The AGM X3 is an award-winning handset that offers regular flagship performance. We have had X3 for testing, and here is our verdict:
The manufacturer, AGM, specializes in making resilient smartphones – the ones we call everyday "handset phones". However, AGM does it more convincingly than, for example, Samsung with their Xcover.
Also read: Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4 – Created for the cool life (TEST)
I am well aware that the talk of handset phones may not be the most engaging in the world. But the AGM X3 can still do something that its competitors cannot, which is worth mentioning. We have had AGM X3 for testing, and here is our verdict:
- Beautiful design
- Good screen
- Good sound
- Pure Android
- fast Charging
- Wireless charging
- Incredibly hard
- Powerful hardware
- fingerprint reader
- Missing Jack plugs
- Android Oreo 8.1.0
- Bad camera
- Last rs chipset
The first thing that struck me about the AGM X3 was how beautiful it is. I'm sorry that it doesn't look like iPhone, Huawei or Samsung, but it is nonetheless incredibly light for jet. Most probably associate a bald "rugged" phone with large edges and a lot of rubber, but the X3 looks more like a flagship phone with a sturdy cover. Of course, there is extra rubber coating on all four corners, and the screen has incredibly thick edges – both at the bottom, top and sides. In return, there is no notch to complain about. If you take a look around the frame of the phone, it looks like the device is screwed together. Whether it is preferable to glass that is glued to a thin aluminum frame, I do not have to think that wise, but it gives the feeling that the phone is more robust.
At the back we find a dual camera with an LED flash. Under the camera we find a fingerprint reader that is super fast, both to detect one's fingerprints and to unlock the device. Whether this means that it is less thorough, and thus less secure, I do not know. But it is nothing to work with, and gives the feeling that you have a quick phone to deal with.
All in all, a nice phone to unpack, and certainly a phone I would not have the slightest agony over to use daily – if we were only talking the look.
The article continues for specifications and gallery …
Click to open the photo gallery:
|Ml and vgt||167.5 x 81.5 x 10.5 mm
|Skrm||5.99 ”2.160 x 1.080 FHD + Gorilla Glass 5|
|Storage space||64 GB / 128 GB|
|Camera||12 MP + 24 MP|
|software||Pure Android Oreo 8.1.0|
Up to 128 GB MicroSD
|Indicative price||5,999 kroner|
Behaving like a flagship
But what about the performance?
If we just want to scratch out how it looks on paper, then comes the AGM X3 with the Snapdragon 845, which is last year's flagship ship. It doesn't matter, because the phone still performs like a flagship with no sign of fatigue, no matter what I use it for. In addition, my version has 8 GB of RAM, which is also the only option I have found in the Danish market, and the phone runs Android Oreo 8.1.0.
With the clean Android OS and the powerful hardware, there's not much that can go wrong in terms of performance. And it also plays as it should. There is absolutely nothing I can throw in the head of the AGM X3, which it does not just chew through as one (set your own craftsman analogy here).
However, I have a problem, which is Android Oreo. Once you get used to Android Pie, or maybe even using the beta version of Android Q, Android Oreo is just a clumsy and boring size. Of course, it is not AGM's fault that Oreo is abandoned by Pie, but there is no prospect of an update to the phone's OS. That means Android Oreo 8.1.0 forever. AGM should make an effort and just get the unit updated. That will save them some customers, I think.
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We might as well call a spade a spade. If you are a tanned Instagramer, or generally use your phone for creative pursuits, then AGM X3 is not for you. The dual camera consists of a main lens of 12 MP and a secondary lens of 24 MP. That sounds pretty good in itself. The problem is that it does not work properly. Plain images and HDR enhancement images work perfectly well. Features like depth effect are something h, to put it mildly. On five different subjects, I managed to capture the right motif just once, with some depth effect. For some mysterious reason, the camera would consistently blur the subject itself so that the background was sharp, but whatever I took pictures was completely blurry. In addition, the camera is far too slow. I have argued that if the shutter speed is too slow, you will lose the desire to use the camera.
My own example is my children. It is impossible to take a good picture of a moving child, for this the camera is just too slow. And we're not talking full lb or the like. If just a hand is slightly moved or the facial mimicry changes, the image is blurred and useless. It's terribly frustrating and enough that I didn't bother using the camera.
In contrast, the AGM X3 takes excellent pictures if you are completely still, the subject is completely still and you do not use the depth effect. For me, it's just a little counterproductive in a phone designed primarily for people with an active lifestyle.
The gallery below shows four comparisons with ASUS zenfone 6.
The article continues after the gallery …
Click to open the photo gallery:
Sound from JBL and excellent call quality
AGM has allied with JBL to give the X3 as good sound as possible. The phone's own speakers also play brilliantly for a couple of phone speakers. Watching movies or listening to music is no problem, although most people will not prefer the speakers in a phone when they are enjoying their favorite music.
The call quality is right in the closet. At no time have I had trouble understanding what is being said. Conversely, my voice has also been clean, without distortion or the like.
Our readers have previously asked for SAR values when we report telephones, so of course I have also requested this from AGM. I have stated in bold that the SAR value of AGM X3 is 0.296.
Almost passed our drop test
One of the primary selling points of AGM X3 is its hardness. The phone has been tested to withstand falls from 1.21 meters, it has been watered down to 1.5 meters and it is stubborn. In addition, it has been tested at extreme temperatures, minus 30 and plus 0 degrees, and subjected to vibration tests, where it has been subjected to frequencies from 10 Hz to 500 Hz for two hours.
All in all, this means that it has issued IP68 certification and the MIL-STD-810G, which is used by the US military, among other things, to classify how strong their tools are.
Of course, I was very interested in testing in practice, although I did not have the opportunity to issue the phone for a definite earthquake. However, it was still possible to have some fun. AGM sent me an extra device that I could throw around a bit, and I did.
The conclusion is that even if you are clumsy and do not look after your phone, you will find it difficult to call AGM X3. Indoors I got no results. No matter how much I threw on the phone, stepped on it, kicked it or the like, it got no visible damage. The first damage came when I tested the phone outside. I "dropped" it on a staircase, from about a meter and twenty centimeters, resulting in the first notch in the phone's metal frame. A few more attempts outdoors resulted in the phone getting notches and marks on and off, but no definite damage to the screen, camera or fingerprint reader.
It wasn't until I threw the phone down some stairs that it got visible damage. A fall halfway down our basement stairs provided a solid wing across the screen. However, the phone still worked, despite the large wing.
The last thing I exposed it to was that I freeze it overnight. For the sake of the screen, I thought there would probably be a bit of water in it and completely submerge the screen. It didn't happen. After releasing the AGM X3 from the ice block, I could see that it was still on and the screen had not suffered any further overload. After pulling the phone, it turned out that it was still fully functional – albeit a little confused about the charger's speed, which can be seen in the video above.
The entire test is clipped together and can be seen in the video above.
The final judgment
It is difficult to report a "handset" because it caters to a very narrow audience. Obviously I can't just compare it to the iPhone XS, Huawei P30 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S10 +. But somehow the phone can anyway. It is not the traditional hard unit that compromises performance to provide more durability. It's not just a flagship, it's a flagship. I am aware that this is last year's hardware and the operating system is also outdated – we will get to that. But in everyday use, the AGM X3 does just as well as any other phone.
Where does it go? – It is definitely worth the price. The phone is all, far, far too expensive if you consider that there is no update to the operating system, the chipset is from last year and the camera is mediocre. All of these factors are taken into account, so the suggested retail price of DKK 5,999 is difficult to defend. For around £ 4,000, you can get Huawei Mate 20 Pro, which has far better camera, far more premium features, operating system updates and IP68 certification. If you look and buy one of the more expensive covers from UAG or similar, then you have far more phone, which can still handle a lot, for 1,500-1,800 DKK less.
However, the AGM X3 is still a nice phone. The design is "spot-on" and it is nice to have a flagship phone that can also get a little crunchy. It's just really hard to argue why you should buy it when there are better and cheaper alternatives. So what should it be like? The phone is aimed at a specific audience who may want to choose the hardness over camera, software updates and so on. To that audience, I don't think there are many better alternatives.
Had AGM priced the phone $ 2,000 lower, or worked on updating for Android Pie, I would give 5, maybe even 5, stars. But all things considered, we land at 4 stars for an excellent in-class phone, which is unfortunately just too expensive.