Kogan Agora phablet hands-on (video)

Kogan has released a budget-friendly netbook (back when netbooks existed), laptop and tablet, and now its got a new product to show us here at CES — the Agora smartphone. It's verging on phablet territory with a 5-inch screen (800 x 480 resolution), and running the whole show is a dual-core 1GHz Cortex-A9 processor and half a gig of RAM. A 5-megapixel shooter with flash is found top-center on the back, and a 0.3-megapixel camera off to the right of the speaker grille on the front. Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich is the OS of choice here, kept alive by a 2,000 mAh battery nestled under the textured back panel. Right next to that power source is space for two SIMs (one 2G / one 3G), and a microSD slot to boost the 4GB of on-board storage (up to 64GB cards supported).

Those specs should tell you that the Agora phone isn't aimed at the high end, but despite that, the build quality is solid. The square handset looks alright, too. We liked the dimpled back panel and prominent metal Kogan logo, as well as the shiny dark grey rim holding it all together. It's not exactly a Retina display, but it's not notably terrible, and performance-wise, it ranged from slick to jittery depending on how much we were telling it to do in how short a time. We'll save the Note II comparisons, as there's only stat you really need to know — the Agora smartphone costs $149 (£119 in the UK). Pre-orders are live on Kogan's website now, and units should be hitting hands mid-February, or earlier. We're assured the launch will go ahead without a hitch (various difficulties prevented a previous attempt from reaching market). Check out the gallery and hands-on video below for more info.

Kevin Wong contributed to this report.