CES 2020: Cat S32 offers ruggedness at an affordable price

It may have an entry-level price point, but there's no skimping on the Cat S32's rugged features.
Written by Charles McLellan, Senior Editor

The 5.5-inch Cat S32 costs €299.

Image: Cat Phones

Cat phones has unveiled the Cat S32, a new rugged smartphone at the entry-level price point of €299 (~£253/$332). Designed and manufactured by Bullitt Group, Cat-branded products cover rugged tablets, feature phones and smartphones, including the recent S52 with its more mainstream positioning.

Unlike the relatively slim 5.65-inch S52, the chunky 5.5-inch S32 looks the rugged part, with a textured extra-grip design and DragonTrail Pro Glass protecting the sunlight-readable HD+ (1,440 x 720) IPS display, which can be used with wet fingers or when wearing gloves.

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The Cat 32 may be a budget phone, but there's no skimping on the rugged features. The phone has IP68 certification for dust and water resistance, meaning that it's 'dust tight' and can handle immersion in up to 1.5 meters of water for 35 minutes. It has also undergone drop testing from 1.8m onto steel, including multiple drops onto every side and corner, and is MIL-STD 810G certified. Testing for the latter military-grade standard involves vibration and tumble tests, salt mist conditions, extremes of temperature and thermal shocks.

Image: Cat Phones

The Cat S32 runs Android 10 on a MediaTek Helio A20 MT 6761D chipset with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, expandable via MicroSD card. It has a Cat6 4G LTE modem and supports dual Nano SIMs. Wi-fi (802.11ac), Bluetooth (5.0), FM radio and NFC are all on-board.

Cameras are pretty basic: 5MP at the front and 13MP, with an f/2.0 lens, at the back.

All of this is powered by a sizeable 4,200mAh battery, which should ensure good longevity, although no battery life claim is available at present. Charging is via a legacy Micro-USB 2.0 port, and there's a 3.5mm audio jack for your headphones.

As noted, the Cat S32 smartphone has a recommended price of €299 and will be available direct from Cat phones as well as via retailers and operators.

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