Mobile Technology

Kogan Agora smartphone combines mid-range specs and a rock-bottom price

Kogan Agora smartphone combine...
The Kogan Agora smartphone provides mid-range specs for a bargain bin price.
The Kogan Agora smartphone provides mid-range specs for a bargain bin price.
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The Kogan Agora has a clean, minimal design
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The Kogan Agora has a clean, minimal design
It's rare to see a 5-inch screen on a bargain basement smartphone
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It's rare to see a 5-inch screen on a bargain basement smartphone
The Kogan Agora smartphone
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The Kogan Agora smartphone
The Kogan Agora smartphone provides mid-range specs for a bargain bin price.
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The Kogan Agora smartphone provides mid-range specs for a bargain bin price.

When discussing new and emerging technology, it's natural to emphasize high-end products. After all, the low-end devices often sport components that were high-end several years before. But highly affordable technology can be significant in its own right. Like, for example, a 5-inch, dual-core smartphone that costs US$150 off-contract.

Mid-range in the bargain bin

The Kogan Agora has a clean, minimal design
The Kogan Agora has a clean, minimal design

The phone is the Agora, and it's the creation of Australian electronics manufacturer and online retailer Kogan (who previously brought us budget tablets and laptops). It sports a 5-inch display, with a dual core 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and dual-SIM support. It even has a 5 MP rear camera and a front-facing shooter. Those aren't cutting edge specs, but for the bargain bin, you can do much worse.

The Kogan Agora has obvious limitations. 800 x 480 resolution on a 5-inch display is far from "Retina." It's running a year-old version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich). It only has 4 GB of internal storage (though it's expandable with a microSD card), and there's no 4G of any kind.

Bang for your buck

It's rare to see a 5-inch screen on a bargain basement smartphone
It's rare to see a 5-inch screen on a bargain basement smartphone

But what do you expect? High-end phones typically cost more on-contract than the Agora does off. As Kogan's PR team spins it: $149 gets you 23 percent of a Galaxy Note, 22 percent of an iPhone 4S, or 100 percent of the Agora. Its quality isn't on par with those devices, but its price-to-quality ratio might be.

The Kogan Agora ships mid-February. You can find out more at the source link below.

Source: Kogan

4 comments
LoneWolffe
I'm a late bloomer when it comes to smartphones, and only just bought my first one for a trip to Perú. I would love to see this in action. I think the only thing the Kogan Agora is missing, for me, is a physical keyboard, but I'm not seeing too many phones these days with them. "There's no such thing as a fool-proof system. Someone will make a better fool tomorrow." -LoneWolffe
Dr.Veritas
I still have yet to purchase a smartphone, though I own several iMacs, 4 iPads, and a couple of iPods. It is the monthly costs that stagger me. With T-Mobile I get 5 phones with 1500 shared minutes, unlimited phone to like phone service minutes, unlimited nights & weekends, unlimited text on all phones for $130/month which includes taxes! If I switch to smartphones my monthly bill will go up by about $140 minimum as I see it. This looks like a nice enough phone but again it isn't the phone cost that deters me, it is the fixed and constant monthly payment.
MockingBird TheWizard
no good for me, as I'm a technophile, but this seems brilliant for a lot of folks, especially makers looking for small computers with sensors, cameras, processors, etc. a better spec sheet would be nice to see to make sure it has accelerometers, gps, bluetooth, etc... if it lacks those basic, then $150 for this phone might still be worthless.
christopher
RIP iOS. For $1.47 extra (inc shipping) you can get the USB adapter that lets this baby (well, any Android) remote control servos and robots and all kinds of things. Who cares if it's a phone as well - as a platform for almost anything (home automation, intercoms, switches, radio-control, robots, monitoring, ...) it's cheaper than a bare-bones devkit, yet has everything inbuilt/included!