Review: Kogan Agora - a simpler, practical Google phone?

By , on
Review: Kogan Agora - a simpler, practical Google phone?

The next Google phone will be Kogan's Agora and it's looking to be much more understated, but perhaps sensible, design than the flashier T-Mobile G1.

This week Kogan technologies announced that as of January 2009, you'd be able to buy a new Android-based phone, the Kogan Agora and Kogan Agora Pro (and yes, they ship outside of Australia).

We haven't had the luxury of playing with the Kogan Agora yet (we're told review units are not available yet), but meantime, there's some positive things to be said about the latest outing for Android.

Kogan Agora vs T-Mobile G1 - under the hood
The Agora is a smartphone stripped light - no GPS, no WiFi and no integrated camera. If you want those features, you'll have to jump up to the Agora Pro. Kogan's web site is currently taking orders for the Agora and Agora Pro with scheduled dispatch on the 29th of January 2009.

While cheap and cheerful, the Kogan Agora might be just the dose of design practicality needed to give the Android platform some street-credibility. The T-Mobile G1 received a rather lackustre response when it debuted earlier this year, with reviewers praising the concept, but bemoaning the chunky handset, and lack of VOIP.

Out goes the Touchscreen
By throwing out the large screen, Kogan may have recitified one of the biggest criticisms of the G1 - the design. The Agora has a Blackberry-esque look, with a QWERTY keyboard designed more for email and text than Youtube (although there is a Youtube client). Meanwhile the G1 seems like it's trying to be both an iPhone and an HTC Touch Pro.

Battery life
Check the specs, and you'll see Kogan is claiming similar battery life to the G1 - up to 300 hours standby, and 6.6 hours talk time. Given there's a smaller screen, and no GPS or WiFi though on the entry Kogan phone, we'd expect to see better battery life in the real world.

What's with the name - Agora?
At first we thought Kogan's choice of name was referencing those fluffy jumpers beloved of Ed Wood Jr, but it's actually a reference to the greek word for "marketplace". But in the fierce marketplace of modern smartphones, how will Kogan's $299 Agora and $399 Agora Pro stack up?


Model

Kogan Agora/ Pro

T-Mobile G1

Blackberry Bold

 





Phone Bands

UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz) GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

HSPA/WCDMA (1700/2100 MHz in US) GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)

UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz) GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

WiFi

Yes (Pro only)

Yes

Yes

OS

Android

Android

Blackberry 4.6

Screen Size

2.5" 320x240

3.2"

320 x 480

2.8" 320x240

Pricing

$399 (non-Pro $299)

US$179.99 with contract (not available in Australia)

Contract only

Input

Touchscreen and keyboard

Touchscreen and keyboard

Keyboard

Bluetooth

Yes

Yes

Yes

Camera

2.0 Megapixel (Pro only)

3.2

Megapixel

2.0 Megapixel

GPS

Yes (Pro only)

Yes

Yes

Web Browser

Android (Webkit-based)

Android

Blackberry Browser

Expansion Slot

microSD

microSD

microSD

Inbuilt Storage

256MB

ROM: 256 MB

1GB

Dimensions

108x64x4.8 mm

117x55.7x17.2 mm

114x66x15mm

Weight

130gm

185gm

136gm

Battery Life

6.6 hours talk time, 300 hours standby

6.7 hours talk time (GSM), 402 hours standby (WCDMA)

4.5 hours talk time, 324 hours standby







Tags:

Most Read Articles

Log In

Username:
Password:
|  Forgot your password?