Archos announced its plans to launch a range of smartwatches at CES 2014, as it looks to join the trend in wearable tech. There are three watch models in the line-up, hitting three different price points with the aim of offering an affordable companion to your smartphone.
The Archos smartwatches are designed to be simple, offering straightforward functions, rather than trying to do absolutely everything. The first model has a 1.26-inch memory LCD display and more or less rivals the Pebble smartwatch.
It's compatible with Android and iOS and will offer a range of notifications, so you can see who has just messaged you without getting your phone out of your pocket.
Thanks to the use of Bluetooth LE and the memory LCD, Archos says you'll get about a week from the battery. It will cost £49.99, which sounds like a really good price. The 1.26-inch model should be available around March 2014.
The second model Archos is offering is broadly aligned with the Samsung Galaxy Gear or Sony SmartWatch 2, in that it offers a 1.55-inch full colour and touch display, with a 240 x 240 pixel resolution. However, unlike Samsung's smartwatch, Archos doesn't want it to do everything - there's no camera for example and you can't speak to it when making calls - but there will be a range of apps that will run on the Android-based device.
The price, again, is aggressive at £79.99, although the use of a conventional LCD display means that battery won't last as long as the others, probably only three days. The 1.55-inch model should be available in April 2014.
Finally, Archos has an E Ink smartwatch. This uses a curved E Ink display and resembles the prototype we saw with E Ink in 2013. Using an E Ink display means it will be easily visible in bright conditions and will be very battery efficient, with Archos telling us you can expect 1-2 weeks of life.
In the future, Archos is looking to evolving the E Ink display to offer touch navigation, meaning you won't be dependent on just the buttons.
Priced at £99.99, this last model is the one we're most excited about. It will be available around May/June 2014.
Unfortunately, as these were prototype models, we didn't get the chance to see much more than the hardware design.