Tuesday, 23 October 2018 17:17

Kogan's Agora 9 smartphone packs 4000mAh battery with 5.45-inch 18:9 screen for $169

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Ok, so we don't have a screen above 6-inches, while the processor isn't the most powerful, but Kogan has launched the latest model in its ultra-affordable Android smartphone and for the price, it's impressive!

Want the very best, with gobs of RAM, storage, processing power, camera oomph and much more? Then go and look at the latest iPhone Xs Max, Samsung Note 9, Google Pixel 3 XL or Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

But what if you just need a new smartphone, and want to pay in the very low three figures, rather than prices between $1000 and $2000, or more?

Well, you've come to the right place, as Kogan's newest Agora 9 is on a special pre-sale price of $169, not including delivery, until 26 November, after which the price will presumably go up.

It starts with a 4000 mAh battery, which is something you won't even find on most ultra-premium smartphones, although it doesn't beat the Huawei Mate 20 Pro's 4200mAh battery.

Even so, because this phone doesn't have the highest end processor or screen, the power draw is going to presumably be a lot lower, meaning your Agora 9 battery is billed as lasting you "throughout the day, even with heavy usage", while "beating out the battery power of devices that are ten times higher in price".

There's also an 18:9 IPS LCD display, which means a wider screen for a "more engaging, immersive viewing experience".

As you'd expect, even in a budget smartphone these days, there's "a fingerprint scanner for easy access", and while it doesn't have Android OS 9, it does have the still great Android 8.1 Oreo operating system.

Now, as a budget smartphone, the rest of the specs are more in line with budget models there's only 2GB RAM, for example, and you only get 16GB storage, but there is a MicroSD slot into which you can pop a 128GB card.

The CPU is also a MediaTek MT6739, a quad-core model rather than the onto-core processors you see on flagships, but again, for $169, this is what you can expect.

The question will be performance, but as long as you're not trying to run the latest AAA games, you should find this smartphone can do all the usual smartphone tasks you'd expect, but we'll have to wait and see what the initial reviews say.

It even has dual SIM card slots (4G + 2G), and the MicroSD card is separate, so all three can be used at the same time, meaning you don't need to sacrifice one SIM slot just to get extra memory as is the case with many smartphones. 

However, as the second slot is 2G only, and not 3G or 4G, you can only use that second SIM slot when overseas where 2G networks still exist, as they aren't available in Australia any longer. Even so, that's useful when you're travelling on holidays, for example, and if you only have one SIM card and phone number anyway, as most people do, then this issue won't bother you. 

Heck, for $169, you can always buy two of these smartphones if you really need two phone numbers from two SIM cards at your disposal, given the practically disposable price of this inexpensive mobile marvel. 

The camera is also only 8 megapixels front and back, but again, you're not even paying $200 for this device, so as a second phone, or even a phone you use to train your wayward teenagers to look after, whether before or after they've smashed their more expensive phones, there's a clear market for the Kogan Agora 9 and it should prove very popular I just hope that the performance passes muster for the everyday tasks that people rely on in 2018.

Sergiy Bobrovnychyy, Kogan's director of Exclusive Brands, and the man who knows "y", said: "We use our mobiles to watch videos, play games, read books and do so much more than just talk and text. Your phone isn’t just a device anymore, it’s a personal assistant and portal of experiences.

“We know people aren’t always looking for complicated extras, they want a device that’s functional, easy to use and won’t lose battery after only a few hours. That’s why we’re offering a smartphone with the capabilities Aussies are looking for at a price they can appreciate.”

Specs:

Camera

Auto Focus
Yes | Rear

Flash
Yes

Front
8MP

Rear
8MP

Connectivity

2G Network
850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

3G Network
850 / 900

4G Network
LTE: B1/3/5/7/8/28A

Bluetooth
4.1

GPS
Yes

Kogan Mobile 4G Ready
Yes

SIM Type
Nano SIM + Nano SIM + Micro-SD

USB
Micro-USB

Wi-Fi
802.11 b/g/n, 2.4G

Dimensions

Dimensions
148.83 x 70.93 x 9.25mm

Weight
170g

Display

Native Aspect Ratio
18:9

Resolution
1440 x 720

Size
5.45"

Type
IPS

Features

Phone Features
Android 8 Built-in
Fingerprint Sensor

Outputs

3.5mm Stereo Audio
Yes

Performance

Battery
4000mAh

Chipset
MT6739, Quad Core

CPU
ARM Cortex-A53

GPU
IMG PowerVR GE8100

OS
Android

OS Version
8.1 (Oreo)

RAM
2GB

Sensors

Compass
Yes

Fingerprint Sensor
Yes

G-Sensor
Yes

Storage

Card Slots
Micro SD, up to 128GB

Internal Storage
16GB

Warranty

Manufacturer Warranty
1 Year

More info here

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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