Sizing up a bargain
Kogan delivers the Agora, and there’s plenty to like, writes Jennifer Dudley-nicholson
At $149, the Agora would make a tempting proposition to most Google-loving scrooges. It’s the same price as some old-school, flip phones and, as Kogan points out, about 20 per cent as costly as a leading smartphone.
Despite its low price, it comes with reasonable features. Its 5-inch screen makes apps big enough to see without a struggle and its 480x800 resolution, while hardly cutting-edge, is readable.
The phone uses Google Android Ice Cream Sandwich software (4.04), giving the handset access to most of the latest features and apps, plus five homescreens to fill with widgets and shortcuts.
Perhaps the most impressive feature, though, is the addition of two SIM card slots. Users can slip two full-sized SIMs into this phone, side-by-side, and choose which service they would rather use from the drop-down menu. It’s a traveller’s dream and one you’re unlikely to see from carrierissued handsets.
You can’t buy a $149 phone without making trade-offs, however. This phone uses a dual-core 1GHz chip and
The Agora would make a tempting proposition
512MB RAM, and Quadrant places its power on a par with the Motorola Atrix from two years ago, and just above the original Samsung Galaxy Nexus. In practice, its screen can be a bit sticky, apps appear after a delay and managing open apps is important.
The phone’s rear 5-megapixel camera is also unimpressive, with white balance and close focus proving tricky. Indoor photos with this camera have a washed-out, blue appearance, while closeups are hard to master.
The Agora’s screen is also a fingerprint magnet that can be tough to see from an angle, its home button requires a stiff push and the rear cover is poorly made. The panel’s texture and shape is a lot like that of Samsung’s original Galaxy Note, but it doesn’t sit flat against the phone and seems ill-fitted. Do not take this phone in the rain.
Despite drawbacks, the Kogan Agora is a worthwhile addition to Google’s phone library. It delivers a dual-SIM option for the price of a basic MP3 player and, for that reason alone is a sure bet to find fans.