April 20, 2014

Kogan's Agora Officially Becomes Australia's First, World's Second Android Handset

Making good on the rumors from a few weeks ago, Kogan has officially announced the first Android handsets to be released in Australia.  Two models of the handset called the Agora and Agora Pro will be launched on January 29th, 2009 at prices of $299 and $399 respectively. Unlocked.  Not quite the $199 price, nor the December release date, but we’ll forgive them.  That’s because $299 in AU equates to about $193 in US dollars, while the $399 price comes out to around $258.00.

We really like the form factor of the device.  It looks like it will do well for fans of T-Mobile Dash and Samsung Blackjack.  Even with a full QWERTY keyboard built in, there is still room for a 2.5″ touchscreen.  Although Kogan is an untested brand here in the United States, they might be on to something.  Offering a cheaper alternative to the “big boys” which up to now has been only HTC, they can grab some nice market share.

We’re glad to see the device does not looklike a G1 with a slide out keyboard.  If it came out looking similar to the G1, it would probably not do as well, even with lower costs.  People tend to stick to brand names that they know and trust, even if it means spending a little more money.

Here’s what you get in the device at $299:

  • 3G Network
  • 2.5-inch LCD Touch Screen
  • QWERTY Keypad with back lighting
  • Bluetooth
  • 624MHz processor
  • 256MB memory, 128MB Flash, MicroSD expansion slot

For an extra $100, you add a 2MP camera, WiFi, and GPS.  How well Android works for you without WiFi and GPS depends on your usage, but we feel like it’s definitely worth the money for extra connectivity and features.   A large portion of Android’s best software uses the GPS anyhow.

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