The Archos 50 Platinum is a 5-inch Android smartphone that features dual-SIM functionality for those looking to better segregate their work-life balance. A mid-range handset with a price more akin to an entry-level device, the Archos 50 Platinum is available for just £210 on a SIM-free basis. It runs a stock version of Google’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, has a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel primary camera, but is this enough to compete with the big boys?
The Archos 50 Platinum’s design is markedly similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S3. The gloss plastic device features softly curved edges and is just 8.9mm thick, a mere 0.3mm thicker than Samsung’s past flagship phone. It is what you would expect from a wallet-friendly handset manufacturer by a bit-part player on the smartphone scene - it looks relatively cheap, basic and functional without ever really standing out from the crowd.
Like the S3 before it, the design of the Archos 50 Platinum is cheapened by the gloss plastic finish. It quickly becomes smeared with fingerprints, grease and grime. The Archos 50’s body looks grubby almost as soon as it is taken from the box. Short of handling the phone in gloves there is no way to counteract this, though it’s hardly a problem unique to it.
Despite weighing in at a considerable 160g, 30g more than the similarly sized Samsung Galaxy S4, the Archos 50 Platinum does not feel particularly heavy. Its weight is spread evenly across the phone’s full 5-inch form leaving it feeling well-balanced and sturdy in the hand. It feels well made, too, with only a small amount of creak in the body when put under pressure and none of the serious issues we often see in cheap phones.
The physical buttons on the Archos 50 Platinum are not ideal and highlight the phone’s cheap nature. Both the volume rocker (left side) and power/sleep button (right side) are positioned in the way of your fingers when holding the phone in either a left or right-handed manner. What’s more they sit loosely in their housings and as such wobble and slide when held.
There are few, if any, 5-inch phones in the Archos 50 Platinum’s £200 price bracket. Size doesn’t always mean quality, though, and the Archos 50 is testament to this. It features a 960 x 540 pixel resolution which, when stretched over the 5-inch panel results in a disappointingly low 220 DPI image quality. The end product of having a 5-inch screen that falls short of modern HD expectations is slightly grainy visuals with pixelisation effecting both video content and text equally.
Watching the Dark Knight Rises on the Archos 50 Platinum is a reasonably enjoyable experience. The expansive on-screen real estate undoubtedly helps make the Archos 50 a suitably entertaining platform for multimedia content, but it doesn’t possess that wow factor and pop we would have hoped for.
The explosion on the football field looks flat and hollow with colours and contrast throughout feeling washed out, bleak and lacking that little something extra found on high-end handsets. The phone’s blacks range is shallow, with expected subtleties in the colour spectrum not quite picked up.
Browsing the web sees text heavy pages suffer from slightly soft edges. The lack of a HD display becomes increasingly apparent the more you use the phone. For those after improved visuals at a similar price, the 4.7-inch Google Nexus 4 will be a better option, assuming you can do without dual-SIM capabilities that is.
The Archos 50 Platinum’s screen quality is not all doom and gloom, however. Viewing angles are strong and the screen is highly responsive with the IPS panel reacting promptly to all touch-based controls.