AGM Glory G1S review: the powers of superheroes in a rugged smartphone

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professionals

  • thermographic
  • great exhibition
  • Sturdy and hand-held casing
  • Long battery life
  • Capable rear cameras
  • Solid performance

versus

  • heavy
  • Android 11 security and January 2022
  • Single mono rear speaker

Earlier this summer, my ZDNET colleague, Jack Wallen, posted his impressions of the AGM Glory G1S rugged smartphone. I am following it with this formal review. I spent a month using the G1S in the water, on the beach, in the wilderness and other environments that this mid-range phone was intended for.

Phones like the AGM Gloria G1S they are clearly not designed for the standard consumer looking at the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel. However, with a large sturdy protective case on those phones, there isn’t much difference in size and weight. the Gloria G1S is created for people looking for a tool to solve a specific problem. If you are looking for a phone that is equipped with a thermal imaging sensor and night vision cameras and, moreover, behaves like a normal smartphone, then Glory G1S is the one to consider.

Also: Best night vision security cameras – look in the dark

Jack gave all the specs in his article, so check out for those details. It’s also interesting to read another opinion on the phone, with both of them agreeing that the Glory G1S is a solid Android smartphone for the right customer.

Back of AGM Gloria G1S.

Five openings and a fingerprint sensor on the back.

Matthew Miller / ZDNET

Hardware

The AGM Glory G1S is a large phone, measuring 315 grams. Given the cameras, large battery and rugged features, it makes sense. When training in the field, it is nice to have a large display for viewing information and the high level of duration is appreciated with frequent falls.

The 6.53-inch display has a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels, with a small central notch for the front camera. The display is very bright and easily visible outside, thankfully. There are some wider bezels at the top and bottom, but I’m actually impressed with the narrow side bezels for such a rugged phone. An orange line highlights the display frame.

Also: The five best phones you can buy right now

Laser pointer on AGM Glory G1S.

Convenient laser pointer on the top of the phone.

Matthew Miller / ZDNET

The volume and power button are positioned on the right side, with a durable lanyard opening in the lower right corner. A programmable hardware button, with a textured orange finish, accentuates the left side, while the SIM card and microSD card tray are located on the right side. The four corners have additional TPU material to protect the phone from drops, similar to how protective cases are designed.

In addition to the opening for the microphone, there is a unique red laser pointer on the top of the phone. This can be turned on and off via a quick control button in the notification area. Since my use, the laser pointer has been very useful for pointing objects to others. I just wish it had the ability to act as a laser rangefinder.

Other: Why do you need an Android smartphone with a thermal and IR camera

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

You can also charge the AGM Glory G1S via its $ 20 dock accessory. With the dock, you can store your phone in the slot and it will charge via the four-pin connections at the bottom of the back of the phone. The charging base is all powered by USB-C.

AGM Glory G1S charging in the dock.

Leave the bottom ports covered and charge into the dock.

Matthew Miller / ZDNET

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

At its core, the infrared camera is proud. To test, I tried night vision while camping, and the imaging sensor was definitely useful for traversing 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 rugged phones that can take a hit

Software

The AGM Glory G1S launches with Android 11, which is nearly two generations behind the latest software from Google. The gen. 5, 2022, the Android security update is present on our review unit. I haven’t heard any plans from AGM regarding Android updates, but having such an old security update on your phone isn’t a good sign for long-term support. The bottom line with this phone is to buy it if you like what’s currently on the phone and not what else it can be. Security updates are important to businesses, so we hope to see some activity here soon.

The G1S runs a stock version of Android with no bloatware or additional apps installed. The only additional apps focus on the specific instrument experience, including a compass, FM radio and “IRCamera” for thermography. The laser pointer controller appears as an optional tile in the notification area.

Regular image and thermal image of a car on AGM Glory G1S.

With this mode it is possible to compare the real image with a thermal image.

Matthew Miller / ZDNET

In addition to all the stock Android settings, there is a user-defined key setting on the left side. You can set this button for push to talk, audio playback, and opening services like the camera, LED flashlight, laser pointer, or even the Google Assistant. I currently set it up for the laser pointer.

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

Performance

I took the Glory G1S to a recent naval survey to measure the temperatures of various engines, the temperature of the water in the pipes and the hotspots in the electrical panels. I also took the phone to fly fishing as I spend my time standing in the river, and a phone that can withstand water and fall into the river is important.

In general, the software is easy to use and very functional even for beginners. The thermal imaging application also allows for video creation, which I appreciate the flexibility.

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

A view of an operating panel with the G1S.

Matthew Miller / ZDNET

I also tried watching movies on the Glory G1S and they looked great on the large display. However, I’m not a fan of the single rear speaker that sits between the cameras. It’s loud enough, but not as loud as the ones I’ve experienced on other rugged smartphones. Having a speaker is a must for field work.

Bottom line

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

Alternatives to consider

Want more robust phone tips? These are your best options:

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