Caterpillar has announced the CAT B10, a new IP67-certified rugged Android smartphone that it hopes will contend with the likes of the Motorola Defy+ and the Samsung Rugby Smart. We spent some time with the B10 at CeBIT and attempted to put its ruggedness to the test. Caterpillar is better known for its construction equipment than for making phones, but we weren't able to find out who actually makes the device. The phone will certainly look the part next to a bulldozer: it's around an inch thick and covered in rubber apart from its 3.2-inch display, which has Asahi (a competitor to Corning) strengthened glass. The device was on display under a stream of water, so it's certainly water-resistant, but we weren't allowed check on Caterpillar's claims that the device can be fully submerged up to one meter deep for half an hour. One thing we did test, quite by accident, was the B10's shock resistance.
While maneuvering the device for a close-up photo we managed to drop it onto the hard floor below, which had no effect. Buoyed by our accidental drop test, we then attempted to generally bash the phone around as much as we could, and it continued unmarked and apparently unfazed. In terms of specifications, the phone is powered by a single-core 800MHz Qualcomm processor, has a five-megapixel rear camera, a front-facing webcam, and runs Android 2.3.5. We're told it will receive Android 4.0 at some point, but there is no timeframe for an update yet. The CAT B10 will be available worldwide towards the end of May, and European pricing is set at €379 (around $500) off-contract.