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

Whilst it really is billed as ‘the ultimate perform phone’, it need to be mentioned that Cat phones’ new flagship Cat S62 Professional is qualified at a subset of the workforce — specifically, staff who demand a fully rugged smartphone with a point out-of-the-art built-in thermal digital camera. Produced beneath […]

Whilst it really is billed as ‘the ultimate perform phone’, it need to be mentioned that Cat phones’ new flagship Cat S62 Professional is qualified at a subset of the workforce — specifically, staff who demand a fully rugged smartphone with a point out-of-the-art built-in thermal digital camera.

Produced beneath licence by Bullitt Group, Cat-branded rugged smartphones involve the slender, client-welcoming S52 (£380) and the affordable, business-prepared S42 (£229). The Cat S62 Professional (£599) reviewed listed here succeeds the 2018 S61 (£649), but does not supersede it, as the latter incorporates a pair of options — an indoor air excellent sensor and laser-assisted length measurement — that are not out there on the new mobile phone. Also, the S61 is out there around the world and supports extra 4G LTE frequency bands (fourteen in Europe/RoW, 15 in the Americas) than the S62 Professional (11 bands), which is not officially out there in the US and Canada.

Style

Cat phones have had a little something of a layout makeover a short while ago, with far extra notice paid out to generating them seem considerably less ‘industrial’ and extra mainstream — with no, of course, compromising on their rugged credentials, which are core to the manufacturer.

The Cat S62 Professional seems to be like a normal, if chunky, smartphone with a metallic frame, a flat 5.7-inch Gorilla Glass six-guarded display and a grippy, rubberised back with two digital camera lenses in a a bit protruding lozenge in the major left corner and a centrally positioned fingerprint reader. It steps 76.7mm large 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 bodyweight compared to the Cat S61, which has a more compact 5.two-inch display.

cat-s62-pro-main.jpg

The 5.7-inch Cat S62 Professional runs on Qualcomm’s mid-vary Snapdragon 660 chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of interior storage. At the back there is a typical 12MP digital camera and a FLIR thermal digital camera, as well as a fingerprint reader. 


Visuals: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

There are sizeable bezels all around the 5.7-inch FHD+ (2160 x 1280) IPS display, notably at the major and bottom. This results in a display-to-body ratio of just sixty nine%, which is very well adrift of today’s minimum-bezel flagships with ratios over ninety%. The entrance digital camera, ambient gentle sensor, earpiece and status LED are all in the major bezel. The touch-display will perform if the person has soaked fingers or is donning gloves, although Cat phones notes that “we can not warranty that all gloves will perform with this aspect”. We had no problem with the gloves we tried, such as disposable vinyl kinds.

The left aspect residences the metallic SIM/SD card tray, beneath a doorway that you prise open up with a fingernail. Our evaluation device could accommodate two SIMs, or 1 SIM and a MicroSD card, if storage expansion trumps the 2nd SIM. Also on the left is a copper-colored programmable important that can hearth up a force-to-talk (PTT) app, switch on the flashlight, or start any other app that’s on a regular basis vital to you.

cat-s62-side-sim-tray.jpg

Still left aspect of the Cat S62 Professional, displaying SIM tray (two SIMs or 1 SIM as well as MicroSD card) and Programmable Crucial.


Graphic: Charles McLellan

Leading ZDNET Opinions

The electricity button is on the ideal aspect, textured so it really is simply discovered, along with quantity up/down buttons. The bottom residences a microphone, a USB-C port and a speaker. You will find no 3.5mm headset jack — in contrast to the S61, which had 1 at the major, subsequent to a protrusion housing the thermal digital camera.

The Cat S62 Professional feels sound and reliable in the hand, and that’s mirrored in its rugged credentials. These involve IP68/sixty nine certification, which means it really is ‘dust tight’ and can face up to the two immersion in water at up to 1.5m depth for 35 minutes and ‘powerful significant-temperature water jets’. The handset has also been ‘repeatedly’ drop-tested onto a metal floor from 1.8m (6ft) and passes military services-grade MIL-STD-810H checks, which entail thermal shocks, significant and low temperature extremes, tumble and vibration checks, and salt mist situations.

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (no cost PDF) (TechRepublic)

Cat phones also notes that the S62 Professional can be frequently submerged and scrubbed with warm water and cleaning soap, which is notably relevant in the latest wellbeing/hygiene disaster.

You will find absolutely no want for a protecting situation with this impressively hardy handset — in contrast to so lots of mainstream phones, with their fancy but usually brittle industrial layout.

Functions

The Cat S62 Professional runs on Qualcomm’s mid-vary Snapdragon 660 cell platform, which incorporates an 8-core CPU comprising four rapidly two.2GHz cores and four electricity-productive 1.8GHz cores, an Adreno 512 GPU and an X12 LTE modem. This is supported by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of interior storage (expandable, as noted earlier mentioned, by way of MicroSD card) — a major update on the S61’s Snapdragon 630, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of interior storage.

As very well as Europe-centric 4G LTE connectivity, there is dual-band (two.4/5GHz) 802.11ac wi-fi, Bluetooth 5 LE, GPS, NFC and an FM radio. As noted previously, the indoor air excellent sensor and laser-assisted length measuring resource present on the Cat S61 are omitted from the Cat S62 Professional. At some point, it would be superior to see Bullitt Group/Cat phones solve the trade-offs involved so that these practical sensors can be reinstated in the flagship handset together with a ideal-in-course thermal imaging digital camera.

Talking of which, the primary attraction with the Cat S62 Professional is its built-in thermal digital camera, which employs FLIR’s hottest Lepton 3.5 infrared sensor. This has four occasions the variety of thermal pixels compared to the prior-generation Lepton sensor (160×120 compared to 80×60), resulting in more compact 12µm pixels and 1440-by-1080 output by way of FLIR’s VividIR image processing technological know-how. The Lepton 3.5 can detect warmth sources up to 30m away, and measure temperatures concerning -20°C and +400°C in ‘low gain’ mode, or -10°C to 140°C in extra correct ‘high gain’ mode (with a normal accuracy of ± 5°).

It can be pleasurable to demonstrate off the built-in thermal digital camera to jaded smartphone end users, but its primary reason is to serve a large vary of industry experts — electricians, plumbers, very first-line employees, healthcare specialist, for case in point — as very well as Do-it-yourself fanatics.

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Palettes for the thermal digital camera (left) the MyFLIR gallery of thermal illustrations or photos (ideal).


Visuals: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

The thermal camera’s extensive operation is accessed by way of a independent MyFLIR Professional app, which has its individual image gallery. You will find a normal Android digital camera app also, of course, but that only controls the noticeable-spectrum cameras (12MP at the rear, 8MP at the entrance). You can pick out from a vary of palettes for the thermal digital camera — the default is Iron, but there are 9 selections in complete, which display screen as live thumbnails when you push the swatch icon at the bottom left of the app workspace.

cat-s62-image-types.jpg

Imaging modes in MyFLIR Professional (left to ideal): thermal only MSX Alpha Mixing noticeable only.


Visuals: Charles McLellan / ZDNet  

MyFLIR Professional can demonstrate a number of forms of image: output from the thermal and noticeable cameras by yourself MSX (Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging), which overlays linear detail onto the thermal image to provide better context and a new Alpha Mixing mode, which overlays thermal and noticeable illustrations or photos. In the two MSX and Alpha Mixing modes, sliders make it possible for you to align the thermal and noticeable illustrations or photos and fluctuate their relative intensities.

cat-s62-reports.jpg

Thermal illustrations or photos can be turned into PDF experiences, with a alternative of templates.


Visuals: Charles McLellan / ZDNet    

Other practical options for industry experts involve the potential to insert notes to thermal illustrations or photos and make PDF experiences. You can also position up to three movable place meters and numerous ‘regions of interest’ on illustrations or photos — both through or publish-seize. These ROIs can be entire-frame or movable and scalable rectangles, circles or lines. Isotherms make it possible for you to demonstrate a specific temperature vary with a highlight color you can also set an alarm — a notification, vibrating the mobile phone or capturing an image — when the digital camera sees a little something that falls within just the specified vary.

It can be straightforward to neglect the visible cameras — 8MP at the entrance, 12MP at the back. The latter, with a dual-pixel Sony sensor, big 1.4µm pixels and f/1.8 aperture, usually takes decent shots, even in low gentle.

cat-s62-rear-camera.jpg

Shots taken with the Cat S62 Professional rear digital camera (12MP, f/1.8).


Visuals: Charles McLellan / ZDNet      

Android 10 was put in on our evaluation device. You will find no OS overlay, but a truthful quantity of pre-put in software package, such as the FLIR app and gallery, and Toolbox, which offers a curated collection of applications beneath various headings — Small business Applications, Cat Apps, Design, Farming, Outdoors, Rugged Applications.

The Cat S62 Professional supports Android Business options, such as Zero-touch enrolment, and has been tested for enrolment and coverage provisioning with foremost EMM (Business Mobility Administration) alternatives. It will come with a two-year guarantee and stability updates for three decades, and is confirmed to get at minimum 1 Android update (to Android 11) in its life time.

Overall performance

A Snapdragon 660 chipset with 6GB of RAM is a mid-vary Android 10 platform, which is just what the benchmarks we deployed demonstrate. The Cat S62 Professional is a stage up from the Snapdragon 630-centered Cat S61, but are not able to contend on performance with a flagship-course handset like the Snapdragon 865-centered OnePlus 8 — in particular when it will come to gaming:

Processor performance 
Geekbench 5

cat-s62-geekbench-5-cpu.jpg

Mainstream productiveness performance 
PCMark for Android (Perform two.)

cat-s62-pcmark-work-2.jpg

Gaming performance 
3DMark (Sling Shot Intense)

cat-s62-3dmark-sse.jpg

Whilst the Cat S62 Professional has a more compact battery and a larger sized display than the S61 (4000mAh/5.7 inches compared to 4500mAh//5.two inches), it will come out on major in phrases of battery life. The manufacturer’s declare of 1-two day’s life would seem justified.

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Charts: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

Conclusions

Thermal imaging has long gone from the maintain of the military services, to an expensive professional application, to, now, the mass sector. The £599 Cat S62 Professional is not the only smartphone with an built-in thermal digital camera, but it really is arguably the ideal at present out there. This is continue to a area of interest product, however: it really is absolutely pleasurable to use, but not every person needs built-in thermal imaging on a rugged smartphone, and lots of would choose to devote the same funds on sleeker industrial layout and extra extensive typical images options. That mentioned, as the selling price and measurement of thermal digital camera modules continue on to shrink, we assume to see them deployed extra greatly in smartphones.

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