Discount online electronics retailer Kogan has today started pre-sales for their latest Agora branded handset, the Agora 9, with the phone launching in November for $169.

The Agora 9 is the first Kogan handset to adopt the newer 18:9 aspect ratio for the included 5.45″ HD resolution IPS LCD display, and for the $169 price tag you get a quad-core Mediatek MT6739 SoC with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage, though a microSD card reader will let you add an additional 128GB. The SIM/microSD tray allows the user to mount dual 4G SIMs a Single 4G SIM with option to use the second SIM slot in countries supporting 2G and a Micro SD on the tray.

The phone comes with an 8MP camera on both the front and rear, and a rear mounted fingerprint sensor as well. A massive 4,000mAh battery should definitely give you all day battery life as well.

There is some limited 4G support for Optus users on the Kogan Agora 9, with Kogan listing LTE bands for all the Telstra/Vodafone bands B1/3/5/7/8/28A – missing is the Optus B40 4G+ network used in some metro areas.

This is also the first Android Oreo device that Kogan has delivered, with Android 8.1 Oreo pre-loaded on the phone. We’ve only ever seen one Kogan branded phone receive an update, so that’s a consideration you’ll be best thinking about when contemplating whether to purchase.

The cheap price is decent, but the lack of updates is a massive concern. There are a number of other options in this price range, including the Nokia 2.1 running Android Go which is available for $149 on Telstra, or outright for $199 – or you could (and should) check out the Nokia 3.1 running Android One for $249.

Overall, for our money we’d recommend looking at Nokia if you’re at this end of the range. Nokia has a much better track record for updates on the whole, and a much better eye for design than Kogan’s usual re-branded whitelabel devices.

The Kogan Agora 9 will begin shipping to customers on November 27th according to their website, with a bonus $17 Kogan Mobile plan included in the $169 price tag. It’s available for pre-order now from the Kogan website, with shipping extra.

Update: We reached out to Kogan regarding updates and today (25/10) they responded advising:

Kogan is committed to releasing updates when there are new Android Oreo version available (i.e. Android 8.2 and Android 8.3), which will also have the latest security patches included.
If there are no new versions of Android Oreo, Kogan will work with its partners to release any important security updates.
Kogan does not have a scheduled plan for the updates just yet. However, all customers will be notified by a push notification when one is released.

So it appears there will be no platform update, however there may be a security update.

Update 2 (21/12/2018):
We’ve just been advised that the 4G+4G tag on the phone SIM card options is incorrect, it should be 4G+2G – this means owners can use a 4G SIM on SIM Slot 1, but the second SIM Slot only supports 2G (which is now switched off here in Australia) in countries with an active 2G network. The article above has been changed to reflect this new information.

Source: Kogan.
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Thank you for writing this very informative article, you really saved my money! I am going to check out the Nokia 3.1 instead.


#FAIL. No updates = abandonment
I assume there will not be adequate security updates either.
I agree with this article. If you want a really cheap phone, go with Android Go. But avoid any brand that doesn’t update the operating system.

Sujay Vilash

Just bought the OPPO R15 Pro. No luck on security or OS updates on that either. Which I consider strange as this phone was part of the Android 9 beta program.