While there is no doubt that the iPhone is seen by many as the ultimate smartphone, there are plenty of smartphones that have features that Apple users can only dream of. Think thermal cameras and IR night vision, and even laser pointers.
Need a smartphone that has all this and more, all built into a rugged housing that can handle tough situations with ease?
The AGM Glory G1S might just be the smartphone you’ve been waiting for.
Externally, the Glory G1S is like many other rugged smartphones. A huge slab of a smartphone wrapped in protective rubber armor, with small flaps covering all ports to prevent water ingress.
The smartphone claims to be waterproof and dustproof to IP68/IP69K and has been drop tested from 1.5m to comply with MIL-STD-810H.
This is a sturdy handset.
More: Best Rugged Phones for Outdoor Adventures
The screen is a massive 6.53-inch display and comes straight from the factory with a screen protector applied.
Inside, it features an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G CPU with Qualcomm’s Adreno 619 GPU. This is supported by 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of storage, expandable by adding a 512GB microSD card.
This is a pretty hefty smartphone.
It has all the things you would expect from an Android smartphone, such as Bluetooth and NFC, and a fingerprint sensor.
It is also loaded with cameras, which include a 48-megapixel front-facing camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera and a 16-megapixel front-facing camera.
It even has a 3.5mm headphone jack — remember? — and the earbuds also act as an antenna for the FM radio.
But there’s more.
Inside the rear camera array is a 256×192 thermal imager with a temperature range of -20°C to 550°C, and a 20-megapixel night vision IR camera with IR LED lighting.
Yes, it has both a thermal camera and an IR night vision camera.
Oh, there’s also a laser pointer.
So why would you want a smartphone with a built-in thermal camera or an IR camera?
Because they are super useful, not only as a fun one to play with, but also because they are really useful tools in the hands of a technician or engineer.
More: ZDNet’s full review of the AGM Glory G1S
I got my first thermal camera — a standalone FLIR unit — a few years ago and I found it super useful. You can do so much with it.
Here are just a few things you can do with a thermal camera:
- Look for overheated electrical components (faulty components usually get hotter)
- Diagnose a variety of HVAC problems, from windows that leak heat to radiators that don’t heat up properly to AC units that don’t cool
- Finding Dangerously Overheated Rechargeable Batteries
- Finding Radiator Tubes Under Floor Planks
- Finding Overheating Cables
- Find cooling system issues on desktop and laptop systems
- Spot binding brakes on cars
My tip for learning how to use a thermal camera is to use it to look at things when they’re not broken — your radiators, car brakes, electrical stuff, whatever — and that’s how you learn how things should look like, so you can see when things aren’t working right.
It’s gotten to the point where I find the thermal camera so useful that I go there without thinking twice. I just wanted to know if an electrical device was receiving power, and instead of reaching for a multimeter, I used my thermal camera to see if anything was heating up inside. Once I saw components heat up, that eliminated a lot of potential problems.
But what about night vision? That’s one of those niche things, isn’t it?
You would be wrong.
The number of times I found myself in a room where there is no light (usually an attic or a basement). Or maybe it’s nighttime and I don’t want to shine a light around the spot to look for something (as a photographer who does a bit of night photography, I find this is something I do often).
Another cool trick you can use the night vision camera for is to check if infrared LEDs are working. You’ll find these on everything from TV remotes to the IR floodlights built into security cameras.
And it’s also a nice tool to see what happens after the sun goes down. It’s amazing what animals show up when they think they can’t be seen!
This is a really handy feature to have packed into a smartphone.
I thought the laser pointer would be something I would never use, but it is.
I know, clear right? But if you’re trying to point out something out of reach, something hot, or something buried in a live electrical device, using the laser pointer is a lot better than using a finger!
What it comes down to:
The AGM Glory G1S isn’t cheap — comes in at $699 — but for those who can take advantage of thermal and night vision cameras, this is a solid handset worth checking out. For more general coverage (and thermal images) of the AGM Glory G1S, check out my colleague Jack Wallen’s full review here.