Commentary
12/5/2008
10:12 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary

Australia Gets The World's Second Android Phone

Fans of the Android platform should get excited about this one. Though it will only be available in Australia, the new Android-powered handset from Kogan is a hint at the possibilities ahead.



Fans of the Android platform should get excited about this one. Though it will only be available in Australia, the new Android-powered handset from Kogan is a hint at the possibilities ahead.Australia-based Kogan is rolling out two new handsets in January, the Agora and Agora Pro. At first glance, I really like what I see. Rather than the large-screened, sliding G1 from HTC, the Agoras look like a cross between a Motorola Q9 and a Samsung BlackJack. That is to say, there are monoblock phones with a full QWERTY keyboard on the front, like on the BlackBerry Bold.

Specs include a 2.5-inch, 320 x 240 touch screen, microSD slot for expanded memory, Bluetooth, FM radio and QWERTY keyboard. The Pro upgrades include a two megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and GPS. They will be sold without SIM cards and unlocked directly from the Kogan Web site. It will cost about $225 for the Agora and $295 for the Agora Pro.

AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers will be able to buy the Kogan Agora and Agora Pro and use them in the United States. Though the cost of the device is relatively sheap, considering that it is unlocked and comes without a SIM, Kogan didn't offer any indication on what shipping to the U.S. would be. Also, anyone who chooses to buy it and use it in the U.S. will likely have trouble getting device support from their carrier if it is to act up.

It is an altogether different type of device when compared to the HTC G1. I am hoping that other manufacturers are willing to take Android-powered handsets in the same direction as Kogan.

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