Rugged phones typically have a durable design that inspires confidence in users who tend to drop their handsets, and the AGM H5 Pro takes a similar approach in this segment. Its sturdy frame and indistinct colors ensure that the phone withstands drops from a stairwell, the field, and anywhere in between.
Its main feature, however, is the massive speaker that protrudes from the rear, with the loudest sound I’ve heard from any smartphone. The AGM H5 Pro also starts at a lower retail price than many of the best rugged Android phones you can buy today; retails for $369.
Add 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (larger than its non-Pro sibling), a battery that can keep the lights on for more than a day, and an infrared camera that can see in the dark: you’ve got a perfect outdoor smartphone, with its biggest weak point being the rear camera.
AGM H5 Pro: price and availability
AGM launched its latest rugged smartphone in July for $369, though you can currently get it for $50 less through AGM’s online storefront. (opens in a new tab). It ships to a variety of markets including the US, UK, and European countries.
The phone includes a 10W charging station, which can also be purchased separately for $20.
AGM H5 Pro: What I like
Design-wise, the AGM H5 Pro is radically different from most rugged phones, thanks to its main speaker, which is more than a gimmick despite its pros and cons. While the combination of its thick rubber sides and metal frame adds to the phone’s durability, the presence of the large speaker on the back makes it look even bulkier than it is.
|Category||AGM H5 Pro|
|Operating system||Android 12|
|Display||6.52-inch HD+ LCD, 500 nits brightness|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio G85|
|Memory||8 GB RAM|
|Storage||128 GB of internal storage, expandable up to 512 GB|
|Rear camera 1||48MP (Samsung S5KGM2SP sensor)|
|Rear camera 2||2MP macro sensor|
|Rear camera 3||20MP IR night vision (Sony IMX350)|
|Front camera||20MP (Sony IMX376 sensor)|
|Security||Rear fingerprint sensor, face unlock, pattern/PIN unlock|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4G/5G|
|Ports||3.5mm earphone jack, USB2.0, Type-C, dual SIM|
|loading||15W wired charging, 10W charging station|
|protection||MIL-STD-810H, IP68, IP69K|
|Dimensions||176.15 x 85.5 x 23mm|
|lester||12,699 ounces (360 grams)|
However, if you’ve often complained about how most smartphones come with a small speaker hidden under a grille, the AGM H5 Pro may be for you. Not only is the speaker grille huge, but it also houses an equally large speaker. Its volume can reach up to 109 dB, with a maximum output of 3.5 W. This means that it offers much more than the average Bluetooth speaker.
A circle of color-changing LEDs surrounds the speaker, adding a nice touch. In the settings you can configure how the light reacts to the sound.
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Although it’s the most powerful smartphone speaker ever, it’s only mono and has mediocre bass. Depending on what you’re listening to, the speaker can also deliver punchy notes. However, you shouldn’t expect super impressive sound considering it’s hidden inside the phone for water protection.
In terms of performance, the H5 Pro compares to other rugged phones in its price range thanks to its MediaTek Helio G85 SoC. Although not the most powerful processor available, the MediaTek is suitable for casual gaming and multitasking. I also like that the phone is running a stock version of Android 12.
Also, I liked the textured back panel, which helps in better handling of the phone. Therefore, you won’t need a phone case for this.
The rear-facing speaker might be a problem if you’re carrying the H5 Pro outside in the rain or in the pool, but it’s actually waterproof thanks to its water and dust resistance rating IP68.
For the two weeks I tested the device, it had no issues after being submerged in water. A rubber flap covers the charging port and SIM tray. Plus, it has IP69K and MIL-STD-810H ratings for shock, heat, cold, humidity, and other harsh conditions.
The massive 7000mAh battery also gives the phone decent battery life. AGM claims it can deliver up to 150 hours of non-stop music and 32 hours of video. In my experience, the device can last up to two days without a charger under normal usage.
The addition of an IR night vision camera is handy for those working in darker environments. However, it is also the camera department that is responsible for the weakness of the phone.
AGM H5 Pro: What I don’t like
Although it looks like the phone compares to the competition on almost every front, it does have its share of drawbacks. One of them is his camera. The AGM H5 Pro offers a simple camera interface, with less sophistication than what you’ll find in most top Android phones.
Examples of AGM H5 Pro cameras
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That said, the image quality is nothing to write home about. Photos are a little soft and some detail is lost in hard-to-miss places. Similarly, video recording is not impressive.
Besides the average camera, the screen is one of the weaknesses of the phone. It only sports an HD+ display, unlike most other rugged phones with FullHD+ resolution. That means it’s not ideal for binge-watching movies or shows if you care about streaming high-res content.
More importantly, the phone’s lack of 5G connectivity and long-term software support make it a tough sell. Indeed, the H5 Pro will not receive the Android 13 update. AMG told me that it will not upgrade the device to the latest version of Android unless it sells 1,000,000 d units, which is a tough target for rugged phones.
AGM H5 Pro: Competition
There is currently no other phone with a 109dB speaker on the market, which makes the AGM H5 Pro the first of its kind. The Blackview BL8800 Pro, which I recently reviewed, is the closest competitor. Both have the same level of durability, although the latter is a bit more expensive at $400 due to its thermal imaging capability.
The $389 Doogee S96 Pro, which is powered by a beefier Helio G90 chipset, is another option. However, as it was released in 2020, this phone is already getting old and rugged phones are not known to receive long-term software support.
AGM H5 Pro: Should you buy it?
You should buy it if…
- You want a phone with the loudest speaker.
- You like a stock Android experience.
- Looking for a rugged phone with IR night vision.
You shouldn’t buy it if…
- You hate bulky handsets.
- Looking for a rugged phone with 5G support
- You want a phone with at least FullHD+ screen resolution.
At $369, the AGM H5 Pro is an ideal companion for adventurers. However, while its build quality and durability are on par with the competition, it suffers from an average camera, poor display and limited software support. It also lacks 5G support, which is another big downside.
If you’re only looking for a phone with a blaster speaker, chances are you don’t care about camera capabilities and high-resolution displays. You probably just want a smartphone that can withstand drops and the elements. If that describes you, the H5 Pro won’t disappoint.
Phone with the loudest speaker
The AGM H5 Pro has the loudest speaker of any Android phone at 109 dB. It’s also cheaper than most rugged phones on the market that offer infrared night vision, but with some downsides.