CAT S60 smartphone comes with a built-in FLIR thermal camera

— 2:58 PM on February 18, 2016

Remember that awesome FLIR sensor that Jeff got for his iPhone? Much like the GAU-8 Avenger is so awesome that the military decided to build the Warthog around it, CAT (Caterpillar) decided to make a phone around that FLIR cam. Nod politely to the badass CAT S60 phone.

Let's get the bad news out of the way real quick. The S60 is very bulky at almost half an inch thick, and its screen is a 4.7" unit with a resolution of just 1280x720. Those are two relatively minor drawbacks given the phone's intended usage, though.

See, the S60 is built on a die-cast steel frame, and CAT says it can withstand drops onto concrete from 5.5' high (around 1.8m). Its screen is quite bright at 540 nits, a spec that'll probably make it usable in broad daylight (or as an impromptu searchlight). The display uses a resistive touch sensor, so it can be used with wet fingers or gloves. It's covered with a sheet of Corning's Gorilla Glass 4.

The S60 is waterproof, and CAT claims people can even go diving with it for an hour at 16' deep (5m) by flipping some switches on the back to seal off the phone's speaker, headphone, and microphone openings. Battery capacity is a very meaty 3,800 mAh, which in combination with the 720p screen should let the S60 work for quite a while before it needs to charge up. The handset's built-in speaker can produce a claimed 105 dB of noise, almost as loud as Nigel Tufnel's Marshall amp.

The back of the phone is also where you'll find the FLIR Lepton sensor. That unit can work with tandem with the 13MP back camera to provide crystal-clear heat maps. The S60 also packs an NFC sensor, a barometer, and an altimeter. Its GPS system can work with the Russian Glonass and Chinese Beidou satellite networks, too.

A Snapdragon octa-core SoC powers the device, which comes with 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM. The front selfie snapper is a 5MP unit, and the whole thing runs on Android Marshmallow. Caterpillar will be selling the phone "later this year" for $599, or 649€ in Europe.

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