Protected military smartphone AGM A9 with 4 speakers JBL

Today I am considering a new product - a fresh smartphone AGM A9
What is different AGM A9 smartphone:
Firstly - it is very seriously protected.model, but with a completely "civil" non-aggressive design. In other words - the rarest case when, because of the desire to have a shockproof and waterproof device, you do not have to blush for an ugly brick-like case.

Secondly - as many as four high-profile speakers JBL development.
Third, a reliable American chipsetQualcomm, instead of the problematic solutions of Chinese MediaTek. Not to mention the smaller chips. And all this at a more than reasonable price from 18 to 21 thousand rubles ($ 270 - $ 320), depending on the version (3/32 and 4/64 GB of memory). An interesting phone? We read further.
Video about the history of the company AGM, the production of smartphones and their hard tests under the cut-th.
AGM company phenomenon in the smartphone market is extremelykinda Judge for yourself - this is a German manufacturer, where, according to legend, the ex-employees of the Nokia plant closed in Germany work. Well, like the iPhone - the German brand and production in China - only the army. Trademark specialization is the development of smartphones for military needs. Yes, AGM creates protected military smartphones for a number of European countries within the NATO bloc. It would seem, and here we are, ordinary buyers from the countries of the former CIS? The fact is that those same military smartphones become available to anyone “civilian” after a while. The only difference is the lack of secret NATO military software. Which, however, is hardly of any interest to the average Russian user (unless, of course, your surname is Petrov or Boshirov).
AGM A9 features: • Screen: 6 inches, 2160 x 1080 pixels, IPS. matrix manufacturer - Japan Display;
• Screen Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 5;
• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 (8x1.8 GHz);
• Memory: 32 or 64 GB;
• RAM: 3 or 4 GB;
• Support microSD: up to 128 GB;
• Temperature range of operation: from -30 to +60 ° C;
• IP68 protection: yes;
• Protection according to MIL-STD-810G: yes;
• GLONASS / GPS / Beidou: + / + / +;
• Front camera: 16 megapixel (Samsung);
• Rear camera: 12 MP (Sony);
• Battery: 5,400 mAh, support QuickCharge 3.0 - full charge in 2 hours and 35 minutes;
• Fingerprint scanner: yes;
• SIM cards: two slots;
• LTE and cellular: works worldwide;
• System: Android 8.1 Oreo;
• Main speakers: four pieces, audio system - JBL development;
• Thickness, weight: 9 mm, 216 g;
• Price: from 18 300 rubles 270 $.
Communication standards: • GSM / GPRS / EDGE Band 2/3/5/8
• EVDO Rev.A / CDMA2000 1x BC0
• WCDMA Band 1/2/4/5/8
• TD-SCDMA Band 34/39
• LTE-FDD Band 1/3/5/7/8/19/20 / 28A
• LTE-TDD Band 38/39/40/41
Compare AGM A9 with typical Chinese protectedthe smartphone is not serious - the difference is so great. As in the design, and in almost all the characteristics of AGM A9 far exceeds the typical Chinese "bricks". With this approach, AGM has every chance of becoming the most popular brand of secure smartphones. If only because I didn’t find a similar combination among such models on Yandex.Market. So that on the one hand the model does not look as if it was pumped with steroids and perceived as a “civilian” smartphone. And on the other hand, so that on all fronts it corresponds to smartphones of the average price range at the end of 2018.
I will not give a detailed comparison withThe forerunner of AGM A9 is the AGM A8 model. Apparatus is related only to the letter "A" and standards of protection; otherwise, AGM A9 is a model of a completely different, much higher level on all fronts. And above all - in design, since the AGM A8 still had a clear effect of plump, protected devices. Reviews on the A8 model were not bad, but in this A9 model the manufacturer corrected past flaws - the camera, charging plugs and headphones and others.

I draw attention to an important nuance. There are two versions of AGM A9 - one for Europe as a whole and Russia in particular, the second one for China. The Chinese version is called AGM H1 and is deprived of NFC, Google Pay service, support for the Russian LTE bands, and instead of the “bare” Android, it uses a proprietary shell. Therefore, I advise you to be extremely careful when buying. As representatives of AGM assured me, when they bought it in their company store on AliExpress, they sent the European version to the Russians. Errors excluded. If you are buying from other vendors, be especially vigilant not to get the “wrong” AGM A9. And yes, I will immediately answer the question: how can AGM smartphones with their German origins be sold on AliExpress? It's very simple: the factories where AGM devices are assembled are located in the PRC (as are the factories Apple, Samsung Xiaomi, and many others). And it is quite logical to send them to Russia from there. In German Amazon, AGM models, by the way, are also represented. But Russians, as you know, are more profitable to buy on “Ali.”
Scope of delivery AGM A9 equipmentNotable for the presence of a charging kit with support for technology Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0. It often happens that the smartphone supports fast charging at the level of iron, but the corresponding charger is not included in the package, as for example in many xayomi. AGM A9 has no such problem, as I have indicated above. Also note the adapter from the USB Type-C connector to the standard 3.5-mm audio output. HTC and Apple have already ceased to equip their smartphones with such adapters, not quite rightly believing that the era of wireless headphones has already arrived. And she, of course, is already looming on the horizon, but not yet in the yard. The connector on the AGM A9 phone is single - type-C, there is no separate headphone jack. So the adapter will not be superfluous.

The rest of the standard set - manual, warranty card, USB Type-C cable, clip for removal of the SIM-card holder and film already pasted on the smartphone screen.
The appearance of the AGM A9 is one of the extremely smartphones in which nothing betrays belonging to the category of brick-like and awkward off-road vehicles. In fact, we have a smartphone with a discreet discreet design. Just a smartphone, in appearance, can not be said that it is protected by the military standard MIL-STD-810G. The appearance of the model is associated with an expensive suit - it looks solid, well-tailored, but at the same time there are no coarse elements. In general, the AGM A9 has nothing to do with Chinese protected devices, which are sometimes scary even to take, not to mention the use of them.

In the hand, the AGM A9 feels like a regular smartphone. Well, adjusted for a large screen diagonal (6 inches) and a very powerful battery - 5400 mAh. Physics can not be fooled, these moments do not allow us to talk about ultra-thin and light as a fluff apparatus. However, with ergonomics there is complete order. AGM A9 is comfortable to hold and use with one hand. Yes, and a man's hand, if you are a 40-pound hipster, moderate 216 g of weight will not be the case, even with prolonged use of a smartphone. I will clarify and emphasize three times - Unprotected smartphones with a 6-inch screen and a battery with a capacity of 5,000 mAh and are quite comparable in size and weight to the AGM A9. And this is a definite plus for the developers of the model, who have managed to “fit in” to such parameters also compliance with strict military standards of protection.

The only thing that at least hints atThe protective properties of the smartphone are dense "growths" at the corners of the case. If to be completely accurate, a rigid rubberized frame runs along the entire perimeter of the smartphone. Is that on the sides of the apparatus, it is diluted with metal inserts. If you have ever been interested in issues of additional protection of smartphones, then you probably know about the possibility to purchase a frame or bumper made of rubber or metal for almost any model. However, in the case of AGM A9, this element is integrated into the design and therefore does not affect the dimensions, while in conventional smartphones such an upgrade will invariably increase the size.

These “floods” are a smart decision thatallows almost one hundred percent to ensure the damping of the impact force in the fall of the smartphone on any side or angle. The use of special rubber, in contrast to the metal framework, does not allow the destructive shock wave to reach the internal components of the smartphone and, as a result, does not damage the motherboard or the elements installed on it. The smartphone bounces off the surface when struck, the impact energy is extinguished by rubber.
The front side of the AGM A9 is almost completelyoccupies a screen of modern format 18: 9. The frame around the screen is thin, so that with a diagonal of 6 inches the model does not differ in size from most smartphones with a 5.5-inch screen with a 16: 9 aspect ratio. There are no hardware touch buttons, they are at the bottom of the display.

Upstairs - conversational speaker, "frontalka",light sensors and proximity and RGB diode. Depending on the type of notification or event, the diode glows in different colors, which is quite convenient. Letters and other notifications are indicated in blue, when charging the diode is green, when the smartphone is discharged - red. By the way, the dripping of rain does not affect the dynamics of the work. But if you drop the model in the bathroom / river / sea, then the sound will be muffled - it is better to dry the smartphone properly. It usually takes 30-40 minutes.

On the left side there is a double volume key and a button to call the Google Assist assistant.

On the right side of the case are also two buttons. Namely, the power management key and camera call key (including when the display is off). The latter also works as a shutter key during shooting. Note that all keys are metallic, do not play and have a short, clear stroke. Near the power button is the SIM card holder and microSD. One of the slots is dual, so you can install either two SIM cards or one plus a memory card. It seems to be a drawback, but why a smartphone with 64 GB. memory put microsd? Built-in memory should be enough.

And here is the already mentioned side inserts made of aluminum, they serve as ribs and prevent the body from twisting.

On the back of the whole four slots underspeakers. After all, as is usually the case with secure smartphones, two “stripes” can be seen at the bottom of the back cover, which seem to indicate the presence of two sound sources. In fact, this is a snag, only one speaker. Many ksaimi and Huavei have a speaker under one grating and a second microphone. At AGM A9, all of the “garlic” - honest four dynamics.

But these are not just noname speakers. The development of the audio system for the AGM A9 model was carried out by the American company JBL, which since 2017 belongs to Samsung. In fact, JBL is the current global leader in the portable audio market, both in terms of technology and in terms of sales of wireless speakers. Until I focus on the audio capabilities of the AGM A9, I’ll better talk about my impressions below in a separate section.
In addition to the speakers, there is a single camera at the back (no matter how ambiguous it sounds :)), a fingerprint scanner and a dual flash with LEDs with different color temperatures.

But the most interesting is the material of the back cover. The fact is that it is made of high-density ultramolecular polyethylene. Agree, it sounds impressive, although what kind of a miracle is completely incomprehensible. I explain: this material has a huge margin of safety and is resistant to bending. The cover is not something to break, it is difficult to scratch. In short, the back cover is made of supermolecular polyethylene, the sidewall is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, with nanotechnology.
Microphones on the case two - top and bottom, inamount they form a noise reduction system. Many smartphones with two and three microphones work well in the wind. Noise - the sound from the top microphone - is subtracted from the main audio stream and only the voice remains. AGM A9 was no exception, you can even speak it in the wind - the interlocutor does not hear the wind at that end. The smartphone can filter background noise well.
I wish I could find a headset with good wind noise reduction. Maybe something advise in the comments?

At the bottom of the phone is a USB Type-C connector. You probably got used to that one of the mandatory features of protected smartphones is a stub. Tight, inconspicuous, spoiling the appearance in the clear. The AGM A9 has a special hermetic port that does not allow water and dust into the case of the smartphone, and it doesn’t wear out on contact with “irritants”. Again, nanocoating, nanotechnology.

Security Compliance with IP68 Protection StandardToday, one can hardly be surprised, this is actually a standard for secure smartphones. Let me remind you that the number “6” means the impossibility of even the smallest particles of dust getting inside the case. "8" - guaranteed preservation of performance when immersed to a depth of more than one meter for more than half an hour.
Much more interesting is that AGM A9 correspondsUS military standard MIL-STD-810G. He places the most stringent demands on mobile devices among all known standards in the world. And this or that smartphone can claim to fall into the hands of soldiers and officers of the armies of NATO countries only if it corresponds to MIL-STD-810G.

MIL-STD-810G is 28 tests, from resistance tomold and salt fog to withstand ballistic impact and blast wave. Interestingly, a separate item even goes through a performance check after freezing and thawing. Thus, the compliance of IP68 and MIL-STD-810G is a sign of the most protected smartphone today. Protected simply nowhere. It can be argued that there is still IP69K, but “9” means that it is possible to work in conditions of high-temperature washing with high-pressure water. And a similar test is carried out within the framework of the American military standard. So MIL-STD-810G actually “absorbs” IP69K.
Of course, this is all great, but I wanted to know from personal experience how a smartphone will withstand all sorts of stress tests - immersion in water, falls from a height, and so on.
For example, a throw from a height of 1.5 meters with a punchabout stone tile. I’ll draw your attention to the fact that the AGM guarantees the device’s working capacity after a throw from this very height, although only 1.2 meters are registered in the MIL-STD-810G. So the AGMs exceed the requirements of the standard.

Under the tap, I washed it - and the water flowed, including the USB Type-C port. Naturally, this in no way affected his performance.

Well, on the seashore AGM A9 spent about an hourbeing buried in the sand. Salty waves poured it on, rolled around with sand and shells ... There were no scratches from this, and there was no damage to the performance.

In order to finally make sure of the durability of AGM A9, Ifroze it in water. I just took a plastic tray, filled it with water, put my smartphone in there and left it for the night. After being removed from the tray, the device looked something like this. Right mammoth in permafrost!

After the release of the "ice captivity"It turned out that AGM A9 is 100% efficient. He immediately took the call, demonstrated the stable operation of the camera, and so on - in a word, as if he had not spent the night in a block of ice, but simply lay on a dry, warm table.

Total: I consider the tests passed by 100%, AGM A9 is really protected in full.
Software AGM A9 software component - currentAndroid 8.1 Oreo, presented in the smartphone in its original form. It makes no sense to describe the system; this is a “bare” platform as it is. No third-party hard-to-disable services, incomprehensible background programs and other debris. For such an AGM - definitely honor and praise. Translation is normal - there are no English inscriptions. Russian interface is not satisfactory.

AutonomyBattery capacity isimpressive 5,400 mAh. Playing 1080p video lasted almost 16 hours, the “tanchiki” defused the smartphone in 10 and a half hours. The indicators are excellent and correspond to the results of other smartphones with similar diagonal and battery capacity. In everyday use, I had an average of four full days without recharging. This is with almost all day Wi-Fi enabled and a total of three hours of the screen on.

Complete charging allows you to “fill” 50% of the battery in literally one hour. The battery indicator will show 100% after about two and a half hours - Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 in action.
Cameras On the rear panel is a 12 megapixel camera. This is a Japanese CMOS-sensor Sony IMX486 and a high-aperture lens with f / 1.75 aperture. The smaller the last parameter - the better the smartphone shoots in the dark. As a rule, less high-aperture “eyes” with f / 1.9 or even F / 2.2 are common in smartphones for this price. In general, images in conditions of insufficient lighting actually turn out to be quite good.
Talk about the quality of the pictures ... It's boring andnot interested. When the smartphone is clearly "mowing down" with colors, clarity, etc., then you do not think about what to write about. In the case of AGM A9 you do not know what to complain about. And whether it is necessary to find fault in general. The pictures are sharp across the entire field of the frame, white balance errors are rare, and the illumination swings are well practiced. The color reproduction is moderately saturated, the contrast is also normal. Just look at the pictures and understand that a huge "SLR" entry-level during the day with good lighting will not give significantly better quality. Especially if you are not going to spend later hours on processing photos in Photoshop. The camera glass is slightly recessed and protected from scratches by its rim.

One more photo!

In almost complete darkness about qualityshooting does not have to say, the matrix is ​​small, yet not SLR. But even with minimal illumination by lanterns, photographs are already becoming quite good. The detailing of the medium-distant plan falls, but there are no obvious artifacts or digital noise, apparently the noise is working. What is more important - the smartphone maintains a balance in coverage. So that the overall brightness was high, but at the same time, light sources were not overexposed (light in the windows, lighting of buildings, etc.).

More night photos

Video shooting is carried out in the resolution of Full HD 30 fps. The picture does not suffer from pixelation and jumping autofocus. And more for mobile shooting by and large is not required, especially given the price of a smartphone.

Front camera - manufactured by Samsung. As a selfie camera, the front-end works for a strong four with a plus. For those who like retouching, there are “improvers” such as skin lightening, enlarging eyes. Even provided a flash / backlight simulator for shooting in the dark. This is when a light frame appears in almost full screen and, you guessed it, brightens you.
I apologize to sensitive people, I did not find a model, I had to take a selfie myself.

Describing the interface does not make much sense, sincewe have a standard application from Android 8.1 Oreo. Which, if desired, you can replace with something more functional from the range of Google Play.
DisplayWhen writing a review about AGM A9, no, no,Yes, and you forget that you write about a protected device. Nevertheless, it was somewhat unexpected and pleasant to know that even a display with a progressive 18: 9 aspect ratio got here. This means that with a 6-inch screen diagonal, the dimensions of the AGM A9 do not exceed those in the case of typical 5.5-inch fablets with 16: 9 screens. The model matrix is ​​IPS, by itself with OGS. Manufacturer - Japan Display, for which there are such "monsters" as Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba. The protection here is the famous Gorilla Glass 5.

Colors - saturated, no errors incolor temperature. Excellent viewing angles without inversion. There are no questions to the behavior in the sun - I managed to wait for sunny autumn days (see photo below) to be convinced of this. Perhaps the model lacks only the tools for fine-tuning the color temperature and other screen parameters. However, they are very few people need.
But what all users will definitely appreciate isglove control support. In the Russian reality, in my opinion, this option should be mandatory in all devices of the middle and price level.

Responsiveness of the display is good - like in glovesso without them. Up to ten touches are supported. In general - on the screen did not save on the word "absolutely." Excellent parameters, many "classmates" would be worth taking an example with AGM A9.
Mode "portable speaker" "I did not expect", "surprised"and other epithets fully apply to the sound model. First of all - to the main speakers in the amount of as many as four pieces. Not even two, which is so rarely seen in smartphones regardless of the price, namely, four.

Moreover, the sound side of the model was in chargeAmerican JBL specialists. Yes, yes, the very ones who make portable speakers JBL. The maximum volume of the AGM A9 is 103 dB. Is it a lot or a little? Usually, smartphones have 80 dB, sometimes - 90 kopecks. It turns out, AGM A9 also claims to be the loudest smartphone!

As you know, a little "loud" shout - soundmust be of high quality. So, the AGM A9 definitely has bass. Well developed middle and upper, even present the effect of the scene. I can say with confidence that with the AGM A9 you don’t need to buy a compact speaker like the Xiaomi Mi Pocket Speaker 2, Xiaomi Mi Round Mini or JBL Go 2. There is a savings of about 2,000 rubles. Because the A9 can easily replace a portable Bluetooth speaker. Here, for example, is a comparison of its sound with JBL Go2. As you can see, the smartphone easily wins.

Headphone sound is also good. I could write about a transparent stage, stereo effect, balanced sound without failures or excessive protrusions over the entire frequency range. But it should be understood that to unlock the full potential of the smartphone, you need the appropriate headphones. Therefore, it may be necessary to set aside at least 2-3 thousand rubles for the “ears”. Moreover, you can save this amount due to the possibility of AGM A9 to replace the portable speaker.
It is also worth noting that the phone perfectly catches radio waves without connecting headphones. There is already a built-in antenna.

Performance and Wireless BasicsA9 hardware platform - Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, the top representative of the Snapdragon 4xx line. With this chipset, the manufacturer, for the first time among its solutions, brought the 14-nm process technology to relatively inexpensive smartphones. At the same time, Snapdragon 450 most likely belongs to the more “prestigious” Snapdragon 600 family. Take at least the Adreno 506 graphics chip, which Snapdragon 625 and 626 also have. And eight Cortex-A53 cores with a high frequency of 1.8 GHz - not a budget indicator at all. This processor is also installed on Redmi 5, HTC Desire 12+, Samsung Galaxy A6 +, Galaxy J8 and other smartphones that have worked well.

I tried to find games that would slow downor gave consistently low FPS at medium settings. Alas, oh - absolutely all tested titles pleased at the lack of hints of slowdowns. I even got the impression that the game developers themselves better optimize their creations for Qualcomm chipsets than for MediaTek solutions.
In the benchmarks, the smartphone shows not the mostimpressive results, but in this case, synthetic tests I consider secondary. Indeed, in real operation, including games, the model worked "with a bang." Bragging with AnTuTu points will be left to the burnt geeks.

I’ll note that I had a AGM A9 version with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory on the test. There is also a simplified version with 3 and 32 GB. He, I think, a little less productive.
Again, if we compare chipsets, for exampleSnapdragon 450 chipset shows that Qualcomm is much better compared to MediaTek optimizes heat dissipation. Therefore, on AGM A9, I played “to the fullest” for a little more than an hour without throttling, then on almost any MediaTek chipset it would take up to half an hour. Then the system limited the performance of the smartphone and reduced it almost one and a half times. It was objectively visible from measurements in AnTuTu.
With the connection, the model is so good that evensomehow I can hardly believe right away. At the beginning of the article in the characteristics section, I gave a full list of supported standards with details. So, this set allows you to call AGM A9 without reservation international smartphone. With him, you definitely will not have problems with communication in any country in the world. There is even support for specific standards, such as CDMA or Chinese TD-SCDMA, which is relevant for Ukraine and the USA. If you like to travel to different countries or travel abroad regularly choose abroad, AGM A9 just will not let you down. I note that the Snapdragon X9 LTE ​​modem with LTE Cat 7 support and speeds up to 300 Mbps is integrated into the model chipset. So there are no limitations on the side of the smartphone - the speed in 4G will depend solely on the specific operator.
As for other wireless standardsconnection, I note fast dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and support for Bluetooth 4.1. I will not focus here - the smartphone correctly “takes” the Internet from routers and establishes a “bluetooth” connection with peripherals like fitness bracelets and wireless headphones. As for navigation with GLONASS and GPS and Chinese satellites BYDU, the smartphone finds the first 15 satellites in literally 5-10 seconds. That is very fast, especially compared to the models on MediaTek. You can even say - almost instantly AGM A9 is ready to accurately show your location and start plotting a route to the desired point.

I almost forgot, also put a tick in front of NFC support. For two weeks of tests, I constantly used a card tied to Google Pay and everywhere I paid for my smartphone.

AGM A9 best suited title like mostthoughtful or advanced secure smartphone mid-range. On the one hand, there is a full set of chips of good modern models. In the sense that, because of the availability of protection, they didn’t save on anything, cut down the functionality with the words “the main thing for you is the security of the device, and the normal hardware is secondary.” On the contrary, here is the best “armor” available in modern smartphones - IP68 plus the military standard MIL-STD-810G, and an excellent “filling”. For example, Quaclomm chipset, not MediaTek, like the Chinese "SUV", and a decent camera. Moreover, there was a place even for super-functions like the four JBL speakers. Therefore, AGM A9 is one of the most musical smartphones.

Also from noticeable advantages I will pay attention toA powerful battery of 5,400 mAh, with which the smartphone worked for more than four days without recharging. Pleased with the complete absence of rubber plugs, access to the USB Type-C connector does not require fussing with them. As for the minuses, there were no obvious flaws to detect, even though I tried. I note that the AGM A9 is not only suitable for those who consider the protective properties of the model as a priority. The AGM A9 is also a good choice when looking for just a decent mid-range smartphone. Only you also get excellent security from dust, water and all kinds of falls. Let me remind you that the model price is 18.6 thousand rubles with a configuration of “3 + 32 GB” or 21 thousand rubles with “4 + 64 GB”. Given the not so serious difference in price, I would take exactly the older configuration.
Added antivirus tests
doctor Web

and malwarebytes