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BlackBerry Influenced Android Handsets Unveiled

Gordon Kelly


BlackBerry Influenced Android Handsets Unveiled

We all know the next battle between mobile phones will be centred on the operating system, so what better time for Android to demonstrate its versatility...

Proving that if you don't like the form factor of the T-Mobile G1 (and let's face it, you shouldn't) there's going to be plenty of alternatives is Aussie handset maker Kogan which has unveiled the 'Agora' and 'Agora Pro'.

Looking suspiciously BlackBerry / Nokia E71 influenced the duo sport 2.5in QVGA resistive (darn it!) touchscreens, lightening 624MHz CPUs, physical Qwerty keyboards, Bluetooth 2.0, microSD expansion slots and 3G with the Pro also throwing in WiFi, a 2MP camera and GPS for good measure. At 108 x 64 x 14.8mm and 130g they are pocket friendly as well while even better is the news the pair will retail sim free from just 299 AUD (£131) and 399 AUD (£175) respectively and are on presale now ready for a dispatch on 29 January.

Of course there's a but in all this though and the hint is in the pricing... yep, for once those traditionally tech starved Australians will be getting the Kogan exclusively and as yet there's no plan for an international launch. Don't shed too many tears though as I suspect there will be a well oiled line on grey imports before too long.

Update: The ever wonderful Lars (you're missed) has pointed out that Kogan will offer international shipping anywhere in the world for $59.85 (£26). Game on G1...


Kogan Agora Pro Product Page

Kogan Agora Product Page


December 4, 2008, 7:14 pm

I'm actually tempted...

Could get this in the UK for around &#163200 and free to use whatever sim card you want, though I'll wait and see how the handset performs in the real world.

And why complain about resistive touch on this model? Capacitive touch has obvious benefits but on a screen this small, and which won't be used very often in light of all the physical controls it's probably worthwhile to give it up in favour of the cheaper price.


December 4, 2008, 7:28 pm

This looks like fantastic value for money, I too am seriously tempted to ditch my upgrade path with O2 this year and go 'sim only' and buy one of these.

What's the main differences between the Pro version and the normal version?


December 4, 2008, 7:36 pm

"...2.5in QVGA resistive (darn it!) touchscreens,..."

Don't be so nice Gordon. Damn it!

Without the capacitive touchscreen, I'm left wondering, why bother?


December 4, 2008, 8:00 pm

I think the key point here is: same Android OS, completely different handset. Choice, choice, choice!


December 4, 2008, 8:20 pm

and it's a great price, resistive screen or not... (Well, compared to &#16330 per month over 18 months for a G1)


December 4, 2008, 9:04 pm

The Pro model has WiFi, camera and GPS which the basic model doesn't come with.

Considering that it's only &#163201 with deliver from Oz, it's not a half bad deal.

I guess when you can have something free as an upgrade it's a different matter, but all of us aren't that lucky. Then again, where I live now, I spend next to nothing on my monthly phone billed compared to what it used to cost me in the UK.


December 4, 2008, 9:31 pm

Ok, I do not understand what the difference between resistive screen and capacitive screen is. Could someone shed some light on this for me? *sorry guys, my french side is taking the best of me today, sigh*


December 4, 2008, 10:02 pm

@wilfred: resistive - Mean stylus and no multi-touch basically, err, I think...


December 4, 2008, 10:05 pm

In resistive technology you have 2 thin conductive layers with space in between on top of the screen (it's possible to feel the layers in some devices), so when you press down the layers connect at a certain point, they're cheap and can be used with any manner of styluses. But aren't as accurate as they could be.

Capacitive is a single layer coating and uses your finger as the 'second layer' in resistive technology, using the electrons in your finger to generate an electrical current. They're much more accurate, but are expensive and won't work with gloves or certain styluses.

That's the difference really and for different applications either can be better, but the sans stylus touchscreen market is much better off with capacitive (though on this particular phone, refer to my previous comment about whether it's required)


December 4, 2008, 10:11 pm

@ lifethroughalens

Nope, both technologies rely on the same basic principle (2 conductors touching to create a current) and both can do multitouch, and resistive touch doesn't require a stylus on good user interfaces. However few companies put the effort into multitouch on resistive technology because it is much less accurate then capacitive.


December 4, 2008, 10:52 pm

Gnormie - thanks for your explanations of the two touchscreen technologies, I too was wondering where the differences were.

This is really tempting to me for ~200 quid to be honest. I love the idea of Android, but the G1 just doesn't seem to do it justice. This mobly, on the other hand, looks quite professional and sleek and still boasts some juicy features.

@ TR staff - will you guys be able to get your mits on this piece of kit for a review after it's released down under? I'd definitely be interested reading your take on it if so... Get Sandra / Riyad on the case!


December 4, 2008, 11:58 pm

@Gnormie - I feel enlightened, cheers!


December 5, 2008, 1:40 pm

Gnormie: thanks for the explanation, I never understood the difference between resistive and capacitive screen touchscreen technology. I'm off to impress someone else with this knowledge now ;)

Oliver Levett

December 5, 2008, 9:56 pm

One of the very first prototypes for Android hardware was in a similar format (and also very similar to the traditional Palm format).


One reason why the majority of devices don't have multi-touch screens is that certain OSs such as the current generation of Windows Mobile doesn't support it. But that certainly doesn't seem to have influenced sales at all, so it clearly isn't that important!

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