Caterpillar announces low cost mid-range B15 rugged Android smartphone (CTIA 2013)

Caterpillar announces low cost mid-range B15 rugged Android smartphone (CTIA 2013)

Summary: For those that need a ruggedized smartphone, the Cat B15 may be a decent competitor priced at a reasonable $350 with no carrier contract.

Caterpillar announces low cost mid-range B15 rugged Android smartphone
Image: Caterpillar

As a professional naval architect, I often specify Caterpillar marine diesel engines for inclusion in new and modified ships. This week we see Caterpillar announced their new Cat B15 Android smartphone that brings a rugged designed Android smartphone to consumers at a very reasonable price.

I have seen prices for enterprise, field-focused rugged devices appear at double or more of the consumer price so I have to admit I was a bit shocked by the low $349.99 SIM unlocked price of the B15. Caterpillar has a couple previous models of rugged phones, but this new B15 is running Android Jelly Bean with a 4 inch display, ability to withstand a 5.9 foot drop and water submergence of 3.2 feet for 30 minutes.

Check out the hands-on with the B15.

The Cat B15 works on GSM networks around the world, including AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. The device is protected by an aluminum and shock absorbent rubber shell, giving it the IP67 rating. Specifications include:

  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • MediaTek MT6577 Dual 1GHz Cortex(TM)-A9
  • Wireless bands: Quad-band GSM and Tri-Band 3G (no T-Mobile 1700 MHz)
  • 4 inch WVGA display with Gorilla glass
  • 4GB internal storage and 1GB RAM with microSD expansion support
  • 5 megapixel camera and VGA front facing camera
  • Dimensions of 149.95 x 125 x 69.5mm and 170 grams

The Cat B15 is designed for field workers and active lifestyle folks (snowboarders, mountain bikers, etc.). With decent specs and a price competitive to what we see with Google Nexus devices, this could be quite popular for those who need a rugged solution.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Smartphones

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  • That's Diversification

    Field workers, don't forget the rugged guys in the field on a Cat Excavator.
  • No chance for Caterpillar

    I am doubtful if Caterpillar can compete with Sony Z, Galaxy S4 Active or the new rugged LG smartphone. It's such competitive market. For me, I would just buy rugged case for my Galaxy S4 from OtterBox and that's it.
    Mark Ray
    • Cat B15

      The Cat B15 won't have any problems getting into the market. It's well built and priced. The guy or girl driving the backhoe doesn't care about otterbox or screen protector they want a phone that if it's left in there pocket on well. I think they have hit the mark. Perfect all around phone yea you won't see it on the real housewives but you may see it on Deadliest Catch