CAT phones are known for their rugged design features, affordability, and features to help you work outside of the office. The CAT S62 Pro provides a thermal imaging camera while the CAT S42 can beat it at a price of $ 299. Over the past few weeks we have been working, running and enjoying the outdoors with the CAT S22 Flip.

The CAT S22 Flip is available exclusively from T-Mobile for $ 234 and offers LTE connectivity with the carrier. It’s an interesting phone that dates back to the days when flip phones were the norm for mobile phones. CAT goes one step further with a full 2.8-inch touchscreen on top and Android GO 11 powering the user interface.

See also: Best rugged phone in 2021.

This phone can appeal to people only with its extremely sturdy construction and folding form factor, even if they don’t use all the features of the Android operating system. It’s a sturdy phone for basic communications and can even double as a Wi-Fi hotspot if you have a rugged tablet to connect for more in-depth work in the field.


  • Robust design
  • Large tactile keypad buttons
  • Removable battery and microSD
  • Affordable price

Do not like

  • Chunky
  • Battery a bit small


  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 215
  • Display (interior): 2.8-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 640×480 pixels
  • Display (outdoor): 1.44 inches 128×128 pixels monochrome
  • Operating system: Android 11 GB Edition
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage room: 16 GB internal with microSD card support
  • Durability: IP68, MIL-SPEC 810H, drop test up to 6 feet on steel, hazardous area classification of class 1 non-incendiary
  • Cameras: 5MP rear camera and 2MP front camera
  • Wireless technology: 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS / GLONASS / Galileo, FM radio
  • Drums: 2000mAh removable lithium-ion
  • Dimensions: 119.4 x 61 x 22.9 mm (closed) and 224g


The CAT S22 Flip arrived in a fairly small black and yellow CAT box and when I first took it out I was a little surprised at the size of the phone. It is quite thick in the closed position and opening it reveals that it is not a small flip phone. It isn’t meant to be a small phone, however, and the focus is on basic communications with a rugged phone that can handle work away from your desk.

The phone is covered with a soft touch matte black material, so it is easy to hold even with wet hands. There are also ridges along the back panel to help you grip it. In the closed position, a small external screen displays incoming calls, basic notifications, date and time. Above this screen is a mic aperture, flashlight, and 5MP rear camera. It’s on the front, but when opened and in shooting mode, it becomes the higher-resolution rear camera.

Volume buttons are on the right side, along with a USB-C port and cover. A programmable orange metallic button is located on the left side.

Going back to the back, there is a screw to remove the panel. A substantial red seal covers the opening on the inside of the rear panel with the battery, the SIM card slot and the microSD card slot under the removable battery. There are also two POGO pins on the back so you can place the phone in a charging device to make sure the phone is ready for the day ahead.

See also: Cat S62 Pro Smartphone with Thermal Imaging and Ultra-Rugged Design launched in the United States.

Open the CAT S22 Flip to see the interior display and keyboard. The phone opens to around 165 degrees with a solid stop on the back. There is no middle angle to stop the phone, and the back of the phone supports it lightly. It’s very satisfying to start closing it and then letting the hinge take over to close the phone.

The touchscreen is quite usable and the touch sensitivity works well. The fonts are clear and a lot of information is available on the 2.8 inch screen. There is a 2MP front camera shifted to the left above the screen.

On the keyboard, we find the three traditional Android buttons at the top for the back, the house and the task selector. Underneath we find directional arrows, a central select button, green and red answer / end buttons and 12 number keys. The buttons are all very large with excellent tactile feel. They also have a soft touch coating and are therefore easy to find and activate.

Underneath the keyboard is a fairly loud mono speaker which proved to work well when I was outside testing the phone. There is a combined speaker above the screen, but music and speakerphone calls go to the lower speaker only.


The CAT S22 Flip runs Android 11 (Go Edition) which provides all essential Google apps and Play Store access for even more apps. Google Assistant, Chrome, Google Duo, Gmail, Keep Notes, Google Go, Google Maps, Messages, and YouTube Music are all loaded by default. Google TV is even present although watching movies on a small 2.8-inch screen doesn’t seem to have much use.

T-Mobile only includes a few important utilities with no spam games or anything. The T-Mobile app to manage your account is there, along with Visual Voicemail and Scam Shield.

CAT also has a custom camera app, a hyperlink to CAT phones, an FM radio app, and the CAT toolkit. CAT Toolbox is a Google Play store filter with categories for construction, agriculture, outdoor, heavy duty tools, and more. This utility is designed to help you find applications to work with the S22 Flip.

Daily experiences and conclusions

It was satisfying to open the phone to answer calls and close it to hang up and it’s hard to beat the experience. Phone calls have ranged well and the LTE signal has been strong with T-Mobile. The callers also rang correctly with the speakerphone on.

There is a bit of back and forth between the keyboard and the touchscreen when using Android apps, but I imagine people won’t be using as many apps on the screen as I would. was in my tests. The focus of this phone is not on the smartphone experience, although it is capable of limited application use. It was interesting typing text on the onscreen Gboard keyboard with very little room above the keyboard to display the app you’re working in.

However, you can switch to the Kika 12-key input if you want to use the large keyboard rather than pressing the small keys on the screen. This is a predictive input method that is not quite like the T9 that I have become accustomed to from my early days of using mobile technology. Perhaps the best input method is just to use Google’s excellent voice-to-text.

The phone is quite big and heavy, so I expected a long battery life. It lasted 2-3 days with moderate use, but it’s not one of those old-fashioned flip phones that you top up once a week. That said, it doesn’t compromise much in terms of functionality either and it can take a hit. I dropped it several times, submerged it in water and ran with it in the pouring rain without any issues or impact on the phone.

The CAT S22 Flip is not designed to take on the Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy world, but it is a good option for the target market segment. It was reliable, has good battery life, performed well with calls, and provided access to all the information I needed outside in inclement weather conditions. At $ 234, it’s a good second phone for fieldwork or even a primary phone for those who want a simple, large keypad for basic and essential communications.