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Archos 50 Diamond hands-on review at CES 2015

We checked out Archos’ new 4G phone, the 50 Diamond, at CES 2015. Here’s out full hands-on review of this 5-inch affordable 4G handset.

Archos may have ruled the roost when it came to portable media players a decade ago, but times have changed and now the French tech company is more concerned with throwing out affordable phones and tablets. The 50 Diamond is its latest effort and a more premium model than usual, sporting cat. 4 4G support and a Full HD screen, although it’s still rocking an affordable price tag.

The design of the Archos 50 Diamond isn’t exactly revolutionary, but we quite like it. For a 5-inch phone it’s rather slender and not too wide, so you can use it one-handed (just about). It’s also pleasingly light at 146g, making for a comfortable all-round experience.

The only aspect we’re not a fan of is that chunk of bezel at the bottom of the phone, with the Archos branding. Take that out and the 50 Diamond would be a good-looking mobile.

That Full HD 5-inch IPS screen produces 1080p visuals, and although it isn’t the brightest or most colourful display we’ve seen, it’s perfectly decent for watching video. There aren’t too many affordable 1080p handsets out there, so it’s another tick under the pro’s list for the 50 Diamond.

You also get a 16-megapixel rear camera and crisp 8-megapixel front-facing camera, which both take sharp photos with realistic colour reproduction. However, there is a slight delay when snapping shots and we noticed some motion blurring when our subject was moving around. There’s also clear lag when you move the camera around.

Lag occasionally rears its ugly head when zipping through the 50 Diamond’s menus too, despite the 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor backed up by 2GB of RAM. It’s not a slow, stuttery phone but the Android Lollipop experience isn’t quite as smooth as we’d like – a side-effect of the affordable design.

We’ll bring you a full review of the Archos 50 Diamond soon and the phone will hit the UK in early 2015 (we were told March was likely). The €199 price will most likely translate to around £179.

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