Further evidence Kogan’s Agora doesn’t do 850Mhz



blog When Delimiter published its review of Kogan’s new Android-based Agora smartphone, a number of readers wrote in to complain that the smartphone doesn’t work with 850Mhz mobile networks. This is kind of a major problem for the smartphone, considering that Kogan’s own 3G network uses Telstra’s 3G infrastructure, which predominantly uses 850MHz. At the time, Kogan provided a statement and screenshots purporting to show the claims to be inaccurate. However, PCWorld has tested the Agora and affirms in a new article that the smartphone doesn’t do 850MHz. The publication reports (click here for the full article):

PC World Australia can confirm that our review unit of the Kogan Agora is incapable of connecting to 850MHz network towers. Our review device happily connects to 2100MHz network towers using the Telstra network in the North Sydney area to provide 3G service. However, when travelling away from the city the phone can only pick up a 2G, EDGE signal.

To put it bluntly, if it is true the smartphone won’t do 850MHz, then it has been falsely advertised and Kogan is probably going to find itself in a bit of hot water with some of Australia’s regulatory authorities. And this isn’t the first time the company has found itself in controversial circumstances with respect to its mobile phone services recently; it’s also in hot water regarding its move to disconnect customers using too much quota on the company’s self-described “unlimited” plans. Sounds like Kogan needs to come clean on what’s going on here, and also take a more transparent approach in general in future.

Image credit: Kogan Technologies


  1. This wouldn’t be the first time though that Kogan have listed specs for a device and then the consumers have found out that wasn’t correct.

    • That’s for sure. There’s a lot of stretching the truth at Kogan, and I often seeing misleading descriptions of product features. Particularly in regards to TV specs. Dynamic Contrast Ratio being incorrectly listed as “Actual Contrast Ratio” (why does he sneakily add the word “actual”?) being the most common. To be fair to Kogan, he’s not the only one guilty of that, but there’s a world of difference between fixed and dynamic contrast ratios.

      Not that the above is anywhere near as bad as selling a phone advertised as supporting 850Mhz when its 1900/2100Mhz only. However Kogan always tries to get away with as much as he can when it comes to exaggerating product capabilities.

  2. Kogan is a con artist selling shit pretending to be decent!

    Wouldn’t touch any of his product with a 50ft barge pole!!!

    • I’ve got one of their TVs and Video cameras. For the price I paid, both work exactly how I expected.

      • So the TV works as a coffee machine and the Video Camera is a cup? :D
        Nah I mean I would buy a Kogan TV if I needed a cheapish TV for the spare room.

    • I have several Kogan products around the place, including a TV that was well worth the price. The only Kogan purchase I have had any trouble with was a Samsung Galaxy SIII, which is currently with them for warranty repairs.

      • You obviously arent fussy about picture quality then because every Kogan TV I’ve ever seen has been appalling with inconsistent backlighting, fussy viewing angles, ghosting/tearing on fast sports, impossible to get grayscale tracking correct, plasticy red’s and so on.

        • You get what you pay for comes to mind.

          With Kogan, it couldn’t ring truer. Their TV sets are cheap but then, knowing this you should not be expecting it to get even close to matching it with TV sets that are hundreds to thousands of dollars more expensive.

          With the phones, what is the worse that can be done? An insignificant fine and they’ll have to recall them, correct the problem or issue replacements, otherwise it’s money back.

          • Yes, you get what you pay for and the few things I’ve bought from Kogan, including their mobile service, are cheap but they also tend to be poor quality.

            Apart from that, it’s trying to get something fixed or refunded where the ‘what you get ..’ really comes into play.

            With Kogan, it’s almost as though they are getting the cheapest product they can find to get their profits and are happy to wear a high failure/return rate. If that’s so, then it means that those who do get a product that works are paying for all those returns.

        • never seen any tearing/ghosting on my kogan TV and viewing angles are pretty good.

          • Try watching Forumla1 or a helicopter and you’ll see it, unless you are lucky and your model actually has decent electronics in it (and most Logan’s have the cheapest shitest ones possible, it doesn’t matter how good the panel is if the electronics are crap).

  3. I have one and it does what I need just as well as the Ericsson I had.

    Battery last me 3 days easily and i’m happy with it, I wasn’t expecting brilliance.

    Having said that the $30 Bluetooth keyboard I bought from Kogan works much better the more expensive Shintaro,

    sometimes you get lucky

  4. I got a refund for mine which included the delivery costs soon after it arrived as not only did it not connect to 850Mhz but it also had a faulty screen as did quite a lot of them according to buyers on Whirlpool and YouTube:


    It really was a piece of junk and apart from the dual sim ability and its size, it wasn’t even in the class of the $49 Huawei recently sold at Coles on special.

    It’s hard to believe that Kogan didn’t a put a decent phone on the market at the same time they started Kogan Mobile just as Aldi did.

  5. It’s interesting to see the reactions of different people on this blog and others.
    Kogan has been extremely brave offering a huge range of complex products with a policy of immediate return.
    I was anxious when ordering a TV from them, as you can’t test the quality of the screen online.
    I must say I was (and still am) delighted by the quality. All power to them for pioneering a new retail model.
    I for one am fed-up paying for the ridiculous investment in real estate owned by the big retail chains.
    I am also fed-up listening to the retailers whingeing about poor sales. Maybe people are over buying more and more junk at inflated prices?

    • Unfortunately if you want quality and the assurance of a local warranty (no shipping required for delivery, repair or return) then paying the extra for a brand name TV usually requires buying from a B&M store. There’s no question you get what you pay for when cashing out the extra for something like a Panasonic plasma or Sony LED. There’s still great savings to be had on brand name TVs if you shop around at the right time though. I bought my 50″ Panasonic at $600 off RRP, during clearance for the upcoming new model.

      A Kogan set might scrape by as a second TV for the kitchen or kids, but there’s no way I’d be happy with one for watching primary content on (HD movies and shows). I’m a fussy bastard though, having worked in audio/visual, and several independent hi-if stores. I’m also old school, in that I still believe in the merit of speaking to sales staff that know what they are talking about (given the demise of most independent stores, and the rise of JB Hi-Fi’ and Harvey’s, something that is now unfortunately very rare).

  6. This is an embarrassing blunder by Kogan as the phone is essentially inoperable on Telstra’s network. The vast majority of Telstra’s network, that is to say millions of square kilometres, will be inaccessible to this device despite Kogan’s claims. In a minority of cases there may be 2G coverage. In major metropolitan areas the user might have some 3G.

    What is frightening is that this exposes a complete absence of product testing by Kogan. A few minutes of wandering around the outer suburbs would have demonstrated the problem.

  7. Mines (kogan agora smartphone ) gone back for a credit , wont work 3G 850mhz , yet the Kogan sim works fine on 850 mhz with a telstra mi fi.Also the GPS never worked and the phone oftenm boots in a dod looking “factory tetst mode” .Have ordered a Samsung Galaxy which im sure will be fine

  8. Yep the Samsung G2 gets 3 bars on the Telstra 3G 850 data network – same as the telstra mi-fi always did.Yet the Kogan had nothing except edge . Even from the highest mountain no 850 mhz 3G I think the chinese have sold Kogan a dud. And as a bonus the GPS works and the Samsung is totally stable

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