S40 CAT Smartphone Review

S40 CAT Smartphone Review

– About a month back I was invited to the launch of the S40 CAT Smartphone. Now the majority of CAT phones are primarily targeted at the building industry market, and so have be designed for the more rough and rugged environment that I am less than accustomed to with my city desk job.

That said though the more refined & slimmer S40 (and also the soon to be released S30) has a definite broader market appeal with CAT also focusing on the sailing, hiking & fitness market with the S40 being both drop proof, waterproof and impervious dust.

So for the last month I have taken the S40 on a test drive around the seaside to see how it really holds up.

S40 CAT Smartphone Review My Gym Blog
Playing with the S40 on Hove seafront


Okay so it won’t win any beauty contests but then this is not what the S40 is about. This is a no-nonsense heavy duty smartphone in the Android world that can take pretty much whatever life throws at it.

I like the design, it’s thinner than I was expecting it to be. The build quality is top notch and it feels sturdy in the hand. All the ports such a mini-USB, Dual-SIM tray, SD card & audio jack are all hidden behind waterproof flaps and the buttons  are all well fitted & tough (it’s nice to see actual real physical buttons on a device). It has a definite utilitarian design about it, everything has a purpose and is designed for that with no frills or fancy gimmicks to get in the way.

S40 CAT Smartphone Review My Gym Blog
Power & Volume buttons, SD & Sim trays hidden behind waterproof housing

The case of the phone is heavily textured to ensure a good grip as well, while the black and silver design adds some style to the overall look. This isn’t a phone that has just been hacked together, this is a phone that has been researched, focus grouped and designed with a strict purpose & target market.


S40 CAT Smartphone Review My Gym Blog
Functional materials and easy grip back. Camera & LED flash also shown

Features & Functions:

The S40 runs Android Lollipop (5.1) has a rather poor 1GB of RAM running a 1.1Ghz Snapdragon CPU which unfortunately doesn’t make for great performance.

It’s not all bad though, the S40 does include some great features such as a super bright 4.7 inch screen so that even on the brightest of days by the beach you can still easily see what you’re doing.

It has wet touch technology, so even when the screen is wet through sea or rain (more than likely rain) you can still navigate the menu with ease.

For the coming freezing winter months the phone’s screen has ‘Gloves On Technology’ which basically means you can still operate the touch screen menu while wearing gloves – perfect if your cycling or running and need to keep warm.

The screen is protected by a tough layer of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4 but only runs a resolution of 540 by 960 pixels which with doesn’t really cut it by today’s standards.

It’s IP68 certified meaning it is dust-proof, can survive a drop from approx. 1.8 metres (6ft) & is water resistant to 1 metre for 1 hour.

S40 CAT Smartphone Review My Gym Blog
The S40 with it’s ultra bright screen

Official CAT S40 Specs

  • System: Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Processor: 1.1 GHz / Quad Core A7 / Qualcomm MSM8909
  • Memory: Internal: 16 MB / RAM: 1 GB / Slot type: microSD / Max. slot capacity: 64 GB
  • Display: 4.7″ / IPS / Resolution: 960 x 540 pixels, 234 ppi
  • Scratch Resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Camera: 8 Megapixels Autofocus Main Camera with LED Flash / Front: 2 Megapixels Front Camera
  • Network: 4G: LTE / 3G: 850/900/2100 MHz / GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • nanoSIM
  • Wireless: Bluetooth: 4.1 / Wifi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n & Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • Connection: Jack 3.5 mm / micro USB
  • IP68 Water Resistant & Dust Proof, MIL-SPEC 810g Shock Proof
  • Battery: 3000 mAh
  • Weight: 185 grams
  • Dimensions: 144.9 x 74.1 x 12.5 mm
  • 3,000mAh Li-ion Battery (Non-removable)
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient Light Sensor


S40 CAT Smartphone Review My Gym Blog
Drop test and water test both successful on Hove beach

Software wise CAT has included a secondary app store in addition to the Google Play Store,  called the ‘App Toolbox – The Home of Rugged Apps’ which features hand-picked apps catering to the construction & building markets as well as hiking & fitness apps. It’s a nice touch and definitely doesn’t feel like bloatware but in reality I haven’t used it that much.

S40 CAT Smartphone Review My Gym Blog
CAT’s own App Store – App Toolbox


It also comes with a few very handy accessories one of which being the cycle cradle which I have found to be incredibly useful. It fits easily to my bike and allows me to use a navigation app or watch my fitness progress on Strava – even if it’s pouring down the phone still works, the screen is bright and easily visible.

S40 CAT Smartphone Review My Gym Blog
My Mango bike, CAT bike cradle, CAT S40 & Strava App & i’m ready to go.

The S40 is impressive phone despite it’s flaws. Android Lollipop runs smoothly on it and unless you’re running some intensive Apps or games then you wont notice any slow down or lag. For me it won’t replace my day to day phone but it is my go to handset for when I am cycling or running, which is often. It will also be my beach phone & come next year my festival handset.

It’s great to have a mobile that you don’t have to be precious about it and if your outdoorsy, either through work, fitness or social then this is the phone for you.

The S40 is available from CAT priced at £349.99 and is available now in over 60 countries.

S40 CAT Smartphone Review My Gym Blog

Editor's Rating

Under powered by today's standards it might be and the screen resolution is notably poorer than what you'll be use to. That said this is a great no-nonense outdoor phone you don't have to worry about or be precious with. Perfect for the fitness fanatic out there that loves to run, cycle and hike.
Overall 85%
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The Author



The Founder of MyGym, Adam is a keen runner having completed various half marathons, the Brighton Marathon and is currently training for the Berlin Marathon in aid of Macmillan.

1 Comment

  1. Maddie
    October 11, 2015 at 2:56 am — Reply

    I have never heard of this phone before, but it seems like a fantastic product. It definitely has excellent and up-to-date features that make it more than worth looking into. Thanks for the recommendation!

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