The once tablet-focused Archos has announced a new line of budget smartphones: the 35 Carbon, 50 Platinum, and 53 Platinum. Archos is taking the Google Play approach, offering the devices off-contract at full-price, but interestingly they carry dual-SIM card capability (though only one has 3G support).
All three devices will run stock Android, appealing to the TouchWiz and Sense haters quite nicely. They support 7.2Mbps HSPA 3G, with full access to Google Play and Google services.
The ARCHOS 35 Carbon is kicking the budget line off, starting at £79.99. You’ll find a 3.5-inch IPS screen with a measly 360-by-480 resolution, 4GB of internal storage, microSIM port for up-to 32GB of internal storage, two VGA cameras both in the rear and front, 1 GHz Qualcomm 7225A processor, aGPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and hotspot. You’ll find Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Next up is the ARCHOS 50 Platinum flagship running Android 4.1.2, priced at £179.99 and sporting a 5-inch IPS display capable of a 960-by-540 resolution. Underneath you’ll find a snappy quad-core Qualcomm 8225Q processor clocking in at 1.2 GHz, 1 GB of memory, 4GB of internal memory, expandable microSD storage, 8 megapixel rear-camera, and 2-megapixel front-camera.
Lastly, the Archos 53 platinum is available for £199.99. Except for a 5.3-inch IPS screen-bump and larger battery, specs between it and the flagship remain the same. Even better, you’ll get stock Android Jelly Bean as well.
“The smartphone market is shifting, as SIM-free sales versus subsidised sales are increasing. ARCHOS is prepared to respond to this change, as we can offer retail channels affordable, unlocked and feature-rich smartphones without the heavy price tag,” said Loïc Poirier, CEO of ARCHOS.
The range of handsets will be launching in Europe this May. While the Archos smartphone line doesn't contain the hottest specs ever, its low, off-contract pricing may be a great selling point.