- Cat says its S42 smartphone is “truly rugged”.
- So we gave it to one of the most destructive forces known to humanity: a toddler.
- The phone was buried (and then watered), dropped, trampled, painted, and washed many times.
- It didn’t really seem to notice.
At a retail price of just about R8,000, the Cat S42 smartphone doesn’t make much of an impression in normal use. It sits heavy in the hand, and it isn’t particularly responsive. It has no fingerprint reader, and no other hardware tricks. The camera is distinctly average compared to even cheaper phones.
In fact, what Cat bills as “the essential work phone” comes with just one selling point: it is, the company says, “truly rugged” – which includes being proof to high-alcohol sanitisers and washing.
“We aim to simulate the real world scenarios that our phones are used in,” it says of its own tests, “and to ensure they will withstand that treatment.”
But Cat’s testing does not include one of the most destructive forces known to humanity, especially when it comes to smartphones: the average toddler.