets dating all the way back to the days when Ericsson (which became Sony) provided one. That handset really did still keep working when it was sitting in a pint of beer. The catch with ruggedised handsets is that, generally speaking, they only offered very basic communications. The perceived wisdom was that ruggedised handsets were only purchased by builders so they only needed to be able to make calls and send/received texts. That view is wrong on two counts.
Firstly, it is a complete myth that the only person you can interest in purchasing a ruggedised handset is a builder. Wrong.
For starters, GoMo News once saw research (and we wish we could recall where) which pointed to other groups besides those working in the building industry expressing a keen interest in owning a ruggedised mobile phone.
And those other groups fell roughly under the umbrella of those interested in outdoor pursuits.
The list includes hikers, climbers, skiers, canoeists, yachtsmen and, of course, horse riders.
The second reason the above premise is wrong is that ruggedised handsets need to offer more than just basic facilities.
Even builders want a smartphone. Just like everyone else, they want to be able to run popular apps like Google Maps so that the handset can be used as a satnav device, for example.
Well, the Cat B15 is an incredibly sturdy model – much more so than ‘party-proof’ phones such as the Motorola Defy or the Sony Xperia.
What’s more it’s running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean so it’s a serious smartphone. And just to contradict ourselves it has actually been brought to market by a company closely associated with the building industry.
To be precise, the phone has been produced for Bullitt Mobile Ltd which is the global licensee for Cat (Caterpilla) phones and should set you back around €329 or 299.
The handset even comes with four Caterpillar associated apps pre-loaded including sites where users can rent plant or buy used machinery.
It can be purchased from a number of sources around the world including specialists such as Tuffphones in the UK.
Here at GoMo News we are not going to follow The Sun scholl of ruggedised handset testing which involves throwing the handsets off scaffolding and hitting them with sledgehammers, etc.
Instead we intend to discover just how good the handset is as a smartphone.
Oh, and in keeping with the builder image the first app we downloaded onto it was The Sun newspaper’s Sun + app. Not quite sure what that does exactly but we think it has something to do with footie (soccer).
Right for the geeks, published below are the Cat 15′s tech specs. More information available from www.catphones.com.
Tech specifications for Cat B15 :
• Operating System: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
• Processor: MediaTek MT6577 Dual 1GHz Cortex-A9
• Size: 125mm x 69.5mm x 14.95mm
• Weight: 170g
• Screen details: “” WVGA 480×800 LCD, Capacitive Multi-touch, Gorilla glass, wet finger tracking
• Memory: 4GB storage + 512 RAM
• Camera: 5.0 MP Rear, VGA Front
• Video: 720P recording 30 FPS Codecs H.263, H.264/AVC, mpeg4/SP, VP8
• Talk time: Up to 9 hours
• Stand By: Up to 9.5 days
• Connections: microUSB, microSD 32GB, 3.5mm audio
• GPS: A-GPS mode
• Temperature Operational range: -20º C to + 55º C
• Drop testing: 1.80 metres Concrete
• IP rating: IP67 waterproof to 1 metre for 30 minutes Impervious to dust