Kogan’s Agora Android phone gets last minute design update

December 15, 2008
Kogan Agora before and after

Kogan Agora before and after

It appears that some eagle eyed readers have spotted changes in the Kogan Agora (and Agora Pro) Android powered smartphone that appears on Kogan’s site.  The basic form factor remains the same, but a number of changes have been made that, quite frankly, concern me.

So, what changed?

  • The device seems slightly more squat in shape.  Can’t really say if it is is shorter or wider than the original images showed, since there is no scale, but you can see that the aspect ratio of the body has changed a bit.
  • The aspect ratio of the screen has changed.  The new one shows a proper aspect ratio for a QVGA display, the old one did not.
  • The softkeys are gone, which makes sense, and have been replaced by home and back keys.
  • The old device appeared to use a joystick, the new one a d-pad.
  • The keyboard layout now makes more sense.  The 0 is below the other number keys, and the extra ) key to the right of the space bar has been dropped.

What concerns me?  Well, if these were actual changes to an established design, this would be rather late in the game for a promised January 29th ship date.  But, due to the fact that Android never supported softkeys, the keyboard had two separate ) keys, and the old screen aspect ratio didn’t match that of the QVGA display spec’d on the device, I’m going to guess that Kogan was merely using an old image that was supplied to it by the manufacturer.  A photo of an old design that was intended for a different platform, or was merely a placeholder.

In any case, I ordered one of these personally, so we’ll see what shows up in early February.  I hope, at least.

Anybody else place a pre-order?  Let us know in the forums!

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