Kogan arrive in the UK

Good old Kogan eh? Kogan, Kogan, Kogan. 
Kogan arrive in the UK

So yes, you’ve probably never heard of them, but what I can tell you is that they make a handset called the Kogan Agora 3G Lite for £69. It doesn’t quite have the specs as the upcoming £65 Meizu m2 but for your money you’ll be getting a dual-SIM handset with a 5″ 854 x 480 screen powered by Android 5.0 (Lollipop). It has a 5 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front one and a quad-core 1.3GHz Mediatek CPU. It’s got 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage and a microSD slot for more. All the usual WiFi, GPS and sensors are on there but you won’t get 4G.

Kogan arrive in the UK

If you DO want 4G, Kogan (you know them by now, I’ve written a whole paragraph) have announced the Kogan Agora 4G Pro. Apart from the questionable name it’ll deliver the following for a mere £149 SIM free..

– Octacore 1.5GHz CPU from Qualcomm (Snapdragon 615)
– 5.2″ 1080×1920 pixel HD screen
– 16GB on-board storage (plus up to another 64GB via microSD)
– Android 5.0 Lollipop
– 13 megapixel rear camera, 8 megapixel front
– WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and 2500 mAh battery.

Joking aside, Kogan have been doing well in Australia and the company is actually named after the founder and CEO, Ruslan Kogan. At the UK launch of the company he told us..

We’ve built these smartphone to provide outstanding user experience through hardware and software that is beautiful, strong and powerful.

Unlike Australia’s cricketers, our Agora range of smartphones are second to none when comparing the specs and features to value for money.

We’re thrilled to be able to share these great value devices with you, and can’t wait to hear what you think of them. We love being able to get you the latest technology at a fraction of the price.

If you want one, head to their UK site, where you can buy the Kogan Agora 3G Lite or the Kogan Agora 4G Pro plus a range of other smartphones and tablets.

Full details below.

The post Kogan arrive in the UK is original content from Coolsmartphone.


  • Google+
  • RSS Feed
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Podcast
  • 4G-inclusive plans to replace current giffgaff options. Not everyone is happy.

    giffgaff, the MVNO owned by O2, has decided to chuck in 4G data as “part” of their goodybags (aka monthly plans). No separate 3G plans and 4G plans.

    If you’ve been looking at the 3G-only £5, £7.50 or £10 goodybags then everything will be remaining pretty much the same, except now you’ll be getting 4G data instead. Good news then?

    4G inclusive plans to replace current giffgaff options. Not everyone is happy.
    Well, not quite. Although I applaud the network for bundling in 4G, it’s the 3G-only £12 and £15 customers who seem to be getting a bit of a raw deal. If, for example, you’re on the 3G-only £12 plan you’ll currently get 3GB of monthly data. Indeed, this plan will remain available to existing members until March 2016, however after that you’ll see your data allowance drop down to 2GB per month. If you want more data, it’s probably in your interests to move up to the new £15 package which will shortly deliver 4GB of monthly data.

    Although giffgaff are keen to point out that they’ve increased the amount of data for current 4G customers (the current £12 4G deal offers just 1GB of data, so you’ll be getting more data), it means that 3G customers on the £12 and £15 deals will need to pay more to maintain their current data allowance.

    4G inclusive plans to replace current giffgaff options. Not everyone is happy.

    Current 3G-only giffgaff offering

    Let’s have a look at the current £15 3G deal. This gives a stonking 5GB of data, however this package will be dropped on September 1st and, although you’ll be getting 1000 minutes instead of 500, you’ll see your data allowance sink to 4GB – even though it’s a 4G connection.

    4G inclusive plans to replace current giffgaff options. Not everyone is happy.

    New giffgaff 4G-inclusive offering. Existing £12 and £15 customers will migrate

    For most other customers, it seems like a fair enough deal and 4G is delivered without any loss of allowances, but for the current 3G-only customers on £12 and £15 plans, you’ll be looking at paying £3 more per month to hop up to the next goodybag in order to maintain your data allowance. Considering the fact that the O2 4G network is still pretty sparse, that’s a bit of a knock.

    giffgaff have freely admitted that there’s concern about this, and many “members” (customers) have voiced their concern about the reduction in data allowance – particularly the £12 3G deal. giffgaff state..

    • Not everyone would be affected by a reduction in the data allowance from 3GB to 2GB as 76% of members with a £12 3G goodybag use less than 2GB a month.
    • We have guaranteed to keep the £12 3GB 3G goodybag for existing members until March which means nothing will change for at least 6 months. If you recur you don’t have do anything and if you don’t recur it’s there to buy if you want to.

    Read more in their rapidly expanding thread about this on their forum. I hear what they’re saying about 76% of £12 members using less than 2GB, but that still leaves almost a quarter of those customers having to pay extra to move onto the newer £15 offering to ensure that their 2GB-or-more usage is within the limits.

    What? I’ve not mentioned the £20 unlimited plan? Ah… Ahh yes.. Currently the 3G-only unlimited plan offers “Unlimited data” subject to traffic management..

    4G inclusive plans to replace current giffgaff options. Not everyone is happy.

    There is no 4G Unlimited offering on giffgaff currently, so how will the migration of this work? Well, basically, unlimited is history. Like pretty much every mobile and fixed-line network in the planet, giffgaff gets a very tiny proportion of customers who absolutely hammer the flip out of their network. Imagine constant, 24/7 downloading. It’s not good for the network, it’s not good for other customers and all ISP’s and mobile networks have had to use traffic management (blocking ports, slowing speeds on certain protocols, only allowing certain traffic at certain times etc). So, the new £20 features something giffgaff call “Always On” data.

    4G inclusive plans to replace current giffgaff options. Not everyone is happy.

    New 4G £20 plan

    The new £20 4G “Always On” plan delivers the first 6GB of data used and then access to unlimited data at a restricted speed from 8am until midnight. If you use the current 3G-only £20 unlimited plan, you’ll get migrated to this in January next year. Basically this means that once you exceed 6GB you’ll be struggling to listen to streaming audio whilst checking email or browsing the web, even though your phone shows a 4G connection. Again, giffgaff state ..

    Most Unlimited members don’t use anything like 6GB so the only differences will be that they can now enjoy 4G at no extra cost and can use their first 6GB for tethering.

    “Most” ? I guess that could be anything over 50%. Also, if you intend to tether on the “Always on” plan, you can go to 6GB and then that’s your lot.

    Your thoughts?

    Update – giffgaff are still battling concerned customers on the £12 3G plan. They now state…

    The £12 3G plan is scheduled to end in March but we will commit to reviewing this decision in Feb 2016 in the light of the number of members still buying this goodybag at that time, progress on 4G coverage and 4G phone ownership.

    You can check the O2 4G coverage on OpenSignal and below. Hit “Advanced” to hide the sidebar, then choose “O2″ and “4G”…

    The post 4G-inclusive plans to replace current giffgaff options. Not everyone is happy. is original content from Coolsmartphone.


  • Google+
  • RSS Feed
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Podcast
  • Vodafone completes 100 remote not-spot fixes

    Vodafone completes 100 remote not spot fixes

    About a year ago we covered the not-spot fixing being undertaken by Vodafone. Rural hamlets and villages, traditionally lacking any kind of signal, were getting outdoor “Sure Signal” boxes installed to boost coverage.

    The “Open Sure Signal” tech delivers 3G and voice / text coverage by hooking into the nearest broadband connection and are then secured to the top of a building.

    How much coverage do they provide? According to Vodafone these clever boxes, which are no bigger than a cereal box, give coverage over a 500 metre radius. It might not sound like much, but in a small secluded village it can make all the difference, plus additional units can be added to create a macro-network.

    Each village puts forwards possible sites, which have broadband access, and then Vodafone themselves deploy the units (rather than any third party) depending on the “shape” of the community. They’re usually installed on chimneys and other tall structures, but the process over the last year has been a steep learning curve for the network, who have had to battle with incredibly strict planning regulations, varying broadband speeds and some sites which needed broadband installing from scratch.
    Vodafone completes 100 remote not spot fixes

    The latest three communities in their project (called “ROSS” for Rural Open Sure Signal) have now gone live – Broad Chalke in Wiltshire and both Chillaton and Lifton in Devon.

    Vodafone network brain-box, Dr Rob Matthews, tells us..

    These sites mark the first time that we’ve done the installation ourselves – now – ordering the broadband, managing the broadband, installing the devices, getting them running and monitoring them. We didn’t do all that before so there’s new learning points at every step – things like asbestos surveys, lightning protection and all the other things you have to consider as part of a building exercise. It’s a massive task, but now that we’ve got the grounding it’s going to help us with all the other villages going forward. We’re able to really motor now to get villages up and running with our 3G.

    EE are also doing something similar, but we’d love to see a big push by all networks to plug those remote gaps in the network and also provide at least 3G in areas bathed in GPRS and Edge.

    Get all the detail on the project here on the Vodafone blog and via vodafone.co.uk/rural.

    The post Vodafone completes 100 remote not-spot fixes is original content from Coolsmartphone.


  • Google+
  • RSS Feed
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Podcast
  • Mozilla launches Firefox OS phones in Morocco and Senegal

    Firefox OS might be in a distant fourth place (or further?) here domestically, but Mozilla sees plenty of value for it in emerging countries. Specifically? Senegal and Madagascar in Africa, where it recently partnered with French telecom Orange to launch the KLIF. And no, you aren't wrong, it's neither a flip-phone or a slider. Nor is it transparent. A Mozilla blog post says that the main idea with this 3G smartphone is to get more people online in places where they previously couldn't. It's the web outfit following through on a promise it made back at Mobile World Congress in Spain, and the Middle East is where we'll see the initiative pop up next.

    Filed under: ,


    Via: The Verge

    Source: The Mozilla Blog (official)

    The story of the mobile phone

    Last night I stumbled across an old video from 1979 which showed something that was pretty amazing at the time. A truly portable phone.

    It started me on a bit of a journey into the history of mobile phones, so here’s what I’ve dug out of the archives.

    You were able to use a system before true mobile phones became commonplace. It was called the “Post Office Radiophone Service” here in the UK, and had been running since 1959. Here’s a typical bit of kit…

    The story of the mobile phone

    Image from QSL.net

    It’s less of a phone and more of a walkie-talkie really. Even earlier, in the 1940’s, AT&T ran a Mobile Telephone Service. Although “cells” were being discussed in 1947, the systems at this time didn’t have any hand-over, so you stayed on one base station throughout the call and you needed an operator in-between. Using your “VHF radio” (for that’s what the 36kg subscriber equipment was), you’d contact the operator who would contact a land line and patch you through. Likewise, to receive a call someone would have to get hold of the operator and ask for your device. You can learn more on this BT page.

    The story of the mobile phone

    However, as the years passed they became more popular and more VHF channels were added. Despite this, demand was high and customers had to wait to place calls as channels were in use by others.

    Fast-forward to 1979 and Margaret Thatcher has just become the Britain’s first female prime minister. A BBC TV programme called “Tomorrow’s World” regularly showed off the latest in tech and new inventions. Apart from shows like the “Gadget Show”, there’s not really anything like it on TV now, but here’s an experimental cordless mobile phone which could direct-dial into the standard land line network.

    It was perhaps the first time anything like it had ever been seen. Imagine seeing this guy walking down the street in 1979 with a rotary phone to his ear. Would people have seen it as amazing or crazy? Sure, this was effectively just a standard phone plugged into the radio you saw above, but it was a sign of things to come. The next few years saw some really big changes..

    Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive, had been working on the “first handheld mobile phone” since around 1973 and it hit the market in 1983. It was a battery and a phone all in one and operated on the “1G” analogue cellular phone network. The first phone he created (the DynaTAC) had just a 20 minute talk-time but, at 1.1kg in weight, he admitted that this wasn’t really a problem “because you couldn’t hold that phone up for that long”. Despite this, it was a major shift from the original car phones which needed about 12kg of kit in the boot.

    The story of the mobile phone

    The shift towards “2G” digital cellular networks didn’t really happen until the 90’s, with GSM here in Europe and CDMA in the USA. The larger “brick” phones started to shrink and, shown here in 1988 with Prince Charles, a new smaller phone made by Nils Martensson is demonstrated to the world..

    Nils founded a company called Technophone Ltd, but it was then taken over by Nokia in 1991 and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Is that it? Well, almost. We’re now finishing the era of 3G and pushing into 4G and beyond, but let’s wind back to 1922 for a moment because amazingly they were dabbling with mobile technology some 93 years ago.

    Describing the clip below, Simon Atkins an Ex-Royal Signals officer, states..

    The two ladies are using a small simple HF radio, probably a ‘Cat’s Whisker’ type. For it to work it needs to be earthed, which is why it’s connected to the fire hydrant. The antenna or aerial is the wire in the umbrella. On the receiving end the telephonist is using an HF radio and puts the microphone next to the record player. For the two ladies to hear she would be pressing the pressel switch.

    So, if you didn’t mind carrying an umbrella and a big transmitter then earthing yourself to street furniture, you could indeed communicate (albeit with HF standard radio via an operator) with others….

    If there’s anything you think I’ve missed here or something you feel we should include, do let me know.

    The post The story of the mobile phone is original content from Coolsmartphone.


  • Google+
  • RSS Feed
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Podcast
  • Ericsson intensifies legal pressure on Apple over patents, seeks iPhone sales ban

    iPhone 6 promo video (A8 chip 001)

    Following a $533 million loss in a lawsuit a small Texas-based company leveled against it over patent violation, Apple is now facing new legal challenges.

    As reported Friday, the Swedish telecommunications giant has unloaded legal barrage against the iPhone maker.

    The move follows Apple’s refusal to re-sign a global licensing contract with Ericsson in mid-January. Bloomberg noted that Apple had been paying royalties for Ericsson’s patents related to mobile technologies, but the global license agreement expired last month and hasn’t been renewed since.... Read the rest of this post here

    "Ericsson intensifies legal pressure on Apple over patents, seeks iPhone sales ban" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
    Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

    Karbonn A19 now available in the UK

    Wait a minute, just a few minutes ago we reviewed the dual-core 1.2GHz Karbonn A5S. It’s about £70 but, for £85.54 you can get this, the Karbonn A19.

    It has an ever-so-slightly faster CPU – a dual-core 1.3GHz CPU. It also has a better camera (8 megapixel instead of the 5 megapixel on the A5S) but, apart from a bigger screen (5″ 854 x 480) it’s the same 4GB on-board storage, 512MB RAM and VGA front cam.

    Screenshot 2015-01-12 at 22.38.50

    A 1600mAh battery is powering this and it’s dual SIM but again, there’s no 4G. It’s cheap though, so…

    Personally I wouldn’t mind a quick dabble with their higher-end phones – the Karbonn S6 and Karbonn Sparkle V, but hey, these are entry level and priced that way.

    More details below.

    Karbonn A19 now available in the UK is original content from coolsmartphone.com

    Verizon gets ready to shut down its 3G networks as LTE takes over

    Motorola Droid Turbo for Verizon

    Verizon may not be releasing its first LTE-only phones until 2016, but it's already preparing for the day when its legacy CDMA and EV-DO networks ride into the sunset. Wireless tracker Milan Milanovic has discovered that the carrier is now using LTE data in Cleveland and Manhattan on 1,900MHz frequencies that were previously reserved for EV-DO (3G) service. Don't expect more bandwidth in your neck of the woods just yet, though. Verizon tells GigaOM that this is just a test -- it's not yet ready to make an official transition.

    Filed under: , , ,


    Source: GigaOM, Milan Milanovic (Howard Forums)

    Vodafone’s HD Voice launch leaves O2 customers as the odd ones out

    Tin Can String

    HD Voice technology isn't particularly new -- in fact, some UK operators have supported it since as far back as 2010. Very few devices were HD-capable back then, though, but lots of modern smartphones are now suitably equipped, leading other carriers to get their acts together. Today, Vodafone announced it's joining the party, letting anyone with a supported handset make HD calls to others on the same network. HD Voice, if you weren't aware, widens the frequency range of your call, ensuring conversations almost sound like you're talking to someone face-to-face. Today's launch means O2 is now the only major UK carrier not offering the feature, and it says it has no official plans to either. Given most smartphone usage is dedicated to messaging and photo apps these days, today's launch might not excite Vodafone customers all that much. The difference in quality is noticeable though, so prepare to feel like someone's living inside your head the first time a call connects in HD.

    Filed under: , ,


    Via: CoolSmartphone

    Source: Vodafone Blog

    EE data still down


    On EE? Got data issues? Yeah, you’re not the only one. This evening, and for a number of hours now, data connectivity issues have continued to plague users.

    The most recent update we have now is from the EE community section, and this is being given out to the Twitter questions.

    Screenshot 2014-09-10 at 22.49.13

    Issues seem to have begun around 6PM judging by the emails we’ve received. EE are currently getting swamped on Twitter with complaints about the outage, which seems to be across the UK.

    Update – This now seems to have been fixed and data connectivity has returned.

    Update 2 – As of Thursday morning it seems that problems are continuing. EE tell us that customers still have intermittent data connectivity ..

    Update 3 – EE now (09.40 on Thursday September 11th) state that the problem is resolved and that you should reboot if you’re still having issues.

    EE data still down is original content from Coolsmartphone.com