Kicking off the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in style, Archos has earlier today taken the wraps off the 45 and 50 Helium, two incredibly cheap Android smartphones with 4G LTE support. The duo will be on display in Las Vegas next week and should start selling soon after, though the official ETAs are still kept under wraps.
The Helium line proves once little-known French electronics brand Archos needs to be taken seriously in the grand mobile landscape, as this is actually the first time in the company’s history when raw power, high-speed connectivity and budget consciousness are rolled up into one. Or, you know, two.
The $250 Archos 50 Helium is the more technically impressive fellow of the pair, sporting a spacious, bright and crisp 5-inch 1,280 x 720 pix res IPS panel. Obviously, the 5-incher is no Samsung Galaxy S4 “killer”, yet the processor running the hardware show is upper mid-range material, being part of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 family, packing four cores and a clock speed of 1.4 GHz.
Then there’s 1 gig of RAM, 8 GB of built-in storage, an 8 MP rear-facing camera with LED Flash, 2 MP front snapper, comfy 2,000 mAh battery and, get this, pre-loaded Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, with a 4.4 KitKat upgrade on the way.
What’s even more astounding is the $200 45 Helium also runs Android 4.3, with an imminent KitKat software bump, packing quad-core S400 heat and 1 GB RAM. A couple of sacrifices were still needed however, so the screen is shrunken to a 4.5-incher with 854 x 480 pixels resolution, the storage space is cut in half, while the cams sport fairly modest 5 MP and VGA sensors.
Solid deal at $200? You can say that again.