Archos Helium 50 smartphone hands-on review

Archos Helium 50 4G smartphone

Archos is moving into home gadgets but hasn’t forgotten about smartphones. We took a look at the Helium 50 4G smartphone so here's our hands-on review.

4G mobile networks are fully in place but if you're stuck on 3G because you can't afford a compatible smartphone or tariff then Archos may be able to help you with the former problem. It's new Helium smartphones aim to bring 4G to those on a tighter budget. See also: New smartphones to expect at MWC 2014: What will Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC and Nokia launch?

To this end, the Helium 50 will be priced at around £229 and the smaller Helium 45 will come in at an even more reasonable £179. Sticking with Android, you'll get version 4.3 Jelly Bean on either of the Helium smartphones.

Understated in design, with a similar look to the BlackBerry Z10, the Helium 50 and Helium 45 have 5in and 4.5in screen sizes respectively. A little more abnormal these days, but the navigation buttons are below the screen rather than on it.

The Helium 50 has a reasonable resolution of 720p and has an IPS panel so viewing angles are good. Inside is a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. To us the phone seems very nippy on the performance front and we're pleased to report there's a microSD card slot for adding more storage.

Archos Helium 50 4G smartphone camera

Furthermore, the 8Mp rear facing camera also seems decent after a few test shots. The phone does feel a little plasticky and cheap, but that's exactly what it is. The important thing is you get 4G support at a more than reasonable price.

Archos Helium 50 4G smartphone Android

It's nice to see Archos has kept the Android interface nice and clean and the firm touts battery life of more than a day so we're looking forward to testing that out properly.

We haven't taken a proper look at the Helium 45 but for your money you'll get a 480x854 resolution, 4GB of storage and a 5Mp camera. A few downgrades but you still get the Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4G support and a microSD card slot.

Check back soon for full reviews of both Archos Helium smartphones.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

OUR VERDICT

Archos' Helium smartphones show potential as affordable 4G handsets with some style and substance.

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