While today’s modern smartphones are great, there are often features about them that people deem unnecessary. For example, the lack of physical buttons is often a drawback for those who have less dexterity in their hands. They’re also often very fragile. This may lead some modern smartphone users to look for another option, one that counteracts some of the above features. This review looks at a smartphone that fits the bill for those criteria: the AGM M7 4G LTE.
Opening the AGM M7, I’m immediately brought back to the early days of mobile phones. It’s fairly chunky and has a large physical keyboard. It reminds me of cell phones circa 2005. However, there’s more to this phone than meets the eye.
It’s actually running a simplified version of Android under the hood, and as a result, it has access to many useful applications that you may be using on a daily basis. Plus, it still has modern features, like a fairly high-quality 4 Watt speaker, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Type-C charging, meaning you can still use it the same way you would your typical modern smartphone.
There is something that’s glaringly wrong with any setup guides for this device. What I found was that you have to open the battery compartment on the back of the device and remove a plastic tab that’s covering the battery contacts, which prevents the device from turning on. That’s listed nowhere in the manual, so make sure you do that.
Using the AGM M7 is a bit of a mixed bag. I like that it has a physical keyboard and touchscreen, as that means I can still navigate the device like I would like to. Using Chrome is fairly painless, with the only sore spot being that if I search Google as most would, I’m typing out a full question using a T9 keyboard, which I’m desperately out of practice to do.
I do really like the quality of the speaker. For a device that’s meant to be rugged, it’s certainly good enough. I can watch a video or have someone on speakerphone without it being distractingly bad.
I haven’t tested the military specifications for this device, but it certainly seems rugged. The specs say you can drop it from 2 meters, submerge it in 1.5 meters of water, operate it from -20 C to 60 C, and have it repel 99 percent of dust. It also gets up to 15.2 hours of talk time and 13 days on standby from just one single charge.
If you’re someone who works in construction or needs a phone that’s particularly rugged for whatever reason, I can absolutely recommend this device. Plus, if you wear large gloves, the icons on the touchscreen are large, and the T9 keyboard has chunky buttons, making it a great fit.
AGM M7 Cons
There’s one thing I really don’t like about the AGM M7. While it’s running a simplified version of Android, it’s nowhere near as customizable as Android. You can’t add or remove any applications, which means you’re stuck with Skype, WhatsApp, and TikTok on this phone forever.
If there’s one thing I’d have to commend the AGM M7 for, it’s being a rugged, traditionalist outlier in a fragile smartphone world. While I haven’t tested it, this phone certainly has the credentials to be a great phone for someone who works in a highly-demanding job like a construction worker or a mechanic and needs a tough phone.
The removable battery, dual sim cards, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Type-C charging make the AGM M7 a surprising mix of a lot of the things that people really like about old and new smartphones. I also really like that it doesn’t proclaim to be anything it’s not – it’s clearly meant to be a simple, rugged phone that does its job and nothing else. Plus, for a price around $100 USD, you can’t beat it.