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General CAT S60 - Water ingress after light usage in the pool

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by enderwap, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. enderwap

    enderwap Lurker
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    Dear all,

    I just want to share my experience with Cat S60. I had acquired in beginning of August one Cat S60, EU version. I was impressed with the build of the handset (like a tank) and not so impressed about FLIR (I am having a FlirOne for iOS). But this is not the focus now.
    I want to discuss about water ingress. I was using the phone for taking some picture while in the pool (less then 1 meter depth pool!). And yes, the switch for 5 meters were activated, all ports sealed!!!!
    After about one hour with usage in water for about 20 minutes in total, some also under water recording (10 cm depth :) ) i saw that phone was powered off (!!!). Restarting it, i saw that immediately entered again in restart loop. Checking closer, i saw some condensed water inside(!) the camera glass.
    To cut the long story short, after it was left for drying for 2 days, phone was functioning correctly, however FLIR sensor was not working correctly anymore (having image retention on flir camera and aberrant temperature readings (150 grades Centigrade)

    I had sent the phone back and i received a new device, but i have to be fair with you that i have lost the trust that this phone is waterproof. And yes, trust me, the "wholes" were protected, switches for 5 meters activated and the phone was fully submerged in water for less then 5 minutes, no more then 10 cm depth!

    regards,
    Andrei

     

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  2. slimbobaggins

    slimbobaggins Well-Known Member
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    Was it under water for 5 minutes, or 20 minutes? You say both.

    Regardless it sounds like it failed you when it shouldn't have, if it worked as advertised.

    Sorry to hear about your bad luck. I'm hoping your phone is an aberration. The professional reviews on this phone were solid, as far as waterproofing goes, save for the one site that managed to kick the back door open while it was under water.

    I guess we'll have to wait and see what people say as more people get seat time on the phones. I have no intentions of ever submerging my phone, so I won't have any input on this, unless an accident happens.
     
  3. Trexgbg

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    My guess is that this is might be one of the backsides of beeing an early adopter before everything in the production and quality tests are 100%. I am not that worried but i will be cautious and be aware of this. I have not submerged mine but it has been outside in pouring rain in 8 hours straight.

    Lets hope that this fault was just an aberration as slimbobaggins said.

    I have had an Galaxy S5 that leaked in the same way bought in aproximately the first batch coming to Sweden. I have not heard of it after that and the replacement I got afterwards was sealed properly.
     
  4. enderwap

    enderwap Lurker
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    So, i played in total in the pool around 20 minutes (so hands were wet, phone was exposed to drops of water). But, i kept it submerged for 5 minutes during that time was recording video... That's all...
    The phone recovered perfectly from the moisture, but the flir camera sensor got permanently screwed...
    I really hope that was just a bad luck, but like i've said i will not use anymore this "feature" of the waterproofing...

    Regards,
    Andrei
     
  5. cavell219

    cavell219 Member
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    Well I go to the US virgin islands in September. I will be taking the phone snorkeling with me to a max of about 10 foot under water. We will see what happens. I have always loved and used water resistant phones to the fullest. It was my biggest draw to this phone.

    I used my Z2 constantly in the pool, my z3c, z5c, s5, s5 active and s7. Yeah I have an addiction to phones, it's a problem and the aolution is more phones!

    If a manufacturer says it can do it, I have tested it. Albeit I do not test drop resistance. But I always test water resistance.
     
  6. enderwap

    enderwap Lurker
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    :) Well said cavell219! So, i recon that i'll just wait for your feedback upon your return:) so, don't forget us and share some insides!... and enjoy your vacation!
     
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  7. cavell219

    cavell219 Member
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    Of course. I should have some good underwater snorkeling pics by mid September... Counting the days until I get some time off haha
     
  8. DoctorFurman

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    My two cents on the same ordeal.

    Firstly, I'd like to say that all in all the S60 is a wonderfully built and eye pleasing bit of kit.
    The thermal camera might be a niche gadget, and the device itself caters to a specific breed of users,
    but it is more than well suited for me and my approach to work in the field - the main benefit being
    the fact that I always have a thermal camera in a nigh-indestructible package right in my pocket. Plus, this
    particular camera doubles as a smartphone!

    I work in industrial electronics applications (including automotive and heating applications, furnaces etc.) with a
    recent shift toward R&D (PCB development and product design). For finding which hydraulic valve is which on the principle
    of activating it and watching what solendoid starts to glow makes this phone a godsend. Also, imagine working with many
    different commercial vehicles and finding the correct relay or power line without any schematics...

    I have used Galaxy S3's and S4's in the past, beated them mercilessly and exposed them to conditions Samsung hadn't
    really intended them to be exposed to. A rubber bumper case seemed to protect them from all the falls (including 2m+) somehow,
    and an S4 even took a swim and survived it.
    As with all previous non-smart-phones, I just wouldn't let them die as long as there was some bit of
    them I could replace with parts of scraped phones or re-work burnt electrical connections in their inards.
    All that being said, please note that I don't have sadistic tendencies or take joy in inflicting pain to phones, I'm very
    observant with them - I just work in all-round hostile and dirty environments so my equipment and I do accumulate scars
    as we go along.

    I have been waiting for the S60 to become available since it was announced and of course I got one
    as soon as my carrier started to offer them for a nifty price of 24 payments of 22 EUR per month.
    I figured this is the phone to go with. Water- and bomb-proof, the thermal camera, sleek design, what could go wrong?

    I'm not partial to Apple, Samsung or any other "big name" brands but I've always been sceptical of CAT phones, mainly
    because Bullit isn't really a time-proven maker of smartphones.

    Not everything about a phone is it's shell and the hardware-software paradigm that Android phones are built around.

    For some of us, it's the little things - imagine a phone that's sealed and built like a tank, but has software issues
    (crashes, reboots) or minor hardware issues because somebody in R&D just didn't test thoroughly - like people not hearing
    you clearly, you not hearing them clearly, service unavailability where other phones manage to get through... these are the
    things that can drive a user like me insane and deter me from purchashing such devices. Guess what, these are all issues that
    I've seen highlighted by ruggedized phone users (this doesn't fly directly toward Bullit/CAT, but you see where I'm getting
    at).

    Now imagine boasting an ingress protection rating of IP68 and exceeded military specifications for drop resistance. Us
    working in industrial applications get this immaculate and pragmatic picture of other equipment in our minds, and for the
    most part, the S60 is exactly that.

    But... the flap at the back that covers the SIMs and SD cards? Come on, this is a tremendusly weak spot in otherwise such
    a spotless-seeming design. I'm not a fan of the hinged USB and earphone covers either, but at least they got them right.
    But this thing at the back has "Achilles' heel" written all over it. Sure it does protect the inside of the phone from water
    but think about it - this is a phone for people who own screwdrivers - couldn't you have just put some screws to firmly hold
    the backside of the phone together? And a nice, big O-ring around it all? Like it's always been done?
    I mean, it does work good once the phone is new, but the rear door does travel somewhat in all directions. What will happen
    in time? What will happen when that gasket sits on dust instead almost-mirror-polished plastic? Or once that yellow stopper
    holding the door becomes worn?

    Okay, granted, in my case it wasn't even water ingress that got the phone (or was it?). I just wanted to see if
    the two holes at the back on either side of the FLIR chevrons correlate to the "Show waterproof warning message" (they don't)
    and dunked the phone into a glass of cold water.

    Upon drying the phone with a towel I opened the back door to inspect it's waterproofing capabilities (bear in mind that the phone
    was less-than-CAT-logo deep in water. The door did it's job.

    Sure enough though, within minutes, the camera window begun to fog up - an omen of the things to come.
    A night spent burried in Silica gel seemed to get the moisture out of the phone, but once checking all the functionality I found the
    same symptoms as noted in OP's post. The thermal camera would wash out the colors within 10 or 20 seconds, indicating that it could not
    distinguish between temperatures anymore. A ghostly afterpicture lingered as I panned the phone around. The temperature readings rose to over
    45°C even though I'm fairly sure I don't live in a Taiwannese sweatshop.

    Seeing how my carrier doesn't take kindly to water ingress in any phone (IP68 certified or not) warranty-wise, I knew that my
    only alternative to a costly repair was sorting the damage out by myself.

    Luckily it wasn't difficult to figure out what was happening.
    See, the Lepton sensor (the CCD equivalent in the thermal camera) has a built-in mechanical shutter (the size of which probably
    adds to the size of the bulge on the top of the phone - I find that bulge marvelously streamlined into the phone's design, by the way).
    The shutter is closed periodically, allowing the thermal camera to take an unadulterated dark image as to calibrate itself. You can hear it
    clicking if you listen closely. The FLIR app freezes for a moment while it self-calibrates (it's a feature, not a bug!).

    Mine wasn't clicking. Instead, quite rapidly, the housing around the thermal camera window begun to heat up (resulting in the faulty
    temperature reading). Once left alone the camera gradually cooled down. If only I had a second thermal camera-phone I would make a badass
    time-lapse gif to show you.

    My guess is that the moisture in the phone glued the leaf of the shutter to the housing. As it is probably magnetically actuated, the mini
    solenoid inside the mechanism heated up because it had nowhere to go.

    Remembering my experience in percussive maintenance I hit the phone sharply on the table in the interval when the shutter was supposed to
    close and successfully dislodged it.

    Works fine now.


    Whether the phone already had moisture inside when shipped and it condensed because of the cold water, or whether I let the moisture in
    by opening the rear door (this was in a kitchen after cooking, so I guess there could have been more humidity in the air) I leave for
    academic debate.
    I waited for some bad user experience on the web before getting this phone, but got it early anyway because there was no really negative
    reviews to be found. It is a great device after all. Everything has its shortcomings and I really hope these kind of mishaps don't
    blemish CAT's (Bullit's) image in the smartphone market. The fact is that CAT managed to get my attention with this phone and they
    will get more attention because of it.


    I will, however, laser cut a piece of duct tape to fit snugly over the rear panel before more under water encounters. Duct tape always comes
    in handy after all.


    Solenoid valves
    [​IMG]

    Automotive relays
    [​IMG]

    Overloaded wire
    [​IMG]

    Hornet sting
    [​IMG]

    Circuitry and power cable
    [​IMG]
     
    enderwap likes this.
  9. cavell219

    cavell219 Member
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    Didn't even make it 1 minute in water before I got "no sim error", then black screen.

    Got it to a table opened the back cover, sim card is wet.

    Phone won't turn on.... Sorry cat but my s7 was right next to it in the same water and is what I am typing this on now... This is pretty upsetting for a phone supposed to handle 5m can't even handle I don't know about 8 inches. I will be contacting CAT today and will give them another try if they are willing to send me a new one. This is going to be fun...
     
  10. slimbobaggins

    slimbobaggins Well-Known Member
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    Well this is disappointing. Keep us posted.
     
  11. DoctorFurman

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    Who's to guess that the worlds most waterproof phone can't handle a little splash...
    I wouldn't advise snorkeling with it, cavell

    I think I'll try to address CAT with the issue... Seeing how mine wasn't even fully submerged in water and almost
    died, it could be an issue with condensation already inside the phone's housing going liquid once exposed to a temperature difference... who knows.

    Again, otherwise a great device, hope everything resolves somehow. People buy the damn thing for it's waterproofness :/
     
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  12. cavell219

    cavell219 Member
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    So I have already tried, 2 posts above the one I am quoting. It did not make it at all. My S7 on the other hand worked just fine.

    I contacted CAT and they want me to send it to a repair center for "Inspection", they also said I need an RMA number but did not provide one so I am thoroughly confused ... They have not replied with how long this may take. I know with Sony and Google if I had an issue they sent me a new phone and I returned the old no questions asked(as long as no major physical damage). Depending on how long they say this will take and if I have to pay for shipping both ways(sounds like I have to) I will just file an accidental dmg claim with Amex and be done with them.

    I bought this phone for its waterproof abilities. The thermal camera was nice at work but we have a much nicer one at my disposal in the shop that goes over 1000 deg F so this wasn't really a need for me as much of a want. But the waterproof was a need for my daily life, and with multiple claims of peoples phone failing within seconds of touching water I am becoming cautious on getting another one.
     
  13. cavell219

    cavell219 Member
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    21 days for repair. They send a fedex label so shipping is covered. I will go through CAT to see if they fix the issue. If they do not fix it I will then go through AMEX and get a refund but I will give them another shot.. First thing I am doing upon receipt is dropping it in water though lol...
     
  14. Riba

    Riba Newbie
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    I bought this phone 20 days ago. After two days of exploring the phone, I decided to take a sea underwater photo. It went well (half a minute, 25 cm underwater).
    Tomorow I went into the sea with underwater mode "on" and switched to 5m. After two minutes of swimming I looked at the phone and it had message "insert sim card" It took me about two minutes to get out of the water and phone died.
    My carrier (tmobile, Croatia) send it to servis and after two weeks they gave me the new one.
    It is 100% that the weak spot on this phone is backside sim cover with rubber seal which didn't did his job.
    I really like this phone but now I am affraid to go swimming again with Cat in my pocket. Nevertheless, I will go swimming with Cat . Will let you know did new Cat survived the sea (I can't even dive to 5m).
     
  15. slimbobaggins

    slimbobaggins Well-Known Member
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    I'd sure like to know what kind of witchcraft they did to the media phones that they distributed. Not one reviewer said that they had these problems, yet everyone on here is experiencing them...
     
  16. enderwap

    enderwap Lurker
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    Hi all and thank you for sharing your....bad experiences with CATS60.
    When I started the topic, I hoped that I am the only one... It seems that this is not the case. It is clearly for me that S60 has a design issue that cause water ingress and can damage the phone. Just by looking into the comments on the Facebook page of CatPhones (https://www.facebook.com/CatRuggedPhones/) i realized that we are not the only ones with damage after light water contact (I insist on light water contact)....

    So, my question especially for cavell219 and DoctorFurman is: Can u contact CAT in your country? I doubt that in my case (eastern European country with no official CAT dealer) they will care... But maybe in States they will be willing to take some actions (recall is something that i doubt in BullIT case...)
    But guys, I insist:) don't play with your phone in water...

    Thanks and regards!
    Andrei
     
  17. cavell219

    cavell219 Member
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    I contacted them, support is not the best, they do not fully answer questions and it took nearly a week to get my label via email. There were no instructions to go with the email either. Like send charger, invoice etc.

    The average repair time is 21 days .

    When I asked about the design of the back and it's strength they literally ignored the question and replied with thank you for contacting Cat, the S60 is waterproof up to 5m.

    So I don't think they will be fixing the issue. Facebook support even ignored my message asking about their QC for the back door...
     
  18. Vinni89

    Vinni89 Newbie
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    As I understand everyone have problems with waterproof? And I understand weakness is back door, right?
     
  19. cavell219

    cavell219 Member
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    Well we can't say "everyone" as there is a small sample of people on this forum. But 3 or 4 of us in this thread have had water ingress from the back door, when it was secured closed. All in minimal amounts of water
     
  20. Vinni89

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    Maybe back door can be "not completely closed" position? Or problem is in rubber on door? How I can inspect it before buying?
     
  21. slimbobaggins

    slimbobaggins Well-Known Member
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    I've thought about putting a sealant on mine. I have no real need to open it...
     
  22. Trexgbg

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    I was in Greece last week and decided to test the waterproofness and I had no problem down to 1,8meter. No leakage and no sign of any water inside afterwards.

    I wonder why some have problems and some don´t?

    edit: the total amount of the phone beeing underwater was aproximately 1hour
     
  23. cavell219

    cavell219 Member
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    Is yours a dual sim model?

    The US model was made later than the dual sim model... Maybe they changed something in manufacturing?
     
  24. Trexgbg

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    Yes.... But I use only one Sim at the moment....
     
  25. cavell219

    cavell219 Member
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    I understand that, but I think they might have a different manufacturing process for the different models. Possibly a different factory, and gaskets from different suppliers. Just speculation though. Based on no evidence other than my engineering background and the way different factories from the same companies work... Have seen companies get something that is "specced" the same from a different manufacturer because it is closer to a different factory so less transport cost. Unfortunately not every supplier has the same tolerances.... Again... Just my 2 cents.
     
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