Kogan And BenQ Launch $229 4G Android Smartphone

Written by Alex Zaharov-Reutt      28/07/2014 | 09:10 | Category: MOBILE

E-tailing upstart Kogan has joined forces with BenQ to launch a 4G, quad-core Android 4.4 smartphone at $229, which it calls the "best value" in the world.

Kogan And BenQ Launch $229 4G Android Smartphone
Smartphone launch season is in full swing, with all the world's smartphone manufacturers scrambling get their latest models out well in advance of the incoming Apple iPhone 6 juggernaut. 

This year, Kogan has partnered with BenQ on its brand new Kogan Agora 4G, which sees BenQ branding on the default lock-screen image and on the phone's rear. 

Kogan says the says its $229 smartphone has "top class features" and a "solid build quality" and a "feel" normally found in "models costing at least twice as much". 

Running on Google's latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS and offering 4G at this price point, there's an ARM Cortex-A7 "Qualcomm Snapdragon" 1.2GHz quad-core processor, a 5-inch HD IPS LCD screen, 1GB RAM and 8GB inbuilt storage expandable by up to 64GB using a microSD card. 

There's also an 8MP rear camera with "back illuminated sensor", 1.3MP front camera, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, built-in FM radio, micro SIM socket, a 2500mAh battery (described as offering "full day" battery life), weight of 135g and dimensions of 142.95 x 72.8 and 8.5mm. 


Click to enlarge

The inclusion of a 1.2GHz processor helps to partly explain how the lower cost was achieved, with ARM's site saying: 

"As a standalone processor, the Cortex-A7 enables entry level smartphones at below $100 price point in the 2013-2014 timeframe that are equivalent to a $500 high-end smartphone in 2010."

This also means that 2+ GHz quad-core processors in the latest Galaxy S5, LG G3 and others are a lot faster, but for everyday smartphone usage - as opposed to playing the latest performance-heavy games - the Cortex A7 should have more than enough power.  

As if to illustrate this, Kogan says its Agora 4G "even beats the Moto G in every benchmark measure", noting that in a test made on the 10th of July, 2014, the "Kogan Agora 4G won out on every measure: Total Score, Multitask, Runtime, CPU Integer, CPU Float-point, RAM Operation, RAM Speed, 2D Graphics, 3D Graphics, Storage I/O and Database I/O."

Ruslan Kogan, the eponymous CEO and founder of Kogan.com, said: "Full feature smartphones with 4G connectivity are still out of reach for many Aussies.

"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. But all these phones are still too expensive for many people -- especially when they're also being asked to upgrade every year."

He added that Kogan.com was releasing a new smartphone each year that "smashes the competition on price" while including the features you'd expect, and that it offered "4G connectivity for a price point never seen before anywhere in the world."

Martin Moelle, BenQ Australia MD said "working with Kogan has enabled both companies to achieve a price point that shatters the Australian market", and that "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. We're extremely proud to work with Kogan on this market-leading product release."

Available now on "pre-sale", Kogan.com says there is a "limit of 4 per customer" with the first units to "leave the warehouse on 29 August", meaning those who order now will have to wait at least a month before delivery. 

Specs:

- OS: KitKat (Android 4.4.2)
- Network: 
- 4G LTE Cat 4 - 700 / 900 / 1800
- 3G - 850 / 900 / 2100
- 2G - 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
- Processor: 1.2Ghz Quad Core
- Display: 5" HD
- Battery: 2500mAh
- Memory: 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory (expandable to 64 GB via Micro SD card)
- Cameras: 
- 8MP rear facing
- 1.3MP front facing
- Weight: 135 g
- Dimensions: 142.95 x 72.8 x 8.5mm
- Connectivity: WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0
- Built-in FM
- 3.5mm audio jack 
- Micro SIM