While there is no doubt that the iPhone is considered by many to be the ultimate smartphone, there are plenty of smartphones with features that Apple users can only dream of having. Think thermal imaging cameras and infrared night vision, and even laser pointers.
Need a smartphone that has all of this and more, all wrapped into a rugged shell that can handle tough situations with ease?
The AGA Glory G1S could be the smartphone you’ve been waiting for.
Externally, the Glory G1S looks like many other rugged smartphones. A huge smartphone slab wrapped in protective rubber armor, with small flaps covering all ports to prevent water ingress.
The smartphone claims that it is water and dust proof to IP68/IP69K and drop tested from 1.5m to comply with MIL-STD-810H standard.
It is a robust handset.
More: The best rugged phones for outdoor adventures
The display is a massive 6.53-inch screen, and it comes straight from the factory with a screen protector applied.
Inside, it features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G octa-core processor with Qualcomm’s Adreno 619 GPU. This is backed by 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of storage, expandable by adding a 512GB microSD card.
It’s a pretty big smartphone.
It has everything you’d expect from an Android smartphone, like Bluetooth and NFC, and a fingerprint sensor.
It also has cameras, a 48-megapixel front camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera and a 16-megapixel front camera.
It even has a 3.5mm headphone jack – remember that? — and the headphones also serve as an antenna for FM radio.
But there is more.
A 256×192 thermal camera with a temperature range of -20°C to 550°C and a 20-megapixel infrared night vision camera with IR LED illumination are integrated into the rear camera array.
Yes, this 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 infrared camera?
Because they’re super useful, not only as a fun gadget to play with, but also because they’re 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 found it super useful. You can do so much with it.
Here are some things you can do with a thermal imaging camera:
- Find overheated electrical components (bad components usually get hotter)
- Diagnose all kinds of HVAC issues, from windows leaking heat to radiators not heating properly to A\C units not cooling
- Find rechargeable batteries that overheat dangerously
- Finding Radiator Hoses Under Floors
- Finding Overheating Power Cables
- Find problems with cooling systems on desktops and laptops
- Fixing brakes on cars
My advice for learning how to use a thermal camera is to use it to look at things when they aren’t faulty – your radiators, car brakes, electrical appliances, anything – and that way you learn what things are should look like so you can tell when things aren’t working properly.
I’ve gotten to the point where I find the thermal camera so useful that I turn to it without thinking about it. Earlier, I wanted to know if an electrical device had power, and instead of reaching for a multimeter, I used my thermal imaging camera to see if anything was heating up inside. Once I saw the components heat up, it eliminated a host of possible issues.
But what about night vision? Surely this is one of those niche things?
You would be wrong.
The number of times I found myself in a room with no light (usually an attic or basement). Or maybe it’s dark and I don’t want to light the place up looking 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 the infrared LEDs are working. You’ll find them on all sorts of devices, from TV remotes to built-in infrared spotlights to security cameras.
And it’s also a fun tool to see what happens after sunset. It’s pretty amazing the animals that come out when they think we can’t see them!
This is a really handy feature to incorporate into a smartphone.
I thought the laser pointer would be something I would never use, but I do.
I know, obvious isn’t it? But if you’re trying to point at something out of reach, something hot, or something buried in a live electrical device, then using the laser pointer is much better than using a finger!
At the end of the line
The AGA Glory G1S It’s not cheap – at $699 – but for those who can use thermal and night vision cameras, it’s a solid handset well worth looking into. For more general coverage (and thermal images) of the AGM Glory G1S, check out my colleague Jack Wallen’s full review here.