Kogan unveils a dual-SIM 'phablet' for just $158

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There's been a virtual stampede of five-inch smartphones unleashed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, but a new device launched by Australian Kogan sets itself apart with dual-SIM capabilities and a particularly compelling price.

Priced at just A$149, or about US$158, the Agora Android  phone will begin shipping in mid-February.

"Up until now, full feature smartphones have only been for the rich,” said Ruslan Kogan, the company's founder and CEO. “We want to make technology more affordable for everyone.”

A 1GHz dual-core Cortex A9 processor

With its five-inch, WVGA (480-by-800-pixel) touchscreen, the network-unlocked Agora phone qualifies as a “phableta name given to devices with a screen of that size or larger.

Featuring 512MB of RAM and a 1GHz dual-core Cortex A9 processor, the Agora offers a 5-megapixel camera, 4GB of internal storage, a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 3G quad band, and support for microSD cards, which can be used to expand the device's on-board storage up to 32GB.

Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) powers the 180g (6.4 oz.) device, which also offers micro USB, Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS, and an accelerometer.

Two separate phone numbers

Surely most interesting of all, however, are the Agora's low price as well as its dual SIM slots, which allow users to receive phone calls and text messages from two different phone numbers, such as one for work and one for personal use.

Users can also use each SIM exclusively for dedicated mobile data or calls and texts.

Interested in checking out this new device? Preorders are now being accepted on the Kogan site, though there's a limit of three devices per customer.

Included in each order are the Agora five-inch smartphone along with a micro USB-to-USB data and charging cable and a USB-to-AC power adapter.

For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out complete coverage of CES 2013 from PCWorld and TechHive.

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