- Mediocre display with bad viewing angles
- Lag when using processor intensive apps
- Battery cover and battery pops out when dropped
- Small internal storage
The makers of Caterpillar have crossed over from construction equipment to smartphones with their release of the CAT B15. Like most Caterpillar machines, the CAT B15 is an especially rugged device and comes with IP6 and IP7 certification. This means that the phone is waterproof up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, completely dust-proof and can survive drops of up to 1.8 meters onto concrete. Expert findings support these claims, but they also mention that while the device comes out unscathed when dropped, the battery cover and battery often popped out.
Due to its' ruggedness, the CAT B15 is much thicker than the average smartphone at 16mm. While the rubber bumpers and aluminum protectors help shield it from drops, they also add to the phone's width and height. Trusted Reviews calls the phone a "chunky unit," but also notes that it is not uncomfortable to use for the most part.
The rest of the phone is not nearly as impressive as its survivability. The 4-inch display offers a mediocre resolution of 800x480 pixels and is protected from scratches with a coating of Gorilla Glass. Most reviewers were unimpressed with the screen noting a lack of sharpness and poor viewing angles. It does, however, sport a new feature that many critics enjoyed called wet finger tracking. This allows the phone to still recognize touches and swipes even if liquids splash onto the screen.
Under the tough exterior of the B15 is a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 2,000 mAh battery. In terms of performance, most critics found that it worked well in day-to-day usage. T3 states, "…This unmodified, unskinned version of Android practically flies as you navigate…" Unfortunately, reviewers did notice some slow down and lag when using more processor intensive operations. Due to the lower specs and display resolution, experts found that battery life was quite good, lasting around 2 days of mixed use and a full work day when utilizing 3G.
Despite the lowered specs and display, reviewers were overall impressed. Cool Smart Phone says, "This is the most feature-rich 'tough phone' I've ever reviewed." Clove adds, "The CAT B15…lives up to the promise of a tough handset…It's definitely the best of the lower end rugged devices."