After having released a number of more economically priced tablets, Archos is back in the game and is rumored to be announcing as many as three new budget-conscious smartphones at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month.
The phones will run the Android operating system and will come with more modest specs than the high-end smartphones that are available today or will be released this year. However, if Archos can present models with good designs, competitive specs, and affordable prices, we may see some downward pressure on pricing in general, which may be a good thing as major U.S.-based carriers are all considering an end to smartphone subsidies.
The models and the specs were published on GSM Arena with images that look to be mockups of the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note phablets branded with the Archos logo.
The first smartphone model is dubbed the Archos 35, a phone that will have an HVGA resolution on a 3.5-inch panel. It will be a basic entry level phone with 512 MB RAM, 512 MB internal storage with micro SD card slot, 3G and dual SIM support, and a 1 GHz processor. The Archos 35 will run Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich and is also referred to as the Archos 35 Carbon. That phone may launch as early as April with a price tag of just $120 unlocked.
The Archos 48 Platinum will be the flagship phone model with specs similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone. The phone will have a 4.8-inch IPS screen with a 1280 X 800-pixel resolution, 1.7 GHz quad-core CPU from MediaTek, and will support 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, FM Radio, and GPS. The phone is expected to launch in May for about $333.
The Archos 52 Titanium is considered to be a phablet with a 5.2-inch display with a WVGA resolution, so it’s not as sharp or crisp as the resolution on the Archos 48 Platinum. It will have a 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU. Pricing is unknown at this time, though it’s speculated the Titanium will be available in April.
Given that T-Mobile USA is moving away from subsidies for smartphones and rivals AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wireless have all stated that its watching T-Mobile’s market reactions closely and may follow suit in the future, having more affordable smartphone options for consumers may be a big win.
Archos’ recent Android-based tablets boast attractive designs reminiscent of Apple’s iPad slate. Hopefully, Archos will also release smartphones with more high-end specs in the future with affordable pricing.