Kogan Agora Android phone (preview)

With a price of just $149, the Kogan Agora dual-SIM Android phone appears to be a very good value proposition

Four years after promising then failing to launch two Android smartphones, Kogan is trying a second time. The Australian online electronics store has announced the impending launch of a low-cost, dual-SIM Android phone called the Agora.

Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Kogan Agora will retail for $149 when it begins shipping to Australia in February. Consumers may remember the Agora name from 2009 — it's the year Kogan promised to launch two Android phones, then costing $299 and $399, respectively. However, the phones were firstly delayed by months and then never launched.

Kogan is promising the latest Agora device will ship to Australian customers in mid-February. With a price of just $149 (plus $20 for delivery) it's a very good value proposition. The standout feature is a large 5in screen and a dual-SIM card slot, but that money also gets you a 5-megapixel camera, 4GB of internal memory as well as a microSD card for additional storage.

It's worth noting that the 5in screen has a display resolution of 800x480, which is significantly lower than most smartphone screens of this size. However, it's hard to complain given the low price.

The Agora weighs a hefty 180g and measures 9.8mm thick.
The Agora weighs a hefty 180g and measures 9.8mm thick.

There are always other compromises at this low end of the smartphone market, however, and the Kogan Agora isn't any different. The 5in screen means it's far from a small phone and with a hefty weight of 180g, it's far from the lightest device on the market, either. We suspect most users will accept the heavier weight of the Agora as a tradeoff, but it's still something to consider if you're a first time smartphone buyer.

The Kogan Agora is a dual-SIM smartphone, but only one SIM card slot is compatible with Australian 3G networks, so the second SIM card slot is only 2G compatible. The phone does not support the latest 4G networks offered in Australia by Telstra and Optus, but that's hardly an issue when taking into account the low asking price.

The Kogan Agora is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, has 512MB of RAM and comes with a 2000mAh battery and all are reasonable specifications for the price. However, Kogan has not published any talk time or standby time specifications on the product listing page of its Web site. We'll be keen to see if the Agora can manage a full day of use before needing a recharge.

The Agora as it appears on Kogan's Web site.
The Agora as it appears on Kogan's Web site.

The Kogan Agora smartphone will initially ship with the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system, but there's no word if or when the phone will be updated to the latest version, Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).

Kogan has confirmed the Agora will ship with a free Kogan mobile starter kit. The company officially launched its own pre-paid mobile phone service, Kogan Mobile, in December last year. The network uses part of Telstra's wholesale 3G network to provide low cost mobile coverage.

Related content

Kogan unveils low-cost, dual-SIM Agora phone
How fast is the Kogan Mobile network?
Kogan officially enters Australian mobile provider market
Kogan to launch pre-paid mobile service through Telstra?
Red Bull targeting data hungry smartphone users with new unlimited plan
Kogan facing iPhone 5 backlash after shipping delays
Kogan will sell you a grey import iPhone 5 cheaper than Apple

Tags Kogan Agorakoganmobile phonessmartphones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World

11 Comments

Roger

1

Kogan says this is the best value smarthphone in the worldk. Yet more lies from them, as you can get Android phones for less than a third of the price.

While the price may seem very cheap, it isn't. It is fairly comparable to the price of similar no brand Chinese Android phones, which are readily available for purchase and delivery to Australia from eBay, Aliexpress and many online Chinese retailers.

This phone has a couple of issues - while the battery life is excellent (if it lives up to its claims) the resolution is very low for such a large screen, and having only 512mb is a big limitation.

For around the same price from the online sources I have mentioned you can get a large screen Android phone with a higher resolution, an IPS screen for better display quality and 1gig of RAM. Plus many are now coming with the newer Android 4.1 Jelly Bean instead of ICS which this one comes with.

Kogan is shipping thier phones directly from Hong Kong, so it won't be any quicker buying from Kogan than a Chinese or Hong Kong retailer.

Also worth noting that Kogan does not design or manufacture their own products, instead they just rebadge noname Chinese goods.

SusieC

2

Is the Kogan dual sim handset speaker and loud speaker system good? Will Kogan dual sim have swype text? I have a Samsung Galaxy Duos Dual Sim, cost $199 - screen res, handset speaker and loud speaker are not great, so it's hard to hear phone conversations. I previously had a Samsung Wave II, with a high screen res and great speakers. The advantage of Duos is that it's small and lightweight to carry and I love swype text which is speedy and saves time typing.

peter

3

@Roger - just did a search on aliexpress.com for 5" android phones with 1gb ram, english language & WCDA as you suggested. Only a couple of devices came up for less than $169 inc shipping and they all had worse specs than the Kogan. No IPS screens. No better resulution. Plus you have no warranty and the hassle of dealing with a vendor in China.
Can you give us a link to some of the much better bargains you have apparently found.
Finally kogan claimed best value Android - not cheapest Android. Dont confuse price with value - they are definitely not the same.

Bryan

4

@peter. I agree. I have bought electronics from those type of vendors and they always seem to be laden with problems and break within 3 months. I would much rather go with the Kogan with the free 1 year warranty.

ST

5

@Roger, some of the Chinese goods can be excellent quality too, stop thinking all Chinese goods are cr@p, if you really want, pay for an IPhone instead, they are made in China too, dont like it ? make it in your own country for more cost then.

Peter

6

I bought a kogan agora and it arrived yesterday and i will be sending it back and going back to my old phone HTC desire V and also the tpg network as the phone is hopeless and the network is soooo slow, slower than dial up and you cannot get to talk to anyone who can help, dont waste your time or money.

works-for-me

7

@peter - so what's the problem with the phone ???? Assume you've put your TPG sim back in ?

chris

8

i recieved my kogan agora yesterday after a long wait to have it fail and stop working completely within 24hrs not happy, not to mention a poor quality network as well

Debbie

9

We received our Kogan Angora phone today and our expectations were low (we weren't expecting the earth due to the price) and we are still disappointed. The 3G 850 does not want to run, the screen cuts out. To activate the Kogan trial SIM you had to supply your date of birth, drivers license, medicare card details (!), address, and credit card details which made us worry about identity theft. Normally only 1 major and 1 minor form of ID is required for prepaid SIM activation we thought. We ended up changing 1 number in the drivers license and medicare number IDs and the SIM activated anyway (we were concerned about identiity theft and where this information would end up). Overall, I think this company should be charged with misleading Australian consumers. I am sending my crappy new Angora phone back to Kogan but am worried that receiving any response from the company since their customer service is reported to be very poor.

Javier

10

Those who are interested in buying this phone should probably read this review, highlighting the pros and the many cons..: http://delimiter.com.au/2013/03/04/kogan-agora-smartphone-review/

George

11

Sounds like Bogan!

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?