Device reviews
    08 September 2015


    Tough tech

    Industrial brand CAT has brought its rugged Android smartphone to South Africa and it’s strong – very strong.

    The Caterpillar brand is best known for creating robust and durable products including everything from farm equipment to work boots. It’s no surprise then that the launch of the CAT B15 in Johannesburg last week saw the phone being thrown around the room to prove just how strong it is.

    CAT B15: built for extremes

    The robust design allows the phone to handle a fall of up to 1.8m onto solid concrete, be submerged in 1 metre-deep water for up to 30 minutes, and handle extreme temperatures from -25°C to 55°C – all while still functioning as a smartphone would. 

    Built for extreme conditions, its features include an LED flash with the HD camera, big speakers and a noise-cancelling dual microphone – all of which is encased in strong anodised aluminium and shock-absorbent rubber. 

    Technical specs

    Technical specifications include a quad-core 1.3GHz Media Tek processor, 1GB RAM, 4GB storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD, 4-inch scratch-resistant display with wet-finger tracking, 5MP camera, Bluetooth 4.0 and a 2 000mAh removable battery. 

    The CAT B15 is available through Vodacom on various contract packages starting at R349 per month on uChoose Flexi 200.

    The CAT B100: back to basics

    For those who don’t need a smartphone, the other handset unveiled was the CAT B100, an industrial candy-bar phone. Capable of operating in extreme temperatures, the ergonomically designed keypad can be used with gloves in chilly conditions – and no matter how noisy your surroundings, the noise-cancelling mic and high-quality speaker lets you carry on talking. It’s also dust- and waterproof (30 minutes in 1 metre-deep water) and impact-resistant for falls up to 1.8m. 

    The phone has a 1 150mAh battery with 23 days’ standby time, 3MP camera, 2.2” display, Bluetooth, GPS and weighs 136g. The handset supports 3G but not Wi-Fi. It comes with 50MB of user space, and a micro SD slot expandable up to 32GB. 

    The CAT B100 is available through Vodacom, starting from R229 per month on uChoose Flexi 150.