Kogan Agora 4G Pro review: the final word on Kogan's best smartphone
Is a low $299 price enough to make the Agora 4G Pro a worthwhile buy?
- High resolution 5.2-inch display
- Commendable 13- and 8-megapixel cameras
- Competitively priced
- Plastic exterior
- Weak loudspeaker
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
The Agora 4G Pro tops Kogan’s existing range of smartphones with a larger screen, higher resolution cameras and a more powerful processor. The online retailer hasn’t revealed the manufacturer of the 4G Pro, though BenQ is behind the Agora 4G and 4G+, and a listing on BenQ’s website makes a good case the Taiwanese company is behind the 4G Pro too.
A lot of the smartphone’s appeal stems from the quality of its 5.2-inch display. It has a high 1920x1080 resolution and it packs its pixels closer together with a 429 pixel-per-inch (ppi) density. For context, the rivalling smartphones from Motorola, Microsoft and ZTE have screens with a density hovering around the 294ppi mark.
Going one further is the use of an IPS panel for an almost 180-degree viewing angle and strong levels of brightness.
Inexpensive smartphones benefit the most from Google’s mobile operating system. The Agora runs a version of Android 5.0 Lollipop that is largely stock. Changes include the addition of Kogan’s app, a ‘close all’ button in the task manager and the ability to record phone calls, among others.
Keeping the software stock helps this smartphone compete against those that are more expensive. Most people could go from an S6 Edge — which is one of the highest rated smartphones on PCWorld — to the Agora 4G Pro and still have most of their needs met.
Beyond the plastic exterior of this smartphone is notable computing hardware. There’s a Snapdragon 615 processor, which is an octa-core arrangement composed of a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU and another 1.0GHz quad-core CPU. Also on board is an Adreno 405 GPU, 2-gigabytes of RAM, 16-gigabytes of internal storage and a microSD slot compatible with cards 64-gigabytes in size.
Most of the time the smartphone will handle the Android OS with ease, but an occasional stutter or a dropped frame proves revelatory of its price. Benchmarking the smartphone using 3DMark’s Ice Storm Unlimited test resulted in a score of 7523, and this is lesser than the ZTE Blade S6’s score of 8680.
Integrated into the body of the smartphone is a non-removable 2500 milliamp-hour battery. We spent only four days with the Agora 4G Pro at the time of writing — on account of it only being available for four days. The battery lasted 26 hours on average under light use, which included some phone calls, texting, emailing, web browsing and video streaming.
Noticeable improvements have been made to the cameras. It has a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8 megapixel camera on its front. Both of them have an aperture of f/2.0 and, interestingly, both of them have an LED flash.
The quality of the cameras separate the 4G Pro from its Agora siblings. People who take photos solely to be viewed on a smartphone, or to be shared on a social network, will be happy with its performance. Photos are large, have strong colours and perform well in most lighting situations.
By no means are the cameras perfect. Out of focus parts in a photograph can be overexposed, though this problem is not nearly as bad as it on the cheaper Agora 4G or 4G+. Viewing the photos at native resolution reveals they are often grainy and soft on detail, while advanced shooting modes, such as taking panoramic photographs, underwhelm in detail and clarity.
The biggest problem with Kogan’s Agora 4G Pro is the design's lack of refinement. A lot of effort has gone into dressing the smartphone up, with its metallic colour and a brushed hairline finish. These small touches are enough to make it feel attractive for a short period of time, but in the end the crude use of plastic feels inferior. Those unphased by the build quality will get a powerful smartphone for a low price, but who is to say the smartphones from Microsoft and Motorola are any more expensive or any less powerful?
Join the newsletter!
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Sport AT
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Toys for Boys
ESET Internet Security
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET Smart Security Premium
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Tivoli PAL BT
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Office 365 Business Premium isn’t one-size fits all but if you’re the right sized business for it to make sense, there’s a good amount of value to be found in the package’s comprehensive software offering.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 3 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 4 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 5 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
Latest News Articles
- Alcatel renew Rabbitohs partnership and talk up 2018 growth
- Vivo Nex Dual Display Release Date, Price, Specs and More
- Samsung Galaxy A8s Release Date, Price, Specs and More
- Wizards of the Coast invest $10 million into MTG: Arena esports
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards Nominees Announced
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?