We looked at the AGM Glory GS1, a fully featured ruggedized smartphone with a high price tag, in June 2022. The new AGM H5 Pro design takes inspiration from the Glory, and more specifically, the Glory Pro version, to provide a product with a slightly different flavor but familiar packaging.
The H5 Pro’s waterproof loudspeaker and programmable LED light ring set it apart from the Glory series, which is better suited for commercial or industrial settings.
According to IP68, IP69K, and MIL-STD-810H standards, it can survive being submerged in water for up to 30 minutes and being dropped from 1.5 meters onto a hard surface without getting damaged. The USB port’s rubber covers must be in place for this to work, though.
The primary system-on-a-chip (SoC) is an octa-core Helio G85 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage; additional storage can be added via MicroSD card in the SIM tray.
That’s a robust foundation, and the 7000 mAh battery allows for 400 hours of standby time, 150 hours of continuous music playback, and 32 hours of video playback.
A 48-megapixel Samsung S5KGM2SP sensor with f1.79 optics is used for the primary rear camera, which is joined by a macro lens and a night vision camera. When taking selfies, the dependable 20MP Sony IMX376 sensor is used.
The H5 Pro, like many other recent Chinese-made smartphones, offers impressive hardware at a reasonable price (around $320).
The only drawbacks are the large 6.5-inch screen and the lack of support for 5G communications on dual SIMs. This monster phone is too large to fit comfortably in a trouser pocket.
This phone’s volume can reach 109 decibels, which could be irritating if you live near someone who uses it to play music you don’t like.
AGM H5 PRO PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
- Can you tell me how much it will set me back? The price plus shipping is $320 (£400 / €500).
- As soon as possible! It’s on sale right now.
- How do you get your hands on it? It is widely available in numerous countries worldwide.
The H5 Pro is available for $320 plus shipping to your region when purchased directly from AGM. Since this is a worldwide release, it is compatible with most services in Europe and the United States.
If you don’t want to use pogo pins to access the USB-C port on your H5 Pro, you can purchase a plastic dock made by AGM for an additional $50.
AGM H5 PRO DESIGN
- A massive phone
- The speaker is waterproof
- Camera placement isn’t ideal.
I’ve already said that the H5 Pro seems to use some parts from the Glory Pro, and now I can say that the layout is almost exactly the same.
Upon first taking the H5 Pro out of its packaging—a beige box with a charger included — its massive dimensions will immediately stand out. That’s how big it has to be to accommodate the 6.517-inch IPS TFT screen and the other technology that AGM jammed inside.
An adaptable button sits on the left side of the device, while the power button and volume rocker reside on the right. These are almost universal placements for rugged phones.
Notably, AGM moved the fingerprint reader from the power button to the center of the back of the device. Those who aren’t naturally right-handed will find that area to be more accommodating.
The 360-gram chunk is easy to hold on to, even when your hands are wet, thanks to a fake carbon fiber finish on the back.
It’s not the most eye-catching feature, though, because AGM slapped a huge waterproof speaker in the spot where most phones put their camera array.
The first problem is that it pushes the phone’s three camera sensors, LED flash, and infrared light to the device’s edges. They are conveniently located on the edge of the phone, where a finger can easily cover them and ruin any photos you might have taken.
The second downside of the speaker is that its projection stops the phone from laying flat, a minor issue but one that guaranteed that wireless charging was never an option. The H5 Pro can be charged without removing the waterproofing plug covering the USB-C port, but AGM engineers have attempted to mitigate this choice by installing pogo pins on the device’s lower back.
The extended SIM tray, which can accommodate two Nano SIM cards or one Nano SIM and a MicroSD card, is protected by a second rubber plug.
There isn’t much else to say about the design, other than that it appears to be built to withstand being dropped repeatedly, submerged in water, and used as a club without suffering any functional degradation.
AGM H5 PRO HARDWARE
- 109dB speaker
- Odd screen resolution
- 1080p capture but only 720p playback
There was a time when smartphone manufacturers preferred screen resolutions that matched those of other digital media, such as video and still images.
Although the H5 Pro’s IPS panel has a resolution of 1600×720, AGM refers to it as an FHD+ display, which is confusing given that the term “Full High Definition” refers to a minimum of 1920×1080. Most articles agree that FHD+ displays have a resolution of 2220 x 1080, making them roughly twice as many pixels as this one.
It’s unfortunate that the display doesn’t support higher resolutions, but as we’ll see, that wouldn’t help anyway. Without WideVine L1 support, the highest resolution offered by major streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Disney, etc.) is 480p on this device, as is the case with all AGM phones we’ve tested recently and Chinese phones in general.
According to our findings, Chinese smartphone manufacturers don’t seem interested in implementing a feature that would allow the MediaTek silicon to be programmed for L1 mode.
Finally, we’d like to talk about the speaker, which is one of the more divisive aspects of this phone. According to AGM, the speaker has a maximum output of 109 dB, which is louder than standing next to a motorcycle (95 dB).
The ability to play loud music for an unannounced beach party or similar occasion could be a valid use of this power. But it is more likely to make people very angry who are close by. If that describes you, then I say revel in your temporary superpower of delivering 109 dB for as long as it lasts, but be aware that 120 dB could cause permanent hearing loss.
In terms of hardware, this gets a 4 out of 5. This screen boasts a luminous 500 nits of brightness, which is plenty bright for any environment. However, the glossy glass surface makes it difficult to see clearly in direct sunlight, even at these illuminance levels.
The design doesn’t skimp on the SoC used. Powered by MediaTek’s top-tier Helio G85 and Mali-G52 MC2 processors, this device is unrivaled in its class. The impressive eight-core platform includes two powerful 2 GHz ARM Cortex-A75 cores and six efficient 1.8 GHz ARM Cortex-A55 cores.
Having 8GB of DDR4 memory and 128GB of storage space, it should be more than adequate for most users who aren’t recording excessive amounts of video or storing other data. If you only need one Nano SIM slot, a MicroSD card can be used to add more storage.
The H5 Pro has more than enough processing power and storage space for a wide variety of uses, and its GPU performance does allow for some gaming potential. It’s not quite as zippy as the DOOGEE S96GT or other phones we’ve tested with the Helio G95 SoC, but it’s also not as slow as other Helio designs.
AGM H5 PRO CAMERAS
- 48MP main and 20MP front
- Samsung sensor delivers high-quality captures
- Macro and Nightvision sensors
The AGM H5 Pro has four cameras:
- 48MP Samsung S5KGM2SP main sensor
- 20MP Sony IMX376 front-facing sensor
- 2MP Gcoreinc GC02M2 2MP Macro camera
- 20MP Sony IMX350 IR Night Camera
On paper, the four cameras—three on the back, and one in the front—are another enticing feature.
The H5 Pro is representative of a hybrid approach, where sensors from different manufacturers are used. The primary camera uses a high-quality Samsung S5KGM2SP 48MP sensor; a 2MP Gcoreinc GC02M2 is available for use in macro photography and in creating portraits with pinpoint focus, and a 20MP Sony IMX350 is available for use in infrared night photography.
The Samsung S5KGM2SP stands head and shoulders above the rest of these, producing images with impressive detail and color accuracy. Images captured with the Gcoreinc GC02M2 were generally satisfactory, but improvements are needed in the area of focus control to ensure consistently high quality in the future. If you like to fumble around in the dark while using your phone as a flashlight, night vision will serve you well.
We’ve already covered one of the biggest problems with the rear cameras: the fact that it’s positioned off to the side. The front-facing 20MP Sony IMX376 Sensor camera has no such ergonomic issues, which is great since it will primarily be used for selfies and video calls.
Whereas the Samsung S5KGM2SP is built for more than 4K, 240fps at 1080p, and capturing RAW images, these cameras fall just short by offering a maximum video resolution of 1080p. Unfortunately, those options are not available in the camera app on this phone.
However, it stands to reason that, given the display’s native resolution, no resolution higher than 720p can be played back without resorting to scaling. The ability to record in 4K and save the footage for offline playback would be very useful, though. The resolution limitation on this phone is just one of many.
AGM H5 PRO PERFORMANCE
- Uses the MediaTek Helio G85 SoC
- Good, but not a gaming phone
- Large-ish battery
We have previously tested the Armor 14 Pro, a phone that uses the same Helio G85 SoC, so the H5 Pro’s results don’t come as much of a surprise when compared to those of that device. There is less power here than in a phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 or Helio G95, but it’s a significant upgrade over the Helio G35 found in the entry-level AGM H5.
Scores on most benchmarks are doubled on the H5 Pro compared to the H5, with the exception of HWBot Prime, which is only slightly better.
Most of the time, the H5 Pro works well, but there are some things that could be done better. We’ve already covered how the Mali-G52 MC2 GPU isn’t great for gaming because it lacks WideVine L1 support, but it also isn’t great because it isn’t the worst in its class. It has enough power to handle Candy Crush and other casual games, but its 3D rendering performance isn’t up to par for virtual reality or first-person shooters.
AGM H5 PRO BATTERY
- Enough power for a few days
- No wireless charging
- 10w Pogo pins
Even though the 7000 mAh battery gives you a good amount of power, there are models with 10000 mAh or even 12000 mAh capacities. AGM says that this is the same as 400 hours of standing by, 150 hours of nonstop music, or 32 hours of video.
The only drawback of these standards is that if you buy the H5 Pro for a trip into nature where you won’t get a recharge, would you want to blow what battery life you have, destroying the inherent tranquility, by trying to stream video with little or no mobile service?
Depending on how often you use your device, a battery capacity of 7,000 mAh should last you at least two workdays before it needs to be charged again. Pogo pins are included to help make up for the lack of wireless charging by letting the docking stations charge the phone without disturbing the rubber seals that keep water out.
Our only gripe with these docks is that they can only supply a maximum of 10w of power, whereas a powerful enough charger plugged into the phone itself can supply up to 15w. So, avoid the dock if you need a quick charge on the H5 Pro.
Final verdict on the battery: 4.5 out of 5. The H5 Pro’s main selling points are its high-quality main camera sensor and sturdy build. As an added bonus, it has an infrared night vision mode, making it perfect for forest explorations where fumbling around in the dark can have disastrous consequences.
Perhaps there isn’t much of a demand for phones that can produce 109 dB of sound, but that’s the market AGM aims for with the H5 Pro.
SHOULD I BUY THE AGM H5 PRO?
You are the life of the party.
Some people may be interested in the H5 Pro because they can use it as a portable disc player, regardless of the effect on those around them.
It’s crucial that images have high quality.
If you can keep your fingers out of the way of the phone’s main sensor, it can take stunning photos. The ability to take photographs beneath the water’s surface is appealing, but only up to a depth of 1.5 meters.
The plan includes a camping trip.
If you find yourself in need of a midnight comfort break, you can make even the darkest woods seem like daylight with the IR night vision camera on this phone.
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