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

Jeffrey Cuebas

Even though it is billed as ‘the top get the job done phone’, it will have to be said that Cat phones’ new flagship Cat S62 Professional is focused at a subset of the workforce — particularly, employees who have to have a totally rugged smartphone with a point out-of-the-art integrated thermal camera.

Created underneath licence by Bullitt Group, Cat-branded rugged smartphones consist of the trim, shopper-friendly S52 (£380) and the economical, business-all set 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 capabilities — an indoor air top quality sensor and laser-assisted length measurement — that are not accessible on the new phone. Also, the S61 is accessible globally and supports more 4G LTE frequency bands (14 in Europe/RoW, fifteen in the Americas) than the S62 Professional (11 bands), which is not officially accessible in the US and Canada.

Structure

Cat phones have had some thing of a design makeover recently, with considerably more consideration paid out to making them appear significantly less ‘industrial’ and more mainstream — devoid of, of system, compromising on their rugged credentials, which are core to the manufacturer.

The Cat S62 Professional seems like a standard, if chunky, smartphone with a metallic body, a flat 5.seven-inch Gorilla Glass six-protected monitor and a grippy, rubberised back with two camera lenses in a marginally protruding lozenge in the best remaining corner and a centrally positioned fingerprint reader. It measures seventy six.7mm broad 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 in contrast to the Cat S61, which has a more compact 5.2-inch monitor.

The 5.seven-inch Cat S62 Professional operates on Qualcomm’s mid-array Snapdragon 660 chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of inner storage. At the back there’s a typical 12MP camera and a FLIR thermal camera, additionally a fingerprint reader. 


Images: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

There are sizeable bezels all around the 5.seven-inch FHD+ (2160 x 1280) IPS monitor, specifically at the best and base. This benefits in a monitor-to-entire body ratio of just sixty nine%, which is nicely adrift of today’s small-bezel flagships with ratios more than 90%. The entrance camera, ambient mild sensor, earpiece and position LED are all in the best bezel. The touch-monitor will get the job done if the consumer has wet fingers or is putting on gloves, even though Cat phones notes that “we are unable to assurance that all gloves will get the job done with this element”. We had no challenge with the gloves we attempted, which includes disposable vinyl ones.

The remaining facet properties the metallic SIM/SD card tray, underneath a doorway that you prise open up with a fingernail. Our evaluate device could accommodate two SIMs, or just one SIM and a MicroSD card, if storage enlargement trumps the next SIM. Also on the remaining is a copper-coloured programmable key that can fireplace up a thrust-to-speak (PTT) application, switch on the flashlight, or launch any other application that is consistently significant to you.

cat-s62-side-sim-tray.jpg

Remaining facet of the Cat S62 Professional, showing SIM tray (2 SIMs or 1 SIM additionally MicroSD card) and Programmable Essential.


Impression: Charles McLellan

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The power button is on the appropriate facet, textured so it is easily discovered, together with quantity up/down buttons. The base properties a microphone, a USB-C port and a speaker. There is certainly no 3.5mm headset jack — in contrast to the S61, which had just one at the best, future to a protrusion housing the thermal camera.

The Cat S62 Professional feels reliable and trustworthy in the hand, and that is mirrored in its rugged credentials. These consist of IP68/sixty nine certification, meaning it is ‘dust tight’ and can face up to both immersion in drinking water at up to 1.5m depth for 35 minutes and ‘powerful substantial-temperature drinking water jets’. The handset has also been ‘repeatedly’ drop-analyzed on to a metal surface from 1.8m (6ft) and passes armed service-quality MIL-STD-810H tests, which include thermal shocks, substantial and low temperature extremes, tumble and vibration tests, and salt mist problems.

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

Cat phones also notes that the S62 Professional can be continuously submerged and scrubbed with hot drinking water and cleaning soap, which is specifically pertinent in the recent wellness/hygiene crisis.

There is certainly absolutely no have to have for a protective situation with this impressively hardy handset — in contrast to so a lot of mainstream phones, with their fancy but typically brittle industrial design.

Options

The Cat S62 Professional operates on Qualcomm’s mid-array Snapdragon 660 cell platform, which consists of an 8-core CPU comprising four quickly 2.2GHz cores and four power-efficient 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 pointed out over, by using MicroSD card) — a sizeable update on the S61’s Snapdragon 630, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of inner storage.

As nicely as Europe-centric 4G LTE connectivity, there’s twin-band (2.4/5GHz) 802.11ac wi-fi, Bluetooth 5 LE, GPS, NFC and an FM radio. As pointed out earlier, the indoor air top quality sensor and laser-assisted length measuring instrument present on the Cat S61 are omitted from the Cat S62 Professional. At some level, it would be fantastic to see Bullitt Group/Cat phones solve the trade-offs included so that these handy sensors can be reinstated in the flagship handset together with a finest-in-course thermal imaging camera.

Chatting of which, the principal attraction with the Cat S62 Professional is its integrated thermal camera, which utilizes FLIR’s newest Lepton 3.5 infrared sensor. This has four instances the number of thermal pixels in contrast to the previous-era Lepton sensor (160×120 versus 80×60), ensuing in more compact 12µm pixels and 1440-by-1080 output by using FLIR’s VividIR picture processing know-how. The Lepton 3.5 can detect heat resources up to 30m away, and measure temperatures concerning -20°C and +400°C in ‘low gain’ manner, or -10°C to 140°C in more exact ‘high gain’ manner (with a regular precision of ± 5°).

It truly is fun to clearly show off the integrated thermal camera to jaded smartphone customers, but its principal purpose is to provide a broad array of experts — electricians, plumbers, initially-line staff, healthcare specialist, for instance — as nicely as Diy lovers.

cat-s62-palettes-gallery.jpg

Palettes for the thermal camera (remaining) the MyFLIR gallery of thermal pictures (appropriate).


Images: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

The thermal camera’s comprehensive functionality is accessed by using a independent MyFLIR Professional application, which has its own picture gallery. There is certainly a standard Android camera application as well, of system, but that only controls the seen-spectrum cameras (12MP at the rear, 8MP at the entrance). You can pick from a array of palettes for the thermal camera — the default is Iron, but there are 9 choices in whole, which display as reside thumbnails when you press the swatch icon at the base remaining of the application workspace.

cat-s62-image-types.jpg

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


Images: Charles McLellan / ZDNet  

MyFLIR Professional can clearly show a number of kinds of picture: output from the thermal and seen cameras alone MSX (Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging), which overlays linear depth on to the thermal picture to deliver higher context and a new Alpha Blending manner, which overlays thermal and seen pictures. In both MSX and Alpha Blending modes, sliders allow you to align the thermal and seen pictures and vary their relative intensities.

cat-s62-reports.jpg

Thermal pictures can be turned into PDF reports, with a preference of templates.


Images: Charles McLellan / ZDNet    

Other handy capabilities for experts consist of the ability to insert notes to thermal pictures and crank out PDF reports. You can also area up to three movable place meters and a number of ‘regions of interest’ on pictures — both during or publish-seize. These ROIs can be whole-body or movable and scalable rectangles, circles or strains. Isotherms allow you to clearly show a certain temperature array with a emphasize colour you can also set an alarm — a notification, vibrating the phone or capturing an picture — when the camera sees some thing that falls in the specified array.

It truly is effortless to ignore the visual cameras — 8MP at the entrance, 12MP at the back. The latter, with a twin-pixel Sony sensor, large 1.4µm pixels and f/1.8 aperture, will take respectable photographs, even in low mild.

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


Images: Charles McLellan / ZDNet      

Android ten was installed on our evaluate device. There is certainly no OS overlay, but a honest amount of money of pre-installed program, which includes the FLIR application and gallery, and Toolbox, which offers a curated range of apps underneath different headings — Organization Tools, Cat Apps, Building, Farming, Outdoor, Rugged Tools.

The Cat S62 Professional supports Android Organization capabilities, which includes Zero-touch enrolment, and has been analyzed for enrolment and policy provisioning with leading EMM (Organization Mobility Administration) solutions. It arrives with a two-year warranty and stability updates for three yrs, and is guaranteed to obtain at the very least just one Android update (to Android 11) in its lifetime.

General performance

A Snapdragon 660 chipset with 6GB of RAM is a mid-array Android ten platform, which is exactly what the benchmarks we deployed clearly show. The Cat S62 Professional is a phase up from the Snapdragon 630-based mostly Cat S61, but cannot contend on functionality with a flagship-course handset like the Snapdragon 865-based mostly OnePlus 8 — primarily when it arrives to gaming:

Processor functionality 
Geekbench 5

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Mainstream efficiency functionality 
PCMark for Android (Work 2.)

cat-s62-pcmark-work-2.jpg

Gaming functionality 
3DMark (Sling Shot Extraordinary)

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Even though the Cat S62 Professional has a more compact battery and a much larger monitor than the S61 (4000mAh/5.seven inches versus 4500mAh//5.2 inches), it arrives out on best in conditions of battery life. The manufacturer’s assert of 1-2 day’s life appears to be justified.

cat-s62-pcmark-work-2-battery-life.jpg

Charts: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

Conclusions

Thermal imaging has long gone from the preserve of the armed service, to an costly specialist application, to, now, the mass market. The £599 Cat S62 Professional is not the only smartphone with an integrated thermal camera, but it is arguably the finest at this time accessible. This is however a market products, while: it is absolutely fun to use, but not every person wants integrated thermal imaging on a rugged smartphone, and a lot of would like to shell out the similar cash on sleeker industrial design and more comprehensive typical images capabilities. That said, as the price tag and measurement of thermal camera modules continue on to shrink, we expect to see them deployed more greatly in smartphones.

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