You may be excused for not being familiar with Archos but the French phone maker has made itself relevant in the markets it operates on with tablets that offer great hardware at very low price points. The company makes more than tablets though – there are also a lot of phones, and the Archos 50 Diamond is their best.
The 50 Diamond is a minimalist smartphone with clean design and a flamboyant lime paint job. It offers a balanced set of abilities that will ensure a reasonable price point and more than reasonable performance.
Archos has gone with a 5″ IPS display of 1080p resolution on the front of the 50 Diamond along with a stock Android KitKat experience, a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 615 chipset and a 16MP camera on the back. Those are the highlights and below you can find our quick hands-on caught on video.
The Archos 50 Diamond feels quality made despite the lack of fancy machined metal or glass. The phone is entirely made out of plastic but the surface is matte and doesn’t show off smudges or prints (at least on the lime-colored variant we received). The phone also has a slight curve at the bottom, where it’s chin with the Archos logo lies, and the result is a device that feels smaller than it is and fits comfortably in the hand.
The first time we laid our hands on it the Archos 50 Diamond reminded of a Google Nexus 5 although the physical similarities aren’t that pronounced. Perhaps the resemblance stems from the use of pure Android KitKat on the 50 Diamond, which is a great move by Archos. It will potentially mean easier updatability to Android Lollipop and also fluid operation without additional apps to drag the performance down.
Archos 50 Diamond
The 5″ IPS 1080p panel on the front of the 50 Diamond is good. The resolution ensures sharp text and images while the IPS matrix great viewing angles. We wish the colors were punchier and the maximum brightness isn’t the highest we’ve seen but for the most part the display is perfectly fine.
One thing users will have to adjust to is the left-placed power button, which outside of some China-bound smartphones is rarely seen.
The unanimous opinion here at HQ is that the lime color of the Archos 50 Diamond is great – it even becomes more pronounced under light – but should you need a more subdued façade you could get an all-black model too.
Archos is taking imaging seriously with the 50 Diamond – that becomes clear when you look at the 16MP back-mounted and 8MP front-facing cameras of the device. Both cameras have very extensive settings including saturation, contrast and saturation levels, Auto HDR, ISO, anti-banding, red eye reduction, white balance and there are features such as automatic exposure lock.
Performance on the Archos 50 Diamond is great. We had no issues with it whatsoever so far. The Snapdragon 615 isn’t going to be a perfect match for graphic-intensive tasks but packs enough silicone punch to ensure stutter-free operation.
We’ll be back with more on the Archos 50 Diamond in our full review.