Review AGM A9: a reliable rugged phone!


Two years ago I tried a branded product for the first time AGM. It was the same category of device that we are going to analyze today, that is the one that refers to the devices rugged phone. During this period many things have changed in the smartphone market and the offer has become increasingly broader. I remember that my impressions with AGM A8 were not, however, so positive. The only point on which one could not disagree was the robustness, outlining itself as one of the most resistant products ever tested by our staff. Therefore, trying to keep up with the times, the brand has decided to re-propose its own concept of rugged phone, announcing the release of AGM A9. With this product the aesthetic lines are slightly softened, offering a larger and more immersive display than the one installed on the previous model. At this point, our question is: will the company be able to improve the software, to the point of returning to the customer a safe and reliable device? Let's find out inside ours Full review.

AGM A9 review


The sales package maintains its classic style in black, with the company logo placed at the top of the box. Inside we find:

  • AGM A9;
  • short instruction manual in several languages, including Italian;
  • USB / USB Type-C cable;
  • wall power supply with 9V / 2A or 12V / 1.5A output;
  • 3.5mm / USB Type-C jack adapter;
  • plastic film for the screen.


AGM A9 is characterized by the presence of metallic material on almost all its surface. To interrupt this plot we find a side frame composed mainly of rubberized plastic, which along the 4 main corners offers greater protection.

In any case we are not facing the usual rugged phone with bizarre and bursting shapes, because this device does not flaunt its true nature at all. The dimensions are, in fact, quite contained. The same cannot be said of the weight, which reaches i 245 grams. In daily use, however, you won't have any particular handling problems, because the smartphone has been well balanced.


The entire rear body is made of aluminum and has excellent finish along the entire surface. However, there is only a few small burrs in the intersection between the metal and the plastic, because in some sections it is possible to see the insulating layer that gives this product certification. IP68.

If this were not enough, we also find a military certification against bumps, water and temperature changes that is called MIL-STD-810G. Despite this, however, all the entrances are free and without further coverage. Thanks to this last standard, however, the device should easily resist the fall da 1.5 meters high and to the dive in water until 1.5 meters of depth.



On the back profile of this AGM A9 some important elements are found. In the upper part of the body we have a single camera Sony IMX486 da 12 mega-pixels, accompanied by a dual flash LEDs. The lower resides, instead, the biometric sensor which we will discuss in a later chapter. Along the 4 sides we can also appreciate the presence of some small holes, reflecting the fact that a complex system was installed on the device marked JBL.


Laterally we note the presence of several keys, all very useful. In addition to the screws, which as usual characterize the rugged devices, we find on the right side the key of ON / OFF and an additional physical key for the camera. A long press gives access to the relevant application. Once inside this interface, by clicking once on it, you can take a picture.

The slot containing the nano SIM cards is positioned high, poco above the Power button.

On the left side we have the volume balance and a customizable button which, initially, is configured with theGoogle voice assistant. The upper profile reveals, instead, the secondary microphone suitable for the reduction of environmental noise. Then, below, find the space main microphone and admission USB Type-C.


On board theAGM A9 there is a panel IPS LCD da 5.99 inches diagonal, with resolution FHD + (2160 x 1080 pixel), aspect ratio in 18:9 and a declared contrast of 1500: 1.

Taking a first look at the front, it is clear that the side frames have not been completely optimized. In order to be able to withstand impact better, it is necessary to have a certain type of design and construction, so it is not surprising this choice. As usual, then, inside the upper edge we have i proximity and brightness sensors, headset capsule, front camera and a single RGB notification LED.


All the chromatic range it is well reproduced, albeit with some flaws. As on almost every type of IPS in circulation, also in this case black and white are poco deep, however not turning excessively. Under direct sunlight, maximum brightness does not particularly help viewing content on the screen. What's more disturbing, moreover, is the poor oleophobicity of the front glass.


About the panel touch screen I have not experienced any particular reliability problems. During the most excited writing phases it is difficult to miss a few letters but I advise you not to activate the vibration at the touch, because the latter shows a certain delay in response to our pressure on the screen.

If you are in a particularly cold environment, you don't need to worry about your smartphone. AGM A9 has a particular feature, called Glove Mode, which is inserted in the display menu. Thanks to it you can manage the device with the use of a normal pair of gloves.

Release systems

Mainly we find a single system to unlock the device, which uses the biometric sensor placed on the back. Although the speed is not equal to that offered by other far more expensive devices, it remains reliable and quite accurate. Place poco under the camera, it is slightly recessed inside the body, thus facilitating its search.

Although the front camera can be used to enable Face Unlock, the company has still decided to avoid using such a system poco sure.

Hardware & Performance

AGM A9 mount a chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, so an octa-core processor with 14 nm production process and maximum clock frequency equal to 1.8 GHz. The SoC integrates a GPU Adreno 506, able to guarantee good performance in almost all contexts. On the memory side we have, instead, 4 GB of RAM e 64 GB of internal memory. Through microSD you can expand the space available for data storage. Different memory sizes are also available for sale, with two main configurations: 4 / 32 and 3 / 32.

The services offered by theAGM A9 they are good, especially as regards the general reliability of the system. It is surprising how the company has been able to make significant changes to its software structure, thus offering a smartphone that meets expectations. During daily use I have never witnessed any sudden restart or crash of applications, always maintaining an excellent balance. Then, the space offered by RAM is very well exploited. Opening the multitaskingin fact, it is possible to quickly access different applications in the background, without these having to be continuously reloaded at each restart.

No problems with Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and all the apps dedicated to video streaming. It must be borne in mind, though, that certification Widevine it's kind of L3. In case you were particularly attached to the world of Gaming, however, you could enjoy various titles in the Play Store. With heavier ones like PUBG o Real Racing 3 don't expect great performance, unfortunately suffering from a frame-rate low and graphic details to a minimum.

If stressed particularly it may show a slight warmth on the back. Generally, however, it is difficult to feel a higher temperature than necessary.



This smartphone does not have any particular customization software. Inside it finds space Android Oreo 8.1.0 in a practically stock version, with security patches dating back to 5 October 2018. Never choice was more apt. On a device that probably won't be updated regularly, in fact, the presence of such simple software is important. The brand wanted to add only a few items and apps, related more to the work area. I would have preferred the inclusion of some options related to the gestures, which would certainly have been useful on a device of this size.

On the home screen we have the option to delete the cache quickly, as well as the opportunity to clean up RAM by eliminating some background processes. If you wish to receive them correctly notificationsHowever, I advise you not to use this type of function. From this point of view, you also get intimate with scrolling down the settings menu, accessing the Automatic travel management, which will allow you to choose which apps to run from the first power up. Despite everything, however, the notifications themselves often struggle to arrive in time and the problem does not seem to be entirely solvable.

Some quick toggle they have been slightly modified in design but otherwise the substance is always the same.

Photographic quality

Rear sensor


On the AGM A9 we find a single rear camera, equipped with a sensor Sony IMX486 by 12 mega-pixel, assisted by the presence of a good autofocus and a dual flash LEDs in two tones.

The moment you access the relevant app, you will come across ainterface well structured but showing a little too dated design. Despite this, however, we have almost all the essential options like the beauty filter, the activation of the flash, the switch with the front camera and the settings button. Furthermore, with a swipe to the right, you can access the additional items, which allow you to manage the entire system even better.

During the daytime hours the quality returned by the camera of AGM A9 it is absolutely good, always considering the device in question. The colors are not very vivid, but the photographic noise is not so marked. The function HDR it must also be used only in truly critical conditions, because in most cases it tends to distort the shot from all points of view.

When the sunlight fails and the light falls notte, the quality drops slightly. It is difficult to perceive the presence of an important noise, although the management of light sources is not excellent. However, there are no particular lens flare problems. THE colors they are more mixed and the poor definition of the image does not allow to enjoy all the details optimally. I appreciated, in any case, the balance of the image on a general level, often succeeding in clearly showing some parts in the background that present a strong lighting.

Videos can be shot in 1080p a 60 fps and present a autofocus really very fast for the category. In terms of stabilization we are not on good levels and, in general, the quality is that shown already in the photographic sector.

Front sensor

Here we have a single sensor from 16 mega-pixels, not better identified. From a qualitative point of view we are, also in this case, on good levels. Convince i colors of the image, as well as the management of the lights in the background, although on some occasions an excessive overexposure occurs. In the evening the photographic noise is really more pronounced but the smartphone does not sin equally of sharpness. Overall, therefore, he convinced me.

Connectivity & Audio

Good the budget for the sector connectivity. In fact, on the device we find a connection Wi-Fi satisfying as well as a great one Bluetooth 5.0, NFC e GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS. With none of these tools I have experienced major problems with instability or signal loss. When you are away from home you can count on a form X9 LTE, able to maintain a connection 4G stable throughout your journey, guaranteeing a maximum download speed of 300 Mbps.

In the trolley in which the SIMs are inserted, two spaces can be found simultaneously Nano SIM or, alternatively, a nano SIM and a microSD.


As for the audio department on this terminal we find two big surprises. The first refers to the system JBL installed inside, which serves well 4 speaker rear to convey all the power to the outside. From the acoustic point of view we are on excellent levels, showing a much higher quality than other competing smartphones.

Il sound di AGM A9 it is quite full-bodied and powerful, with a really high maximum volume. The low frequencies have been slightly cut but the overall balance is convincing. Coming now to the second surprise, I have to communicate the presence of one integrated FM radio, which does not need any type of cable to function. Once turned on, the audio is ejected by the same speakers produced in collaboration with JBL that we have seen previously. A function as simple as it is unexpected.


Calling any national number one can appreciate the quality of headset capsule, because the voice of our interlocutor is always quite clear and limpid. While having to face the crossing of places notoriously poco don't worry, I didn't feel any difficulty talking on the phone.


On the new AGM A9 we find a battery from 5400 mAh. We are therefore in the presence of a device that can take you easily into the evening. Leading my life according to the usual rhythms of work and study, with a mixture of Wi-Fi and 4G, I collected well 8 hours on screen turned on on a total of 17 hours of continuous use. On the day I was always connected to the 4G, I took 7 hours of ignition to a total of 17 hours of use.

An recharge complete, from 10 to 100%, occurs in poco more than 2 hours. All thanks to the support for fast charging Quick Charge 3.0 of Qualcomm.


Regarding the sales figures, I found very different prices on the net, depending on the type of version chosen. We move from 200 € requested on AliExpress for the model from 3/32, continuing with i 380 € di eBay for the 4/32, finally reaching the 537 euro di Gearbest with the most equipped product. I believe that a request of this type is, however, a little excessive. If the market were a monopoly of AGM it would be all normal but in our case the competition in that price range is really too high. One even clashes with some top-of-the-range respectable, like Oneplus 6T.

I find that the device works well and shows a certain reliability. Finally there are no major software problems and some sectors show a clear growth. Unfortunately the device will not be followed in the right way from the point of view of updates and you will be forced to have to keep the same software for a long time. For now, therefore, the value for money, in the version from 6 / 64 GB which we tried, is too low.

Design and Materials
Audio and connectivity
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From an early age I cultivated a passion for the whole world of electronics, especially for what surrounds the microprocessors. From about 3 years my passion for smartphones has taken shape and has evolved, feeling more and more the need to share it with as many people as possible. If a terminal with a screen appears before my eyes? I have to try it!
review-agm-a9Two years ago I tried an AGM branded product for the first time. It was the same category of device that we are going to analyze today, or the one that refers to rugged phone devices. Over the course of this period, many things have changed in the ...