Rugged phones are not exactly popular, mainly because mobile manufacturers don’t pay much attention to it. However, there are a handful of companies out there that focus on rugged smartphones so as to tap into the niche. Companies like Kyocera and CAT are at the forefront of rugged smartphone market.
Kyocera has been in the mobile industry since time immemorial. CAT, on the other hand, is known for other rugged equipments including construction and mining related machinery. Its name in the industry is synonymous with durability and ruggedness. Taking these factors into account, its rugged smartphones are incredibly popular in the market. However, Kyocera isn’t particularly a stranger to the rugged phone market. Taking these factors into account, it’s only fair that we compare how two of its newest rugged phones fare in the marketplace. The fact that both handsets come with dual-cameras on board makes the battle even closer.
So without waiting any further, let’s have a detailed look at the two handsets.
Kyocera DuraForce Pro vs CAT S60 Review Comparison of Best Rugged Smartphones
Kyocera DuraForce Pro
Since this is a durable smartphone, it shares some of the elements with the CAT S60. The DuraForce Pro comes with a shatter-proof display, IP68 certification for water/dust resistance, and wireless charging. The phone is MIL-STD-810G compliant which makes it resistant to salt, dust, humidity, rain, vibration, solar radiation, transport and thermal shock. Overall, the DuraForce Pro ticks all the boxes in the durability department.
The phone comes with a 5-inch 1080p display, the octa-core Snapdragon 617 chipset, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, dual 13-megapixel rear cameras, a 5-megapixel front camera, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and a 3,240 mAh battery. The phone also comes with stereo speakers and a dedicated noise cancellation microphone. The phone is exclusive to Verizon in the U.S.
Pros and Cons
No phone isn’t without its pros and cons, and the DuraForce Pro is no different. Speaking of the pros, the handset offers excellent value for the price, and is easily one of the best smartphones you can get in this price range. Although durability is one of its key features, the company has ensured that the handset isn’t lacking in other departments. There is particular praise for the network performance of the device as well, which is one of the most important aspects of any mobile device.
As for the cons, the handset comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. Android 7.0 Nougat wasn’t officially available until late last year, but the company doesn’t appear to have any plans to upgrade the phone to the latest Android operating system. Reports have mentioned that the bloatware on the smartphone slows down the performance of the device somewhat, which is a bit of a concern for the customers as well. One of the biggest concerns for prospective buyers here is that the device is locked to work with Verizon in the U.S. This means you have to be an existing customer of the network or sign a new contract in order to use the device. The phone has received significant praise from users and critics alike, so it’s certain that the pros comfortably outweigh the cons of the handset.
Since the handset is only available via Verizon, you will likely find it at your nearest VZW store. Customers can also try checking out the product online on sites like Amazon, Best Buy etc.
Much like the DuraForce Pro, the CAT S60 also comes with dual-cameras on the back. As we mentioned above, this is supposed to even the odds to some extent, although we’re not entirely sure if that will be the case here. In terms of the onboard features, the CAT S60 comes with a 4.7-inch HD a-Si AHVA capacitive touchscreen in favor of standard LCD touchscreen panels, which is no doubt a bold step by the company. The CAT S60 also features 13-megapixel dual-cameras, 5-megapixel front camera, the octa-core Snapdragon 617 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and a 3,800 mAh battery.
Pros and Cons
One of the biggest pros of the CAT S60 is the fact that it comes with a FLIR thermal camera on board, making it one of the few handsets available in the market today to come with a proper thermal camera. Some of the apps that come preinstalled with the device are quite handy for the customers as well. The ruggedness of the phone deserves particular praise as well.
Although the phone boasts of a superior build quality, it’s not without its weaknesses. Reports talk about how the back panel of the phone pries open upon impact. CAT mentions that the phone can withstand concrete drops of up to 1.8 m. But the fact that the back panel opens up on a drop is a little concerning for the users. It is said that the call quality on the phone is nothing to write home about either. Despite the fact that the phone comes with a thermal camera, reports have pegged that the standard camera quality is near average.
CAT phones are always known to be expensive, so this shouldn’t particularly be a surprise to prospective customers.
Kyocera DuraForce Pro vs CAT S60 Review Comparison Verdict
Both phones have their fair share of negatives and positives. But when it comes down to picking a winner, we have to go with the Kyocera DuraForce Pro, simply for the kind of hardware it’s packing, coupled with the price tag set by the company. It seems like the CAT S60 is merely riding on the popularity of the brand, rather than bringing anything substantial to the table. Keeping these factors in mind, we strongly suggest customers to have a closer look at the DuraForce Pro. However, if you’ve used a CAT phone before, it couldn’t hurt to give it a try either.
Customers also have to remember that the CAT S60 is probably not available freely in the U.S., so most users will have to import it from the UK. This is yet another reason to favor the Verizon branded DuraForce Pro over the CAT S60.