Our smartphones are often the computer we use the most and when you are out in the mud, snow, or water you still need a device to perform. The Cat S40 is designed to go into these environments with you.

As a professional engineer and ship designer, I often find myself out on shipchecks crawling through dirty tanks, bilges, and other nasty places. When I am out in the field, a rugged phone or a rugged case is highly desirable.

Today, Cat Phones announced the new Cat S40 rugged Android smartphone. One just arrived on my doorstep yesterday so stay tuned for my hands-on impressions.

In the past, ruggedized phones tended to be priced much higher than standard phones, but with the new Cat S40 we see it launching lower than all the existing flagships and in line with the new crop of sub-$450 Android smartphones. The Cat S40 will be available for $399.

Specifications of the new Cat S40 include:

• Drop tested up to 5.9 feet onto concrete
• IP68 and Mil-Spec 810G water, dust, and shock resistance
• Corning Gorilla Glass 4
• Glove-on and wet-finger display technology
• Android 5.1 Lollipop
• Quad-core Snapdragon 1.1 GHz 210 processor
• 1 GB of RAM
• 16GB internal storage with microSD card slot
• 4.7-inch qHD 540×960 pixels display
• Dimensions of 144.9 x 74.1 x 12.5 mm and 185 grams

It doesn’t have the highest internal specifications, but is as rugged as you can get with a smartphone. It is an unlocked GSM phone that is capable of working with AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and more. I’ll check out it’s performance over the next couple of weeks.

Cat Phones reports that over 10 million rugged smartphones were sold in 2014. In its recent survey of smartphone users, 80 percent admitted they had damaged a phone in the last five years. You may have noticed there is a trend in promoting accidental damage protection by the major hardware makers as people’s phones become an invaluable asset to their daily life.

Author: Matthew Miller
Source: ZDNet