Archos aims for low-cost and lands in the middle of the road

A moderately low price is the only real appeal of this low-end smartphone from Archos.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
2 min read

The Archos 50 Cobalt and 55 Cobalt Plus.


Not every phone that gets released needs to be a flagship. There are always going to be people who are looking for a low-cost smartphone that still gets the job done. That certainly seems to be the need that French manufacturer Archos is at least attempting to meet with its latest, the 50 Cobalt.

Archos was best known last decade for its range of portable media players, which is what we all used in that weird in-between time when we wanted more than an MP3 player but smartphones hadn't quite made the cut yet.

The 50 Cobalt is so middle-of-the-road it might as well come with a white line painted down the back of it. It doesn't, sadly, but you can get it in "cobalt blue" or "dark gray" both on the front and the back. When I tell you that's what Archos presents as the main selling point, that'll give you a good idea of what the hardware is like.

  • 5-inch display, 1,280x720 screen resolution (294 pixels per inch)
  • 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front-facing
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1GHz MediaTek quad-core processor
  • 2,000mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Dual SIM with LTE/4G support

The smartphones that matter at CES 2016 (pictures)

See all photos

There's a step-up model, the 55 Cobalt Plus, which ups the screen size to 5.5 inches, takes the RAM to 2GB and steps up the camera to 13 megapixels.

There's really only one part of the Archos 50 Cobalt that will get anyone excited and that's the price: at £99 (around $145 or AU$200) it sounds like a bargain. Sadly, if you compare it with the $130 Nuu N5L, which is almost identical except for a bigger screen and battery, it doesn't look great after all. (The £149 price on the 55 Cobalt Plus is even less appealing. That's about $220 or AU$305.)