• CAT S50 Review

    By Jon , September 18, 2014 - Leave a comment

    Should the S50 be your new Toughphone?

    Cat_S50_B15Q (14)When you hear the word CAT, you first thought is probably a four legged fluffy friend, but the next thing you probably think of is big yellow diggers, construction equipment and all things related to the building trade.

    Whilst I do not blame you for thinking about the household pet, we are actually referring to the latter. The CAT brand is at home in construction but over the last couple of years CAT have branched out into the mobile space, producing phones that fit the needs of your builder, plumber or groundworker amongst others. They are essentially designed to be tough and reliable.

    These devices might fit the needs of many, but put one next to an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy and there is an obvious difference in looks.

    Their B15Q is the best attempt yet and is still a very good solution, but there is now something new. A more premium, more stylish, yet still rugged CAT phone: the CAT S50.

    The S50 has been designed from the ground up to be more visually appealing and more capable, yet retain the rugged nature that CAT equipment and phones have become synonymous for.

    On first glance, the S50 looks like a B15Q that has been run over by a road roller, perhaps a little harsh, but only said because it is significantly thinner and wider.

    Let’s take a look in a bit more depth at the S50 and see what it has to offer. Check out our video review below or continue reading for the full written review.


    Hardware Specifications

    The S50 is a rather feature rich device and even those who do not require a rugged phone should appreciate the specifications here.

    Some may comment CAT and similar phones are weaker than more established brands due to their choice of processor, but CAT have even addressed these concerns replacing MediaTek for Qualcomm.

    The hardware is not going to pip the flagship smartphones, but the S50 really is not far off. Fancy dropping a Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8 onto concrete from a height of 1.8 meters?!

    Headline specifications are as follows on the S50:

    • Android 4.4 operating system
    • Quad core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor
    • 4.7” touchscreen with toughened Gorilla Glass
    • 2,630 mAh battery with Qi wireless charging
    • MicroSD memory card slot (support for 64GB cards)
    • 8GB internal memory
    • 12.6mm thick / 140 grams
    • Mil Spec 810G / IP67 rated
    • WiFi / Bluetooth 4.0 / GPS / FM radio
    • 4G LTE

    The S50 conforms to the highest rating of dust resistance and can be immersed in water of 1 meter in depth for up to 30 minutes. It must be fresh water and all port covers must be closed. However, should it be dropped in the mud, in sand, in a pond, in a bucket or even down a loo, then the S50 will live to tell the tale.

    The Mil Spec 810G rating means the device is designed and tested to survive falls onto concrete from a height of 1.8 meters. So whether you are emergency service personnel, in a trade, moutain rescue or just a user who wants a tougher phone, the S50 is probably as good as it gets.

    Another feature that is often overlooked is the extreme temperatures you can use this phone in. If you are in the mountains one minute or the desert the next, the S50 has an operation temperature range that surpasses most others: 13°F (-25°C) to 131°F (55 °C)

    Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Active whilst very different, is the best example of how I could compare the S50 to a more consumer-focused phone than the ‘toughphone’ category many would sit the S50 in.

    Cat_S50_B15Q (5)

    Design/Build

    You do not need to be a smartphone expert to see that the S50 is carrying a little extra bulk around the edges. This weight does serve a very important purpose.

    Surrounding the 4.7” touchscreen that dominates the front of the device, the rugged protection will ensure that the handset survives when dropped from a height of 1.8m. It is a mixture of tough plastics, silver in colour to look like metal, and thick rubber most noticeable in the 4 corners.

    Whilst not the most attractive, this combination is also not the most unsightly unlike some other very bulky toughphones. It is a very solid feeling handset that also manages to sit quite comfortably in the hand. It does not have quite such soft edges as some, but they are chamfered for grip.

    Above the display is the earpiece, logos, various sensors and front facing camera.

    On the upper right side of the device is a cover, that when opened reveals the microSD memory card slot and the micro SIM card slot. There are icons on the covers to symbolise this.

    Further down the edge are 3 other buttons: a volume up key, a torch button (press and hold to switch the rear LED flash on or off) and the volume down key.

    On the base there are no ports or controls, just 2 screws which also appear on other sides of the device and give the S50 that tough and rugged look.

    The left side is home to the power key which is centrally located, with the microUSB port being hidden under a cover on the upper left side.

    On the top, a 3.5mm headphone jack sits to the left side also under a cover.

    Flip the phone over and the centre of the back cover is dominated by a shiny CAT logo with the camera, flash and microphone sat above this.

    Below the logo is a loudspeaker.

    The back of the handset has a rubbery feeling texture with neatly designed ridges to assist with grip.

    The cover is not removable. Previous Cat devices have removable batteries, however everything is sealed internally in the S50. This assists with keeping the device thin and ensuring the IP rating is maintained.

    Another point to note is that for many a power button on the right side of the device will feel more natural than the one on the left, as it is on the S50. The good news though is that the torch button can be used to power on the screen.

    Cat_S50_B15Q (3)

    Display

    A criticism of tough phones has always been the screen resolution.

    The lower resolution ensures that battery performance is good, but does not necessarily help when you want to view images or really appreciate digital content.

    Thankfully the S50 does away with the lower screen resolution and now has a 4.7” 720 x 1280 resolution display. This is the same resolution found on the powerful Z1 Compact from Sony.

    It is not full HD, but it is a marked improvement and a great middle ground in offering improved visual experience without compromising on battery life.

    I have to say I was a little disappointed with the screen. Whilst better than the B15Q it certainly does not have the same punch of the Z1 Compact’s screen. It lacks a hit of colour and vibrancy I would have expected from a screen of this type.

    That said for reading and replying to emails, text messages, social network comments and more this was perfectly adequate. Where the weakness is felt most is with media such as images and video.

    The touchscreen is used for most interaction with the device, there are few physical buttons. Touch or swipe on screen to access different content. Press and hold or pinch for different options.

    All phones at some time or another come into contact with things that can leave unwanted marks on our device screen, whether it is keys or coins in our pockets and bags or something worse. To this end the S50 has Corning Gorilla Glass to protect the screen, which is engineered to be more resistant to scratches and impact. The result should be fewer scratches and marks on the S50 display over the time of ownership in comparison to similar devices.

    I have spoken about the IP rating, but an added bonus is how the S50 deals with wet fingers on the display. It has ‘wet finger tracking’ which handles the response of moisture on the screen better than many counterparts. A natural tendency is to dry our hands before using a phone, but if you are working in the rain or by the water, it could be useful.

    Cat_S50_B15Q (1)

    Software

    There is a term often used in conjunction with software on Android smartphones, this term is ‘Stock Android’.

    This refers to Android as Google intended it to be without any additional tweaks or customisation from the manufacturer of the Android phone.

    Some customisation can add real value to you as the user whilst other additions and changes may affect the experience and leave unwanted content on the phone.

    CAT have left the S50 in virtually a stock condition with only a few alterations.

    The benefit of this is you get the Android experience almost as Google experienced it. Performance is fairly snappy when you consider there is a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM built in.

    The lack of additional software out of the box also means that you get around 5GB of the 8GB internal memory free to use.

    One small addition is a keyboard that goes by the name of ‘Swype’. You may have heard of it, it is one of the most popular aftermarket additions that usually costs extra money, but is included free on the S50. As the name implies, you can ‘swype’ your finger to different letters to input a word. This is a bit of a bonus.

    As an Android device you are granted full access to the Google Play Store, meaning you can add any apps you then choose from the marketplace, to the device and personalise the handset the way you want.

    Download your favourite games, social media apps or productivity tools, there are all there for you.

    There is an FM radio and of course Google services which include:

    • Chrome browser
    • Drive
    • Search
    • Google+
    • Hangouts
    • Keep
    • Maps
    • Books
    • Games
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Newsstand
    • YouTube

    Cat have also added three shortcuts to the app drawer which are web links to CAT websites for rental and used equipment, cat parts, cat.com and catphones support

    If you are into your sharks (yes the fish), CAT have also partnered with Ocearch to bring you their global shark tracker app. This is one of the more interesting additions I have seen on a smartphone, with information on sharks and videos.

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    Connectivity

    I feel that I and many others look at tough phones negatively but CAT for one have done a good job of making sure their devices are up to speed with market trends. The S50 is no exception here.

    Out of the box, the device has quad band GSM, tri band 3G support along with support for 6 different 4G frequencies (bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20).

    The S50 takes a single micro SIM card which you probably already have or can easily obtain from your network provider.

    Connect a set of 3.5mm headphones and use the FM radio whilst navigation from point A to B with the included GPS support.

    CAT has included GPS, aGPS and GLONASS, so wherever you are a satellite signal should be possible. Also because Android comes with Google Maps included, street level navigation on a global scale is possible (just make sure you have a good data connection).

    We all use WiFi to connect to the internet at some point, and the S50 has WiFi built in, but an added bonus now is the support for the 5 GHz wireless band which will comes as a big bonus to the more technical users.

    You can even use the S50 as a wireless hotspot. Providing you have a data connection through the network provider, share this with other handsets and act like a wireless router you would have in your home or office for others to connect to.

    Near Field Communication (NFC) is included so simple sharing of files and pairing with other NFC enabled devices is possible. Just touch two NFC enabled phones together to share files. If you have got NFC enabled accessories such a wireless speaker, touch the S50 against this to activating the reading and pairing process.

    The S50 also has USB On The Go (OTG) support. This means that with the appropriate cable you can connect a memory stick up to the S50 and share files between the phone and the memory stick. This is particularly useful when copying large files such as photos or presentations. You might refer to it as an old fashioned way of doing it with wires, but it is a reliable addition.

    Bluetooth is also included. Version 4 is the latest in releases and this will ensure a smooth and more reliable connection to modern peripherals as well as drawing less power.

    Audio

    Waves Audio is a technology that has been built into this CAT phone.

    The comprehensive audio processing software looks to provide you and I as the listener with the best audio experience possible, depending on the source of the sounds we are listening too.

    Offering deeper bass, crisper highs and generally better clarity, the audio experience should surpass competing devices, whilst also winning points for the fact that it actually allows you as the user to customise (from the set profiles) to your particular taste.

    There was a clear difference when Waves was switched on. Sounds were most certainly deeper, richer and generally more pleasant to listen to and whilst not scientifically tested, louder too.

    The decibel meter produced some reasonable readings in the high to low 90’s which is extremely useful when this device is likely to be used in some noisy environments.

    Whilst the single rear speaker is not too easy to muffle when in the hand, lay it flat on a desktop and all sounds is lost as there is no room for it to escape. IN short, if listening to any audio, use headphones or hold the device in your hand.

    Cat_S50_B15Q (6)

    Camera

    The main camera on the S50 sits on the rear of the phone and is rated at 8 megapixels.

    It has autofocus and an LED flash as well as being capable of 1080p HD video recording. It also has a silver bezel around it shaped like a nut from a nut and bolt. It is a nice little touch.

    When it comes to the camera it is not all about megapixels and the S50 does just enough to scrape through with passable results.

    There is also a VGA front facing camera on the S50.

    Whilst I suspect many users of this handset will not be ‘selfie’ crazy, it would have been nice to have seen at 2 megapixel camera on the front bearing in mind the other specs on the phone. It is quite possible though to still use for video calls and the odd recording when out and about.

    The camera application is the default camera app from Google and whilst functional it is not the most inspiring. Most importantly it works but you do not get lots of value added features.

    The layout is not the most intuitive in my mind, but that is just my opinion.

    Third party camera apps are available if you feel the same.

    Whilst on first glance there is no dedicated camera shutter button, the torch and volume keys do act as a camera shutter buttons.

    Image and video results were nothing more than ok given the right lighting conditions. They are just passable and on many occasions I feel you will be disappointed with the results. If anything this was the weakest part of the device.

    General image quality, despite being set to the highest resolution was poor. Whites were blown out and over exposed with yellows and other light colours oversaturated. Using HDR did not give any better results to speak of really.

    Zoom into an image and the quality is quite quickly lost.

    The odd shot came out quite nicely but on the whole the results were less than impressive.

    This experience with images was the same with recorded video. Just generally a bit disappointing.  The microphone also records audio very quietly.

    A small bonus is that you can zoom in with the camera by pinching and zooming on screen when taking a still or video. You can not use the volume controls.

    Sample video and images

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    Battery

    With a 2,630mAh battery built into the S50, whether you need to ring clients or wholesalers, navigate from job to job, send images of sites to colleagues or kill some time on your lunch break playing games that the S5 will last.

    Your usage will be different to mine, but the vast majority can be confident that from the moment you leave the house to the time you return the S50 will still be powered and ready to go. Lighter users may even get 2 days out of it.

    Whilst the display is 720p HD and draws more power than lower resolution counterparts, it is not at such a resolution that the battery becomes sacrificed.

    Should you find yourself short of power for whatever reason the S50 has Qi (Chee) wireless charging built in. A feature often found only on high end phones. You can sit your S50 on a wireless charging plate and not need to connect any wires to the handset itself.

    There is of course the traditional microUSB connection on the left side of the device. Just open up the cover and pop the charging cable in.

    Any concerns about needing the battery to be removable should be overlooked. Batteries generally last longer than the time you have the device nowadays and with some careful management, even after 24 months of ownership you will still be powering through a working day.

    Size & Weight

    Measuring 144.5 x 77 x 12.6 mm the S50 is not small, but it is not massive either.

    It does not feel or look as slick as an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy but the robust nature of the handset inevitably means the additional size and bulk. I felt quite comfortable with it, considering my personal preference is for smaller sized devices and having spoken and demonstrated this handset to a few iPhone users who work in the trades whilst many were not immediately sold saw the potential and would consider the device next time they were in the market for a new phone.

    Cat_S50_B15Q (15)

    Accessories

    You will not see the biggest range of accessories with the S50, but essential ones are set to be made available from CAT.

    There will be no cases (you do not really need one), but there is a car charger, belt clip, stereo headset and wireless charging mat to take advantage of the Qi wireless charging.

    Some third parties may get in on the act and produce some, but I think you could do a lot worse than investing in a Qi enabled phone holder for your vehicle, that way when travelling from job to job you can ensure it is always topped up.

    The availability of various wireless charging plates and even in vehicle mounts mean it is extremely simple to keep your device charged. A Qi wireless vehicle mount will give your phone a little top up charge as you drive between jobs.

    Price

    At the time of writing (prior to launch) the final RRP is still to be confirmed but is likely to be around the £325-£350 price point inclusive of VAT.

    I think this price is justifiable and in line with comparable devices for those who need a tough phone that does not look like it has been designed to be tough and nothing else. You will most certainly not be paying over the odds.

    Should it fall below the £300 price point it will be an excellent value handset that many more should consider purchasing if you are aware of the pros and cons of this phone.

    Conclusion

    The S50 is a logical addition to the CAT phone range. Whilst there is no stereotype for this device it is one I can see in the hands of independent traders jumping from job to job, a site foreman or the individual managing an emergency situation.

    The specification has taken a much needed boost to make it more premium and the price tag reflects this.

    The IP67 and Mil Spec 810G are obvious advantages and reasons why the thickness, bulk and price of this handset are increased whilst in some respects reducing the desire to certain individuals.

    Comparing it to a flagship from HTC, LG, Sony and Samsung is not exactly fair, it will lose out on spec and desirability. That said it has a specification that is much closer to these than many other tough phones.

    Tough phones are a bit of a niche. There is an obvious need for them in both a business and consumer world, but they are often the unspoken or looked down on as being inferior. The S50 has the specification and visual appeal to be successful for a large number of smartphone users, but the brand and association of trades will impact on the success I feel. Rebadge the S50 with one of the flagship brands names and add active to the name and this would get a lot more publicity.

    If you are smart enough to look beyond the fact the S50 will not be in every phone store window and there will not be the same glitzy marketing or the apparent value added software additions that the likes of Samsung and LG offer; then you will be making a very sensible purchase and one that comes at a lower price point had it been made by another firm.

    You can buy your CAT S50 here.

    Cat_S50_B15Q (14)

    Jon

    Constantly challenging opinions and looking for new opportunities, Jon develops the product ranges and business activities and very much strives to maintaining growth and taking Clove in to the future. Never knowing when to stop, he spends a lot of time coming up with ideas. When he does relax, however, he can be found out in the forest walking his Dog, down the pub or enjoying food at local restaurants.

    Comments

  • Hi I was wondering if you ship phones to the U.S i was really interested in the cat s50

    • Hello Victor, yes we ship to the US daily. You can select USA as the delivery option on our website checkout.
      Most of our American customers choose the DHL option for delivery. This is tracked and insured and reaches most US destinations inside 2 business days.

  • Hi,

    how to connect micro sd card(32GB) to the device? I can not adjust automatic uploading of images and videos from device to card…

    Thank”s

    • Hi Goran, There is a microSD memory card slot that you can put the card in. Where are you trying to automatically upload and to where? Or are you referring to saving photos and videos onto the memory card rather than the internal phone storage?

  • Hi Jon,

    I put card in the slot. but I can not image, video and music to switch to the micro sd card. I install from playstore apps “MoveToSdCard” . And when I get in the application reads as follows: “no need to move. Sdcard share the same disk with os”.
    Whether this means that the device will use internal memory and when it is full automatic cross to the micro sd?
    In the settings I have not seen that I select a micro sd card as an option to save images, videos and music. Not guess that the device factory with an error…

  • I just heard that I need root s50, or we will not be able to receive microsd card.
    How to root s50?

    • Hello Goran, where did you hear this?
      I have tried several SD cards with our test S50 and all work correctly with the standard software on the phone.
      Some large cards may need to be formatted inside the phone before they work correctly – this can be done from the storage options in the settings menu

  • Hi Josh,

    From Play Store i download application “ES File Explorer File Manager” and when I looked over the application tried to do copy – paste images (from the internal device memory to micro sd card mnemory) then it emerged that the application should be made to root the device.

    Because when I go into a storage do not have an option for the card or for something else.I formatted micro sd previously on my PC.
    But when I go to the app clean master in storage device shows me 34.63 GB – internal and memory together.
    Does this mean that then everything ok?
    Whether when filling the entire internal memory device it afterwards automatically switches to use a memory card?

    Thank you for your help and answers

    • Hello again Goran. The File Explorer app will probably need root privileges to copy/move/paste inside the file system. This is due to the Android security settings and user/app permissions. This would be the same on almost all Android phones.

      Formatting in the PC first may cause problems with the file system on the card and the drivers on the S50.
      When you go to Settings > Storage (from the main Android menus, not 3rd party apps), you should see an option for the base storage and memory card separately. You should then be able to format the card from this menu whilst it is in the phone.

      Do you get a notification at the top of the screen when inserting / removing the SD card with the phone turned on?
      When using camera application or other apps, you should be able to look in app settings to determine if data is saved to internal or card storage.

  • Yes i get a notification when inserting – removing the sd card.
    I did and format the card inside the device, like you said. it does not work on. I used the card of 1GB, 4GB and 16GB and can not be linked to switching pictures, videos, music, applications to micro sd.
    Anything to put on the device, it only selects the internal memory.I do not understand what can be…

    I’m sorry to bother you and thank the previous help! Greeting

    • Thank you for all the clarification Goran.
      From all of these details it sounds like the phone may be at fault. It is surprising that you cannot use it correctly after receiving notification and formatting, however I cannot deny what you have said.
      I assume you have purchased from Clove (your email address for these comments does not match any of our orders). You may wish to contact our returns team on returns@clove.co.uk to explain the situation and that you have also spoken to me on the blog

  • It’s OK. I took dropbox from playstore (50GB) and use google account photos (15GB) and placing the all there. All of the applications which I need, satisfy internal memory of divice.
    A phone bought in Germany, I ordered it from there. On this site I came across, so I put a couple of questions.

    I greet and thank!

    • OK Goran, I’m glad to hear you have found a way to work around the issue.
      I would ask a question of the shop in Germany. The Cat S50 they sell may have different firmware to the UK version we sell..

  • I just had the same issue with my new S50 phone, nothing can be moved to the microSD card, no options available in the settings to store photos/videos on the SD-card. If I place a picture on the microSD-card with my computer, I can view it with the phone, but I can’t get storage access by any means to the microSD card. Everything keeps being added to the internal storage which fills up rapidly.
    Tried calling CAT phone support in US, UK, France, Germany, no one aswers the phone. Sent a mail through the CAT mobile phone site… no reply. Customer support sucks. How can I solve this issue???
    Thank you in advance

    • Hello Yves, I’m sorry to hear you have also experienced this issue. We haven’t had a response from Cat about why this happens, although we suspect it could be a firmware issue.
      Was the S50 purchased from Clove? If so please send your details through to returns@clove.co.uk and someone on the returns team here will be in touch with you in the next couple of days to help you. You may need to return the phone to us, although we will ensure any replacement is tested thoroughly.
      If the S50 was not purchased from Clove then we recommend you contact your seller as soon as possible if you are having problems getting through to Cat support

  • Hello. Happy new year.
    My Cat. S50 Turns off when it is not in use. Even if it is in the charger. and the phone is completely dead. Not good when you have to use it as an alarm clock.
    There is plenty of power at more than 76%
    It takes 12 sek to turn it back on. When you press the on button.
    Usually take that 3sec to turn on. If yourself sw off.
    When the charger is on and you press the power button, no Badari symbol appears.
    The phone can last switched on from 10 minutes to 1.5 days before it goes out. DIES.
    PLS Help
    Frank Hansson

    • Hello Frank, I’m not aware of any setting that would cause the S50 to simply turn off by itself when not being used.
      As this appears to be an intermittent issue – something that happens seemingly without reason, then my first advice would be to perform a full reset from Settings > Backup and reset.
      If there was an issue during initial installation this may help. AFter this try running the phone with only a few apps for a day or so – it may be that one or more of the apps you use on a regular basis could be causing conflicts.
      SHould the shut downs persist then I can only recommend you contact your retailer.
      If you purchased the S50 from Clove then you can email returns@clove.co.uk for further support

      • Thanks for your advice. I have now reset the phone. And no apps Installed. Trying to use the phone as a phone in a few days. I’ll be back. O)
        Frank.

  • i have the same issue as mentioned by Goran and Yves,
    I ordered this S50 from Clove tech. UK
    i have got the phone in december ist week as I was working abroad and put an online order from there only…and recently a couple of day back i opened the courier that my parents at home received a month ago.
    everything worked n looked fine and was way much happy to see n use the phone, until i started to click pictures and music and videos and observed that all of the media is saving inside the internal memory that is filling up way fast.
    I coudlnt find any option in the setting to move the media from Internal storage to sd card.
    I can clearly see that phone has detected the card and i have tried loading the media by connecting the device with the laptop and loaded music in the sd card and it works but from internally from the phone the media from whatsapp, facebook and from any app it stores inside the internal memory only. what bug is it. ???
    Android version 4.4.2
    Baseband Version LTE_S0201121.0_S50_0.017.00
    Kernel Version 3.4.0-gd73c047-dirty
    build number LTE_S0201121.0_S50_0.017.00

    I really want to keep this fone as I love it pls tell me the solution so I can fix it here without having to return it to you guys(clove)

    thanks, Rgds, Singh

  • To add,
    I put this order through Clove.Uk and my order reference # TW14112225886CPI can load Sd memory card with music videos by connecting it with the laptop/computer and can access it in the phone. but I cannot find any option or setting inside any app or inside phone;s setting to set or make changes with the storage of data.
    it automatically stores all the data media and third party app in the phone storage and phone storage is way less for my work around.
    Pls help in order to sort out this trouble.
    I tried contacting CAT support but no one is replying from there on emails and phone calls.!!

    Very sad and disappointed 🙁

    • Hello Singh, thanks for the updates with your S50. I recommend having a read of all the comments here and checking the settings for the individual applications you are using.

      For instance Whatsapp will store messages to the phone storage by default. I am not sure if you can make Whatsapp save actual messages to the SD card – you would have to check the version of the app installed on your S50. I don’t think the newest versions of Whatsapp will store to SD card for security reasons, however you should be able to store a secure archive to the SD card to restore your messages should you need to change phone or wipe it.

      This issue is complex as some apps will allow data to store SD card, some will not and others will only allow some data.

      If you can manually put files on the SD card and have an application read them (for instance if music files can be read by the default Android music player), then there is nothing inherently wrong with the system. If a simple test such as this fails then there may be a bug that needs the phone seeing to. As you have purchased the S50 from Clove, we can of course help you in more depth if you contact returns@clove.co.uk with details

  • Which 3G bands will work on s50?850.900.1900? So s50 has issue of microsd card ?and it has the issue of update the software like b15?I want to buy a s50.thank you for the infs!

    • Hello David, the 3G bands for the S50 Clove sells are 850/900/2100 to cover the UK and Europe.
      It appears some models have had an SD card issue, although his appears due to the firmware which can be updated. Over the Air updates an be provided by Cat. You may also be able to contact them for files to complete manual updates

      • Thanks josh.I ordered one on amazon USA.on the web of caterpillar can see two parts of 3G bands.euro and america.I think s50 should be works world wild 3G network.

    • Every model has an SD-card issue and CAT support doesn’t help. The SD-card is unusable because of a problem with Android which doesn’t allow apps to store on it. I contacted CAT support who replied that you can use the SD-card through your computer to put stuff on it. I asked why Samsung with the same version of Android had the possibility to store pictures and videos directly to the SD-card and they replied Samsung had changed the Android system. So basically they don’t help you and tell you to live with it. Some guy called Richard from CAT support mailed to me telling me that there were apps available for the CAT phone that can store pictures directly to the SD-card. I asked which ones and he replied that I had to look for them. Imagine the nerve. I’m sending this piece of junk back.

      • Yves sorry about the SD card issue of your phone.where you brought it?which version was it?because I just ordered one from amazon USA.so I wanna be sure about that.josh said:i have tried several SD cards with our test S50 and all work correctly with the standard software on the phone.so josh did you try another s50 with some SD cards ?it works good too?or Yves just got a lemond ?!

      • Hello Yves, I hear what you are saying but I think you may have some issues confused here.

        Android hasn’t allowed applications to be installed on the SD card since version 2.2 I believe. This is not a bug, this is basic Android functionality which was included for security reasons. Samsung also do not allow applications to be installed on the SD card in any of the modern versions of TouchWiz (their Android version). I think the Cat representative you spoke to may also have confused matters.

        You should still be able to store all media (pictures, videos, music) onto the SD card however. You could for instance even store the code for an application on the SD card (an APK file), however you cannot install it here.

        If the S50 is not storing files on the SD card, then it has to be a problem either with the card, or the S50 hardware or software. I have an S50 on my desk right now that can store pictures taken from the camera application directly to the SD card. By default it stores to the phone, however there is a setting in the camera application to store to the SD card. The same is true of downloads from the Internet.

        There is no setting in the Android OS to default storage to the SD card, it is the individual settings of each application that must be configured if available. You should also be able to use a file manager – I find ASTRO to be a suitable free option. Be aware that not all files in the system can be copied or moved, depending on their type and location; the Android OS may not provide the user with the necessary permissions unless the phone is rooted. Files that you have added to the phone or downloaded (aside from application data) should be able to be moved freely.

        If you still cannot get personal media stored on the SD card and read then there may well be a fault with the phone as I can definitely, 100% say I have an S50 here that does this.

        • very good infs josh! and i think the same that you said.i am a “nuts” of cellphone,i have galaxy note 4 blackberry passport iphone 6 plus galaxy s5 lg g3 cat b15 etc….none of them has issue of sd card.the option of sd card is storge datas of apps or pictures videos.but not every apps allows you remove to sd card.so that means how you set them up.if you put a sd card inside the phone the first time you turn it on,maybe the phone sets the sd card as primary storge,if not you should change it youself.
          so if Yves can’t do this on theres ways,i would say his s50 is a lemon,change it with your seller,and then see your new s50 can read sd card or not.maybe this is the best way to find out.

  • The camera is terrible…it seam like full of pixels before you click for a photo and the problem is worst when is less daylight!!!
    do you have the same problem or my device is not working propertly??

    • Hi Sotiris, if you look through the review above, you will find a section entitled ‘Sample video and images’.
      There is a gallery of pictures that my colleague Jon took on the S50 when writing this review. As you should see the phone is more than capable of taking decent quality images with both front and back cameras. The only time you should experience ‘pixels’ is if you use the digital zoom all the way.
      If you hold the phone steady in good light then a correctly working S50 will take clear, focussed pictures. Do some more testing and check your camera lens is not dirty, although it may be that you have a faulty camera.
      If the phone was purchased from Clove then you can also contact returns@clove.co.uk with details for support

  • Hi…im facing the same problem as frank…my phone turns off by itself and i tried the reset and backup and i havent been using any apps and the problem is still the same.can u plz help

    • Hello Diana, if the phone is constantly rebooting, even following a complete reset then I would suggest contacting your retailer / provider.
      If you ordered through Clove then you can contact us at returns@clove.co.uk

  • Hi Josh Bethell

    Regarding the turning off issue @Frank Hansson and @Diana: I’m from South Africa and bought the S50 from you guys at Clove. I have had issues of the phone switching off while its in my pocket or ‘covered’ …like with a duvet cover or something…not sure if the screen is switching off or the phone itself…then its a struggle to get it back on. Either holding the power button for much longer…like 10-15 seconds usually switches the phone back on, or plugging it into the charger gets it back on sooner.
    There is nothing wrong with the battery life…because when it comes back on the level is still the same and overall the battery life is decent.

    I have scouted the net and come to a conclusion that it might be the proximity or ambient light sensor…that detects a ‘phone in pocket’ or something but dont see any option on the phone for these, so now i downloaded proximityscreenoff lite from the playstore and will do more tests…

    I like the phone and if CAT/Android will address this and the SD Card issue via a firmware update, that would be great…by the way Josh is there any updates yet? Or can Android Lollipop 5 be installed on this phone? Let us know!

    Regards
    Harold

    • Hello Harold, thanks for bringing this up.
      From your explanation this does sound similar to proximity sensor issues I have seen on other phones. This is interesting though as generally this should only ‘blacken’ the screen during phone calls. By no means should you have the phone completely switching off or struggling to wake if only having been covered for a short time. I’m interested to know how your testing turns out.
      The SD card issues may well improve with Android 5 as more reading seems to show this could be partially related to Google changing memory management in 4.4, although SD cards should still be usable in the ways most want them to. It is up to Cat if and when an official update to Lollipop is released

      • Thanks for the reply Josh, please ignore my email I sent to Clove a moment ago (21/01/2014)…will respond here….

        UPDATE 21/01/2014
        I was using that app proximityscreenoff lite and it seems to have fixed the issue for a while but also had one freeze/reboot and another ‘off’ phone during that time, so i disabled the service for now…but note i was’nt using that app in anycase before; the phone was still doing its ‘off’ thing.

        For now the phone has’nt switched off again for a while, its been on for 63 hours (with charging it a bit now and then)…i’m suspecting that some app(s) might be the culprit and causing conflict with android 4.42 ? what feedback are you getting from other users about issues on this phone? It would be a good idea if we could access/change sensor settings in the Android OS without downloading apps…

        Let me keep the phone on and see how much uptime i will get before it goes off or freezes

        Regards
        Harold

        • OK Harold, thank you for the updates. A few people have mentioned the SD card issue, which after testing seems to come down to (a) the settings of individual applications and (b) some apps may not have been correctly updated to work with Android 4.4 and so behave differently on the S50 (and other KitKat phones) to earlier phones customers may have used.
          I don’t think the Android OS would ever let you have direct access to the sensors, that’s a developer issue, it will probably always be down to 3rd party apps. Some manufacturers like Sony have built in diagnostic applications to test these things.
          Overall response to the S50 has been very positive. Aside from the SD issue catching some people out (which again is due to Android KitKat and not the S50 itself), a small number of people have reported shutting down/reboots like you, so if this continues we would be able to receive the handset back from you.

  • Thanks for the Info..Yeah ‘move/save app to SD card’ for all/most apps is needed big time 🙁

  • Thanks for all this info Josh.. phone stayed on for about 80 hours (its doing a bit better, healing itself :)… when i woke up from a nap tho, i found it rebooted itself… (but wasnt off) seems like it was updating apps over my wifi while asleep. Let me keep the phone for now… hopefully future firmware and software updates will make it more stable…. will keep you updated…

    Thanks Again!

  • Hi Josh I see an updated firmware has been released 23/01 will try it out and tell you what happens in the next few days.

  • Hi greetings!
    Unfortunatly my Update failed. Ther System wants to keep rebooting and rebooting. During restart the update stops at ca. 20%. Then the Phone ist normaly starting, but the Message to restart again pops up after a few seconds. So i didnt find anything on the net so far. I erased the cash off the updating app to stop the annoying mesage. I hope its just a general bug. Maybe you know a solution?

    • Sorry we can not say what is causing this. A possible issue with the update file on this one. Hopefully it will be fixed in time.

    • Hello Magnus, having done further research with the Cat S50, the SD card issue has been documented as a result of Google’s changes to Android in 4.4 KitKat.

      From Android 4.4, apps may only save directly to the SD card if they ‘own’ the folder they are aiming at. They also cannot ‘move’ files from system folders (such as the ‘Pictures’ folder) to the SD that they do not own. If they have been coded correctly then they may ‘copy’ from system folders to their own folders on the SD card. The terminology used is important here and refers to file permissions on a UNIX type system.

      This article from Android Central explains the issue far more succinctly than I can: http://www.androidcentral.com/kitkat-sdcard-changes

      You are unlikely to find any Google services, such as the Google camera on the S50 that will store directly to SD card (it is not the ‘Google Way’), however a 3rd party camera application, if properly coded and updated, could do this.

      The reason why some bigger name manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung, HTC etc. still seem to have this functionality in their KitKat phones is that they have heavily modified the base Android system code and their applications to work how they want them to. Lower tier manufacturers such as Cat (and many others), tend to use Android ‘as is’ from Google with very few modifications. Cat could address this in updates, although it would likely take some time.

      Currently, Cat suggest moving files from the system memory to SD card when connected to a PC. You will need to create folders in the ‘root’ (highest folder) of the SD card and ensure they have full read/write permissions for all. 3rd party applications should then be able to access them (so music players for instance), however probably still not write new data there

  • Hi Josh, back again! Well I managed to update to the latest firmware and so far at the time of typing this message I have 98 hours of uptime (no freezes or reboots so far)

    To JPN: try again with a solid wifi/mobile internet connection and keep the phone on the charger while updating just incase. After the firmware/update has downloaded the phone should reboot on its own and install new files, (if it display the update screen again don’t click it…just wait till it reboots and don’t switch off or interrupt the update!)…

    So far…no more switching off, freezing or reboots (holds thumbs). Now lets see if CAT can help out with the SD Card issue as time goes on 🙂

    • I’m glad to hear the update has improved stability for you Harold.
      It’s also good to see Cat are supporting their phones to some degree, some other lesser known manufacturers never provide updates beyond Google’s releases.

    • Hi Harold:
      unfortunatly i doesn´t work this way. I am getting the same false messages and reboots. Had to erease the cash again. So far it works fine. I guess I have to wait for something to change

  • Hello, I just read every comment about S50, and I must said that I unfortunatly have the same problem. I bought my S50 in Croatia. It also turn off with no reason, and I also have a problem with SD card.
    My S50 was in retailer and thay put a new softver, and now I will see if this turn off problem is solved, but I dont no how I can solve a problem with SD card.
    What can I do?
    Thanks.

    • Hello Tanja, I’m pleased to hear that the software update solved the power / turning off problem.

      The SD card is a more detailed issue, and one that I have tried to explain above – my response to Magnus is probably the most detailed explanation.
      The SD card functionality was changed by Google for Android 4.4. 3rd party applications must now follow a very strict set of rules to be able to access an SD card. For instance the basic installed camera application (Google Camera), no longer features the ability to write directly to the SD card (this is how Google have coded the basic Android system and basic camera, it is not due to Cat). However there should be some apps available on the Play Store that will allow this functionality.

      To address certain security concerns the Android KitKat update did fundamentally change SD card access, this has caused many apps to no longer work how they once did. Google have however provided instruction for developers to update their apps so that they will work on KitKat and future Android versions. If an app you use cannot access the SD card properly on stock Android 4.4 but can on another Android phone (even a modified 4.4 like Samsung or HTC) then it might be worthwhile contacting the developer.

  • I recently bought two of these S50’s from Clove for myself and my Dad as they aren’t available in South Africa yet. They have been working well but now one of them has developed a problem with its microphone. When making a call I can hear the other person clearly but they can’t hear me at all, there is just a jumbled sound. Is there anything I can do to rectify this or should I send it back for a replacement. If so how do I go about doing that, the phone is less than a month old.

    • Hello Carlos, I’m sorry to hear this has occurred. I don’t think there is official support from Cat in SA so you would likely have to send it back to us in the UK.
      If you contact returns@clove.co.uk with this request and your original order number / email address etc. then someone will get back to you ASAP

  • My Cat s50 fell out of may hand on the street, so its aproximitly 1,2 meters. It landed flat on the display, from the outside no sratches or damage, but imidiatly i have color failure all over the display in thin vertical lines on the sides and it appears as the horizontal lines are onlly half there, so it looks like a decrease of the resolution. All the other Funktions are totally normal and it works quite well. But the Color Problem is very anoying for a new smartphone, beside that it should be extra resistant angainst something like that. I switched it on an off a few times and since a few days nothing changes. Do anybody have an Idea if its the disply by itself. Is there an easy way to exchange the hole smartphone through CAT? BTW I live in Germany. Thanks

  • Hi
    Good day to you
    I had lost my CAT: S50.
    My apartment had robbed and they stolen my phones and tablets.
    Two weeks later the polices caught them and also mine.
    My CAT use pattern lock to open.
    But they had made wrong repeats.
    So I do need need any suggestion to activate my CAT back.
    I hope you will able to see and feel what I really need was.
    So please leave messages or reply.

    • Hello Mr Win
      Normally incorrect patterns require you to wait some time before retrying, although an excessive number may lock you out completely.
      If your Cat S50 is in the situation where it can no longer be accessed as the pattern was incorrect several times, then you would need to send it back to Cat or your retailer for unlocking.
      The retailer / Cat may require proof of purchase before the work is completed

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