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CAT B15 review

5.4/10 AVG.
RATING



5.4/10
Informr score
The CAT B15 currently has an Informr score of 5.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 9 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Water-resistant, dust-proof, survives drops of up to 1.8 meters
  • Wet finger tracking display
  • Good battery life

What's bad

  • 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."


Operating system
Android
Processor
1 GHz
Screen Size
4"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


The Inquirer

For those looking for a sturdy, rugged phone, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Cat B15, as the handset excels at fighting off the elements.

- Carly Page, The Inquirer
Know Your Mobile

The CAT B15 is a perfect fit for someone with an active lifestyle or a job working on a construction site if durability is your one and only concern. The CAT B15 stands out from other durable phones because of its touch-based smartphone functionality, making it a good option for those in fieldwork....

- Katie Gilbaugh, Know Your Mobile
ITProPortal

Caterpillar clearly thinks there's a point in continuing to update its line of rugged hands, but I'm not so sure that plan makes sense. These days, mainstream handset makers do rugged quite well, and Caterpillar needs to offer more than they do in order to compete successfully. It is true that the C...

- Sandra Vogel, ITProPortal
Coolsmartphone

This is the most feature-rich “tough phone” I’ve ever reviewed. Sure, the specification isn’t-quite-as-high as your mates’ Galaxy S4 or HTC One but this has survived drops, survived a swim in the bath and it actually looks good too. This isn’t “just” a...

- Leigh Geary, Coolsmartphone
T3

The CAT B15 is a niche handset and, as such, is very easy to pin down for a verdict. It's unquestionably one of the best rugged handsets we've looked at and will stand up to the rigours of outdoor usage whatever the weather. The inclusion of Jelly Bean and the versatility of the Google Play store gi...

- Jeff Parsons, T3


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Screen Size
4"

The CAT B15's screen size is 4 inches with 480 x 800 pixels resolution.

Processor
1 GHz

There is a Dual core 1 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with VGA (640 x 480) resolution.

Storage
No

Internal memory is No. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2000 mAh battery.

CAT B15 Specs

Overview
Release date May 3, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
900/2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+
SIM card size
Mini-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Dual core 1 GHz
Internal Storage No
RAM 512 MB
ROM 4 GB
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.74 W/kg
Body: 0.93 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2000 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 26 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 12.5 x 7 x 1.5 cm (4.9 x 2.8 x 0.6 in)
Weight 170 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design Yes
IP Rating IP 67
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Pixel density 233 pixels
Size 4 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Wet finger tracking
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 2.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Data Tethering Compatibility No
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
VGA (640 x 480)
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
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Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Caterpillar B15

Available on 1 GB RAM
Dual-SIM model also available

Related Links Manual (PDF)
CAT B15 Reviews
Where to buy CAT B15
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