French tablet maker Archos has announced its first set of Android smartphones.
Starting at just £79, the Archos Carbon and Archos Platinum budget and mid-range smartphones will arrive at the end of May. Each will use a vanilla Android operating system, Qualcomm processor and an IPS display. See also: Group test: What's the best smartphone?
Loïc Poirier, CEO of Archos, said: "The smartphone market is shifting, as SIM-free sales versus subsidised sales are increasing. Archos is prepared to respond to this change, as we can offer retail channels affordable, unlocked and feature-rich smartphones without the heavy price tag,"
The Archos 50 Platinum costs £179 and will provide a similar experience to the Samsung Galaxy S3 for half the price, according to the firm. The Archos 53 Platinum is the most expensive at £199 and the Archos 35 Carbon is a startling £79.
See also: Archos 80 Titanium tablet review.
Both of the Platinum smartphones come with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, an 8Mp rear camera, 4GB of storage, a microSD card slot and dual-SIM slots. The naming system indicated screen size at 5in and 5.3in respectively, both with a qHD resolution.
It's unsurprising that the Archos 35 Carbon has a less impressive specification sheet. It offers a 1GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, dual VGA cameras, 4GB of storage and a 3.5in screen. It also comes with dual-SIM card slots.
With a 5.3in device in the range, Poirier added: "Furthermore, smartphones and tablets are interrelated markets that have quickly crossed over with the arrival of 'phablets' - half-phone, half-tablet devices. It makes sense that this should be our next phase of products as it’s a natural fit for our brand and long term growth plans."
We'll be looking to bring you reviews of the Archos smartphones as soon as possible, so look out for them.