Kogan Agora 4G+ review: Is Kogan's best smartphone good enough?

The Agora 4G+ comes with improved memory and a better camera

Kogan Agora 4G+
  • Kogan Agora 4G+
  • Kogan Agora 4G+
  • Kogan Agora 4G+
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5


  • Inexpensive at $239
  • 5-inch HD display
  • Improved 13MP camera
  • Double RAM and storage over predecessor


  • Won't take 64GB storage card
  • Plastic body
  • Doesn't match some rivals on performance

Would you buy this?

Serial discounter Kogan has released the second generation Agora 4G+, a BenQ manufactured smartphone that aims to deliver top-tier features for a low $239. Several subtle improvements have been added to the second gen smartphone; some for the better, others for the worse.

Rest the two smartphone on a table alongside one another and it’s hard telling them apart. Not updating the appearance of an iPhone doesn’t hurt the brand because the aesthetics of metal and glass continues to resonate for a second year. The Agora 4G+ however, with its flashy red-on-grey accents and its plastic bumpers, wasn’t the best looking smartphone when it was first released. Time has not helped its cause.

Check out our first impressions of the flagship Agora 4G Pro

Most of the hardware hasn’t been changed, though that’s not necessarily bad. The 5-inch screen, with its HD resolution and a 294 pixel-per-inch density, returns, and although it no longer leads the market, it is still good enough to hold its ground against today’s competition.

Inside BenQ has recycled the 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and the smartphone continues to support 4G. Setting the Agora 4G+ apart from its forefather is twice the RAM at 2GB and internal storage at 16GB.

More storage can be added with a microSD memory card. The 4G+ wouldn’t recognise our Sony 64GB class 10 card, which is why we don’t recommend using any microSD card greater than 32GB.

The Agora 4G+'s gaming capabilities came as a surprise. Real Racing 3, which is an intensive game that has an 831MB footprint, ran smoothly and without fault.

Everyday use didn’t fare as well. Most of the time the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system will be handled with ease. Unfortunately there are moments that reveal the hardware is straining with the near-naked software. These moments manifest in animation judder or in momentary lag. The Agora 4G+ might have twice the RAM and storage of the leading low-end smartphone, the Motorola Moto G, but it fails to run as smoothly.

Further differentiating the second-generation Agora is an improved camera. It carries a vastly improved 13 megapixel camera that captures higher resolution photos characterised by by brighter colours and significantly improved rendering. Photos no longer appear hazy and exaggerated.

The sizeable improvements don’t tend to all of the camera’s problems. High contrast situations flushes colour and detail from either the foreground or background of photos — you can’t have them both in focus. There’s also a great deal of image noise spoiling photos taken at night.

Updating the camera has kept the Agora 4G+ in-line with its competition as the former 8MP camera was well below-par.

Read more: Oppo breaks into Australian retail stores
Taken with the Kogan Agora 4G+
Taken with the Kogan Agora 4G+

Taken with the Kogan Agora 4G+
Taken with the Kogan Agora 4G+

A crop of the photo above at 100 per cent - Taken with the Kogan Agora 4G+
A crop of the photo above at 100 per cent - Taken with the Kogan Agora 4G+

Built into the body of this smartphone is the same 2500 milliamp-hour battery found in the original. Adding parts that demand more power without making its software any more economical has lowered the Agora’s battery life. Good Gear Guide used it as our primary smartphone for a week and found the battery, under moderate use, would not last longer than 20 hours.

Read more: Huawei steps into Westfield shopping centres

Check out our first impressions of the flagship Agora 4G Pro

The Kogan branded and BenQ-manufactured Agora 4G+ does many things well, but no single part of it is great. Everything about it, from the design to the performance, settles for ordinary. Its saving grace is a price that undercuts the quality phones from Motorola, Nokia, ZTE and Huawei, though we don’t think that’s enough anymore.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: Motorola, Nokia, Huawei, kogan, agora, ZTE, 4G+
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

Roam freely in the digital world. Critically acclaimed performance and security at your fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?