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!
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G
Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar
LiTMUS LAB Dakota Side Table
Apple Watch Series 6
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen)
WD My Passport™ SSD
Toys for Boys
Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
Theragun PRO Percussive Therapy Device
WD_BLACK™ SN850 NVMe™ SSD
Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker
Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System
Sony Playstation 5
ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch
MSI Modern 14
Fender Fullerton Ukele
Garmin vívofit® jr. 2
Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor
Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush
Fujiflim Instax Square SQ1
Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player
SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String
MSI GE66 Dragonshield Limited Edition
Dickie Toy Remote Control Mega Crane Set
Kindle Paperwhite eReader (10th Gen)
New line-up targeted at designers, creators, and professionals
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo Watch review: A masterclass in imitation
- 2 Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- 3 Google Pixel 4a review: The Goldilocks Google phone
- 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G review: Wrong Number
- 5 LG NANO99 NanoCell 8K TV review: Prestige at a price
Latest News Articles
- Apple’s App Store Best of 2020 includes old favorites, pandemic essentials
- Aspera goes hip with a 4G flip and adds a feature-laden smartphone
- Cyber Monday Deal: Galaxy Note 20 for $999
- Best Australian Black Friday Telstra deals
- Looking to buy an iPhone this Black Friday? These are the deals you're looking for
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- iPhone 12 Pro review: The iPhone that’s future proof
- Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- Oppo Watch review: A masterclass in imitation
- 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?