Kogen, the Australian retailer, has an interesting and controversial history. One of the more famous events happened in June 2012, when Kogan introduced a “tax” for Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, whereby any shopper on the website was charged an extra 6.8% for any purchase (an extra 0.1% per month that IE7 had been on the market), which the business said was to pay for the huge amount of work and effort involved in making the kogen.com website look normal on IE7. A few weeks later, Kogen’s website mysteriously disappeared from Microsoft Bing search results. Microsoft stated that: “The ranking of our results is done in automated manner through our algorithm which can sometimes lead to unexpected results.” It is unclear if either of the Bing users in the summer of 2012 noticed that Kogen was missing from search results!
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With this track record of upsetting the establishment, although not quite at the same level, Kogen have just announced a new entry into its Agora range of Android based smartphones. The new model in the range is the Agora 4G Pro, which will ship on the 2 July (and pre-orders are now available) with a tempting price of AU$299, around $230 in American dollars or £145 for our British readers. For your money, you get respectable hardware and what appears to be a stock, or very close to stock, version of Android. The Agora 4G Pro has a 1080p (or “Full HD”) 5.2-inch IPS LCD panel and is based around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, which features eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores arranged into a quad core of lower powered, higher efficiency processors clocked at up to 1.0 GHz. This set of cores is matched with a higher performance, less efficient quad core unit clocked at up to 1.5 GHz. at a price that could upset the establishment. The Snapdragon 615 is backed up by 2 GB of RAM: this combination marks the device out to be a mid-range model. There’ a 13MP camera complete with a back-illuminated sensor for improved low light performance, which is paired up with an 8MP front facing unit for selfies and video calling. The device comes with 16 GB of onboard storage plus a MicroSD card for expansion, which Kogen say supports cards of up to 64 GB. Everything is kept powered up by a 2,500 mAh rechargeable battery. And as you would expect from the name, the device comes with onboard LTE covering the 700 MHz, 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 2,600 MHz frequencies.
From the screenshot it appears that the Agora 4G Pro ships with a stock-looking Android Lollipop but it is unclear if this is Android 5.0 or 5.1, or if it is perhaps a Google render. Furthermore, Kogen have not yet updated any of their other devices in the past so if you particularly want your device updated to the latest Android version, this device might not be the one for you.