First impressions often don’t last when it comes to budget smartphones. The glisten and shine is quickly tarnished the moment the smartphone fails to perform. Kogan’s range of Agora smartphones tend to drive this point home, feeling every bit their price on a long enough timeline.
Now there’s a new flagship in the pipeline, the Agora 4G Pro, and with its $299 price tag comes the kind of specifications reserved for its more expensive rivals.
The design of the smartphone takes a page from LG’s book on the G3. Its body is plastic, though silver colouring and a hairline finish give the illusion it is metallic. Contours on the smartphone’s sides make it easier to hold, which is needed because the material’s texture is slippery.
Working in its favour is a thin profile. Its 8mm depth makes the smartphone look as powerful as its specs promise. Unfortunately getting it that thin required the 2500 milliamp-hour battery to be integrated. This means it cannot be swapped out for a new one down the track.
Peeling off the back cover provides access to a micro-SIM slot and a microSDXC card slot. Kogan claims the smartphone supports memory cards 64GB in size, but the Agora 4G Pro could not read the files stored on our 64GB, class 10 card.
Update: We did get our 64GB microSD cards working with the 4G Pro. Doing so required them to be formatted from — not a computer — but the phone itself.
Most of the Agora's 16GB of internal storage is used by the operating system and installed applications. Only 6.57GB was available after we installed our commonly used apps.
The back has a 13 megapixel camera, but it’s the front camera that piques our intrigue. It captures photos at 8-megapixels and it has a dedicated LED flash. We’ve taken some test photos with both cameras and a cursory inspection reveals they hold promise.
A big sell for this smartphone is its screen. It spans 5.2-inches, has a Full HD resolution and an attractive 424 pixel-per-inch density. Brightness levels and viewing angles are strong enough to thwart pesky reflections, and although there’s no indication BenQ has made this smartphone too, the screen upholds the high standard set on previous Agora smartphones.
Playing music back from the smartphone is less enjoyable. A single speaker, located on its bottom left, produces flat, volume-lacking sound. Dialogue on a Youtube video can still be heard, but only just.
Powering the 4G Pro is a Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, composed of two quad-core CPUs running at 1.5GHz. There’s also an Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB of RAM.
Preorders for the Agora 4G Pro have opened with deliveries expected to take place on 2 July. Stay tuned for the Good Gear Guide review for the verdict on the 4G Pro.