Thursday in CE: The Nearly Invincible CAT S61 Is World's First $999 Android
Quick! Imagine what a $999 smartphone looks like. Is it sleek and polished? Are the bezels nearly invisible? How does it feel in your hand? Would you feel comfortable dropping it on concrete?
Stalwart of the construction industry CAT thinks that's exactly what you should be able to do.
Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is a hotspot for new releases, with companies like Samsung waiting past CES and IFA to release their flagship Galaxy S9. Caterpillar Inc. took this opportunity to release the CAT S61. It is one of the most rugged, and possibly least stylish, premium-priced Android phones on the market. Until now, only Apple has occupied the $1,000 tier with their iPhone X.
Ironically the CAT S61 has set up shop because, like the iPhone X, it is stuffed with features - albeit radically different features. The S61, the successor to the S60, is the epitome of rugged but also has a lot of the familiar suspects on the inside. A full HD screen is protected by a Gorilla Glass 5 glass, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor compliments the 4GB of ram and 16-megapixel rear camera. Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, LTE, 64GB of storage, and a 4,500 mAh battery are also standard.
But that's not why it costs nearly $1,000. The entire phone is coated in a super durable hard plastic, wrapped in an aluminum-reinforced frame that claims to work with gloves and wet fingers thanks to its MIL Spec 810G rating and IP68 dust and waterproof certification. A FLIR thermal camera measures temperatures from -20 Celsius to 400 Celsius. The built-in Sensirion air quality sensor can detect high levels of air pollutants as well as humidity and temperature levels. A laser-assisted measuring tool goes point-to-point up to 10 meters, saving the data within an image.
The phone is meant to last, even if it is niche.
Next Version of AirPod Sports Water-Resistance, Hands-Free Siri
Are you going to lose the AirPods on day one? https://t.co/Vgi02mKMqj
— The Verge (@verge) September 7, 2016
AirPods have received a lot of flak since their release. The small, totally wireless earbuds were the punchline to a lot of jokes that covered everything from being lost immediately to their actual design. Apple clearly has the last laugh as the AirPods have been touted as one of the best sounding and most reliable pair of truly wireless headphones on the market.
And now Apple wants to make them better. A new report from Bloomberg says that Apple is working on a new pair of earbuds that updates Siri and adds water-resistance. Although the rumors are lacking, it is reported that simply saying "Hey Siri" will summon the voice assistant, instead of tapping the physical device. Increased Bluetooth connectivity points to an upgrade on the W2 chip as well, which means all of Apple's products stand to become more powerful.
"Wearables were the second-largest contributor to revenue growth after iPhone, which is impressive," Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said during a conference call with analysts earlier this month, adding that sales jumped almost 70 percent last year.
The category may to continue to grow. Apple has said it is releasing an upgraded AirPods case this year that allows the headphones to be recharged wirelessly, like the iPhone X. The company is also working on an augmented-reality headset that would launch in 2020 at the earliest, Bloomberg News has reported.
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