Kogan's 5-inch Android phablet debuts, costs 75-percent less than a Galaxy Note II

Kogan's 5-inch Android phablet debuts, costs 75-percent less than a Galaxy Note II

Summary: Kogan has announced a 5-inch, dual-core powered, Android-based handset that only costs around a quarter of the price of the category leading Galaxy Note II.


Australian electronics manufacturer Kogan has announced a 5-inch phone-cum-tablet, otherwise known as a 'phablet', which will be one of the cheapest devices in the category when it arrives in the UK later in the year.

Agora 50
The Agora 50 handset from Kogan. Image: Kogan

The Agora 50 handset was announced at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2013 in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

"Up until now, full feature smartphones have only been for the rich. We want to make technology more affordable for everyone," Ruslan Kogan, founder of Kogan, said in a statement.

The handset has a 5-inch (480 x 800 pixels) touchscreen display, 5-megapixel camera and houses a 1GHz dual core Cortex A9 processor. It also has 512MB RAM, 4GB of onboard storage, a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera and support for microSD cards.

Unlike many high-end devices now hitting the market, the Kogan Agora will ship with the Ice Cream Sandwich (4.04) version of Android. Also unlike most other devices, it offers the option of using dual SIM cards.

However, while its spec list isn't top of the range, neither is its price tag — it's available to pre-order online now directly from Kogan's website for just under £120, which is the only place you will be able to buy it. It is currently listed as due to ship on 14 February.

Kogan is likely to meet some resistance in the highly competitive smartphone market, particularly from better established brands, but with an up-front cost that's only around 25 percent of a Samsung Galaxy Note II (currently listed at around £450 on Amazon UK) it could well appeal to the lower end of the market.

"The big brands are going to need a new nappy when they see what we've been able to cram into a phone for under £120," Kogan added.

Topics: Smartphones, Android, Mobility, Tablets, United Kingdom, CES, Australia

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • It's not about the size

    The Galaxy Note/Note2 made their bones on Samsung's take on Android(Touchwiz) and all of the extra s-pen features. The reason the entire Galaxy line is so approachable for tech people and non-tech people alike is that the feature set and ease of use is so prominent. It just helps that Samsung packs great hardware in their devices. Cram as much hardware as you want in a $99 handset, but if it can't match up with built-in features then what's the point?
    • The Android fans would say it is cheaper.

      That is the point since price is all that counts. You put tese side by side and the majority of people will go for the $99 model.

      At least that is what all the Android fans say all of the time.
      • Spoken Like a True Apple Fanboi?

        For the record, I think this is a pay less and get less device, but I do object to the "At least that is what all the Android fans say all of the time." condescension.

        It is not the bottom line, only cost counts.. it is features for the cost. Watch TV.. surely you have seen the Samsung devices showing off features and the Apple Fans saying "maybe in the next upgrade"? Look at the specs for that device vs the latest Iphone.
        If you get more and pay less.. then that is the point.. paying less to get less is a waste of time, and money. Same for paying more to get less..
        I know.. I know.. But it is Apple .. and it just works.. right?
        • i'd vote again if i could

          This sums up about 75% of all arguments I've ever had with any fanboi out there. They think androids are cheap knock offs. we think we get more for less. they say their stuff "just works" we say BS we have reports that it doesnt and apple actually crashes more than android. no one ever wins. it's just a viscous cycle. Oh well, i'd like to think i know more about phones and tech than most of the people i argue with, so at least i can sleep better at night knowing most people are just talking out of their rear.
      • Don't know who you've been listening to...

        Price *is* all that counts...for some market segments. For those folks, this might be a perfect phone. Other people care most about having top-of-the-line specs, and aren't worried about price. Still others just want to stay with whatever the most recent Apple device is.

        None of these groups are wrong. There is no one size fits all phone in the industry, because people have different needs.
    • ...

      Touchwiz is my least favorite thing on samsung devices which is why one of the first things to do is to root unlock and rom your samsung device. Everything else is fine. I have found stock HTC Sense is the very best rom.
  • Slightly less spec

    Specs are certainly far below it appears, 512mb for this compared to 2gb for the NoteII, huge screen, but terrible rez? Might look good from a distance but in use it'll be obvious corners have been cut.
  • Distance is all you need

    From the distance it might look like a 5oo € phone. So even the poor ones can show off their newest gadgets.
  • not for me

    It may look good from a distance but why would you go for a 1ghz dual core,512mb ram when you can get a 1.3ghz quad core , 2gb ram in the Nexus 4, I think I would steer clear and enjoy the Nexus 4.
    • Price

      Well if you do not want to spend double as much money, this phone can work. Not all need bleeding edge phones.
  • Looks Like

    Samsung's brief ride to the top of the low-end market is over!
  • Same Product

    Star N9770 has been on sale for a year with the same spec, dual sim at amazon, Bja 42
  • Galaxy Note

    I own and use a Galaxy Note (not the II) every day and love what Samsung has done with the Android environment. I went to a big box store the other day to look at tablets and played around with a bunch of them...but when it came time to put my money down, I ended up buying a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Why? Their additions to the OS makes all the difference in the world. I am not an android fanboi and I hate apple products, but for my money, you would be hard pressed to find an easier and more fulfilling OS than the Galaxy enhanced android phones. I just wish I had the Note II now....faster, bigger screen...oh well...I only have another year on this phone contract!
  • Crappy Specs

    You can get a much better MediaTek MT6577 dual core based SoC phone for about the same price from Aliexpress. That would be a 720p screen with dual sim, 8mp/2mp front and back camera, with Android 4.1 unlocked.

    Kogan are simple doing the same and buying from Chinese factories but their offer is a lessor. No need to go through a middle man like Kogan.
    • Example

  • I don't want big I want small.

    I reckon budget/affordable mobile telephone manufactures are looking at this in the wrong way. I don't want a huge mobile telephone I want a small one.

    I have a feature phone that is 4.5cm x 10.5cm. It cost me £35 four or five years ago. I love it. It is nice to hold and use, it is light and the battery lasts weeks.

    If a manufacture could produce a phone of these dimensions, replace the buttons and the tiny screen with a complete touch screen then I reckon they could sell them for £99 or less probably.

    I am a complete geek, I develop Android apps, I have the beautiful Nexus 7 and that is about as big as a tablet should be in my opinion. My point is I am not a Luddite and there are a lot of people out there who want smaller rather than bigger. We are a market being over looked I reckon.
    • Small?

      What you say is good for those who want small phones. Have eyesight that isnt perfect and you realise you want more.

      Also, have a look at the Galaxy Note 2 features. What used to require a PDA and a computer or pad of some sort to achieve on the road now requires just the Galaxy Note 2. While you dont wear tight jeans and put the Note 2 in your pocket, when working it means you dont NEED a computer or pad, just the phone and a charger. A note to Galaxy Note 2 owners - the battery really doesnt do the phone justice so you NEED to have a car charger with it or if you are in an office for the day, take the USB lead in and keep it charged off the computer USB port.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 being misrepresented

    The 7100 version is a quad core processor in the phone. It is unclear whether the dual core version of the Galaxy Note 2 ever did get sold in Australia (apart from direct import by individuals) but the majority sold in stores are quad core.

    So the Kogan phone is cheaper? Sure it is with a dual core but it is also yesterday's hero like the iPhone. If you would like to buy a phone soon or even this year, the quad core is the one to get (or better if that ever comes out in 2013). You dont buy a dual core CPU for your computer brand new, why do that for your phone?