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Archos’ Diamond Plus is an Android phablet that won’t break the bank

Archos announced two new additions to its Diamond device line — the Diamond S smartphone Diamond Tab — ahead of this year’s IFA tech convention in Berlin, but it seems to have saved the best for last. Today, the French smartphone maker unveiled the Diamond Plus, an affordable, phablet-sized compliment to the Diamond S.

The Diamond Plus, looks much like its smaller counterpart: thin (8.4mm), curved, and silver. It packs the same octa-core 1.5GHz, Mediatek MT6753 processor too, plus an identical RAM and storage count — 2GB and 16GB (expandable via MicroSD), respectively. But the screen’s the differentiator: It’s a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display, 1.5 times the resolution of the panel on the Diamond S (720p) and fully laminated.

Other accouterments include a 4G LTE radio, dual-SIM support, and a 2,850mAh battery. Its cameras, a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera and 8-megapixel front shooter, feature distortion-reducing lenses. And it’s got fast charging (presumably MediaTek’s Pump Express, although Archos wasn’t forthcoming on that point).

Related: Archos gets antsy, announces a trio of smartphones ahead of IFA 2015

On the software side, the Diamond Plus runs the latest version of Android, 5.1 Lollipop. In keeping with Archos’s Diamond devices, it ships virtually in a vanilla state — the company’s pledging to keep bloatware to a minimum, a very welcome sentiment.

The Archos Diamond Plus will retail for £179.99 when it goes on sale overseas in November, which isn’t a bad price. It’s not a slam-dunk deal, to be sure — the comparable 5.5-inch Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 costs just £125 — but far from the worst. Hauwei’s £199 Ascend G7, for the sake of comparison, makes do with a 720p panel and sluggish Snapdragon processor.

Archos is scheduled to demo the Diamond Plus at IFA beginning Sept. 4. We’re expecting to learn more about availability then, in addition to potential color and customization options. Stay tuned.