AGM Glory 5G rugged smartphone review

A former favourite makes a noteworthy comeback but is it too little too late?

AGM Glory 5G Review Hero
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The AGM Glory is a refreshingly good rugged smartphone. It has a rather attractive price tag with some cracking features but we’d love to see a bigger battery and perhaps a faster processor. Otherwise, we’re not very far from the perfect outdoor handset

Pros

  • +

    Two year warranty

  • +

    Battery capable of supporting low temperatures

  • +

    Incredible speaker

  • +

    Laser rangefinder

  • +

    IR night camera

Cons

  • -

    USB 2.0 Type-C connector

  • -

    Slow processor

  • -

    Design might deter some potential customers

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Two minute review

Kitchen sink is what came to mind when we first heard of the AGM Glory, a rugged smartphone (opens in new tab) that aims to offer as many features as possible. Its most obvious feature is the massive speaker that adorns its back and is the most powerful we’ve heard on a smartphone. It justifies AGM’s decision to “go large” with the Glory and deliver a product that’s about three times the thickness of your average high end Android device. 

Add in 8GB of RAM, 256GB onboard storage, wireless charging, a two year warranty, a battery that can sustain very low temperatures (and still be operational), an IR camera and a laser rangefinder and you’ve got a pretty compelling outdoor smartphone whose only real achilles’ heel is the relatively slow Qualcomm 5G processor.

Design

(Image credit: Future)

Design

The Glory is radically different from its more elegant predecessors, the X1 (opens in new tab), X2 (opens in new tab) and X3 (opens in new tab) that we reviewed over the past five years. Its looks will divide opinions and we have to admit that we’re not big fans of the current design philosophy. The X3 was - to some extent - the precursor of slim rugged smartphones like the Nokia XR20 (opens in new tab) or the Kyocera DuraSport 5G (opens in new tab). AGM’s latest handset takes a completely different approach.

AGM has finally given in and adopted the same utilitarian (some might say brash) design of its peers with plenty of rubber (AKA double injection plastic with TPU protection), a dash of (red) color and the sort of pattern, especially at the back, that you’d expect to see in a sci-fi movie. Let’s start there, shall we?

Rear Speaker

(Image credit: Future)

The first thing you notice when you take the Glory out of its box is a huge speaker at the back. We often complain how most vendors tend to stick with one tiny one, usually hidden behind an equally inconspicuous grill. Well, this one is the exact opposite; the speaker grill is huge, about 33mm, in diameter and hides a driver of the same size. It has a maximum output of 3.5W which is probably one order of magnitude more than what your average entry level portable Bluetooth speaker (opens in new tab) can deliver.

Three camera sensors and one LED flash are dispersed in a ring surrounding the speaker, which procures an alien-like look to the device. Further down the back are a fingerprint sensor and four POGO pins for optional accessories and the wireless charger.

USB-C Port

(Image credit: Future)

Elsewhere, there’s a flap that hides a Type-C connector as well as a 3.5mm earphone plug. 

Range Finder and Customizable Button

(Image credit: Future)

On the left is a red customizable button while on the right are located the power button and the volume rocker. Atop of the device sits a laser rangefinder.

Screen and Front Facing Camera

(Image credit: Future)

The screen is a gorgeous 6.53-inch FHD+ display with a 16-megapixel selfie camera bang in the middle of the top edge; AGM didn’t mention whether there’s any Gorilla Glass scratch protection. The Glory is IP68, IP69K and MIL-STD-810H rated, which means that it is waterproof (just make sure that the rubber flap is in place) and dustproof as well.

Pricing and availability

The AGM Glory 5G (opens in new tab) costs just under $520 when purchased directly from AGM Mobile. You get a pair of free AGM earbuds worth $70 and we recommend getting the wireless charger for another $10. A more expensive version of this phone, called the Glory Pro, adds another $300 to the price but includes a thermal camera which AGM claims is one of the best on the market thanks to its faster refresh rates and higher resolution.

Range Finder

(Image credit: Future)

Hardware

Spec Sheet

The AGM Glory 5G comes with the following hardware:

CPU: Snapdragon 480

GPU: Adreno 619

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 256GB

Screen size: 6.3-inch 

Resolution: 2340x1080

Weight: 370g

Dimensions: 175 x 84 x 23mm

Rear camera: 48MP, 48MP, 48MP

Front camera: 16MP

OS: Android 11

Battery: 6.2Ah

The Glory 5G runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480, which also powers the aforementioned XR20 and DuraSport 5G. It is a popular platform but clearly aimed at an entry level, price sensitive crowd that’s more interested in productivity and less in playing the latest games.

The rest of the specification list includes 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM, 256GB UFS2.2 onboard storage, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC and Wi-Fi 6. The main camera sensor is a 48-megapixel Sony IMX582 with a 20-megapixel night vision sidekick (with two IR LEDs) and last but not least, a 2-megapixel Macro camera.

AGM also claims that the battery on the Glory can last a staggering 24 hours at temperatures as low as minus 27 degrees. An 18W QC-compatible power charger is bundled with the Glory.

Side View

(Image credit: Future)

In use and performance

Benchmarks

This is how the AGM Glory 5G performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

PCMark (Work 2.0): 8901

Passmark: 6484

Passmark CPU: 2879

Androbench (sequential): 484 (sequential read); 318 (sequential write)

Androbench (random): 18 (random read); 19 (random write)

3DMark  Wild Life Vulkan: 983

We couldn’t wait to try the sound speaker on this beast. We can confirm that it is by far the loudest speaker on a smartphone we’ve heard to date; shame that it is mono. AGM says that it can deliver sounds of up to 110dB, sadly, we couldn’t test this claim. Our subjective aural test allowed us to appreciate the audio performance of the speaker. It is capable of delivering both punchy notes and subtle ones but don’t expect miracles, given the form factor.

As for performance in general, the Glory performs on par with other smartphones equipped with a Snapdragon 480 chipset. That is, it will not break any performance records, but will serve its users well as long as non-casual games are out of the picture. The only sore point we identified was the low random read/write speeds, which shouldn’t be much of an issue for most users. It wasn’t for us during our synthetic benchmarks or when we used it briefly.

As expected it runs on a stock version of Android 11 and other than the fact that it comes with GMS (Google Mobile Services), the Glory has few bundled apps like Zello and a voice recorder. Both the laser rangefinder and the infrared camera were simple to operate and matched their expectations. Unlike similarly-configured rivals like the Blackview BL6000 Pro (opens in new tab), the Glory comes with a two-year warranty.

Should I buy the AGM Glory 5G rugged smartphone?

Buy it if:

You want the loudest audio on a smartphone. Despite its monophonic sound setup, the Glory will get heads turning thanks to the most powerful speaker we’ve heard on a smartphone.

Don’t buy it if: 

You don’t like big rugged smartphones. The Glory’s heft is substantial so bear that in mind when considering this device.

You’re looking for an affordable 5G waterproof handset. There are cheaper 5G smartphones around but none of them come with a two-year warranty and the features found on the Glory

We've also rounded up the best rugged smartphones and best rugged tablets (opens in new tab)

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.