AGM Glory G1S review: Superpowers in a rugged smartphone

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Positives

  • thermographic
  • Big Screen
  • Durable, grippy casing
  • Long battery life
  • The rear cameras are capable
  • strong performance

Negatives

  • heavy
  • Android 11 and Jan 2022 security
  • Mono rear speaker

Earlier this summer, my ZDNET colleague, Jack Wallen, posted his message impressions AGM Glory G1S Durable smartphone. I’m following it up with this official review. I’ve spent a month using the G1S in the water, at the beach, in the wild, and in other environments where this mid-range phone was designed.

phones like AGM Glory G1S It is clearly not designed for the standard consumer looking at IphoneAnd the Samsung Galaxyor Google Pixel. However, with a large durable protective case on those phones, there isn’t much difference in size and weight. The Glory G1S Designed for people who are looking for a tool to solve a specific problem. If you are looking for a phone with a thermal imaging sensor and night vision cameras, and also works like a regular smartphone, the Glory G1S is what to consider.

also: Best Night Vision Security Cameras: See in the Dark

Jack provided all the specifications in his article So check out these details. It’s also interesting to read another opinion about the phone, as we both agree that the Glory G1S is an Android smartphone for the right customer.

The AGM Glory G1S appeared.

Five holes and a fingerprint sensor on the back.

Matthew Miller / ZDNET

hardware

AGM Glory G1S is a 315g big phone. Given the cameras, big battery, and powerful features, it makes sense. When you’re working in the field, it’s a good idea to have a large screen to display information, and the high level of durability is appreciated by the frequent drops.

The screen resolution of 6.53 inches is 2340 x 1080 pixels, with a small central notch for the front camera. The screen is very bright and can be seen easily outside, fortunately. There are some wide bezels on the top and bottom, but I really like the narrow side bezels of such a durable phone. The orange line highlights the screen frame.

also: Top 5 phones you can buy right now

Laser pointer on the AGM Glory G1S.

Handy laser pointer on top of the phone.

Matthew Miller / ZDNET

The volume and power button is positioned on the right side, with a solid tether opening in the lower right corner. The programmable hardware button – in textured orange – stands out on the left side, while the SIM card and microSD card tray are on the right. The four corners have an extra TPU material to protect the phone from drops, similar to the design of protective cases.

In addition to the microphone hole, there is a unique red laser pointer on top of the phone. This can be turned on and off with a quick control button in the notification center. Through my use the laser pointer has been very useful for pointing things at others. I wish it had the ability to act as a laser range finder.

more: Why do you need an Android smartphone with thermal camera and infrared camera

The rubber port cover can be removed from the bottom to reveal the USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack. The USB-C port is inserted from the bottom, so you need a USB-C cord that fits into the port for charging.

You can also ship the AGM Glory G1S with a $20 docking accessory. Using the dock, you can set the phone down into the slot and it will charge via the four contacts on the lower back of the phone. The charging base is fully powered by USB-C.

AGM Glory G1S shipped in the dock.

Leave the bottom ports covered and charge in the dock.

Matthew Miller / ZDNET

One of the phone’s most distinctive features is the back of the AGM Glory G1S, the root upper back half has five slots: three cameras and a flashlight. The camera system includes a 48MP Sony IMX582 camera, a 2MP macro lens, and a 20MP Sony IMX350 infrared night vision lens.

In the center, an infrared thermal imaging camera sits proudly. For testing, I experimented with night vision while camping and the imaging sensor was definitely useful for going through trails in dark conditions. There’s also a rear fingerprint sensor that regular readers will know I love for its ergonomics, accessibility, and reliability.

also: The best durable phones that can take a heavy blow

Programming

Launched with Android 11, the AGM Glory G1S is nearly two generations behind the latest software made by Google. The January 5, 2022 Android Security Update is available in our review unit. I haven’t heard of any plans from AGM regarding Android updates but having such an old security update on the phone is not a good sign for long term support. The whole point with this phone is to buy it if you like what is currently on the phone, not what could be more. Security updates are important to businesses, so we hope to see some activity here soon.

The G1S runs a stock version of Android without bloatware or installing additional apps. The only additional apps focus on the specific instrument experience, including a compass, FM radio, and “IRCamera” for thermal imaging. The laser pointer console appears as an optional tile in the Notification Center.

Normal image and thermal image of a machine on an AGM Glory G1S.

With this mode, you can compare the actual image to the thermal image.

Matthew Miller / ZDNET

Unlike all stock Android settings, there is a user-selected key setting on the left side. You can set this key to press to talk, play audio, and open services such as camera, LED, laser pointer, or even Google Assistant. I currently have it set for the laser pointer.

More customization is found in the thermal imaging camera software. Pro and Classic options appear at the bottom of the thermal imaging software. You can change the thermal color palette, create time-lapse snapshots, toggle measurements on and off, combine GPS information, highlight areas in an image, and more.

performance

The Glory G1S took a recent ship inspection to measure the temperatures of the various engines, the temperature of the water in the pipes, and the hot spots in the electrical panels. I also took phone fishing since I had time standing in the river and it is important to have a phone that can withstand water and falls into the river.

Overall, the software is easy to use and very practical for beginners as well. The thermal imaging app also allows for video creation, and I appreciate the flexibility.

Regular and thermal image of the operating keyboard on an AGM Glory G1S.

A view of the operating keyboard with the G1S.

Matthew Miller / ZDNET

I tried watching movies on the Glory G1S too, and it looked great on the big screen. I’m not a fan of the only rear speaker out there between the cameras. It’s fairly loud, but not as loud as I’ve experienced on other powerful smartphones. Having a loud speaker is a must for fieldwork.

minimum

If you are looking for a device that can take thermal imaging photos and videos, can be used to see and capture things at night in infrared vision, and acts as an Android smartphone, then the Glory G1S is the one to buy. The $599 Amazon price is very attractive for such a powerful mid-range phone. Now if only the company could be more proactive with Android security and firmware updates.

Alternatives to consider

Want more powerful phone suggestions? These are your best options:

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