AGM G2 Guardian review: Perfect survival smartphone?
Flagship smartphones like the iPhone 14 or Samsung Galaxy S23 are not exactly suitable for fans of demanding outdoor activities. Although they feature state-of-the-art technology, you cannot expect too much in terms of durability. In view of the high price, it is therefore better to opt for a special outdoor smartphone for the next hike or camping trip far away from civilization. One of the best-known manufacturers of such devices is AGM. With its AGM G2 Guardian, the company has a brand-new device on the market that is not only supposed to shine in terms of resistance. On top of that, it offers a large-format speaker on the back, a powerful thermal imaging camera with a range of up to 500 meters, and impressive chip technology. Unlike many competing models, this outdoor smartphone comes at a surprisingly sporty price of just under 1,200 Euros. Is that justified? We check it in the AGM G2 Guardian test.
Inhaltsverzeichnis / Table of contents
|Dimensions and weight||177.5 mm x 85.3 mm x 25.3 mm and 405 g|
|Display||6.58′ FHD+ 120Hz display|
|Camera system||Rear: 108 MP main camera, 2 MP macro camera, 20 MP night vision camera (infrared) and thermal camera.
Front: 32 MP selfie camera
|Battery||7,000 mAh, fast charging at 18 watts|
|Water and dust protection||Waterproof, drop-proof, dust-proof according to IP68, IP69K and MIL-STD-810H|
|Speaker||Up to 109 dB|
|Memory||8/12 GB and 256 GB (expandable to 512 GB via SD)|
|Price||Price not available * (12GB/256GB)|
Scope of delivery
Let’s start with the scope of delivery. Besides the bulky AGM G5 Guardian itself, the eco-friendly cardboard packaging contains a charging cable (USB-A to USB-C), power plug, user manual, screen protector, stickers and replacement covers for the SIM card slot as well as USB port.
AGM G2 Guardian review: rugged design
- Large and heavy at 177.5mm x 85.3mm x 25.3mm and 405g
- Protects against water, dust and shock to IP68, IP69K and MIL-STD-810H
- Heat imaging camera and large speaker as highlights on the back
Right from the first unboxing of the AGM G5 Guardian, it becomes clear that this is no conventional smartphone. On the one hand, this is due to the expansive dimensions of 177.5 mm x 85.3 mm x 25.3 mm. On the other hand, it is not only much heavier than the iPhone and the like with a proud weight of 405 g. Even the AGM H5 Pro (test) that we already tested puts it in the shade with these values. The rest of the design is again clearly reminiscent of its sibling. For example, there is the unique case, which really reminds of a tank. The four edges in particular have obviously been well padded. It quickly becomes clear here that the smartphone can fall down without any problems.
You don’t have to worry about damage in the process. This also applies to water damage. Thus, it is protected against the damaging penetration of dust and water as well as impact damage according to the IP68, IP69K and MIL-STD-810H standards. The 6.58-inch display is on the front, which is interrupted by a teardrop notch in the upper area. This is where the front camera is located. The screen itself is anything but borderless and has a clear bar especially in the lower screen area. However, this should not bother buyers of such a device. Only the earpiece is then located above the selfie camera.
AGM G2 Guardian review: Thermal camera on the back
On the right side is the standby button, which is highlighted by an orange frame and has a fingerprint sensor. Above it sits the volume rocker, which comes in a cool Kevlar design. On the left side is the freely assignable button already known from the H5 Pro. For example, you can activate the flashlight at the push of a button. The SD and SIM card slot is located under a flap. However, you can only reach it with long fingernails or a targeted pressure with a paper clip or key. Unfortunately, it sits a bit deep in the case.
AGM also relies on a reliable cover on the bottom. USB-C port and a 3.5 mm jack are found here. A look at the top side again reveals the flashlight. However, the smartphone’s back is once again the most striking part. The three camera lenses and flash are arranged in a circle. The large speaker known from the H5 Pro is in the center. The real highlight is in the center of the smartphone’s back. The night vision camera is located behind a large lens.
The optics of the AGM G2 Guardian strike a very similar note as the H5 Pro. Fans of outdoor smartphones will enjoy a device that can apparently withstand the most adverse conditions. The color scheme of black with subtle orange accents is pleasingly restrained and looks very harmonious in combination with the lightning-shaped openings and the seams on the back. The build quality is on an extremely high level. However, those who do not like large and especially thick and heavy smartphones should keep their hands off this one.
AGM G2 Guardian review: Technology
- Qualcomm QCM 6490 industrial processor ensures good performance
- Optional 8 or 12 GB RAM
- 256 GB of internal storage (expandable to 512 GB via SD)
Actually, you should not expect too much from outdoor smartphones in terms of technology. However, the AGM G2 Guardian seems to want to change this principle quite a bit. Under the hood works the QCM 6490 from Qualcomm. This is actually an industrial processor that is basically identical to the Snapdragon 782G. The eight-core processor has a clock rate of 2.7 GHz and ensures that the smartphone is capable of 5G. It is supported by either 8 or 12 GB of RAM. I noticed gigantic differences especially in a direct comparison with the H5 Pro. The G2 Guardian is extremely fast and did not give me any annoying stutters or the like. An Adreno 643 is used as the graphics unit.
Of course, you always have to keep in mind what the hobbyhorse of the outdoor smartphone is. It does not want to achieve best rates in the benchmark, but work as efficiently as possible. Therefore, you should not expect the performance of classic flagship smartphones with Snapdragon 8 Gen1. Nevertheless, one or the other mobile game could be played without problems. In return, you can enjoy a long-lasting battery and the fact that the smartphone does not get hot. The latter could of course also be due to the casing’s extreme thickness. A storage capacity of 256 GB is available. The memory can then be expanded to 512 GB via the SD slot.
AGM G2 Guardian review: display
- 6.58-inch display
- 2,408 x 1,080 pixels (FHD+)
- 120 Hz
The 6.58-inch display comes in a resolution of 2,408 x 1,080 pixels (FHD+). It also offers a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Together, this ensures sharp and buttery-smooth moving pictures. Unfortunately, you cannot adjust the refresh rate in the settings. That would have been quite sensible. After all, this is known to be one of the biggest battery guzzlers. However, without anticipating too much, you do not notice this in view of the very good battery performance. For this reason, I assume that AGM relies on an adaptive adjustment of the refresh rate here.
So it should automatically shrink if you are just glancing at documents or text. When it comes to moving pictures or faster scrolling, it should increase again. In practice, the 120 Hz always pays off. No matter if menu, browser or games. Everything runs smoothly on the screen. The display’s color reproduction is solid, but cannot be compared with current flagships from other manufacturers. The iPhone 14 and Galaxy S23 in particular are much better here. All in all, the display cuts a really good figure.
AGM G2 Guardian review: Main camera with 108 MP
- Triple camera (main camera, macro camera and infrared camera)
- Image stabilizer and wide angle not available
- Heat imaging camera provides great results
Time to take a look at the back. This is where the camera unit of the AGM G2 Guardian is located. This is composed of the main camera (108 MP), macro camera (2 MP) and infrared night vision camera. The fourth small circle in the bunch is the flash. The three cameras partly conjure up quite good results in combination. These shine with colorful pictures, which are worth seeing.
What struck me as extremely positive in practice is the camera’s speed. Snapshots are possible without any problems here. However, you quickly feel that a decent image stabilizer is missing here when things have to go fast. Blurry pictures as a result of fast movements are then not uncommon. Photographing moving objects is also not that easy.
Here you often get blurry results as well. Now it should be said that my demands on smartphone cameras are not the very highest. If you have a penchant for taking photos via cell phone, you have to be prepared for a rather half-baked solution with the AGM G2 Guardian. Finally, the software is also very slimmed down. There are no detailed setting options as known from other smartphones.
Personally, I don’t find this a bad thing. Instead, I was happy to find a clear menu. Nevertheless, it is shocking that AGM shows deficits in image stabilization and software, of all things, despite a main camera with an astonishing 108 MP. The manufacturer should set the focus a bit better here.
AGM G2 Guardian review: Where is the wide-angle?
Apropos wrong focus setting. The macro camera may deliver quite good results. However, why AGM doesn’t rather go for a wide-angle lens that can conjure up great panoramas in an outdoor phone is really questionable. On the other hand, the night vision camera looks anything but out of place.
This does a great job of providing orientation even in the dark thanks to infrared technology. AGM gives its selfie camera a proud 32 MP. This allows you to make high-quality video calls even in the sticks – provided the network coverage is sufficient, of course.
AGM G2 Guardian test: thermal imaging camera
With the AGM H5 Pro, it was primarily the large-format rear speaker that made my ears flap with excitement. This is also used in the G2 Guardian, but it is a completely different highlight that stands out here and could cause a stir in the field of conventional smartphones. The AGM G2 Guardian has a real thermal imaging camera. The manufacturer has also installed a suitable app on the device especially for this. The 10 mm lens on the back provides thermal images with a resolution of 256 x 192 pixels. Moving image recordings are possible in 25 Hz.
When I first tried this feature, the outdoor smartphone suddenly felt like a secret military gadget. Whether or not you actually need it as a conventional user is up for debate. What is certain is that the thermal imaging camera works really well. The range in particular really impressed me. In the test, I put my two cats and my dog under the microscope. The camera even gave me the body temperature of the animals in temperature mode. A really cool feature that could possibly provide a lot of fun for one or the other.
AGM G2 Guardian review: speaker and other gadgets
On hikes and other outdoor excursions, you have to be meticulous about what you take with you and what you don’t. After all, the space provided by the backpack is not endless. AGM probably also thought about that when the manufacturer decided to add a speaker to its smartphones without further ado. If you carry the G2 Guardian with you, you can leave your Bluetooth box at home. The circular speaker on the back offers 3.5 watts of power. That may not sound like much, but the small device can score with a lot of power in practice. It is not just loud. Trebles and mids are reproduced pleasantly clear. Listening to podcasts in particular sounded pleasingly pleasant with the smartphone.
Also, when a matching speaker is integrated, the smartphone also does a really good job of connecting Bluetooth devices. I noticed this with my Sony wireless over-ears. I moved away from the smartphone to check how stable the connection was. And lo and behold. Even at the other end of the apartment, I still enjoyed stable reception without any jerks or the like. What I also liked was the info about which audio codec is currently in use. The AGM G2 Guardian remains true to its concept as a Swiss Army knife among smartphones even when looking at the top. The flashlight located here has significantly more power than the flash lights that smartphones usually make use of for the flashlight feature.
AGM G2 Guardian review: battery performance
Of course, an outdoor smartphone should also offer a certain endurance. After all, staying power for a weekend is quite desirable. AGM creates the best conditions for this. The device offers a battery capacity of 7,000 mAh. We only know such values from tablets and not from smartphones. The H5 Pro is an exception. It also had 7,000 mAh. You can charge the unfortunately installed battery with up to 18 watts via fast charging. That might not be a record, but it is completely acceptable in view of the stamina. Wireless charging via a Qi charging surface is unfortunately not possible. However, AGM offers an alternative, as the two golden dots on the lower back already suggest. With their help, you can charge the outdoor smartphone via a docking station.
Even at first glance, the AGM G2 Guardian makes it clear that it is a genuine outdoor smartphone. This is mainly due to the rugged design, which in turn makes for a rather high weight. However, unlike many other representatives in this segment, the G2 Guardian also comes with great technical features. A powerful processor meets a solid display that can even show 120 Hz. However, the highlights of the device are on the back.
On the one hand, there is the integrated speaker, which is not only loud, but also has a good sound to offer. On the other hand, there is a genuine thermal imaging camera in addition to the rather moderately good lenses of the triple camera. This unique selling point, which should particularly excite outdoor fans, is probably also the reason for the smartphone’s comparatively high price. Together with the powerful flashlight, you get the Swiss Army knife among smartphones.
AGM G2 Guardian
Workmanship & design
Value for money
The AGM G2 Guardian is the Swiss Army knife among smartphones.
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