Kogan unveils low-cost, dual-SIM Agora phone

Kogan has announced the impending launch of a low-cost, dual-SIM Android phone called the Agora 5.0

The Kogan Agora Android smartphone.

The Kogan Agora Android smartphone.

Australian online electronics store Kogan has announced the impending launch of a low-cost, dual-SIM Android phone called the Agora.

Unveiled today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Kogan Agora will retail for $149 when it begins shipping to Australia mid-next month. The phone has a large 5in screen, comes with a 5-megapixel camera and has 4GB of internal memory along with a microSD card for additional storage.

Kogan's often exuberant founder and CEO, Ruslan Kogan, said in a media statement that the Agora is an affordable smartphone with "all the main features people want."

"Up until now, full feature smartphones have only been for the rich. We want to make technology more affordable for everyone."

"Before today, a decent smartphone would set you back over $500. For most people, that's more than a week's salary. We think everyone should be able to afford a great smartphone that has all the main features people want. We spoke to thousands of customers and they all said they want a phone with a large screen, that looks stylish, and has access to the latest apps."

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

The 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.

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).

The Agora is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, has 512MB of RAM and comes with a 2000mAh battery. However, Kogan has not published any talk time or standby time specifications on the product listing page of its Web site.

Although the Agora has a 5in screen, it has a display resolution of 800x480, which is significantly lower than most smartphone screens of this size.

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.

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Ross Catanzariti

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