Powerful hardware and low prices make Archos’s new Android phablets worth a look

Archos says it wants to “shake up the mobile market.” In a few days, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company has the opportunity to do just that with its two new additions to the Diamond smartphone family: the Diamond 2 Note and the Diamond 2 Plus.

True to its name, the Diamond 2 Note looks to be a monster of a smartphone, with a 6-inch, 2,560 x 1,440p resolution display on the front. Before jumping into the ocean of smaller-screened smartphones, Archos swears the Diamond 2 Note has a high screen-to-body ratio. In other words, Archos claims that, in the hand, the Diamond 2 Note feels the same as a smartphone with a 5.5-inch display.

Right above the 6-inch display is an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, with the 16MP rear-facing camera capable of 4K recording. That’s thanks to the octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 processor, which should be more than capable of standing up to Android’s most demanding games.

Also under the hood is a healthy 3GB of RAM, which is quickly becoming the standard, as well as a 3,600mAh battery that gives you an 80-percent charge in 45 minutes, thanks to its fast-charge capabilities. Finally, you’re given 32GB of expandable storage.

Meanwhile, the Diamond 2 Plus packs a smaller 5.5-inch, 1,920 × 1,080p resolution display. Above it sits an 8MP camera, while a 20.7MP Sony sensor sits around back. Unlike the rear camera found on the Diamond 2 Note, however, the Diamond 2 Plus’s rear shooter cannot record 4K video.

Regardless, the handset contains impressive internals, such as an octa-core MediaTek P10 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable memory, and a 3,000mAh battery with quick charge support. The Diamond 2 Plus also embraces features originally found on high-end smartphones, such as a fingerprint scanner on the back and a USB Type-C port on the bottom.

The Diamond 2 Note and Plus both pack LTE connectivity options and dual SIM support. In addition, they both run Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. The best part of the Diamond 2 Note and Plus, however, has to be the price — $280 for the former, and $230 for the latter. If you’re interested in grabbing either smartphone, they will be available starting in May.

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