Articles, Blog

Testing the Rugged CAT S41 – Scratch, Burn, BEND Tested!

Since I started durability testing phones,
the name CAT had been brought up so many times as potentially one of the most durable phones
on the planet, but I haven’t had a chance to test that theory until now. I have two phones here: the S31 and the S41. The smaller S31 is spec’d down a bit with
a smaller screen and smaller battery, but the same basic build. Today we’ll focus on the S41. Let’s get started. [Intro] This definitely isn’t your sleek, pristine
looking iPhone or Samsung phone. This is built for a very specific group of
people – a group of people who need their device to survive no matter what happens happens
to it. The CAT S41 is even impressively advertised
to resist solar radiation. So star man here could start swiping Tinder
on Mars if he had this phone…and he’s still probably have better luck than the rest of
us. For those of us here on earth, CAT has designed
this phone to survive a 1.8 meter drop onto concrete – an impressive 6 foot fall. But as we can tell here, to gain that much
drop protection, there has to be a thick plastic layer covering the Gorilla Glass 5, which
scratches at a level 3. Luckily that laminate layer is included on
the phone and easily replaceable if it ever does get too messed up. I am going to leave that protection intact
and in place because the phone is incomplete without it. Just remember that the screen scratches at
a level 3. There are 3 physical buttons along the bottom
– all ip68 water resistant and made from plastic. But if you’re outside wearing protective gloves,
these large physical buttons can be useful. There’s a cutout on the screen protector for
that 8 megapixel front facing camera. It’s covered by Gorilla Glass 5 underneath
that plastic and won’t be damaged by my razor. The earpiece is plastic, but has holes small
enough that metal shavings or dirt won’t easily get inside. The power button is made from black plastic,
along with the volume buttons – same plastic material. The body of this phone is where things start
to get intense. A beastly layer of thick plastic covers the
entire surface of the phone, with rubber grip covering that plastic. And this isn’t the cheap flimsy plastic either. My razor blade is severely struggling with
this stuff. Down at the bottom of the phone we have the
charging port flap covering a micro USB port. And it’s interesting, every other water-resistant
phone I’ve tested so far has never been fit for salt water because the salt in salt water
corrodes metal faster and degrades it’s adhesive. But since all the metal and adhesive is covered
up on this phone with these watertight plastic flaps, this phone is salt water resistant
up to 2 meters deep – over 6 feet. There’s even a flap covering the headphone
jack with plenty of plastic and rubber along that edge to keep the phone damage free. Now the camera is where things start to get
a little disappointing. The flash is plastic, which is fine, no one
really cares about that. But the camera lens itself is also made from
plastic. Now I get that plastic is more shatter resistant
than glass, but plastic scratches much easier that glass does, so it’s something to keep
in mind if you own this phone. Also, this phone does not record video in
4K, it maxes out at 1080p. The camera was apparently not the focus or
the selling point of the S41. Our spaceman snapchat game on Mars is going
to be rather weak. On the side of the phone we have one metal
button, which is programmable to any app with a short press function and a long press function. Now that’s useful. And we have another flap keeping the SIM and
SD card slots watertight. The iPhone 8 is water resistant to 1 meter,
just for 30 minutes. This CAT S41 is water resistant 2 meters deep
for up to an hour. CAT’s not messing around. Inside this phone is a massive 5,000 milliamp
battery that CAT says has a 38 hour talk time, or 44 days of standby. Pretty impressive. I did attempt an art class with Jerry on the
back rubber, but the resilience of rubber closes up on my razor blade slices, hiding
my beautiful cat I drew on the CAT phone. It’s got pointy little ears and everything. The CAT logo is embedded into the rubber,
but it’s pretty solid and would take some major abuse to ever fall out on it’s own. So I’ll just put this back. Good as new. And now the burn test. Remember, we’re working with several different
screen layers here. This is a 5 inch 1080p display, and I left
the flame in place for about 15 seconds before the outer plastic layer started to bubble
up and melt. It got a little crispy. And now the structural bend test which is
surprising. I expected the phone to be a little more rigid
than it is. There is some decent flex to the front and
back of the phone. This is definitely not a bad thing of course,
since nothing snapped or broke, or was even permanently disfigured. Everything straightens out after the flex,
but it does have some bounce to it. Long story short, the phone is incredibly
durable when it comes to water resistance and drop protection, as long as you don’t
mind that plastic screen and the plastic camera lens. It might not be mainstream, but the S41 will
survive basically anything if you had to pick one feature as the most important on your
smart phone, what would it be? Let me know in the comments. And come hang out with me on Instagram. Thanks a ton for watching, and I’ll see you


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *