With Archos 55 Helium 4G smartphone French manufacturer Archos aimed at users with a limited budget. This 5.5-inch Android smartphone is equipped with a very good. It uses a 4-core SoC, there is support for LTE. It is possible to install two SIM-cards. But the most important argument in favor of the Archos 55 Helium 4G is the price – $ 100.
Archos initially engaged in the production of memory cards, but today the company focuses on three groups of products: smartphones, tablets, and the “Connected Objects” – devices for smart home, as well as its own drone with an attractive price / performance ratio.
The same can be said about the Archos 55 Helium 4G. Of course, a smartphone with a price of $ 100, can hardly expect high-end features. But buyers with a limited budget can hardly expect to buy the flagship. But we get quite a decent hardware stuffing for everyday work: a large 5.5-inch display, the LTE support, 4-core processor, two cameras with sufficient resolution, two SIM-cards, and support for Android 6.0. All these features Archos printed on the packaging.
Package Archos 55 Helium 4G is not quite typical for the budget category. Apart from a brief user manual and warranty card you will get a charging and USB-cable and a headset. However, from the headset should not expect more than simple speech playback. For movies and music too feel the lack of bass.
Archos 55 Helium 4G because of the 5.5-inch screen seems fairly large, but the smartphone is enclosed in a simple plastic housing. The main body is white, it is complemented by a silver frame that goes around the entire smart phone, somewhere she has (on the long sides), where a wider (for short). Also made silver and buttons – on / off switch on the left side and a volume rocker on the right. They are quite in favor of the case to push well felt by touch. What contributes to a deep turn.
The back of the smartphone is made of white glossy plastic on top of the manufacturer’s logo emblazoned. Is that because of sweaty or wet hands may slip smartphone.
Plastic removable heel – a small cutout in the lower right corner allows you to pick up the backdrop fingernail and remove it. Our sample backdrop sat very tight, with the hooks of the urging force. But after a few withdrawals, they designed a backdrop it is easy shot. It’s nice that in spite of the plastic body and a removable backdrop smartphone remained sufficiently strong and resistant to torsion. What about the low-end models can be said is not always.
Archos chose a low-cost 4-core SoC (system on chip) from MediaTek. MT6737 chip was introduced in 2016, it belongs to the entry-level segment. The four Cortex A53 cores running at 1.3 GHz (under office load CPU-Z shows the 1.25 GHz). The graphics core Mali-T720 MP2 is clocked at 600 MHz. The amount of RAM is quite meager, only 1 GB. Therefore, a smartphone “retarding” when switching between multiple applications.
The test results speak for themselves: Archos 55 Helium 4G is closer to outsiders. Modern high-end smartphones and even middle-class models remain inaccessible. This is especially true for scenarios with heavy GPU. In the test 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, for example, we received 3,600 points. At the same Samsung Galaxy S7 performance exceeds 29,000 points. This test is very interesting, because it contains the results of older smartphones. Archos model shows results that would be expected from smartphones primary and secondary level in 2014. Nothing strange here, because the GPU Mali T720 just appeared this year. However, at least 16 GB of memory operate at a fairly high speed. Under the test Androbench read speed of 124 MB / s. Writing Speed 37 MB / s below, but in comparison with other models it is quite good.
When extreme performance is required, usually wins the battery life. That’s what we got. 47 g of lithium-ion battery provides capacity 2,700 mAh. The battery life is just relates to the strengths of Archos 55 Helium 4G, in contrast to the benchmark smartphone is kept solid middling. In video streaming playback test, the smartphone Archos lasted nearly nine hours. Even in the PCMark test, the result was more than seven hours.
It would seem that a removable heel allows easy access to the battery. But Archos added a red warning that the user did not try to remove the battery. In fact, non-removable battery. So it is easy to replace the battery in Archos 55 Helium 4G will not work.
As equipment has two advantages. 16 GB of internal memory can be expanded using a microSD card. In addition to memory card slots have two more slots for SIM-cards. Unlike many competitors, the installation of two SIM-cards do not have to sacrifice the memory card, all three cards can be used in parallel. The rest of the equipment can be called basic. LTE support is the simplest. The SoC MediaTek integrated LTE modem Cat 4. On the other hand, features such as the NFC, a fingerprint sensor or a USB Type C looked very strange to have a smartphone budget category. WLAN module only supports the 802.11n standard. The quality complaints have arisen.
At 5.5 inches diagonally resolution 1.280 x 720 pixels seems too harsh, at least if you follow the latest standards. However, the pixel density is ample 267-ppi, although this value is still below the typical quality photos (300 ppi). If you look closely, you can distinguish the pixels. Although the daily work on the pixels do not pay attention. The maximum brightness is not as high, 437 cd / m², so the use of a smartphone in the street on a sunny day is problematic. Black is not deep enough, the order of 0.51 cd / m². Therefore, the contrast ratio is fairly low – 867: 1.
Main camera Archos 55 Helium 4G stands for the surface of the housing. It has a resolution of 8 MP, in a meager light flash will be useful. In addition, LED-flash can be used as a flashlight.
In the case of high-end smartphones rear camera quite successfully replaces the classic “Soap”. It is no coincidence sales of compact digital cameras have dropped significantly in recent years. Camera Archos 55 Helium 4G Quality closer to cheap “soap box”. The pictures noticeable lack of detail and sharpness – even in good light. In video mode, the camera is also not convinced. There will have to accept limited 720p, and the image quality is poor. So smartphone camera can only be used if the hand is not nothing. A separate digital camera, it is not a substitute.
The front has a camera for selfie. The resolution is only 2 megapixels, it is sufficient for video conferencing, but even for quality snapshots is not enough.
Complete headset is good, except for voice communication. But it is suitable for bad games, music or movies. The same applies to the rear speaker, hidden behind a narrow slit cover. In addition, the sound quickly becomes distorted at high volumes, there is rattling. As for the front speaker, then to the phone, he does well.
For high-end smartphones latest version of Android it seems to be taken for granted, but in the case of low-end models are quite different. Here the presence of Android 6.0, you can add to the benefits, even if Android 7.0 version was released in August 2016. In addition, smaller producers such as Archos, used “home” without proprietary GUI interface.
Archos did not make any changes to the standard Android interface. So get used to the new interface does not have to. Also, Archos did not clutter the smartphone advertising and trial applications, installed base set of Google apps. Is that Gameloft games added.
When we started the test Archos 55 Helium 4G, we were very interested to know what a smartphone with a price tag of $ 100. Yet this model Android is a small fraction of the price of high-end smartphones. Of course, you have to put up with a number of restrictions. It is hardly necessary to mention once more modest performance, which is evident in the daily work. The same applies to the quality of both cameras and sound. But Archos has been able to put a very attractive price tag. As might be expected, the smartphone does not offer functions typical for high-end models.
If you are used to expensive smartphones, the model Archos unlikely to be interested. But not all users need a top-end smartphone at a very high price. If you’re willing to put up with the drawbacks mentioned, the smartphone has something to please. For example, the plastic case was even stronger than we expected from the budget category. Of course, the display is not happy with high brightness and resolution, but you get the diagonal of 5.5 inches – a great option for the price. Also, the combination of the display with HD resolution and a simple entry-level SoC provided Archos 55 Helium 4G good battery life.
But the most powerful advantages of the Archos innovations lie in the connection to the outside world. The smartphone supports LTE, it can work with two SIM-cards. And even after the installation of two SIM-cards you will not lose the ability to use a memory card. It is a pity that Archos has not established a removable battery, which could be another advantage.
Of course, Archos 55 Helium 4G can not be called a smartphone for everyone – all the equipment was severely curtailed. But if you do not consider yourself to demanding users, the smart phone for the money would be a very reasonable alternative to high-end models.