If there’s one thing we know Archos for, it’s that it makes some of the most affordable Android hardware around. So far, we’ve seen it come up with a whole bunch of cheap tablets. The problem is, there’s already so much competition from models like the Nexus 7 and various Kindle Fires that the middling specs of these tablets just couldn’t win us over, even with their great prices. Could Archos find better luck with super-cheap Android smartphones, instead? We’ll be finding out soon, upon the company announcing a trio of highly affordable Android handsets.
We’ve got the Archos 35 Carbon, 50 Platinum, and 53 Platinum, with 3.5-inch, 5.0-inch, and 5.3-inch screens, respectively. All three will ship will plain, stock Android (4.0 on the 35, 4.1.2 on the 50 and 53) and support dual SIMs. They’ll sell, fully unlocked and without contractual obligation, for just about $100, $220, and $250.
So, what are you sacrificing for those prices? Well, the 35 Carbon only has a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon S1, 512MB of RAM, and that 3.5-inch screen – which might have been nice if WVGA – only has an HVGA resolution.
The Platinum models do a little better, running quad-core Snapdragon S4 MSM8225Qs with 1GB of RAM. Resolution still pays the price, and where we’d hope to find screens in the 720p range, we’re looking at qHD, instead.
Even with these compromises, this group could still make for attractive entry-level phones, particularly for users intrigued by larger screen sizes. They’re set to go up for sale in Europe next month, and while we’d be curious to see how the US market might react to these guys, limited 3G band support makes it look like they’ll be staying across the pond for now.