CAT S42, as its branding probably suggests, is an ultra-rugged ‘essentials’ phone geared at serving those who need to put durability and function ahead of aesthetics. Recently sent to Android Headlines for a deeper review, the CAT S42 actually lives up to aspiration that fairly well.

With that said, a lot of what makes this phone not-so-great is found on the software side. More accurately, everything that drags this phone from a 3- or 4-star phone down to just one is on that side of the equation. So it could ultimately be fixed in the future, and should because they aren’t small things.

Let’s take a closer look at where CAT seems to be aiming with this $300 device and where its shortcomings or positive aspects are.

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The CAT S42 hardware is incredibly thoughtful