Performance

As I mentioned in the overview, this phone isn’t going to be a world beater in speed and power – nor should you expect it to be. It is, after all, a quarter of the cost of the newest iPhone. This is, however, one of the only phones that you’d feel comfortable washing in the sink, which is a bonus during a global pandemic.

It will run most apps without any issue, but you are limited on the internal battery storage. Out of an available 32 GB of storage, the phone comes pre-loaded with over 17 GB of software, leaving just under 15 GB free. The system alone uses up 11 GB, so you’ll definitely need to invest in an external SD card, if you plan to use it for a while

While I enjoyed the volume of the speakers on the S48c I reviewed last year, I found the S42’s lacking in overall volume and depth.

I was also disappointed that the phone is equipped with a micro-SD charging port, as opposed to USB-C.  It also is not enabled with wireless charging, which is always a great option for rugged phones.

Value

Priced the lowest out of the available CAT phones in the US, it’s clear that the S42’s purchase was to provide a very rugged option at the lowest price point possible, and I think they have achieved that goal. It’s definitely tough, comes with very solid battery life, and at a reasonable cost.

For individuals looking for a no-nonsense option that they don’t have to baby, this is definitely worth a look.  For companies looking for an enterprise rollout option for their crews that are notoriously hard on their phones, it’s also worth a look.

If you need more power, but still want that ultra-ruggedness, CAT have several other options available, including the feature packed S61, which includes a thermal imaging camera and laser distance measurement.

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