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AGM H5 Pro rugged phone review: An ideal outdoor companion

The AGM H5 Pro has an eye-catching speaker, but the device is held back by its average cameras.

AGM H5 Pro back panel
(Image: © Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

Our Verdict

With a 109dB loudspeaker, the AGM H5 Pro includes the loudest speaker on any Android phone. It is cheaper than most rugged phones out there, combining a stock Android experience with a durable and unassuming design.

For

  • Stock Android experience
  • Rugged-built frame
  • IR night vision
  • Blaster speaker

Against

  • Average cameras
  • No Android 13 upgrade
  • HD+ screen resolution
  • No 5G support

Rugged phones typically have a durable design that inspires confidence for users who are prone to dropping their handsets, and the AGM H5 Pro takes a similar approach in this segment. Its ruggedized frame and indistinct colors ensure that the phone survives drops from a stairwell, out in the field, and anywhere in between.

Its standout feature, though, is the massive speaker that protrudes out of the back, with the loudest sound I've heard on any smartphone. The AGM H5 Pro is also starting off at a cheaper retail price than many of the best rugged Android phones you can buy today; retailing at $369.

Throw in 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (bigger than its non-Pro sibling), a battery that can keep the lights on for more than a day, and an IR 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 H5 Pro facedown in hand

(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

AGM launched its latest rugged smartphone in July for $369, though you can currently snag it for $50 less through AGM's online storefront (opens in new tab). It ships to a variety of markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and European nations.

The phone includes a 10W charging dock, which can also be purchased separately for $20.

AGM H5 Pro: What I like

AGM H5 Pro screen in hand

(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

When it comes to design, the AGM H5 Pro looks radically different from most rugged phones, owing to its headline loudspeaker, which is far 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 at the back makes it even bulkier than it is.

CategoryAGM H5 Pro
Operating SystemAndroid 12
Display6.52-inch LCD HD+, 500 nits brightness
ProcessorMediaTek Helio G85
Memory8GB of RAM
Storage128GB of internal storage, expandable up to 512GB
Rear Camera 148MP (Samsung S5KGM2SP sensor)
Rear Camera 22MP macro sensor
Rear Camera 320MP IR night vision (Sony IMX350)
Front Camera20MP (Sony IMX376 sensor)
SecurityRear fingerprint sensor, face unlock, pattern/PIN unlock
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0, NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4G/5G
Ports3.5mm earphone jack, USB2.0, Type-C, dual SIM
Battery7,000mAh
Charging15W wired charging, 10W charging dock
ProtectionMIL-STD-810H, IP68, IP69K
Dimensions176.15 x 85.5 x 23mm
Weight12.699 ounces (360 grams)
speaker109dB Loud Speaker

However, if you've often complained about how most smartphones come with a tiny speaker tucked away beneath a grill, the AGM H5 Pro may please you. Not only is the speaker grill huge, but it also houses an equally large driver. Its volume can reach up to 109dB, with a maximum output of 3.5W. This means it delivers way more than the average Bluetooth speaker. 

A color-changing LED circle surrounds the speaker, adding a nice touch. In the settings, you can configure how the light reacts to sound.

While it is the loudest smartphone speaker ever, it is only mono and has poor bass. Depending on what you're listening to, the speaker can also deliver punchy notes. Though, you shouldn't expect a super impressive sound, given that it's hidden inside the phone for water protection.

In terms of performance, the H5 Pro stacks up against other rugged phones in its price range thanks to its MediaTek Helio G85 SoC. While it's not the most powerful processor available, the MediaTek is adequate for casual gaming and multitasking. I also appreciate the fact that the phone runs a stock version of Android 12.

Additionally, I liked the textured back panel, which helps with better handling of the phone. As a result, you won't need a phone case for it.

The AGM H5 Pro has the loudest speaker we've tested on a smartphone to date.

The rear-facing speaker may cause concern if you carry the H5 Pro outside in the rain or in the swimming pool, but it is actually waterproof thanks to its IP68 water and dust resistance rating.

During the two weeks I tested the device, it did not have any problems after being submerged in water. A rubber flap covers the charging port and SIM tray. Furthermore, it has IP69K and MIL-STD-810H ratings for shock, heat, cold, humidity, and other harsh conditions.

The massive 7,000mAh battery also gives the phone a decent battery life. AGM claims it can provide up to 150 hours of non-stop music and 32 hours of video. In my experience, the device could last up to two days away from a charger under normal usage.

The addition of an IR night vision camera comes in handy for those who work in darker environments. However, it's also the camera department that is responsible for the phone's weakness.

AGM H5 Pro: What I don't like

AGM H5 Pro back panel

(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

While it sounds like the phone stacks up against the competition on almost every front, it does have its share of drawbacks. One of them is its camera. The AGM H5 Pro offers a simple camera interface, with less sophistication than what you'd find in many of the best Android phones

AGM H5 Pro camera samples

That said, the image quality is nothing to write home about. The photos are a little soft, and some details are lost in hard-to-miss places. Similarly, video recording is unimpressive.

The average camera and lack of long-term software support hold back the AGM H5 Pro.

Apart from the average camera, the display is one of the phone's weaknesses. It only sports an HD+ screen, unlike most other rugged phones with FullHD+ resolution. This means it's not ideal for binge-watching movies or shows if you care about streaming content in higher resolution.

More importantly, the phone's lack of 5G connectivity and long-term software support makes it a tough sell. That's because the H5 Pro won't receive the Android 13 update. AGM told me that it won't upgrade the device to the latest version of Android unless it achieves big success in the rugged phones market.

AGM H5 Pro: Competition

Blackview BL8800 Pro back panel

(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

There is currently no other phone with a 109dB loudspeaker on the market, making the AGM H5 Pro the first of its kind. The Blackview BL8800 Pro, which I recently reviewed, is the closest contender. Both have the same level of durability, though 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, because it was released in 2020, this phone is already aging, and rugged phones aren't known for receiving long-term software support.

AGM H5 Pro: Should you buy it?

AGM H5 Pro in hand soaked in water

(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

You should buy it if...

  • You want a phone with the loudest speaker.
  • You love a stock Android experience.
  • You're looking for a rugged phone with IR night vision.

You should not buy it if...

  • You hate bulky handsets.
  • You’re looking for a rugged phone with 5G support
  • You want a phone with at least a 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, mediocre display, and limited software support. It also lacks 5G support, which is another big drawback.

If you’re only in the market for a phone with a blaster speaker, chances are you don’t care about camera capabilities and higher-resolution screens. You probably just want a smartphone that can withstand drops and the elements. If that describes you, the H5 Pro will not disappoint.