Just in case you thought the entire Kogan Agora smartphone was a play in the game of marketing chess some companies tend to play, tonight I managed to get some hands-on time with one of the prototypes. And I liked it.Apologies for the quality of the images – the hands on was impromptu and took place in the foyer of a conference room at the Kickstart media forum in the Gold Coast. But the truth is that for a ‘not-fit-for-production’ device, it was actually kind of appealing.
The official explanation as to why the Agora was delayed is still being held quite close to the chest of Ruslan Kogan, but he promises that the idea of a Kogan-branded Android handset is far from dead. The final release model will almost certainly ditch the qwerty keypad for a 3.8-inch, iPhone like touchscreen which will take advantage of the cupcake update’s onscreen keypad. The phone will also definitely run Android.
The prototype, meanwhile, actually felt really comfortable in the hand. The software was obviously pre-production, being slow and a bit unresponsive. The keyboard doesn't compare with the likes of a Blackberry Bold for comfort, but then again the proposed price wouldn't have really compared either. The design was reminiscent of a Samsung Blackjack, and the version of Android running looked familiar after my recent HTC Dream experiences, but different at the same time.
Ultimately, the hands on experience left me lusting for an actual Kogan Android handset. Which shouldn't be too far away either, from all accounts. Stay tuned for more...