Archos 32 Review

A 3.2-inch screen and Android 2.1 sound like a winning combination for $150, but poor audio quality, a dim screen and numerous other problems prevent the Archos 32 from posing any threat to Apple's iPod Touch.
A 3.2-inch screen and Android 2.1 sound like a winning combination for $150, but poor audio quality, a dim screen and numerous other problems prevent the Archos 32 from posing any threat to Apple's iPod Touch.
A 3.2-inch screen and Android 2.1 sound like a winning combination for $150, but poor audio quality, a dim screen and numerous other problems prevent the Archos 32 from posing any threat to Apple's iPod Touch.

Highs

  • None

Lows

  • Voices in music and video sound faint or missing
  • Fuzzy screen
  • Limited number of Archos-optimized Android apps
  • Slow processor
  • Poor VGA camera
  • No expandable memory

DT Editors' Rating

archos 32 internet tablet review portrait landscape

Introduction

Normally, critics chuckle with maniacal glee given the chance to savage a really awful product. But we take no joy in reporting the Archos 32, the company’s 3.2-inch Android-based portable media player (or, as the company pretentiously calls it, an “Internet tablet”), is a complete disaster. We have tried two units, thinking the first must be a manufacturing aberration, used them with different headphones, and different file types, and the results have always been the same: sound so broken there has to be something fundamentally wrong with its audio chipset. Even discounting a serious silicon slip-up, the rest of the device, positioned as a smaller alternative to Apple’s iPod Touch, isn’t too hot, either.

Features and Design

The 32, actually printed with a large 3 and a small 2 indicating its 3.2-inch screen size, resembles a small, thin Android cellphone such as the HTC Aria. The whole family encompasses three other models with the same nomenclature: the 24 (2.4-inch screen), the 43 (4.3-inch screen), the 70 (10-inch screen) and the 101 (10.1-inch screen). As for the 32, it’s a dark maroon slab with the familiar four Android touch controls (back, menu, home, search) beneath the screen and, underneath these, touch volume plus and minus keys. The microUSB jack and 3.5-inch headphone jack are on the bottom perimeter, and physical volume toggle and screen off buttons are on the bottom left side.

Looking at the 32’s screen is like looking at a photo or painting behind a sheet of glass – the actual display is under a visible protective layer. This layer has no affect on 32’s touch sensitivity, it’s just disconcerting. The display also isn’t as crisp as you’d expect; icons and text are fuzzy, with clearly visible pixels. As a result, videos and photos lack definition and brightness.

archos 32 internet tablet review video playback

Inside, you get 8GB of memory (actually 6.88 GB of user space), Wi-Fi for Web browsing, Twitter (via a pre-installed app called Touiteur), e-mail, and a phonebook. Archos’ Android 2.1 iteration has five home screens, with quick access to video viewing on the first screen swipe right, to music on the first swipe left. There’s no Android Marketplace; you search for apps specifically optimized for these Archos tablets in the AppsLib app.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Smart Home

Here’s everything Amazon and its partners announced for Alexa at CES

Amazon Alexa is rocking CES 2019. After selling millions of Echo and Dot smart speakers during the 2018 holiday season, extending its reach everywhere, Amazon has announced a ton of new partnerships with device manufacturers.
Mobile

OnePlus 7 to use latest body design to get rid of the notch, leak suggests

The OnePlus 6T may still be new, but we're already looking ahead to the upcoming OnePlus 7. It will use the Snapdragon 855, and may have a new slider body design. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 7.
Mobile

Samsung's advanced folding phone needed 'total reconfiguration' to make it real

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

Benchmark scores surface for Google's midrange Pixel 3 XL Lite

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.
Mobile

The Sony Xperia XZ4 shines in case renders from accessory maker Olixar

Sony may have released the Xperia XZ3 in the past few months, but already it's preparing to release a follow-up, the Xperia XZ4. We're learning plenty about the phone now some details have started to leak out, and it's getting exciting.
Mobile

The LG G8 ThinQ may arrive at MWC 2019 with an on-screen speaker

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

Oppo could reveal a new smartphone with a 10x optical zoom

Cracking a solid zoom on smartphones has been a riddle many years in the solving. One company may have finally cracked it though: Oppo may be about to show off a phone with a 10x optical zoom.
Wearables

How to switch TicHealth to Google Fit on the Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro

The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro are both much-loved and feature-packed watches, and they offer excellent fitness tracking. Recently, Mobvoi has switched out Google Fit for TicHealth, but you can switch them back. Here's how.
Mobile

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.