Android
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Archos Announces Two New Budget Phones, Helium 45 and 50

 2014 has only begun, but from the looks of it, we’re going to see the market flooded with budget devices. This is great news for consumers, because it increases competition and pushes companies to innovate and offer even better products at more competitive prices.

In the past month, we’ve seen the Moto G and Lenovo A859, and now we have two new players in the ring, fighting for your attention.

Archos has just announced two new budget Android phones, the Helium 45 and the Helium 50. The company will be demonstrating their new devices at CES 2014, along with a line of wearable devices and their less popular connected home appliances.

 Specs

Both phones boast a quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC running at 1.4GHz and an Adreno 405 that’s clocked at 450MHz. Regardless of which device you choose, you’ll get 1GB of RAM, but that’s where the similarities end.

The cheaper Helium 45 ships with only 8GB of internal storage, as opposed to its bigger brother, the helium 50 that ships with 8GB. Both models allow storage expansion via MicroSD cards. The biggest differentiating factor is possibly the screen size and screen resolution.

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Helium 45

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Helium 50

The Helium 45 ships with a 4.5-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 854×480, which is below average even for a budget phone. The Helium 50 though, does slightly better with its 5-inch IPS LCD screen that runs at 1280×720, giving you a delicious HD screen to play with.

At 5.7-inch x 2.81-inch x 0.35-inch, the Helium 50 looks like the tall skinny sibling compared to the 5.3-inch x 2.63-inch x 0.38-inch on the Helium 45. The Helium 50 can fit in a bigger battery (2000 mAh) and manage to keep its thinness due to its tall design, while 45 struggles to fit in a 1700 mAh battery and stay slim.

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Helium 45

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Helium 50

 Software

Both Helium 45 and 50 will be running on stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box, but Archos promised it’ll bring a speedy 4.4 KitKat update to both devices. So If you want a stock Android experience without spending hundreds of dollars on a high end device, this might just be the thing for you.

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Helium Running Stock Android 4.3

 Final Thoughts

I for one find it refreshing that more phone manufactures are embracing the stock Android experience instead of slapping on their own custom themes and skins. These custom Android builds lag like a little bitch and I can’t express how much I hate them.

The Helium 45 and 50 are both reasonably priced. If you want a better experience I would strongly suggest the Helium 50, this is mainly due to the HD screen and bigger battery. The helium 50 sells for $249.99, slightly more expensive than the fat sibling which sells for $199.99.