The Cat B15 – Can it pass the Coolsmartphone test?

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Back in February we got a first look at the new tough smartphone from Cat – those people who do the diggers. This, at first glance, seemed to strike the balance between style and ruggedness pretty well. A good quality 4″ screen, dual-core 1GHz CPU, microSD slot and a 5 megapixel camera around back with a VGA one up front. Sure, it’s got an industrial design, but it’s not distracting or annoying.

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You can purchase the phone from Amazon but we loaned the device from UR Mobile. They told us to take care of it, but we were curious. See, we had an interview with the people behind the phone a while ago, and they told us that it was “IP67 Waterproof”. But what does that really mean? Does that mean that it’ll be alright when you’re using it in the rain? Or that it’ll be OK if you drop it in the bath?

Well, let’s start by splashing it a bit with a hose pipe. That shouldn’t be too bad should it?

Right, so it survived that. Now let’s crank things up a notch and stick it directly under a tap..

After a short while I realised that getting a bit wet under a tap wasn’t a good enough test. So, I gave it to my 5 year-old son. After explaining that this is “a special phone” that can get wet and “only this one special phone” should EVER go near water (and then explaining it another six times, just to be sure)… this happened, and we jumped in at the deep end… literally…

Now this isn’t just about the fact that you can drop it in a bath, oh no. This is a real, tough, solid handset that will survive the perils of “real mans work”. It’s said that some 77% of all mobile claims are due to a phone getting dropped, and this will survive a drop from 1.8 metres, which is about 5 and-a-bit feet. Oh and yes, the phone has obvious toughness and a rugged design, but the design is good and there’s a style to it which I’m actually quite liking.

Here’s some up-close shots of the B15 during our water torture..

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