Kogan to launch Australia's first Android device

Australian consumer electronics firm Kogan Technologies unveiled the Kogan Agora, the first Australian mobile phone powered by Google's Android mobile OS. The firm will release two editions of the device: The Kogan Agora (priced at $299 AU, or $199 U.S.) boasts a full QWERTY keyboard, central navigation key, 2.5-inch touchscreen, microSD slot and 3G connectivity, while the Kogan Agora Pro ($399 AU, or $266 U.S.) adds a 2 MP camera, WiFi and GPS.

Preloaded Agora applications include Gmail, Google Search, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Talk and YouTube. A customizable home screen promises instant email, SMS and IM notifications as well as immediate access to mobile web services. Sized at 108 mm x 64 mm x 14.8 mm, the Agora features a talk time of up to roughly 400 minutes, and supports music formats including MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV as well as video formats MPEG2 H263, H264, MPEG4 and AVI.

Based on the specifications, the Agora sounds a lot like a BlackBerry device, with an emphasis on consumer media applications instead of enterprise tools. Kogan will sell the phones directly to consumers with no contractual obligations, promising the Agora will interoperate with any carrier network. Both models will begin shipping to customers in Australia and abroad on Jan. 29.

For more on the Kogan Agora:
- read this release