Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Kogan Agora 4G Pro

Kogan - a brand many of you probably haven’t heard of. The reason for this is that it’s actually an Australian brand. The Agora 4G Pro smartphone from Kogan is the device we’re checking out today. It houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 1.5GHz Octacore CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera and a very impressive 5.2-inch Full HD IPS display. Let’s take a closer look.

The Agora 4G Pro runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop and features cool new control notifications, more battery-saving features and also enhanced security, to name a few. With the Agora also being powered by a 2500mAh battery this means that you’ve got a battery that will last all day on a single charge. You can’t say that about many budget smartphones! With 16GB of internal storage, the average user should be fine, but if you’re like me and have a lot of videos, pictures and apps you’ll be thankful for the ability to expand by another 64GB - thanks to a microSD slot.

The phone itself looks of a high quality. A quality that makes you questions whether it’s actually a budget smartphone. If we take a look at the front of the phone, you’ll notice that there aren’t actually any physical buttons. Some will like this, some won’t, I feel it makes the phone look a little sleeker. The front of the Agora features an 8-megapixel camera (with LED flash!), the phone speaker and an ambient light sensor.

The left and right sides are where the power button and volume controls are located. Fairly standard. And then the top and bottom of the phone are where the headphone jack and microUSB charging port are situated. The rear of the phone is made from plastic, with a brushed aluminium effect on it, which is a much better look than standard black plastic. “A” for effort. Here we also have the 13-megapixel rear camera and LED flash, the Kogan logo and also the phone’s main speaker.

Once set up is complete, you’re greeted with the typical Android lock screen. Thanks to Android 5.0 we have notifications that can actually be dismissed directly from the lock screen, as well as some quick launch buttons for both the camera and phone dialler. Even though the display is a Full HD IPS display, I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it is. The colours are extremely vivid and the overall display quality is on par with some of the more high-end smartphones I’ve used.

Testing out some games, Angry Birds 2 being one of them, proved to be very enjoyable thanks to how smooth the gameplay was. The 2GB of RAM, and 8-core CPU, really did help provide an awesome gaming experience. The phone did heat up a considerable amount during gameplay though.

The camera quality was equally as impressive. Both the front-facing and rear camera provide excellent snapshots, whether that’s a quick selfie for Facebook or a scenic shot of some hills. The picture below was taken using the Agora 4G Pro rear camera, with no adjustments or edits being made afterwards. Moving on to audio quality. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty good. However, with the speaker situated on the rear of the phone audio quality was reduced and became slightly muffled when the phone was placed down. A common problem with a lot of smartphones.

Next up, 4G LTE. Here in the UK we don’t have great mobile internet anyway, so I didn’t really expect to see speeds that would blow my mind. With a moderately decent 4G connection I was getting 25Mbps down and 1.3Mbps up. Not overly impressive when compared with the speeds of some 4G speeds around the world, but I was happy with these speeds considering that my 4G connection was faster than my home broadband… If you’re in a country where you have decent 4G you could download speeds of up to 150Mbps with the Agora 4G Pro.

For the most part I’ve enjoyed using the Agora 4G Pro. Android 5.0 runs incredibly well, and combined with the 2GB of RAM and 8-core CPU all tasks are performed effortlessly. Gaming, in particular, is incredible on the Agora. I did notice that this drained the battery a fair amount though, and the phone did heat up quite a bit from 10 minutes of gaming.

All in all, for a smartphone that costs three times less than an iPhone 6s you can’t go wrong. It has more power than an iPhone, a has better camera quality than some point and shoot cameras and has the option of expanding the internal storage by another 64GB. As well as this it runs the latest Android 5.5 Lollipop effortlessly and also features 4G LTE. What more could you want from a budget smartphone?!

The Kogan Agora 4G Pro gets a 4/5.


Matthew Scott

Kogan Agora 4G Pro at CeX

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