Archos Rolls Out Line of Affordable Unlocked Android Smartphones

Archos, long known for its many (mostly Android) tablets, announced today that it’s getting into the smartphone game, too, starting with a line of Android handsets that are designed to offer a nice balance of features and affordability.

Specifically, Archos is eyeing the unlocked smartphone market, where the lack of subsidization from carriers is both a blessing and a curse, as users can be free to choose the carrier of their choice but also have to drop loads of cash on a decent smartphone (or phablet, as it were). The company believes it’s found the sweet spot with the Archos 35 Carbon ($99.99), Archos 50 Platinum ($219.99), and Archos 53 Platinum ($249.99).

All three phones will offer stock Android (Jelly Bean for the pricier models and ICS for the Carbon) OSes with access to Google Play and other Google services, dual-SIM capabilities, IPS displays, Archos Media Centre Apps, contacts and storage backed by the cloud, and both front and rear cameras.

Archos Android phones

The specs for the inexpensive Carbon are solid: It has a 1GHz Qualcomm 7225A Cortex-A5 chip; 512MB of RAM; 4GB of onboard storage; and a G-Sensor, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and GPS. There’s also WiFi, BT, FM stereo, an audio jack, and a micro-USB 2.0 slot for syncing and charging. The 3.5-inch screen size may turn some users off, though.

The flagship handset in the trio is the Archos 50 Platinum, which boasts a 5-inch display, a quad core (1.2GHz) Qualcomm 8225Q Cortex A5 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of onboard storage, and all the same sensors as the Carbon. It also has WiFi (with DLNA, UpnP) and the same BT, FM stereo, and ports. The 53 Platinum has essentially the same specifications and features as the 50 Platinum, but it has an even larger 5.3-inch screen.

There’s no word on when (or if, we suppose) the handsets will land on U.S. shores, but they’ll be available in Europe starting at the end of May.