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New Cat S42 takes high-end to rugged

The new Cat S42 features an improved design that makes it drop-durable while it features new internal components that make it more powerful for handling apps.

The Cat S42 features improved toughness and proven durability that makes it an essential everyday work phone for those in demanding environments, such as the construction, agriculture, mining, engineering, electrical, and plumbing industries. 

Cat says the S42 was drop-tested multiple times onto steel from 1.8m, on every side and corner. In addition to being drop-proof, the new S42 is built to be impervious to dust and fully waterproof – surpassing the IP68 rating (tested in 1.5m depth for 35 mins). The phone is also fully washable, making it ideal for those concerned with hygiene during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cat phones are also US military MIL SPEC 810H compliant,which has put them through thermal shock tests, high and low temperature extremes, tumble and vibration tests and salt mist resistance. The S42 is protected by a hard-wearing, non-slip rubberised TPU back-plate. Displays are protected by a thick pane of toughened, scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and recessed in a protective ridge, while screens are covered by a 24 month repair warranty at Cat service centres locally and worldwide. 

Most mobile manufacturers would caution against using alcohol or bleach on their devices to avoid possible damage. The Cat S42 can be repeatedly submerged and scrubbed with hot water and soap. It is built to withstand exposure to sanitisers, bleaches or detergents. It has no need for additional protective cases, which trap and accumulate germs – an essential hygiene detail for those who must keep on working. 

The Cat S42 launches on Android 10, with a guaranteed update to Android 11 with security patches every 90 days. The dual SIM variant allows users to use 2 nano SIM cards as well as a MicroSD card. The 3.5mm audio jack and micro USB port are both waterproof and 4G Enabled (VoLTE, VoWiFi supported) with dual band WiFi, BT 5.0, and NFC. It also includes an app called Toolbox that will surface relevant applications for rugged phone users, aiding discovery of content, and linking to Google Play.

Cat provided the following information on improvements on the S42:

  • Long-life battery: 4200mAh battery and power-efficient 12nm Mediatek Helio A20 chipset, which provides up to two days of ‘real world’ battery life.
  • Faster connectivity: dual-band WIFI (2.4GHZ + 5GHZ), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC Enhanced 
  • Camera: rear-facing 13MP/Front-facing 5MP.
  • Memory: 3GB RAM and 32GB ROM storage.
  • Larger, brighter touchscreen: 5.5”, 18.9 HD+, that works with gloves and is readable in full sunlight.
  • Touch screen can be controlled with wet fingers or while wearing most gloves.

The S42 combines the enhanced features one expects from the S40 range with the rugged reliability you expect from the S30 range – and providing it in the lower S30 price bracket. The phone replaces the popular S31, and will be available in South Africa from 7 August from Vodacom, other networks to follow. 

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