When it comes to budget phones, we live in good times. We are pretty much spoilt for choice. You have the likes of Honor chucking out flagship specs at half the prices. You have the likes of Alcatel and Archos giving you good specs at decent prices. Of course, we must bow down to the one phone that started it all, the Moto G. Things have moved on at a fast pace though. We want more bang for our buck, and Archos, who pretty much specialise in budget phones are about to raise the bar. The Diamond Selfie may boast a name that one can’t take seriously, but under the hood you’ve got some serious specs. It doesn’t just finish there. A mix of metal and glass means that it looks the part too. Yes, there is something to do with selfies too, but more on that later.
Quick look at specs:
- CPU: Qualcomm MSM8937, Octa-core Cortex-A53 1.4GHz
- Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
- RAM: 4GB
- ROM: 64GB, expandable via micro SD Card
- Dual SIM
- 5.5″ IPS 1920 x 1080 pixel display
- Finger print sensor
- 16MP Rear Camera with flash, 8MP front camera with ‘selfie flash’
- 3000mAh battery life
- Price: £199.99
As can be seen on a quick glance there, the phone is designed to perform. Not only are you getting an Octa Core processor, you also have 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage as standard. Somebody at Archos has definitely thought this one through.
Look and feel
As already mentioned, the phone actually feels really good, and there is nothing economical about the build. A metallic frame goes all around the phone, featuring some antenna lines. The right side has the power and volume keys, while the left has the dual SIM slot. The second SIM shares its slot with a micro SD card, so you can only have one of the two. The top has one of those fancy 3.5mm sockets, while the bottom features a speaker grill and the micro USB port.
The screen itself is full HD, and while the colours feel a bit flushed, it is bright and detailed.
The back is covered in glass, and featured the camera, the flash and the fingerprint sensor. It is also bit of fingerprint magnet.
It may not be very much like a diamond, but it definitely looks like a premium phone.
One of the joys of sticking with brands like Archos is the fact that you get pretty much vanilla Android. In fact, you know those annoying apps that are forced upon you when you buy any budget handset? This one actually lets you skip their install. As such, you get Android Marshmallow 6.0.1, and it works as well as it does on any other phone. It is simple, useful and effective.
With an Octa Core processor and 4GB of RAM, there is not much to complain about. Pretty much all apps open quickly and perform without any snags. Whether you’re jumping between Twitter, Facebook, browsing and email, or just fancy playing some games. It is all good, and all snappy. For my tests, I did let the default games such as Spider Man install to check the performance.
Take a selfie!
Oh yes. The selfie? The phone comes with two cameras. A rear 16MP camera, which takes fairly decent photos, and a front 8MP (oh yeah!) camera that features something called a selfie flash. Now this isn’t a normal flash. A selfie flash on this phone is basically when your phone screen goes bright white to light up your face while you take a selfie. Interestingly, it was disabled by default.
Does it work? It does, of course, but only in bad light conditions. If you try that in good or decent conditions, it almost works against you. However, that is the nature of all flash based photography, so we will leave you to play with that.
Neither of the cameras will blow your mind, but generally speaking, they are fairly decent.
Sound and video
The phone features speakers at the bottom, and while they’re not the highest quality or the loudest, it works reasonably well to watch video. Paired with the full HD 5.5 in screen, the phone is pretty good for watching videos and media on the go.
At 3000mAh, you were not going to get days worth of battery life, but you aren’t also looking at running out at 5pm either. It works reasonably well, and lasted us a day on typical usage.
More information on this phone can be found on the Archos website.
The phone retails for £199.99, and can be bought directly from Archos.
This one is definitely the new star among phones under £200. Proof that sometimes throwing more resources just helps.