Tough Cat B15 Android phone marks U.S. debut

The makers of tractors and other construction equipment are trying to drum up partners to sell its rough 'n' tumble Android smartphone.

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LAS VEGAS--Caterpillar's Cat B15 Android smartphone is the newest entrant to the U.S.' rough and ready durable phone tussle.

I got my hands on the B15 this past March when it first appeared on the world stage at Mobile World Congress. This U.S. variant is essentially the same handset, except for the cellular support -- AWS bands 1700/2100 to complement GSM 850/1900 support.

There's no launch date yet, since Cat is actively pursuing North American partners like carriers and retailers for around $350 unlocked.

Made by the same company that builds industrial tractors and mining equipment, Cat's B15's grippable anodized aluminum and hardened rubber body houses a 4-inch display and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS.

The B15 has a 5-megapixel camera for capturing the moment, a VGA front-facing camera, and a dual-core 1GHz processor. Tech specs aside, the B15's largest claim to fame is its ability to survive the elements, including a 6-foot drop.

Learn more about the Cat B15 here and catch all the latest news from CTIA 2013.

About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.

 

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