CAT S50 Rugged Smartphone Wants to Accompany You Up Mountains

By Gerald Lynch on at

It's a tough sell these days, the rugged smartphone. Often clunky, ugly things, they may be 'ard enough to handle the rigours of sitting in the pocket of an extreme sports enthusiast, but with so many phones offering waterproofing, a decent flagship coupled with a rugged case often ends up giving you more bang for your buck. It's with this in mind that you should look at the CAT S50 rugged smartphone.

It's certainly tough enough, with a shock-resistant rubber shell, 4.7-inch Corning Gorilla Glass 3 shatter resistant screen, IP67 waterproofing and even rust-proofed metal parts.

But its 1.2GHz quad-core processor won't be a match for the 2.5Ghz quad-core flagships from Sony, LG and the like, its screen is only 720p, its rear camera is just an 8MP number, and it offers only 8GB of internal storage (though microSD expansion is available). It's 4G compatible, and is running Android Kit-Kat, but the CAT S50 is just plain ugly when compared to, say, the Xperia Z3, which offers water-proofing equally comprehensively.

That's hard to stomach once you realise that the phone is expected to cost close to £390 when it launches later this year. You're probably better off getting one of last year's waterproofed flagships from Sony or Samsung then and pairing it with a decent rugged case. That way at least you'll still have a good-looking phone once you prise off those steel-capped boots and construction hat.