Archos' first LTE smartphones prep for Android 4.4 KitKat

Device-maker Archos' new Helium Android smartphones won't rise above rivals, but budget prices are spot on.

Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt

Editorial Director / CNET Money, How-To & Performance Optimization

Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Money, How-To, and Performance teams. A California native who grew up in Silicon Valley, she's passionate about connecting people with the highest standard of advice to help them reach their goals.

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Archos' first LTE smartphones come in two sizes. Archos

Archos pulled back the curtain on a pair of 4G LTE smartphones that the company will demo next week at CES 2014. Significantly, the Archos 45 Helium 4G and 50 Helium 4G are the brand's first LTE phones...ever.

Both run Android 4.3, with a future upgrade to Android 4.4 in the works. They also share a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, an Adreno 305 GPU, 1080p HD video capture, and 1GB RAM.

From there, the specs diverge. The higher-end Archos 50 Helium has the larger 5-inch 720p HD LCD display, an 8-megapixel camera, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Likewise, it has the more capacious 2,000mAh battery and the appropriately higher price tag of $250 off-contract.

The entry-level Archos 45 Helium 4G, meanwhile, is a smaller 4.5-inch device with a 854x480 FWVGA resolution, a 5-megapixel main camera, a VGA front-facing camera, and a smaller 1,700mAh battery. The more budget of the off-contract duo, this smaller Helium will sell for $200.

If you haven't associated Archos with smartphones, you're not alone. The company is better known for audio and video equipment, with its newer tablet and smartphone efforts more active in European markets than in the US. While these two rise to the top of Archos' portfolio, they're positioned to bob around the midrange in terms of their features and specs.

We'll pin down the two Helium phones at CES, and update this story with hands-on impressions from the show floor.