Kogan Announces Agora Android Phone

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Earlier this year, Australian online-only electronics retailer Kogan claimed it would be bringing a mobile phone to the Austrialian market based on Google’s Android operating system by the end of 2008 for a price as low as $199 AUD. Although Kogan is going to miss both those marks by a bit, the company has taken the wraps off the Agora and Agora Pro, two Android-based handsets that will begin shipping in January of 2009. And although the company admits the $199 AUD price just can’t be done in the current economic climate, the Agora will carry a $299 AUD price tag while the Agora Pro will run $399 AUD. And, both phones are available for pre-order now.

The Agora handset offers a 2.5-inch 320 by 240-pixel LCD touchscreen display, a full QWERTY keyboard for messaging, Bluetooth 2.0, 128 MB of on-board flash storage, a microSD slot, and UMTS/HSDPA 3G mobile connectivity (in addition to quad-band GSM). For another $100 AUD, the Agora Pro adds in a 2 megapixel video-capable camera, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and an integrated GPS (which, of course, ties in with Google Maps). The units (of course) ship with Android applications that enable users to tap into GMail, YouTube, Google Talk, Google Calendar, and other services.

The Agora marks the second Android-based phone to officially be announced (the first being the T-Mobile G1, while went on sale in October). According to Kogan, units should begin shipping January 29, 2009, and will be sold SIM-free, without a contract or network locking, meaning U.S. customers of T-Mobile or AT&T should be able to pop their SIM card into an Agora and be up and running. For the curious, the $299 and $399 Australian prices currently translate to about $225 and $295 in U.S. dollars.

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