Mobile World Congress does not officially start until February 24, but Archos decided to unveil its tablet and smartphone lineup ahead of time. At the show, it will show off one tablet and three smartphones, all of which cost less than $250.
Say hello to the Archos 80 Helium 4G tablet
Archos claims its Helium 4G tablet is the “world’s first 8-inch 4G tablet under $250.” What it doesn’t tell you is that the Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX may have 7-inch screens, but they are far more powerful, and have much higher screen resolutions. As far as specifications go, the tablet is powered by a Qualcomm quad-core A7 processor, 4G/LTE capabilities, and an 8-inch 1024 x 768 pixel IPS LCD display.
1GB of RAM helps to smooth things over with stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which should keep your tablet moving, but is far less than the 2-3GB that high-end tablets carry. Still, with the $250 price tag, we cannot complain too much about it.
Budget smartphones galore!
Kicking things off is Archos’ flagship smartphone, the 50C Oxygen. At $200, we are looking at a 5-inch IPS 1280 x 720 pixel display, a MediaTek octa-core processor, which is backed up by 1GB of RAM, and an 8-megapixel shooter with 1080p video recording.
Unfortunately, in terms of software, the 50C Oxygen takes a step back from the Helium 4G tablet and only runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It is still a good version of Android, but it’s more than a year old, which is disappointing, considering Android 4.4 is supposed to run well on low-end devices.
For those who like a little more oomph with screen size, the 64 Xenon might be worth a look. The main point of attraction is its 6.4-inch 1280 x 720 IPS display, which is powered by a MediaTek quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM.
It also runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, has an 8-megapixel camera, and will retail for $200.
Finally, the “budget smartphone” title of Archos’ lineup goes to the 40B Titanium. It comes equipped with a 4-inch 800 x 480 IPS display, a MediaTek dual-core processor, and 512 MB of RAM, along with a 5-megapixel shooter on the back.
It is clearly not for the power user, and Archos knows that. As such, it is marketing the 40B Titanium as a “mobile music lover’s dream,” thanks in part to its dual front-facing speakers and an “enhanced audio system.”
No word on whether we will see these hit store shelves, though they will be shown at MWC.