Archos has launched an affordable unlocked smartphone line today, with prices starting at $99. The Archos Platinum range of devices offers users IPS screens, quadcore processors and 8 megapixel cameras all in a sleek design. The three devices, Archos 35 Carbon, Archos 50 Platinum and Archos 53 Platinum are priced $99, $219.99 and $249.99 respectively. All three smartphones offer pure un-skinned Android experience and are Google certified for access to Google Play and Google Mobile Services, which includes Google Now.
The Archos 35 Carbon (above) is the entry level device in this smartphone range. It has a 3.5″ IPS touchscreen with 320 x 480 pixel resolution, a Qualcomm 7225A 1Ghz processor with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Both front and back cameras are VGA, there’s a microSD slot and a 1,300 mAh battery. It runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Archos 50 Platinum has a 5″ Full Black IPS display with 960 x 540 pixel resolution, a Qualcomm 8225Q Quadcore cortex A5 1.2Ghz process coupled with 1GB of RAM and 4GB internal storage. It supports external storage expansion via microSD card up to 64GB. There’s an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus on the back capable of 720p video recording and 2 megapixel camera on the front. The Archos 50 Platinum smartphone has a 2,000 mAh battery. It runs on Jelly Bean.
Archos 53 Platinum is top of the line in this range. It has a 5.3″ Full Black IPS display with 960 x 540 pixel resolution, Qualcomm 8225Q quadcore cortex A5 1.2Ghz processor with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Supports microSD cards up to 64GB. Cameras are the same as Archos 50 Platinum, it too runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean but has a bigger 2,800 mAh battery.
Loïc Poirier, CEO of Archos, says that smartphone market is shifting as SIM free sales are increasing more than carried subsidized sales. Archos is therefore offering feature rich smartphones at a price that doesn’t need to be subsidized. He’s certainly right, considering that most premium phones subsidized by carriers often require an upfront payment of $200, their Archos 53 Platinum smartphone can be purchased SIM free for $249.99. Archos hopes to land upon a totally new business segment, considering how T-Mobile has ushered in the age of no wireless contracts which led to Verizon users urging their carrier to drop contracts as well, customer may end up saving a lot of money on both devices and contract-less plans. If Verizon drops contracts as well, we could see the same reaction from AT&T and Sprint, which would definitely give a huge boost to sales of SIM-free premium devices.