Caterpillar CAT B25 Phone Review: Relative Excavators, Brother Tractors

    The American corporation Caterpillar is famous for its bulldozers, excavators, various kinds of construction vehicles, diesel generators and so on. At the same time, under the Caterpillar brand, a host of other products are produced that have absolutely nothing to do with special equipment. Just look at a special siteand, as they say, imbued with what they saw. Here you have sunglasses, hats, toys, jackets, and even bags for mobile phones. Of course, all of these causal products are not issued by Caterpillar at all. The corporation sells licenses for the use of its brand, which is for many a personification of reliability, to third companies that are engaged in the production of things with the CAT logo. For example, shoes (by the way, very good) under this brand have been produced since 1994 by the American company Wolverine World Web.

    Not so long ago, Caterpillar phones also appeared on the market. There are two actual models: CAT B25 is an ordinary button “feature phone”, while the CAT B15 model is a smartphone based on Android 4.1.

    Caterpillar CAT B15

    For some reason, they are not offered on the Shop Caterpillar website: a separate resource has been created for the mobile direction - . Today, both models are sold in Ukraine, and quite officially. The instruction manual is in Ukrainian, and the CAT B25 has Cyrillic characters on its keys. True, the above site does not have versions in either Russian or Ukrainian, and the CIS countries do not appear on the Where to Buy page either. In general, they entered the market, but they forgot to properly prepare for this very exit. (A series of interesting facts speaks of total “forgetfulness”; I will give them a little lower.)

    The origin of mobile devices with the inscription CAT is a separate topic. As it turned out, a company called Bullitt Mobile, founded in 2009 in the UK, is responsible for them. She does not have production facilities, phones are developed and manufactured in Asia. CAT B15 is assembled at the facilities of Compal - the one that produces separate products for Nokia (Lumia smartphones, in the past - BookLet 3G netbook), as well as the Highscreen Cosmo Android smartphone. As for the CAT B25 phone, which will be discussed below, it also has oriental roots.

    Nokia BookLet 3G

    Highscreen Cosmo

    In Russia, an almost complete analogue of CAT B25 is sold - teXet TM-510R. The fact that these products are close relatives and are assembled in the same factory, says design in the first place. Take a look at this picture:

    Caterpillar CAT B25 and teXet TM-510R

    Appearance differs in details, although in general the relationship is obvious. I personally like teXet more - just because of the vibrant color. However, with practicality, the TM-510R is also a little better: for some reason, a metal panel with the brand logo, with which the paint peels off over time, was stuck on the rear panel of the CAT B25. I have it whole so far, but I saw on the Internet photos of well-made P25s, so in their case this socket looks scary.

    However, let's talk about everything in order. In comparison with teXet TM-510R we will return more than once.

    The CAT B25 comes in a very high-quality, medium-sized box made of yellow cardboard - this is Caterpillar's signature color. (It is a pity that the phone itself was not made yellow.) In the box, in addition to the phone itself, there are a carabiner with a compass, a cable, a charger unit and a wired headset. The quality of all these accessories is below the baseboard, the usual “Chinese” in all its glory. But the user manual is quite qualitatively translated into Ukrainian (two more books are included, and in each of them there are instructions in a pair of foreign languages).

    But then everything is much more interesting.

    Firstly, the warranty card states that the phone is provided with a one-year warranty. Oh, curious, considering the fact that the Cat Phones website says in capital letters about a two-year warranty.

    Secondly, on the last page of the same warranty card it is directly indicated that the Chinese company LeadSky is assembling CAT B25 . It is also reported there that LeadSky is making a similar phone for JCB. (Just in case: JCB is a British engineering corporation, one of Caterpillar's competitors.) It also sells its brand to accessories and cell phone manufacturers, and a visit to the JCB Phone website immediately revealed the Toughphone Sitemaster 2 , which is almost a complete analogue of CAT B25. Well, the company is promoting the JCB Phone brand in the mobile market ... Great-a-good, Bullitt Mobile. Cunning British: and CAT for themselves "crushed", and JCB, too.

    JCB Toughphone Sitemaster 2

    There is also a strange phrase in the warranty card about the presence of a GPS receiver in the CAT B25, which is not in it. (In nature, there are protected “Chinese” with GPS similar in capabilities, but in fact there is little use for this function: you can’t put your own navigation application, since the devices do not even support Java, and the navigation built into them is based on Chinese Sunavi Navigation maps. Russia and Ukraine are not really represented at them.)

    What do you feel when you take the CAT B25 in your hand? They can be killed!Well, there’s definitely a sense of reliability. In general, the case is made very high quality. The "frame" around the perimeter is made of oak rubber, stylized under the tracks of special equipment. There are two VERY tight buttons: on the left - to start the camera, on the right - to turn on the LED flashlight (it also acts as a flash for the built-in camera). On the left side there is also a standard MicroUSB port, hiding behind a plug from a thick piece of rubber.

    Case panels are made of hard gray plastic. The back cover is covered with the same rubber as on the ends, and from the inside it is reinforced with a thick metal plate. It is attached to the body with two metal screws; a small screwdriver is hanging on a ribbon with a carabiner to twist them. In general, everything is serious. I would put a question mark only opposite the metal panel with the logo - I have already described the situation with it above. I also note that the mobile phone is very thick (22 mm) and heavy (160 g). Samsung Galaxy S4 is noticeably lighter, for example.

    Comparison with Nokia 105 and HTC Titan

    The wrong phone was called a brick (CAT B25 next to Lebedevsky Just5 Brick)

    The screen is covered with a protective glass (well, or it’s such plastic - the developers do not specify), and the matrix is ​​recessed into the case by almost half a centimeter. It looks strange, but the logic of this approach definitely has: even if the glass hits the stone or even breaks, the screen will not be damaged. In general, you can throw the CAT 25 as you like: I threw the device from the second floor to the ground (not onto asphalt, namely to the ground), and nothing, it is more alive than all living things. And yes, the screen (2 inches, 320 x 240) is quite good. Here I have a Sony Ericsson W880i, and there the display is clearly worse.

    With regard to protection against water and dust, the manufacturer says compliance with IP67. Six means that the device is completely protected from dust, seven - about the possibility of working under water at a depth of a meter for half an hour without compromising performance. I immersed the CAT B25 in the bathroom for an hour, and also in beer for about 15 minutes. The phone passed these tests, no problems were observed, although a week had already passed.

    While immersing in a jar of tomatoes ...

    ... and after it

    Although in fairness it’s worth noting that there are quite a few reviews on the Internet like: “I bought a protected Chinese X, I threw a joke for fun and fun in a can with cucumbers, but he took it and died. All the goats! ” Yes, that happens. Therefore, I personally would not recommend specifically exposing such Chinese phones to a severe test - marriage in them is often found. That is, in the rain they are guaranteed to work normally (in general, I have repeatedly “clattered” in the pouring rain and ordinary phones, both touch-sensitive and push-button, and this has never affected their performance), but swimming in the sea with such mobile phones is clearly not worth it. From sin.

    Moreover, there is clearly nothing to do with it at sea. I’m personally interested in underwater photography, but the camera is in CAT B25 ... Well, you understand - a 2-megapixel module without autofocus of the “you can’t imagine a cheaper type” class does not allow for miracles. There are no miracles and here are a few shots taken on the CAT B25:

    By default, the settings have a resolution of 320 x 240, which is not surprising - the developers expect that the photo masterpieces created with CAT B25 will be used only as desktop wallpaper.

    In general, the market really lacks such a mega-protected mobile phone with a good camera. True, there are practically no conditions for its creation, since a good camera also needs good hardware - in particular, a powerful processor for processing multi-megapixel images. While most of the Chinese (including CAT B25) are based on the MediaTek MT6235 chip with a frequency of 208 MHz of the 2006 model. What kind of image processing is there ... No, of course, some Samsung could make a secure “button player” with a cool camera, resources, as they say, allow. But why - where is it better to release another Galaxy S4 clone with slightly modified TTX.

    But back to our rams. Interface CAT B25 is a standard software from MediaTek, which comes with MT6235. The developers did not make almost any changes to it, although there is such an opportunity. For example, in the same teXet TM-510R (I also dealt with it) there are practically no jambs in localization, and this applies to both Russian and Ukrainian languages. The icons there are also their own, they were painted specifically for this model.

    Meanwhile, in the CAT B25 the menu is “dumber”, you feel the light hand of high-class Chinese designers. And translators, alas, too. With the Russian language, everything is fine - there is nothing to complain about, but these are trifles. With Ukrainian, everything is much worse. Moreover, it is not only a matter of incorrectly translated words and capital letters in the menu items arranged in a chaotic manner. I personally was amused by this moment: to unlock the phone, you need to press the left soft key, and then the button with the grill. If you set the Russian language in the settings, then after pressing the soft key the phone will write something like this: "Click on #, and I will unlock." If you set Ukrainian as the standard, then the phone to unlock will ask you to press "*". You press, but it does not unlock. Because you really need to click on the "#". A trifle? Oh well. I was stupid over this for about 5 minutes, since I was given CAT B25 with the default Ukrainian language. So much for the telephone “from a manufacturer of world-class technology” ...

    In general, the software part of CAT B25 is poor to disgrace. There is a WAP browser, but I didn’t even start it - and so it’s clear that you can’t walk on the Web with it. There is also a client for e-mail, but I doubt very much that he will cope with my tasks. There is one game for which a whole item is highlighted in the main menu, there is an e-book reader, there is a calendar, calculator, currency converter, stopwatch and photo editor. All this seems to work, but ... It's hard to use. Because all this is very clumsy done, just at the level of sensations. At the same time, the Java phone does not support, so there is no question of any Opera Mini. If desired, the telephone customer can saturate it with applications - in the same teXet TM-510R there is also the Health program and a value converter. For some reason, they didn’t bother with CAT Phones,

    With sound, everything is also complicated. The speaker is relatively loud, but the sound is dull and not very pleasant to the ear. In the settings, the options “Audio Efficiency” and “Improvement of low frequencies” are provided, but I would not risk using CAT B25 as a player - there is no 3.5 mm jack, the complete headset is connected to the microUSB port. The quality of the headset - you understand. But the radio "yells" not bad, and it can work even without connecting a headset.

    The CAT Phones website indicates that the CAT B25 supports microSD cards with capacities up to 8 GB. In fact, the device ate a 32-gigabyte card and did not choke, so there is no problem. Another thing is that there is nothing banal to store on a flash drive such a volume - I already told you about the situation with photos and music.

    Work with two SIM cards is typically implemented - one radio module, leaving the second SIM card offline while talking on the first one, and so on. CAT B25 is not compatible with 3G networks (it doesn’t hurt). EDGE is also not supported, only GPRS. I would rate the quality of communication in three ways. From time to time, the connection seems to disappear for a second and a half, due to which sometimes separate words or even sentences do not reach the interlocutor (well, or to you).

    From a single charge of the CAT B25 battery I have been working for four days. And this despite the fact that I only talk on it, this device is poorly designed for other tasks. By the way, the battery has a capacity of 1,300 mAh - against 1,500 for the teXet TM-510R. In general, the teXet product is inferior to Caterpillar only in camera resolution - 1.3 megapixels instead of 2. However, this, you know, is not critical in this particular case. But the TM-510R has better localization, a more pleasant interface, and the color is more life-affirming. At the same time, the CAT B25 is estimated at approximately 1,200 hryvnias ($ 150, 4,900 rubles), and the teXet TM-510R can be bought for 650 ($ 80, 2,700 rubles). Perhaps for someone the Caterpillar brand will become the most significant reason for buying the CAT B25, but I would not rush. The factory is the same, the benefits are less ...

    There are a lot of protected "Chinese" on the market from different brands, and if you really need a phone of this type, then you should study the offers more closely. To study - and find among them, for example, the Korean Samsung C3350 for 1,100 hryvnias (135 dollars, 4,500 rubles). It is a cut above CAT B25 in terms of interface quality and level of implementation of functions, although its case, of course, is not so “off-road” (at the same time, it also complies with the IP67 standard). If you choose between the C3350 and teXet TM-510R, then it makes sense to dwell on the latter, since the price difference is almost twofold.

    Samsung C3350

    To summarize, I will quote a review left by an unknown visitor on the CAT B25 page in one of the online stores: “Caterpillar's excavators are great, but the phones are [CENSORED].” It’s hard not to agree.

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