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Archos' new Helium Plus smartphones launch direct to consumer

Available in July, the wallet-friendly handsets run Android 5.0 and come in 5-inch and 5.5-inch options.

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Lollipop on a budget: Say hello to the new Archos Helium Plus. Archos

In what's fast becoming a trend, Archos has announced a pair of budget-minded Android 5.1 smartphones to be sold direct to consumer. Of course, this has been the Archos way of doing things all along.

Available starting in July, the new 5 Helium Plus and 55 Helium Plus will play in the same sandbox as the Moto E (second-gen) and other entry-level devices. Save for a few differences, the two phones feature nearly identical hardware.

Both phones have a 1GHz quad-core Mediatek processor, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and 8GB of internal storage. Additionally, the pair pack in 4G LTE connectivity and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. Oh, and they come unlocked with support for two SIM cards.

So what's the difference? The 5 Helium Plus comes with a 5-inch 720p HD display, while the 55 Helium Plus plumps up with a slightly larger 5.5-inch screen. Also, the smaller one totes a 2,000mAh battery whereas its sibling has a larger 2,400mAh power source.

While neither device is going to set the world on fire, the price points are right in line with the hardware. At $110 for the 5-inch device and $140 fro the 5.5-inch one, the new Archos phones are worthy alternatives to the recently launched Blu Studio C.