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Android phone pops up down under

Dec 4, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 11 views

An Australian firm today announced “the first Aussie phone powered by Android.” Kogan Technologies sells two models of the Kogan Agora without a contract, with both Linux/Android phones offering 3G and Bluetooth connectivity, and the pricier “Pro” adding a 2-Mpixel camera, WiFi, and GPS, says Kogan.

(Click for larger view of the Kogan Agora)

The Kogan Agora appears to be the third Android phone to be formally announced, including the original HTC G1, sold by T-Mobile for Europe and the U.S., as well as the China-targeted i6-Goal from Qigi Future Technology and TechFaith Wireless. Meanwhile, Koolu has announced a version of the Openmoko Neo FreeRunner phone pre-integrated with the Google-sponsored Linux/Java Android stack, due in early 2009, and Motorola has said it will ship an Android phone late next year.

Kogan Agora

Of all these Android devices, only the G1 is shipping now. The Kogan Agora and Pro are available for sale for the equivalent of $195 and $260 US, respectively, but won't ship until the end of January, says the company. Although marketed to Australia and New Zealand, the phone is unlocked and “will work on networks around the world,” says Kogan.

Both Agora models are built around an undisclosed 624MHz processor and offer 128MB RAM and 256MB flash ROM, with a microSD provided for expansion. Kogan did not announce the name of the original manufacturer, but the device was likely built elsewhere, as the company is primarily a direct retailer.

The Agora boasts one-click access to Google apps

The Agora phones offer 2.5-inch QVGA touchscreens, smaller than the G1's 3.2-inch display, and they use resistive rather than the G1's capacitive touch technology. Instead of offering a slide-down QWERTY keyboard, the Agora's keys are always available, along with a navigation key. Missing, apparently, are the G1's accelerometers, but the Pro model offers WiFi and GPS, as well as a 2-Mpixel camera (compared to the G1's 3-Mpixel camera). Both Agora models also provide Bluetooth and HDSPA 3G wireless connectivity.

The Agora is pre-loaded with applications including YouTube, as well as one-click access to Google Gmail, Search, Calendar, Maps, and Talk apps. Touted features include email with extensive attachment support, a customizable home screen with integrated text messaging and IM notifications, as well as music and video players.

Specifications listed for the Kogan Agora and Agora Pro (with Pro features highlighted) include:

  • Processor — 624MHz processor (undisclosed)
  • Memory — 256MB ROM; 128MB RAM
  • Expansion — microSD card slot
  • Display — 2.5-inch TFT-LCD touchscreen QVGA (320 x 240 pixels)
  • Input — QWERTY backlit keyboard; central navigation key
  • Cellular — UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Bluetooth — Bluetooth 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate
  • WiFi — 802.11b/g (Pro model only)
  • GPS — Pro only
  • Camera — 2.0 megapixel (Pro only)
  • Audio — microphone; speaker; headphone jack
  • Audio formats — MP3 music player; supports MIDI, MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, PCM ringtone formats
  • Video formats supported — MPEG2/H263, H264, MPEG4, AVI
  • Other supported formats — JPEG, GIF, WBMP, MIDI, AMR, MP3, WAV
  • Dimensions — 4.3 x 2.5 x 0.6 inches (108 x 64 x 14.8mm)
  • Weight — 4.6 oz (130 gr)
  • Battery — rechargeable Lithium-ion 1300 mAh; up to 400 minutes talk; up to 300 hours standby
  • Operating system — Android (Linux)

Stated Kogan Technologies founder, Ruslan Kogan, “We worked closely with manufacturers and vendors to develop drivers, software, and tweaks. The open source nature of Android means the operating system will continually improve over time.”


The Kogan Agora is available for AU$300 and the Agora Pro is available for AU$400 (about $195 or $260 US respectively). They are available for pre-order now, and will ship on January 29, says the company. More information and direct sales may be found here.

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