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Cat S48c phone for Verizon is burly, and tough as nails

It's billed as shatterproof, dust-proof and resistant to extreme cold and heat.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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You never realize just how fragile your everyday smartphone is until you hold a rugged phone in your hand. The folks at Verizon clearly agree -- soon, the rough 'n' ready Cat S48c phone will join Big Red.

Rugged phones are built to survive drops, extreme temperature, sand, humidity, dust and vibration in intensities that could crack, shock or otherwise damage your run-of-the-mill phone. They're not pretty, they're not advanced and you won't use them to take dreamy portrait photos, but they get the job done in challenging conditions.

The Cat S48c dares you to find a more rugged phone

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As such, the Cat S48c isn't a phone most people would pocket themselves, but you can buy it a the end of January from Verizon if you'd like. It's currently on sale for companies to buy for their employees. Think construction workers, Antarctic explorers and people who do remote field work. Units cost $250 with a two-year contract or $600 all-in.

While you might not be trying to cram this thick, rubberized phone into your own pocket, the Cat S48c's readiness for extreme environments illustrates another way that smartphones are powerful and important tools.

Watch this: Cat S48c is your phone for glaciers and deserts

Cat S48c specs

  • Temperature extremes of -13 degrees F to 131 degrees F for up to 24 hours
  • Waterproof for up to 35 minutes in 4 feet of water
  • 13-megapixel camera that works underwater
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 4,000mAh battery (up to 30 hours to 4G talk time)
  • Dedicated convenience key you can program to launch an app
  • 5-inch 1080-pixel display with Gorilla Glass 5
  • Qualcomm 630 chipset (2.2GHz octa-core)
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 32GB storage/4GB RAM

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Article posted Jan.10 at 6:00 am PT. Updated: 9:00am PT to correct an error. The phone will sell to the general public.

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