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This new Android phone is very tough and talks to satellites

The Cat S75 smartphone is rugged enough to keep going after a few drops – and smart enough to send and receive messages even when there’s no cellular connection.

If you ever get a fall and don’t check out like the Cat S75, it has the ability to call for help when other phones simply fail, thanks to a proprietary new chip from MediaTek and an app that enables satellite calling.

Two-way satellite communications

Bullitt Satellite Messenger opening screen on the Cat S75.

The Cat S75, manufactured by the Bullitt Group, is the first smartphone to come with the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app, which communicates with satellites to send and receive messages even when your cellular service is not present. It’ll also connect you to FocusPoint International, an SOS help provider, to get help in an emergency when you don’t have service on your phone.

Messages can be received and answered by any phone, regardless of whether it has an MT6825 chip or not, or even whether it is an Android or iOS device.

This is made possible by the new MediaTek MT6825 chip, which provides two-way communication, location sharing, SOS services, weather forecasting and motion tracking through its satellite connection. The Bullitt Satellite Messenger application is used in these circumstances, instead of the standard SMS application or a service such as WhatsApp, and messages can be received and answered by any phone, regardless of whether it has an MT6825 chip or not, or even whether it is an Android device or iOS.

While Bullitt Satellite Messenger requires a subscription, it is less expensive than a regular carrier contract. It costs five euros a month, which should be about $5, and that gets you 30 messages a month and a year of SOS Assist. There are other packages available with more messages included, as well as a one-time $60 or €60 package for 250 messages per year. This is ideal for someone who may only avail the service a few times a year, rather than on a monthly basis.

The exciting two-way communication and SOS assistance offered by the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app on the S75 is a step up in performance from Apple’s satellite communications system on the iPhone 14, which focuses solely on emergency communications. Bullitt says his app will help keep families connected, even when the phone is out of service, as well as prove useful to anyone who might need emergency assistance, or to businesses whose workers often face situations where they can’t maintain a reliable connection.

Really solid phone

The back of the Cat S75 is covered in dust.

That’s the technology inside, but what about the Cat S75 itself? It’s important to note that everything you read about the Cat S75 also applies to the Motorola Defy 2, which was announced during CES 2023. Bullitt produces the Defy 2 for Motorola under license, and it’s basically the same phone with minor design changes. If you live in the US, you’ll be able to buy the Defy 2, while the UK and most other places will get the Cat S75.

Calling it tough is an understatement. Drop tested on steel from a height of 6 feet. It features IP68 and IP69K water and dust resistance, scratch-resistant Gorilla Victus Glass, meets MIL-SPEC 810H standards, has withstood bending and moisture tests, and is built to withstand bending and bending as well. The entire phone can be washed with soap, antibacterial wipes, or even bleach.

The screen is 6.6 inches in size and features a 120Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2408 x 1080 pixels. It’s a MediaTek Dimensity 930 processor inside with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage – this can be expanded using a MicroSD card. Power is provided by a 5,000mAh battery, and it comes with 15W fast charging as well as wireless charging, while a fingerprint sensor for security is located on the back of the phone. A 50-megapixel camera is combined with an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera, in addition to an 8-megapixel selfie camera.

The phone also has 5G, NFC, and Bluetooth 5.1, but it comes with Android 12 installed, which is a bit disappointing. Bullitt does promise upgrades to Android 13 and Android 14, though. Finally, a programmable button on the side of the phone can be linked to the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app. Don’t forget, Motorola Defy 2 shares all of these features, but the design is slightly different.

Price and availability

The Cat S75 costs $599, or £549, and is available for pre-order now. It comes with a three-month free trial of the Bullitt Satellite Messenger basic plan. The satellite app will cover Europe and North America at launch, with other regions – including Australia, New Zealand and Africa – before mid-2023.

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