Kogan Announces Australia's First (Two) Android Phones

kogan android phone.jpgWe knew it was coming, we just didn't know anything about it. Well now we do: Australia's first Android phone (and one of the first in the world) is called the Kogan Agora. A second handset that will launch at the same time goes by the self-explanatory moniker, Agora Pro. Both handsets are available to order now for $299 and $399 respectively, although they won't ship until January 29 2009 to both Australian and international customers.

Spec-wise, there's a 2.5-inch touchscreen LCD sitting right above a full-qwerty keyboard. It's a tri-band HSDPA handset (running on the 850, 1900 and 2100 bands, so fine for NextG) and quadband GSM phone, measures in at 108 mm x 64 mm x 14.8 mm and weighs 130 grams. Inside there's a 624MHz processor (not sure who from), 256MB ROM and 128MB RAM. There's a MicroSD slot, Bluetooth 2.0 and all the Android apps we've been reading about from the US coverage of the G1.

On top of that, the Pro version adds GPS, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and a 2.0-megapixel camera for an extra $100.

Obviously we'll try and get our hands on one as soon as possible, but from the spec rundown and the photo supplied with the press release, I reckon Kogan's on a winner here - historically the biggest problem has been their UI on their products, and with Android taking over that domain, this could well be the "smartphone for the rest of us" Android supporters have been looking for.

MELBOURNE, Thursday 4th December 2008 - Kogan Technologies today unveiled the Kogan Agora, the first Australian mobile phone powered by the Android™ operating system.

Kogan Technologies will sell the Agora for AU$299 and the Agora Pro for AU$399. Both models are available for sale today on www.kogan.com.au. The phones are sold outright - with no contract - and will work on any network.

The Kogan Agora (AU$299) features a full QWERTY keyboard, central navigation key, 2.5" touchscreen, microSD slot, and 3G connectivity.

The Kogan Agora Pro (AU$399) adds a 2 MP camera, Wi-Fi, and GPS to the Agora's impressive specifications.

Both models will ship to customers - in Australia and internationally - on January 29th 2009.

Kogan Technologies founder, Ruslan Kogan, said the Agora is proof that his company is achieving its goal of offering the latest technology at the best value prices.

"The Kogan team have been working very hard to bring out the exciting new phones powered by Google's Android operating system at the right mix of price and specifications," Kogan said.

"We've been listening to customers through our blog, and crammed in all the features we possibly could. The end result is the best value, fully-featured phone in the Australian market.

"We worked closely with manufacturers and vendors to develop drivers, software, and tweaks to make the Agora an intuitive and exciting experience for everyone.

"The design and features of the Kogan Agora makes the phone appeal to both consumers and business users.

"The Android operating system means the handset can capture and play music, photos and video, surf the web, play games, navigate, and organise your life with extremely powerful applications."

Kogan has been a long time supporter of open source and Android™ provides a real alternative to Apple's proprietary operating system for the iPhone.

"Google is a key player in developing efficient and innovative online solutions for customers around the world. The open source nature of Android means the operating system will continually improve over time," Kogan said.

Some of the applications pre-loaded on the Kogan Agora are:

· Gmail™ · Google Search™ · Google Calender™ · Google Maps™ · Google Talk™ · YouTube™

HIGHLIGHTS: · 2.5-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen · Integrated QWERTY keyboard · High-speed 3G network connection · One-Touch Google Search ™ · Easy Web Browsing · Easy-to-use email with attachment support for images, videos, music and documents · Customisable Home Screen with instant Email, text message and IM notifications · Instant access to mobile Internet services (Gmail ™, YouTube ™, Google Talk ™, Google Calendar ™, Google Maps ™) · Music Player · microSD™ expansion slot for all your storage needs · Wi-Fi network access (included with Kogan Agora Pro) · GPS navigation capability (included with Kogan Agora Pro) · 2.0 megapixel camera (included with Kogan Agora Pro)

SPECIFICATIONS:

Operating System Android™ Google Mobile Functions Google Search™, Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Maps™, Google Talk™, Google Calendar™. Display 2.5-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with 262K QVGA (320 X 240 pixel) resolution Device Control Central Navigation Key Keyboard QWERTY keyboard Keyboard backlighting GPS GPS navigation capability (included with Kogan Agora Pro) Connectivity Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11b/g (included with Kogan Agora Pro) Camera 2.0 megapixel colour camera (included with Kogan Agora Pro) Audio Built-in microphone and speaker Headphone jack Ring tone formats: · MIDI, MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, PCM Video Video formats supported: · MPEG2 H263, H264, MPEG4, AVI Mail attachment support

Viewable document types: · JPEG, GIF, WBMP, MIDI, AMR, MP3, WAV Dimensions (HxWxD) 108 mm x 64 mm x 14.8 mm Weight 130g Battery Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery Capacity: 1300 mAh Talk Time Up to approximately 400 minutes Standby Time Up to approximately 300 hours Processor MHz 624 MHz Memory ROM: 256 MB RAM: 128 MB

microSD™ card expansion slot Network

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

[Kogan]