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Every so often I receive a phone to review that, at first blush, looks less like something consumers might want and more like something better suited for niche use cases. Some of the devices I receive will clearly never succeed in a market already flooded with low-to-mid-range devices from companies desperate to make a splash.
And then there are devices, like the AGM Glory G1S, that somehow exist within the apex of that complicated Venn diagram of users and use cases.
When I received the AGM Glory G1S, my first thought was something along the lines of: "Okay, this phone is way too heavy for consumers." This device weighs probably twice that of my Pixel 6 Pro. It has roughly the same size screen, but it's wrapped in a protective case that is reported to withstand drops of up to 4.7 feet and can take photos underwater at depths of (surprisingly enough) 4.7 feet.
Of course, I had to put that to a test (more on that in a moment). First, the specs.
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 480 5G 8nm Octa-core CPU up to 2.0 GHz
Internal storage 128 GB, RAM 8 GB LPDDR4X, Micros SD card support up to 512 GB
6.53" LTPS TFT, 16.7 M color @ 2340 X 1080
Main camera: 48MP AF, Sony IMX582, f/1.79, 1/2.0", 6P; Night vision camera: 20MP with 1 infrared LEDs; Macro camera: 2MP; Selfie camera: 16MP; Flash LED: Main flash LED*1
Thermal Imaging Camera, Laser pointer, Rope hole
3.7 V/5500 mAh
A quick glimpse of those specs and, all of a sudden, my interest was piqued -- not because of the CPU/RAM/Display (which are all quite serviceable), but because of the extra features that you won't find on most Android phones.
Take, for instance, the case (Figure 1). This thing feels indestructible. And even though it adds considerable heft to the phone, the protection it offers is remarkable.
If you are prone to gravity testing your phones, you'd have a hard time damaging the G1S with a simple drop.
Next up is the infrared camera. This camera allows you to snap both IR photos and videos and is amazingly good at detecting heat (Figure 2).
Although the G1S camera won't be besting the Pixel 6 Pro, it's not too far behind. A quick photo of one of my wife's many garden splendors (Figure 3), and you can see how impressive the camera is on the G1S.
The odd thing about the camera is the default aspect ratio is set to 4:3, instead of a more traditional 16.5:9 (as is with the Pixel). You can easily change that from within the camera settings, which most people will want to do.
Finally, I couldn't help but test the ability of the G1S to survive underwater. So I did a quick video inside of my 55-gallon freshwater fish tank to see how well it would survive. Clearly, it survived the test with aplomb (Figure 4).
As far as performance goes, although the G1S doesn't stand up to my Pixel 6 Pro, it's not far off. And given the price tag is $699.00 (around $300.00 cheaper than the Pixel), it comes closer than you might think. Apps open quickly, web pages render very fast, portrait mode photos render almost instantly (actually slightly faster than the Pixel 6 Pro) and are not too shabby (Figure 5).
Even with a fairly good amount of apps running, the G1S still performs like a champ. I performed one quick gaming test with Diablo Immortal; compared to how it performs on my Pixel 5, the G1S can stand toe-to-toe with it. Of course, the Pixel 5 doesn't have the most powerful CPU, but it's still no slouch. The game installed and played flawlessly (without the same near-overheating I experience with the Pixel 5).
As far as the sound is concerned, it blows the Pixel 5 out of the water. Where I have to run the Pixel 5 at max volume to hear the game, the G1S has to be turned down to around 50% because it's way too loud.
If you're looking for an armored Android device that can take a beating and still perform well, the AGM Glory G1S is a heck of a bargain. If this phone is of interest, you can buy one directly from the AGM website or fromAmazon.