Call quality on the Archos 50 Platinum is perfectly satisfactory without ever breaking from the pack of standard mid-range handsets. Signal strength proved strong and we experienced no dropped calls during our time with the device. However, while quality of calls might not be a concern, the phone's dual-SIM options are not without their issues.
Unable to personalise the naming the SIMs (such as work and personal), the constant flashing of SIM 1 or SIM 2 can become a little confusing. A software oversight that should have been addressed, these concerns are further hampered by less than ideal integration with the phone's address book app. Calls from second SIMs flashed up without personal caller ID, leaving us second guessing as to who would be on the other end of the line.
What's more, the 3G/2G split of the two SIM slots feels a little outdated. With the connected world firmly upon us and portable Internet access required for business and personal needs, the phone felt behind the times in this area.
Considering the phone’s size, the 2000mAh Lithium-Ion battery at the heart of the Archos 50 Platinum is a little on the small side. Said to offer 9 hours of 3G talk time, this battery is smaller than the 2600mAh offering found within the 5-inch Samsung Galaxy S4 and the 3000mAh component within the marginally larger LG G2.
In reality this 9 hour battery life claim is a little generous. With careful management and basic use, the Archos 50’s battery will see you through a full day’s use. Start browsing the web, playing games or making heavy use of the dual-SIM options, however, and this staying power quickly disappears. We were left feeling a little disappointed by the Archos 50’s battery life. Having omitted a power-hungry HD display, we would expect the battery to be better.
If you desperately require dual-SIM functionality then you could do much worse than the Archos 50 Platinum. At just £210 SIM-free, the array of specs offered by the Archos 50 make it a bit of a bargain. While you can’t hide the fact that Archos has been forced to cut costs in certain areas – design materials, limited internal storage and screen quality, the overall package remains one which appease those with moderate demands.
If, however, you are simply after a large screen Android smartphone on a bit of a budget then we would suggest the likes of the Google Nexus 4 or slightly older (and now well priced) Samsung Galaxy S3 might be better options. Both alternatives pack HD displays and more fluid and immersive user interfaces.
The Archos 50 Platinum pushes the boundaries of its price point and takes dual-SIM phones in a new, entertaining direction. It is still plagued by nagging issues though. It is hard to look past the low quality screen and the battery life is a bit of a stinker. Overall if you can do without dual-SIM we suggest you turn your attentions elsewhere.