Sign in with Microsoft

We ended last week with a phone review, so it only makes sense that we start this week with some phone news, and here it is, as Kogan announces a 5 inch 4G handset for around $230.

The new phone is another entry in Kogan’s long-running “Agora” range of devices, and is simply called the “Agora 4G,” because that’s what it’s designed to connect to: 4G networks.

High-speed mobile connectivity isn’t all it has, with 802.11b/g/n WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and that stock standard microUSB port you’ve come to expect from any handset that isn’t made by Apple, with all of this sitting under a 5 inch HD IPS LCD screen.

If all of that sounds like inane jargon, just be aware that the screen is 5 inches, running the high-definition resolution of 1280×720 with a screen that can be viewed from most angles thanks to its In-Plane Switching (IPS) LCD technology. That combination of technologies will bring a screen quality of around 294 pixels per inch, 30 lower than that of the iPhone 5S and 5C, which should be sharp enough for most people.

Processor-wise, the Kogan Agora 4G will run a quad-core 1.2GHz chip, Adreno 305 GPU, 1GB RAM, Android 4.4 “KitKat,” and 8GB storage, with room to move if you wanted to upgrade the storage considerably with a microSD slot supporting up to 64GB.

Cameras are included — shock horror, we’re sure — with an 8 megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3 megapixel shooter up front, with the battery likely to hit a day thanks to a 2500mAh capacity.

And since Kogan has a history of competing with price for products, this handset will come with a price below that of most other handsets, which is $229 before shipping.

“I applaud companies like Google releasing devices such as the Nexus 5, which at about $400 is priced better than Samsung’s Galaxy S5 or Apple’s iPhone,” said Ruslan Kogan, owner and CEO of Kogan.

“But all these phones are still too expensive for many people — especially when they’re also being asked to upgrade every year. We’re releasing a quality device that smashes the competition on the price, yet packs all the features consumers expect from a high end smartphone.”

Interestingly, the Agora 4G isn’t made by Kogan, but rather BenQ, a brand which hasn’t been selling mobile phones in this country for ages, but is bringing a handset from overseas to Australia.

While we’ve yet to see an official announcement of a BenQ smartphone locally, this looks like BenQ’s F5, except with the 13 megapixel camera changed to an 8 megapixel model and branded locally by Kogan.

Instead, BenQ’s local people had this to say:

“Kogan has once again been able to achieve a price that most people didn’t think was possible for a device this powerful and beautiful,” said Martin Moelle, Managing Director of BenQ Australia.

“We’re extremely proud to work with Kogan on this market-leading product release.”