— Mobile Technology
Kogan Agora smartphone combines mid-range specs and a rock-bottom price
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 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
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.
About the Author
Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post.
Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
All articles by Will Shanklin
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
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.
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.
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!
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