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AGM A8 Smartphone Review

Thomas Meyer, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Tanja Hinum (translated by Martin Jungowski), 05/20/2017

Affordable outdoor smartphone. These days, many smartphones are dust and waterproof, but for real adventure trekking or working on construction sites, outdoor smartphones that can withstand even the toughest mud, dust, and stones are much better suited. A particularly affordable model is the AGM A8 from China: an outdoor smartphone for only 180 Euros ($150).

Robust and affordable: The AGM A8 from China
Robust and affordable: The AGM A8 from China

For the original German review, see here.

The European and US markets are becoming increasingly important to Chinese smartphone manufacturers. Not only to the big guns like Huawei, who have become more popular in the recent years, but also to much smaller niche market manufacturers. A good example is the outdoor smartphone segment, which has recently been entered by Chinese phone maker AGM.

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As expected for an outdoor smartphone, the AGM A8 is IP68 dust and waterproof. More specifically, this means that it can be submerged in 1 m (3 ft) deep water for up to 30 minutes, and is completely dustproof at all times. Furthermore, the phone features a very sturdy 5-inch display running at 1280x720 (HD) and a high capacity 4050 mAh battery. It runs Android 7.0 and can take two Nano SIM cards. A 13-MP main camera is pretty common in this price range, the secondary 2-MP front facing camera, however, is subpar. Unlike many other smartphones in this price range the A8 fully supports NFC.

Its competitors are a mixed bag, literally. The outdoor smartphones Nomu S30 and Archos 50 Saphir are much more expensive, at around 265 Euros ($297) and 220 Euros ($247), respectively. The Lenovo Moto G5 and LG K10 cost around the same as the AGM A8, both are running Android 7.0 and have similar specifications (13-MP main camera, LTE, 5-inch display, FHD resolution on the G5), but they are most definitely no outdoor smartphones.

AGM A8
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 306, Core: 450 MHz
Memory
3072 MB 
, Flash
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 294 PPI, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 22 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headphone jack, Card Reader: microSD up to 32 GB, 1 SmartCard, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration sensor, proximity sensor, geomagnetic sensor, WiFi Direct, OTG
Networking
802.11a/b/g (a/b/g), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM:850/900/1800/1900 MHz, WCDMA: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz, LTE:800/1800/2100/2600 MHz, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 16 x 159 x 93 ( = 0.63 x 6.26 x 3.66 in)
Battery
4050 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable
Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix auto focus, facial recognition, smile detection
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix fix focus
Additional features
Speakers: mono, Keyboard: Google keyboard, Keyboard Light: yes, USB cable, charger, miniature screwdriver, outdoor app, 12 Months Warranty, USB 2.0, SAR: 0.579 W/kg (head), fanless, ruggedized
Weight
247 g ( = 8.71 oz / 0.54 pounds), Power Supply: 68 g ( = 2.4 oz / 0.15 pounds)
Price
180 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The AGM A8 is only available in black and – being an outdoor smartphone – very well built. While its 4050 mAh battery is user replaceable, it is quite a feat: after unscrewing the rear cover with the enclosed miniature screw driver, the battery hides behind yet another cover.

The phone can easily withstand drops from a height of 1 m (3 ft) since the sides are one with the frame, are made of very rigid and solid plastic, and absorb the shock of sudden impact very well. Applying pressure to the back has no effect on the phone whatsoever, and it holds itself without batting an eye.

The obvious downsides to a construction like this are size and weight, and the AGM A8 weighs a hefty 248 g (around 9 oz) and measures an impressive 159 x 83 x 16 mm (6.3 x 3.3 x 0.63 inches). Therefore, it might actually be too large for your pants’ pockets.

The AGM A8 is a dual-sim smartphone
The AGM A8 is a dual-sim smartphone
All ports are hidden behind thick rubber flaps
It is IP68 dust and water resistant
The AGM A8 features a 5-inch display

Size Comparison

159 mm / 6.26 inch 93 mm / 3.66 inch 16 mm / 0.63 inch 247 g0.545 lbs162 mm / 6.38 inch 83 mm / 3.27 inch 13 mm / 0.512 inch 260 g0.573 lbs146 mm / 5.75 inch 76 mm / 2.99 inch 14 mm / 0.551 inch 222 g0.4894 lbs148.9 mm / 5.86 inch 68.1 mm / 2.68 inch 8 mm / 0.315 inch 155 g0.3417 lbs

Connectivity

The AGM A8 is equipped with 32 GB of internal storage, which is not only very good for phones in this price range, but also rather uncommon with outdoor smartphones at large. It can further be upgraded with another 32 GB through microSD storage. However, the microSD card slot is hidden all the way on the inside (think outdoor), and thus it takes a while to get to it (rear cover, battery flap, battery).

Fortunately, the MicroUSB 2.0 port is accessible from the outside, but well protected and hidden behind a thick robust rubber flap that requires a significant amount of force and fingernails to give in. A status and notification LED is missing.

The AGM A8 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, an ARM-based mid-range SoC made for smartphones and tablets. First introduced in December 2013, it was Qualcomm’s first 64-bit SoC and is equipped with four Cortex-A53 cores with up to 1.4 GHz and the Adreno 306 GPU. It also includes a 32/64-bit LPDDR2/3 memory controller (max. 533 MHz, 8.5 GB/s) and supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 2G/3G/4G/LTE.

Given the Adreno 306’s low 450 MHz clock speed, we expected modern games from Google’s Play Store to perform rather poorly, and they did. They are far from smooth, all but unplayable, and produce massive stutter and lag.

Software

The AGM A8 boots into a standard Vanilla Android 7.0 (Nougat) operating system, and while the user interface has remained untouched by the manufacturer, a few so-called outdoor tools are preloaded on the device. These include a spirit level, tape measure, magnifying glass, altimeter, graduator, and a protractor. In addition, fitness trackers can be connected via Bluetooth, and an SOS button is also available.

Screenshot running applications
Screenshot drop-down menu
Screenshot settings
Screenshot preloaded Google applications
Screenshot home screen
Screenshot dual-sim menu
Screenshot outdoor tools

Communication and GPS

The Wi-Fi module supports 802.11b/g/n only in the 2.4 GHz band. Compared to the Nomu S30 and Archos 50 Saphir, it performed much worse when connected to our reference router, a Linksys EA 8500, and only managed a meager 26.9 Mbit/s. Standing right next to the O2 HomeBox 2 Wi-Fi router loss was at a low -33 dBm.

In addition to 2G (GSM) and 3G (UMTS), the AGM A8 also supports 4G/LTE data on both its Nano SIMs. Bluetooth 4.0 is also included. Rarely ever to be found in a device in this price range, is NFC, which the AGM A8 surprised us with.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Nomu S30
Mali-T860 MP2, Helio P10 MT6755, 64 GB eMMC Flash
101 MBit/s ∼100% +275%
Archos 50 Saphir
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash
45.9 MBit/s ∼45% +71%
AGM A8
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 32 GB eMMC Flash
26.9 MBit/s ∼27%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Nomu S30
Mali-T860 MP2, Helio P10 MT6755, 64 GB eMMC Flash
102 MBit/s ∼100% +454%
Archos 50 Saphir
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash
51.3 MBit/s ∼50% +179%
AGM A8
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 32 GB eMMC Flash
18.4 MBit/s ∼18%
GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors
GPS test indoors
GPS test indoors

GPS based location services are more precise than what we have come to expect from affordable smartphones. It worked very well indoors as well, and had no trouble obtaining a GPS lock on our position pretty much immediately.

During our 12 km (7.5 miles) long test trip, it had to prove itself against the bicycle GPS Garmin Edge 500. The A8 tends to cut corners and often relocated us from the bike path onto the main road, thereby reducing the total distance travelled after finishing our trip by 280 m (919 ft).

GPS AGM A8
GPS AGM A8
GPS AGM A8
GPS AGM A8
GPS AGM A8
GPS AGM A8
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500

Telephone and Call Quality

Call log
Call log
Google's phone app
Google's phone app

The A8 uses Google’s default Android dialer app that includes favorites and a call log. Unfortunately, the virtual keys are not visually separated from one another, but they are quite large and thereby easy to operate.

The indoor call quality leaves a lot to be desired. On the receiving end, we have had trouble following the conversation due to a lack of volume and pretty muffled voices. Outside call quality was better. Unfortunately, the speakers are rattling noticeably, thereby making it hard to understand our conversational partners on speakerphone.

Cameras

13-MP main rear facing camera
13-MP main rear facing camera
2-MP secondary front facing camera
2-MP secondary front facing camera

AGM provides almost no specifications on the A8’s cameras. The rear facing main camera features a 13-MP sensor with auto focus and a single LED flash. It records videos in FHD at 30 frames per second. A physical shutter button is missing.

As is rather common for devices in this price range, photography is not one of the AGM A8’s big selling points. In low-light conditions photos are dull and dark. Compared to our reference camera, an EOS 70 D, colors are flat in overcast conditions, and objects in direct sunlight are noticeably more colorful and lively. Despite its 13-MP sensor, images are never really crisp and they tend to blur at the edges. The autofocus works well and shutter lag is decent.

The smartphone’s secondary front facing camera only features a 2-MP sensor and fix focus. It is okay for quick, random snaps but definitely not for ambitious group selfies due to the lack of a wide angle lens. Furthermore, as is very common for devices in this price range, there is no front facing flash.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Accessories and Warranty

The package contains the usual: an English quick start guide, a cable that can be used for charging as well as data transfer, and a charger. A headset was not included. However, we found a small screw driver in the box that can be used for taking off the rear cover to access the battery. AGM offers a 12-month limited warranty. Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices & Handling

The usual set of three capacitive buttons – back, home, and multitasking view – are available right below the display. Unfortunately, they only light up on contact. For text input the A8 uses Google’s standard Android keyboard.

Due to the fact that the A8 prides itself as “outdoor smartphone”, the touchscreen is less sensitive than expected. While it requires a little bit of extra force to trigger an action, it did not lack precision.

onscreen keyboard in portrait mode
onscreen keyboard in portrait mode
onscreen keyboard in portrait mode
onscreen keyboard in portrait mode
onscreen keyboard in landscape mode
onscreen keyboard in landscape mode

Display

Subpixel matrix
Subpixel matrix

The 5-inch display runs at a native resolution of 1280x720 (HD) and is very crisp at normal viewing distance. Tiny fonts tend to look a bit blurry though, and during gameplay we occasionally noticed a few inaccuracies that we most probably would not have noticed on an FHD display.

337
cd/m²
353
cd/m²
341
cd/m²
345
cd/m²
356
cd/m²
331
cd/m²
340
cd/m²
352
cd/m²
330
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 356 cd/m² Average: 342.8 cd/m² Minimum: 8.05 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 93 %
Center on Battery: 356 cd/m²
Contrast: 1695:1 (Black: 0.21 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.7 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 1.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.5
AGM A8
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Archos 50 Saphir
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Nomu S30
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Samsung Galaxy S8
Super AMOLED, 2960x1440, 5.8
LG G6
IPS LCD, 2880x1440, 5.7
Screen
-158%
-74%
21%
-3%
Brightness middle
356
545
53%
423
19%
566
59%
646
81%
Brightness
343
527
54%
421
23%
564
64%
611
78%
Brightness Distribution
93
87
-6%
93
0%
94
1%
89
-4%
Black Level *
0.21
0.58
-176%
0.26
-24%
0.23
-10%
Contrast
1695
940
-45%
1627
-4%
2809
66%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.7
12.5
-238%
7.8
-111%
2.7
27%
4.5
-22%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.3
24.4
-194%
14.5
-75%
5.4
35%
8.3
-0%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.9
15.4
-711%
9.8
-416%
3.1
-63%
6
-216%
Gamma
2.5 88%
1.87 118%
2.32 95%
2.15 102%
2.27 97%
CCT
6412 101%
12705 51%
9828 66%
6335 103%
7996 81%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
81.57
67.74
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.87
99.05

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9394 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The maximum brightness of 330 nits is nothing to write home about, but at least brightness distribution was very even at 93%. With the ambient light sensor enabled, the display reached a maximum of 356 nits. The real life APL50 test (Average Picture Level) with equally spaced bright and dark areas measured a similar brightness of 340 nits in the middle of the screen, and a black level of 0.32 nits.

The IPS panel’s colors seem comparatively dull overall, and contrast ratio, sRGB color coverage, color temperature, and DeltaE deviation for colors and gray scales were acceptable for a device in this price range.

CalMan gray scales (sRGB)
CalMan gray scales (sRGB)
CalMan saturation (sRGB)
CalMan saturation (sRGB)
CalMan color space (sRGB)
CalMan color space (sRGB)
CalMan color accuracy (sRGB)
CalMan color accuracy (sRGB)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
36.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.4 ms rise
↘ 16 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 93 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
55 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 32 ms rise
↘ 23 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 90 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39.8 ms).


The viewing angles are decent. Even at acute angles, color representation was very good, albeit the display tends to get a bit darker. Despite its rather mediocre maximum brightness the smartphone remained usable even in bright sunlight.

outdoors ...
outdoors ...
... in bright ...
... in bright ...
... sunlight
... sunlight
viewing angles
viewing angles

Performance

The AGM A8’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC has already proven itself numerous times, and is fast enough for everyday use. It lacks the oomph for smooth gaming, though. Furthermore, subjectively the A8 was comparatively slow in loading and rendering websites with the included Chrome browser, which is only partially reflected in our benchmarks. Most of the time, the AGM A8 came in either last or second to last.

The available storage space is excellent for its price range. After all, it offers 32 GB of storage. MicroSD storage is slower than on top tier smartphones, but still decently fast considering the price of the device. It scored 95 MB/s and 80 MB/s reading from and writing to our Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 reference card, respectively, and Androbench 5 results reading small and large chunks of data were very good overall.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
AGM A8
26753 Points ∼9%
Archos 50 Saphir
38747 Points ∼13% +45%
Nomu S30
50904 Points ∼17% +90%
LG G6
151751 Points ∼52% +467%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
22218 Points ∼8% -17%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Archos 50 Saphir
985 Points ∼23%
Nomu S30
1182 Points ∼27%
LG G6
1955 Points ∼45%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
Points ∼0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Archos 50 Saphir
142 Points ∼2%
Nomu S30
351 Points ∼6%
LG G6
2980 Points ∼47%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
Points ∼0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Archos 50 Saphir
175 Points ∼3%
Nomu S30
416 Points ∼7%
LG G6
2669 Points ∼47%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
Points ∼0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
AGM A8
739 Points ∼17%
Archos 50 Saphir
973 Points ∼22% +32%
Nomu S30
1114 Points ∼25% +51%
LG G6
1961 Points ∼44% +165%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
558 Points ∼13% -24%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
AGM A8
43 Points ∼0%
Archos 50 Saphir
220 Points ∼2% +412%
Nomu S30
522 Points ∼5% +1114%
LG G6
4121 Points ∼39% +9484%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
42 Points ∼0% -2%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
AGM A8
54 Points ∼1%
Archos 50 Saphir
266 Points ∼3% +393%
Nomu S30
592 Points ∼8% +996%
LG G6
3282 Points ∼42% +5978%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
53 Points ∼1% -2%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
AGM A8
9082 Points ∼11%
Archos 50 Saphir
11393 Points ∼13% +25%
Nomu S30
12394 Points ∼14% +36%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
9613 Points ∼11% +6%
LG G6
22335 Points ∼26% +146%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
7429 Points ∼9% -18%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
AGM A8
3808 Points ∼1%
Archos 50 Saphir
6138 Points ∼1% +61%
Nomu S30
10373 Points ∼2% +172%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
2591 Points ∼0% -32%
LG G6
32128 Points ∼6% +744%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
3836 Points ∼1% +1%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
AGM A8
4372 Points ∼2%
Archos 50 Saphir
6839 Points ∼3% +56%
Nomu S30
10763 Points ∼5% +146%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
3093 Points ∼1% -29%
LG G6
29276 Points ∼12% +570%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
4298 Points ∼2% -2%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
AGM A8
2.8 fps ∼0%
Archos 50 Saphir
11 fps ∼0% +293%
Nomu S30
17 fps ∼0% +507%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
5.4 fps ∼0% +93%
LG G6
75 fps ∼1% +2579%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
5.2 fps ∼0% +86%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
AGM A8
9.5 fps ∼0%
Archos 50 Saphir
19 fps ∼1% +100%
Nomu S30
17 fps ∼1% +79%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
15.1 fps ∼0% +59%
LG G6
46 fps ∼1% +384%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
9.4 fps ∼0% -1%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
AGM A8
1.8 fps ∼0%
Archos 50 Saphir
4 fps ∼1% +122%
Nomu S30
7.1 fps ∼1% +294%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
0.8 fps ∼0% -56%
LG G6
38 fps ∼7% +2011%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
1.8 fps ∼0% 0%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
AGM A8
4 fps ∼1%
Archos 50 Saphir
8.6 fps ∼2% +115%
Nomu S30
7.1 fps ∼2% +78%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
2.3 fps ∼1% -42%
LG G6
27 fps ∼7% +575%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
3.8 fps ∼1% -5%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Archos 50 Saphir
2.6 fps ∼0%
Nomu S30
2.5 fps ∼0%
LG G6
29 fps ∼1%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
fps ∼0%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Archos 50 Saphir
6.1 fps ∼0%
Nomu S30
4.7 fps ∼0%
LG G6
16 fps ∼0%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
fps ∼0%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
AGM A8
2920 Points ∼15%
Nomu S30
3175 Points ∼16% +9%
LG G6
5703 Points ∼29% +95%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
2217 Points ∼11% -24%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
AGM A8
557 Points ∼27%
Archos 50 Saphir
619 Points ∼30% +11%
Nomu S30
618 Points ∼30% +11%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
744 Points ∼37% +34%
LG G6
1073 Points ∼53% +93%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
533 Points ∼26% -4%
Graphics (sort by value)
AGM A8
306 Points ∼1%
Archos 50 Saphir
383 Points ∼1% +25%
Nomu S30
670 Points ∼2% +119%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
129 Points ∼0% -58%
LG G6
5138 Points ∼18% +1579%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
308 Points ∼1% +1%
Memory (sort by value)
AGM A8
757 Points ∼10%
Archos 50 Saphir
402 Points ∼5% -47%
Nomu S30
942 Points ∼13% +24%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
366 Points ∼5% -52%
LG G6
1930 Points ∼26% +155%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
526 Points ∼7% -31%
System (sort by value)
AGM A8
1161 Points ∼7%
Archos 50 Saphir
1284 Points ∼8% +11%
Nomu S30
2216 Points ∼13% +91%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
1103 Points ∼7% -5%
LG G6
3646 Points ∼22% +214%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
887 Points ∼5% -24%
Overall (sort by value)
AGM A8
622 Points ∼7%
Archos 50 Saphir
591 Points ∼7% -5%
Nomu S30
964 Points ∼11% +55%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
443 Points ∼5% -29%
LG G6
2496 Points ∼30% +301%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
526 Points ∼6% -15%
Geekbench 4.4
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
AGM A8
1383 Points ∼3%
LG G6
4369 Points ∼10% +216%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
AGM A8
515 Points ∼8%
LG G6
1831 Points ∼29% +256%
AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
AGM A8
20.46 MB/s ∼23%
Archos 50 Saphir
18.3 MB/s ∼21% -11%
Nomu S30
21.52 MB/s ∼25% +5%
LG G6
53.33 MB/s ∼61% +161%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
14.4 MB/s ∼17% -30%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
AGM A8
22.01 MB/s ∼23%
Archos 50 Saphir
28.55 MB/s ∼30% +30%
Nomu S30
36.94 MB/s ∼38% +68%
LG G6
77.61 MB/s ∼80% +253%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
17.7 MB/s ∼18% -20%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
AGM A8
3.73 MB/s ∼1%
Archos 50 Saphir
4.79 MB/s ∼2% +28%
Nomu S30
8.84 MB/s ∼4% +137%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
4 MB/s ∼2% +7%
LG G6
16.58 MB/s ∼7% +345%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
6.9 MB/s ∼3% +85%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
AGM A8
11.44 MB/s ∼6%
Archos 50 Saphir
14.48 MB/s ∼7% +27%
Nomu S30
27.99 MB/s ∼14% +145%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
15.8 MB/s ∼8% +38%
LG G6
95.19 MB/s ∼49% +732%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
19.7 MB/s ∼10% +72%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
AGM A8
69.47 MB/s ∼12%
Archos 50 Saphir
12.21 MB/s ∼2% -82%
Nomu S30
194.95 MB/s ∼33% +181%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
25.6 MB/s ∼4% -63%
LG G6
122.85 MB/s ∼21% +77%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
42.4 MB/s ∼7% -39%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
AGM A8
140.67 MB/s ∼9%
Archos 50 Saphir
140.87 MB/s ∼9% 0%
Nomu S30
241.97 MB/s ∼16% +72%
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
113.5 MB/s ∼8% -19%
LG G6
428.67 MB/s ∼29% +205%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
143 MB/s ∼10% +2%

Legend

 
AGM A8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Archos 50 Saphir Mediatek MT6737T, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nomu S30 Mediatek Helio P10 MT6755, ARM Mali-T860 MP2, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 Marvell Armada PXA1908, Vivante GC7000UL, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 16 GB eMMC Flash

Gaming

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 410’s integrated GPU, an Adreno 306, runs at 450 MHz. Accordingly, current games from the Google Play Store, such as “Dream League Soccer 2017”, were far from smooth. Modest games, like “Angry Birds 2”, were no problem at all.

Dream League Soccer 2017
Dream League Soccer 2017
Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds 2

Emissions

Temperature

The outdoor smartphone remained cool during everyday use. During our stress test, running an application stability test for at least one full hour, the hot spot at the front heated up to a maximum of 36.5 °C (~98 °F) while most of the rear side remained below 34 °C (~93 °F).

 29.4 °C
85 F
29.8 °C
86 F
31.4 °C
89 F
 
 29.9 °C
86 F
29.9 °C
86 F
34.8 °C
95 F
 
 29.8 °C
86 F
29.4 °C
85 F
29.7 °C
85 F
 
Maximum: 34.8 °C = 95 F
Average: 30.5 °C = 87 F
25.7 °C
78 F
27.7 °C
82 F
27.5 °C
82 F
27.2 °C
81 F
28.1 °C
83 F
27.8 °C
82 F
27.3 °C
81 F
28.1 °C
83 F
27.9 °C
82 F
Maximum: 28.1 °C = 83 F
Average: 27.5 °C = 82 F
Power Supply (max.)  32.6 °C = 91 F | Room Temperature 21.3 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.4 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 36.6 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 36.5 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30.5 °C / 87 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

The AGM A8’s powerful mono speaker is located on the rear side and reached a maximum noise level of 85.78 dB(A), which is pretty normal for devices in this price range. Unfortunately, sound quality was quite bad and the speaker suffered from very noticeable and distracting rattling.

The sound pattern between 500 Hz and 7 kHz is rather erratic. Low frequencies (bass) are imperceptible, and highs above 8 kHz are underrepresented as well.

Unfortunately, AGM does not include a headset in the box. In combination with the Sony SBH60 headset the headphone jack performed rather poorly, which is not uncommon for devices in this price range. However, white noise was acceptable.

pink noise
pink noise
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.641.72525.440.13125.336.64032.927.55033.629.76331.633.28028.429.41002727.412520.825.1160222320021.32725020.839.231521.247.840019.454.350019.562.563017.772.280017.975.3100017.876.7125017.374.9160017.472.9200016.774.9250017.275.8315018.276.6400017.976500017.672.3630017.761.2800017.856.21000017.9571250018.163.71600018.252.7SPL3085.8N1.359.8median 17.9median 62.5Delta1.316.931.635.125.433.525.334.832.93433.629.431.629.628.424.92731.220.834.72239.821.348.320.855.321.259.519.462.219.567.117.77017.973.617.874.217.373.217.472.716.773.217.272.118.269.717.96917.666.317.766.917.86717.951.618.145.218.247.73082.41.354.8median 17.9median 66.91.311.8hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAGM A8Samsung Galaxy S8
AGM A8 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.78 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 30.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 10% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 9.1% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (33.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 92% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 5% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 94% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 4% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Samsung Galaxy S8 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.44 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 22.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (4.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 22% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 66% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 50% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 41% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency comprison (checkboxes selectable/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Overall power consumption was higher than average, yet lower than average under high load.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.07 / 0.14 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.86 / 1.97 / 2.04 Watt
Load midlight 4.86 / 6.43 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
AGM A8
4050 mAh
Archos 50 Saphir
5000 mAh
Nomu S30
5000 mAh
LG G6
3300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
 mAh
Power Consumption
0%
-6%
1%
39%
Idle Minimum *
0.86
0.65
24%
0.93
-8%
0.62
28%
0.6
30%
Idle Average *
1.97
1.9
4%
2.31
-17%
1.43
27%
1.2
39%
Idle Maximum *
2.04
2.05
-0%
2.35
-15%
1.48
27%
1.3
36%
Load Average *
4.86
6.14
-26%
4.57
6%
5.52
-14%
2.6
47%
Load Maximum *
6.43
6.54
-2%
6.1
5%
10.47
-63%
3.6
44%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Despite its large 4050 mAh battery, the device lasted for a mediocre of just 654 minutes in our Wi-Fi test at normalized brightness (150 nits). Charging a completely drained battery takes around two hours with the included 5 W (5 V / 1 A) charger, and the charging process is very linear: the battery is charged to 50% after one hour.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
10h 54min
AGM A8
4050 mAh
Nomu S30
5000 mAh
Archos 50 Saphir
5000 mAh
LG G6
3300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3
 mAh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
654
832
27%
973
49%
692
6%
503
-23%

Pros

+ very robust and rigid case
+ great battery life
+ pure Vanilla Android

Cons

- poor selfie camera
- sound rattling slightly
- comparatively slow processor

Verdict

In Review: AGM A8. Review unit courtesy of AGM.
In Review: AGM A8. Review unit courtesy of AGM.

The AGM A8's biggest selling point is its price: the smartphone can be purchased for around 180 Euros ($150) online. Despite its low price, it runs Google’s latest Android 7.0 operating system, and features 4G/LTE for both SIM cards, a decently bright and scratch-resistant 5-inch HD display, and a large battery. Unlike other smartphones that pride themselves with their supposedly water and dust resistance, the AGM A8 is a very potent and rugged companion when hiking out in the wild or working on a construction site.

This ruggedness comes at a price, though. In order to get to the MicroSD or the two Nano SIM cards, the rear cover has to be removed, which is a rather arduous procedure. Its relatively low overall performance, poor cameras, and less than stellar sound quality can all be attributed to the device’s low price.

 

 

 

 

 

AGM A8 - 05/18/2017 v6(old)
Thomas Meyer

Chassis
76%
Keyboard
64 / 75 → 85%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
35 / 60 → 58%
Weight
87%
Battery
94%
Display
85%
Games Performance
4 / 63 → 6%
Application Performance
31 / 70 → 44%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
58 / 91 → 64%
Camera
51%
Average
66%
76%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > AGM A8 Smartphone Review
Thomas Meyer, 2017-05-20 (Update: 2019-04- 5)