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Archos 40 Titanium Review: In Depth

The Good

  • Long battery life

The Bad

  • Not made of actual titanium
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There’s an excellent chance that you’ve never heard of the Archos 40 Titanium; and an equally excellent chance you’ve never heard of Archos either. Well, that’s what Recombu reviews are around for! And if you’re in the Christmas-market for an affordable, Android-powered slice of smartphone action, read on…

Ultra-affordable Android

At the risk of stating the obvious, the 40 Titanium is not made of titanium. The entry level model from a range of four, the 40 nevertheless is a reasonably robust feeling phone thanks to its 124g weight and what Archos call ‘easy grip’ design. However, as you’d expect of a smartphone toting a price tag of just £100, the presence of plastic is unavoidable, but fortunately not too much to make it feel cheap.

Featuring a four-inch WVGA screen (800 x 480) that’s crisp and bright and a slim-line form-factor measuring 125 x 65 x 85mm, the 40 comes packing a sensibly-central camera at the rear and an easily accessible volume rocker-switch on the left side and a simple on/off on the right, which is all you get as far as physical switch clutter is concerned. Touch buttons for home, back and basic settings finish off the front. 

Sweet OS

The 40 Titanium runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and Archos hasn’t attempted to tweak the OS in any way, so navigation will be second nature to fans of the open source option. Performance doesn’t disappoint, either. It provides a surprisingly impressive user experience for a smartphone at this price point, with a responsive touchscreen and apps that load quickly. 

Elementary Archos

Beating away at the heart of the 40 Titanium is MediaTek’s 1.3GHz MT 6572 3G+ dual-core processor which, albeit in an age of quad- and now octo-core chipsets, is suitably meaty enough to help the 40 fly along free from delay, running apps, allowing instant access to the online world and handling HD video free from lag and, seemingly, effort.

Of course, something has to give somewhere, and Archos have seen fit to skimp a bit on internal memory, giving the 40 just 4GB. However, flip off the back cover and the microSD card slot therein bumps that up by 32GB.

The 40 is fully stocked, offering 3G+ connectivity for faster web-slinging and downloads (no support for 4G), 512MB of RAM, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, GPS/A-GPS, Dual SIM slots for carrier flexibility and even a built in stereo FM radio for old school types keen to know what Fearne Cotton thinks.

Get the picture

Nestled neatly and (as mentioned earlier) centrally round the rear, the 40 Titanium’s 5-megapixel camera may not have the image-grabbing oomph of many of its contemporaries, but the autofocus and LED flash combine with the smart-snapper’s smile-detection, panorama, and HDR modes to capture crisp images, which can then be immediately edited, altering white balance, balance, contrast, saturation or adding colour effects. Exposure times can also be changed to suit the more experienced camera-pointer and flipping between stills and video is achieved at the tap of a button.

On the front, meanwhile, looking after Skype video chats and the all-important acquisition of selfies, the 40 Titanium offers up an utterly adequate 0.3-mepapixel resolution, with the option of adding in all the aforementioned image alteration settings and colour effects, letting wacky creative types film their face in sepia, mono, negative and even sepia blue… for reasons unlikely to become any clearer here.

Verdict

The bottomline is that the Archos 40 Titanium gives a lot of bang for your buck. Well-built, speedy running, easy on the eye and feature-rich, the 40 may face some tough opposition from the also moderately priced Moto G and the Nokia Lumia 620, but it holds its own amply.

An entry level option that delivers an impressively price tag belying performance, the Archos 40 Titanium may not be about to change the world of Android phones as we know it, and is equally unlikely to incite envy amongst ‘the kids’, but for £100 you’d be hard-pressed to do better.

Specification

OSAndroid

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