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Harmonic Cacophony

Kogan Agora Quad Core

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I have needed a new phone for a while and decided to get one of these. At only $200, at the least it would be a passable interim phone, and at best a great phone for a low price.

 

Got it today, and it seems excellent for the price. Build quality seems perfectly decent at this price range. It's very light, which I'm not sure I like, but it certainly won't induce any fatigue holding it, nor will it pull down your pants. My micro scales tell me it's 154 grams, compared to my iPod 4 at 102 grams. Somehow the iPod feels heavier, probably because it's a smaller device. The five inch screen is definitely a lot more real estate than the iPod's 3.5 inch, but doesn't feel much larger to use. I remember using a Galaxy S3 and it felt ginormous, though the Agora does not. This model of iPod was known for being razor thin but the Agora doesn't feel much thicker in the hand. I like the soft rubber backing on the phone, one of my main problems with my iPod was the shiny chrome back which was indeed its downfall - slid off my leg and smashed the screen.

 

One of the first things I did after setting up the phone was to check out Youtube. Automatically logging me in with my google account, I watched the first video on my subscription list. 720p youtube looks excellent on the Agora's 720p screen. Very impressive for $200. The volume can be driven to painful levels, but this is using earbuds that often blow my head off (they were like $6 from Coles but are the loudest earbuds I've ever used). I haven't bothered to test the included handsfree earbuds. I just watched a Youtube vid and it threw an ad at me. Can you install adblock on android devices? A quick search of the app store tells me probably not.

 

Android version is apparently 4.2.1. That doesn't mean much to me. There are no updates and the Kernel version was installed on Aug 24 so that's pretty recent. I can't find any Kogan-related software stuff on the phone. I haven't used a Nexus device but I'm guessing this is pretty close to stock Android.

 

The default vibration when typing does feel rattly and cheap. A good thing I always disable this on devices.

 

General operation of the phone seems very fast and fluid. Much better than my iPod which is getting clunkier as it gets older. I'll install a beefy game of some sort soon and see how it handles that. Using the main Google search bar seems to result in it crashing. 'Unfortunately, Google search has stopped'. (Ironically) Googling this issue, it looks like a very common one across all devices. I hit the voice search thing on the bar accidentally, causing me to say 'shit', which it instantly recognised and tried to search, and then crashed. So it's really good at recognising what you want to search for before it completely fails.

 

I just did a Quadrant benchmark on the phone with around a 4000 point results

Posted Image

 

Not very impressive, compared to the Galaxy S4s 12,000 and the Note 3s 23,000! This is probably due in part to the Agora's 1GB of RAM vs 2 and 3 for the Samsungs. However the Kogan is only $200, around a third the price of the S4 and around a quarter the price of the Note 3.

 

I'm listening to its FM radio on headphones as I type this. It seems to do the job, and is a feature my iPod was lacking, as do many phones.

 

Apparently the phone can only take a 32GB card but I put a 64GB in there and it's working fine. I set it as the main write drive which will be necessary as the phone is only 4GB, its major downfall. I don't use many apps so hopefully I won't run into issues with this. If I can lump on a bunch of my music and a few recent TV episodes, this phone will completely replace my iPod, depending on quality of the audio apps. I put on an album of music and the default music player seems well-equipped enough at first glance. As does the video player, though installed VLC out of instinct. Interestingly, the default video player would play a 720p .MKV but only the video, no audio. VLC played the audio too. Cranking the speaker may be a little disappointing, it's easy to comfortably talk over it at full volume. I'm not sure how this compares to other phones, but I won't be using the speaker often anyway.

 

I put in my old (really old) Telstra SIM and texted a mate. Worked without a hitch. The specs say it takes a smaller SIM model but this is a full sized one as used by all phones 5 years ago. Haven't made or received any calls yet, but I almost never do anyway so I don't care.

 

I haven't played with the camera much yet. It's an 8MP one on the back and who cares on the front.

I'll take some pics soon and see how it goes, but it doesn't really concern me as I own a nice P&S camera, and this seem fine for a $200 smartphone. There's a whole bunch of different shooting modes, not sure how useful most of them are. I'll also update with battery usage info.

Edited by Harmonic Cacophony

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First; yes, adblockplus is the best install any android owner can make IMO.

 

Anyone wondering:

http://www.kogan.com/au/buy/agora-50-quad-core-smartphone/

And its a 720p screen now too.... sexy!

and a 2000mah battery?... does it look legit.... 153g..... yeah.... Beautiful. I'll take a slightly heavier phone with battery life any day!

 

Wow, thats actually pretty amazing since most developers do this nowadays:

http://gizmodo.com/samsung-rigged-the-s4-t...er-in-971577921

Theres no saying Kogan doesnt, but its the sort of fine tuning I WOULDNT expect from them (too much time\dev).

 

 

Kogan are like a china shit filter.

They go to china, try everything, and rebadge the clear floaters in a sea of shit. I love them for it.

Their TV's work great, and those phones have always been amazing (GPS is flakey, but works with A-GPS)

 

Ever since Android came about, china phones are no longer scary. SOC style processors, and no risk of 'china OS' means there is a LOT of good shit.

Jaiyu G3 is one, any of the ZOPPO phones are great (and meet all standards for europe).

http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?s...t&p=1099500

 

Its not untill you risk (and realise) how good these type of phones are, that you really start to despise how a company can charge 4x the cost, for a phone thats probably only 10% better. Especially now Cyanogen is sponsored.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Don't worry too much about Samsung benchmarks unless you know this is one they don't specifically optimise for.

 

Only issue with no 4.3 support is a few fixes to speed up drive usage and battery life, but they probably won't impact you much anyway.

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