Rugged Cat S40 Android Smartphone Launches in U.S.

Built for extra-tough workplace environments, the Cat S40 smartphone sells for $399 and works on GSM mobile networks.  

Cat S40 smartphone, smartphones, rugged smartphone, mobile carriers, T-Mobile, AT&T, GSM, Android phones

The Cat S40 rugged smartphone, built to take abuse in extreme environmental conditions in the workplace or daily life, is now available in the United States.

The new Android phone, which runs on GSM networks, such as T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless, sells for $399, according to an Oct. 7 announcement by Bullitt Mobile, which licenses the Caterpillar name for the device.

The Cat S40 features a quad-core 1.1GHz Snapdragon 210 processor, 1GB of memory, a 4.7-inch qHD In-Plane Switching (IPS) display that's covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and a non-removable 3,000mAh lithium-ion battery. The device runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop, and its display can be read in direct sunlight.

Built of rugged components, the Cat S40 meets IP68 standards and exceeds Mil-Spec 810G standards for water, dust and shock penetration and has been tested to withstand drops of up to 5.9 feet on concrete, according to Bullitt Group.

The phone's display is also built to work properly when a user is wearing gloves or when they are touching the screen with wet fingers. In addition, waterproof warning sensors alert users if the phone is not in a waterproof state so it is not damaged. The waterproof sensors also provide animated warnings to correct the problem.

The Cat phones also have access to a dedicated app store that includes a wide range of apps for Cat phone users.

The Cat S40, like its stablemates, was built to serve the growing rugged smartphone market, which saw more than 10 million units sold globally in 2014, according to Bullitt Group.

"As our dependence on smartphones grows for everything from exchanging information with colleagues to hailing cabs, they take a serious beating," Oliver Schulte, the chief executive officer of Bullitt Mobile, said in a statement. "Too many people—from the average consumer to the 85 million people working in construction globally—are left out-of-pocket due to damaged smartphones. With the refined, rugged design of the S40, we are able to offer a device that looks sleek, runs the latest version of Android and provides the levels of protection needed by those who work outdoors and in challenging environments."

The new Cat S40 is available through Quality One Wireless or at

Rugged devices for sale in the marketplace today also include tablets and handheld computers, in addition to rugged mobile smartphones.

In September, Zebra Technologies unveiled its ET50 and the ET55 enterprise-class rugged tablets, equipped with either Windows Industry Embedded 8.1 Pro or Android 5.1 operating systems, as well as with 8.3-inch or 10.1-inch displays, giving users a wide range of options to find the devices that best fit their business needs, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

Both models were the first Zebra tablets that run Windows 8.1 and allow the devices to be connected to legacy Windows systems. Meanwhile, the Android version of the ET50/55 tablet computer comes with Zebra's Mobility Extensions, which provide enterprise-class security, device management and data capture capabilities.

Also in September, Janam Technologies unveiled its latest XG3-ER rugged handheld business computer, which includes a special barcode reader that lets business and industrial users read barcodes from as far as 50 feet away. Equipped with an Intermec EX25 near/far imager and auto-focusing, the XG3-ER can read virtually any kind of 1D and 2D barcode, as well as damaged or obscured barcodes.

In May, Zebra unveiled its TC75 and TC55 handheld enterprise mobile computers for industrial and business users. The TC75 is an Android device that includes multicarrier 4G LTE capabilities for constant connectivity wherever it is used. The TC55 uses the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system and includes an integrated 2D imager to speed barcode scanning and other data collection.