Cat S61 Waterproof Smartphone with FLIR Thermal Sensor Review 

 August 14, 2019

By  Randy Angwin

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Last updated on September 17, 2022

The Bullit Group has been designing, marketing and selling only the best in consumer electronic devices since 2009. This company is also the brains behind the manufacturing and distribution of the popular Cat Phone - with our main focus today being on the Cat S61 model.

Sold under Caterpillar Inc, this device is more than your regular SmartPhone. Aside from regular calling capabilities, this all-in-one tool is known for its impressive features that include an air quality sensor and thermal camera.

Thanks to these specs, the device offers you an integrated solution to thermal imaging, detecting pollutants and measuring temperature. As a result, the integrated features basically allow you the convenience of only charging one device - as opposed to three.

Construction /Design

Aside from its advanced functionalities, the Cat S61 model is appreciated for its rugged design and solid construction. You’re guaranteed a long-lasting unit if you pick this model making it the perfect tool for a professional to use all day.

The following features significantly contribute to its impressive design. 

CAT PHONES S61 Rugged Waterproof Smartphone with integrated FLIR camera.

IP Rating

Given the nature of the environment you normally use this phone in, you want one that can withstand such rough conditions. The Cat S61 is housed in a casing that has an IP68 rating. This means the device is adequately protected against dust, water, debris and pressure.


As indicated earlier, this phone is ideal to use in wet conditions since it’s IP certified. But the manufacturer took it a step further by ensuring the device is fully waterproof. It can be submerged in water up to 3m deep for an hour and won’t suffer damage.

Drop Test

It’s not uncommon for these devices to be accidentally dropped during use. The manufacturer made sure the phone can also withstand considerable accidental contact. This model is drop-tested onto concrete from an impressive 1.8m and can consequently survive falls from such heights.

Military Standard

The phone was upgraded from the S60 model to adhere to military standards where durability, performance and strength are concerned. The rugged SmartPhone comes complete with laser assisted area and distance measurement of up to 8m.

CAT PHONES S61 Rugged Waterproof Smartphone with integrated FLIR camera.

Size and Weight

Weighing only 250g you can tell that it’s a super lightweight unit. The compact design and light weight allows for easy handling. Moving around with the device during your field work is hassle free because it’s small enough to slide into your pocket.

Phone Features

CAT PHONES S61 Rugged Waterproof Smartphone with integrated FLIR camera.

How does the Cat S61 fare performance-wise as a phone? It features all the functions you expect from a high performance SmartPhone as we’ll highlight below.

Air Quality Sensor

One of the model’s key features is the built-in air quality sensor. The sensor is designed to alert users regarding the high levels of indoor pollutants at any given time in their working environment. Pollutants detected by this device are usually picked up from the following sources:

  • Paints
  • Solvents
  • Carpets
  • Furniture
  • Cleaning products

The sensor will act by monitoring the pollutant levels and informing users when an unhealthy level is detected. Upon receiving these notifications, you can then take the necessary steps to eliminate these foreign objects such as opening a window to improve ventilation.

Aside from detecting pollutants in the atmosphere, the same sensor is also designed to provide humidity and current temperature readings. This way you’re always aware of the prevailing environmental conditions you’re working in.

Lepton 3 Thermal Sensor

The unit also comes with a 160 x 120 Lepton 3 sensor that’s designed to easily fit into most mobile devices. Thanks to this sensor, you can expect the unit to capture accurate and calibrated thermal images.

CAT PHONES S61 Rugged Waterproof Smartphone with integrated FLIR camera.

Battery Capacity

The phone is backed by a powerful 4500mAh battery which is way bigger and better than that of the previous model (Cat S60). It can last over a month while on stand-by before it requires another charge.


With regards to talk time, the unit allows you up to 35 hours on a single charge.


This phone features a super bright 5.2” display screen which makes it ideal for outdoor use. The 1920 x 1080 display resolution ensures that you can view images clearly. You’ll find the touch screen interface relatively easy to use. You can easily navigate the screen with wet fingers or gloves on.

For added durability, the screen is protected with the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 5. 

Visual Camera

The phone comes complete with a rear 16MP auto focus camera if you want a more focused view of a certain image or object. It also has an 8MP front camera and 4K video recording functionality. The dual LED flash ensures that you view the intended objects with clarity.


The phone features dual band Wi-Fi; 2.4GHz and 5GHz. You can accurately track and locate images or objects using the enhanced GPS functionality provided.

Phone Bands

This device is found on the GSM network. It’s designed to work with AT&T and T-mobile. Note however that it’s not compatible with Sprint, Verizon or US Cellular.

Internal storage

Recorded videos and captured images are stored in the 64GB internal storage space. You’ll appreciate how the storage space is expandable by simply adding a micro-SD card.


The phone is backed by a standard 12-month warranty which will cover any faults.

Is it sold unlocked?

Yes, the phone is sold unlocked but only if it’s the GSM version. But it’s important to note that the phone won’t work with CDMA networks.

Final Thoughts

This is a high quality product that won’t disappoint where performance and durability are concerned. Its tough and rugged construction will ensure you enjoy only the best in thermal imaging regardless of how challenging the environment is.

Sure, it’s not the cheapest model available, but for the technology and functionalities it comes with, CAT S61 definitely worth considering.

With its intuitive interface and a lightweight design, this is the tool you need to complete any thermal imaging job. And thanks to its versatility, you can still use it as a regular mobile phone when you’re off the field.

It definitely sounds like a power tool worth having, don’t you think?

About the author 

Randy Angwin

Randy Angwin holds a master of science degree from University of Florida. He is an expert in infrared and night vision technology. His knowledge helps us staying on top of the latest trends in the thermal industry. When not working, Randy likes to hunt and spend time with his two German shepherds.

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