Forget the iPhone — this is the durable phone to get

cat s62 pro
(Image credit: Bullitt Group)
Cat S62 Pro Specs

Price: $699
Screen size: 5.7-inch LCD (2160 x 1280)
CPU: Snapdragon 660
Storage: 128GB
microSD: yes, up to 256GB
Cameras: 12MP rear; FLIR thermal camera; 8MP front
Battery size: 4,000 mAh
Size: 6.2 x 3 x 0.46 inches
Weight: 8.74 ounces

Anyone who prizes durability above any other quality in a smartphone is likely familiar with the Cat handsets. Developed by Bullitt Group under the Cat construction equipment brand, Cat phones have developed a reputation as the rugged phone you turn to when you spend a lot of time on job sites and in warehouses.

The latest phone, the Cat S62 Pro, hits the U.S. this month after debuting in Europe last year. This is the third generation of Cat phones to feature a thermal imaging camera to detect differences in temperature and water leaks.

With a feature like that front and center, the $699 Cat S62 Pro isn't designed with a general audience in mind. However if you spend your work day in the kind of places where a dropped phone could have disastrous consequences, you may find the rugged construction of the Cast S62 Pro appealing.

As to that durability, Bullitt Group says the phone and its 5.7-inch FHD+ display use Corning's Gorilla Glass 6 for added strength. Bullitt drop tests the Cat S62 Pro by dropping it 6 feet onto steel, and IP68 water resistance means the phone should be able to withstand drops into 5 feet of water for up to 35 minutes.

The display is optimized to work outdoors, with construction sites in mind, so you won't have to squint to see what's on the panel. You'll also be able to use the S62 Pro's touchscreen with wet fingers and work gloves.

Still, the integrated FLIR thermal camera and its Lepton 3.5 imaging sensor is the star of the show here. This version of the camera boasts a 4x increase in the number of thermal pixels from the S61. New features added to the Cat S62 Pro include VividIR image processing and enhanced multi-spectral dynamic imaging that lets users vary the intensity of the visual outline details overlayed on a thermal image. With the S62 Pro, users can monitor temperatures ranging from -4°F to +752°F, with alerts should anything go outside a specified range.

cat s62 pro

(Image credit: Bullitt Group)

Other cameras include a 12MP dual-pixel main shooter on the back of the phone, coupled with an 8MP selfie cam up front, so you're not just photographing thermal pictures with the Cat S62 Pro.

A 4,000 mAh battery promises two-day battery life, according to Bullitt Group, though the Cat S62 Pro arrives at a time when 5,000 mAh power packs are becoming more common, especially on budget phones. The Moto G Power (2021) features such a battery, for example, and that phone lasted 14 hours on our custom battery test — one of the best phone battery life results we've seen. We're interested to see how the Cat S62 Pro measures up.

A Snapdragon 660 chipset with 6GB of RAM powers the Cat S62 Pro — a little underwhelming when the similarly priced Google Pixel 5 and Apple iPhone 12 mini boast more powerful processors. However, you're not really using the S62 Pro to play demanding games or run power-hungry apps — this phone is about giving workers a reliable performer out in the field.

There's no 5G connectivity on the phone, a curious omission since the enterprise segment figures to be one area that reaps the benefits of new 5G networks earlier than even the rest of us.

You can pre-order the Cat S62 from the Cat phones website starting on Friday (April 2), with the phone shipping on April 16. Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, B&H and other retailers should offer the phone.

There's no word on carrier availability, which could prove challenging for the Cat S62 Pro. Most phone buyers turn to their wireless carrier when it's time to buy a new model, and Kyocera — which makes its own line of durable phones — offers its DuraForce handsets through Verizon in the U.S.

Still, Bullitt Group is betting that features like the improved thermal camera on the Cat S62 Pro and its vaunted durability will make it a rugged phone worth seeking out.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.