Finally, a rugged phone is launched that does not look like a brick, and is easy to hold in my hand. Newly launched this week the AGM H3 rugged smartphone impressed me as soon as I took it out of its box.
It looks like any other slimline phone with a large 5.7 inch LCD screen. Its dimensions are 168 x 78 x 12.3mm — a little thicker than other slim phones — but its thickness is due to its 5400mAh built in battery. It weighs 248g and has 1440 x 720 pixels.
But the AGM H3 smartphone is rugged and certified to MIL-STD-810H — a different classification to the IPXX standards offered by most device manufacturers.
MIL-STD-810H guidelines are that the equipment should be able to cope with environmental stresses such as pressure, temperature, explosion, shock and vibration.
The standard also has guidelines for tests for humidity dust and water ingress. The AGM H3 phone is also compliant with IP68/69K standards for high pressure wash jets to the phone.
Unlike more boxy phones like the Cubot King Kong 5 and the Doogee S97, the AGM H3 has curved edges and smooth corners. I did not find the phone to be uncomfortable – no matter how long I used it for. It feels nice, and does not dig into my hands.
Top ZDNET Reviews
Inside the AGM H3 there is a MediaTek MT6762 octa-core ARM cortex A53 chipset running at up to 2.0GHz. It comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM storage which is extendable up to 128GB if you add a micro SD card to the dual SIM slot. The OS is Android 11 and the H3 has NFC built in.
To minimise the chance of water ingress there is one type-C port and no 3.5mm jack. However inside the box there is a type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack converter.
On the rear of the phone there are three lenses and an LED flash light. The rear camera is 12MP and there is a 13MP infrared night camera. There is also a 2MP macro camera.
The front camera is 8MP. There are a few image enhancement features in the camera software such as face slimming or skincare filters – but nothing too outrageous.
Image quality is good and images taken in low light are superb. There is a 2W speaker on the front of the camera and the sound is impressively loud.
My only concern is that there is no protection for the rear camera lenses and I imagine that if the phone skidded along the tarmac, the covering glass would get scratched and spoil camera images.
The fingerprint sensor is on the back of the phone body which minimises the chance of inadvertently touching the sensor and unlocking the phone when you grab it from your pocket.
The AGM H3 has a side button which can be customised to perform tasks such as push to talk using the installed Zello app, camera, LED torch or audio play.
The H3 has both fingerprint and face unlock – both of which work well and are quick to respond. There is no OEM bloatware on the H3 to slow the phone down which I love.
I did notice a slight lag if I opened many apps and tried to use resource hungry apps simultaneously. However, the phone never froze, or needed to reboot.
Bluetooth connection was quick and strong and Wi-Fi was easy to connect. Battery life was excellent and call quality, sound and music was good.
All in all the AGM H3 is a lovely slim rugged phone that is dust and water resistant with a pared down interface and good performance.
There is little not to like about the H3 phone, and if you are rough with your phones, but hate the brutish form factor of some of the big models, then the sleek H3 will give you all of the features you need in a slimline device.