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Archos unveils trio of Android smartphones

Archos offers vanilla Android and dual-SIM smartphones at affordable prices

Archos Carbon and Platinum smartphones

French tablet maker Archos has announced its first set of Android smartphones.

Starting at just £79, the Archos Carbon and Archos Platinum budget and mid-range smartphones will arrive at the end of May. Each will use a vanilla Android operating system, Qualcomm processor and an IPS display. See also: Group test: What's the best smartphone?

Loïc Poirier, CEO of Archos, said: "The smartphone market is shifting, as SIM-free sales versus subsidised sales are increasing. Archos is prepared to respond to this change, as we can offer retail channels affordable, unlocked and feature-rich smartphones without the heavy price tag,"

The Archos 50 Platinum costs £179 and will provide a similar experience to the Samsung Galaxy S3 for half the price, according to the firm. The Archos 53 Platinum is the most expensive at £199 and the Archos 35 Carbon is a startling £79.

See also: Archos 80 Titanium tablet review.

Both of the Platinum smartphones come with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, an 8Mp rear camera, 4GB of storage, a microSD card slot and dual-SIM slots. The naming system indicated screen size at 5in and 5.3in respectively, both with a qHD resolution.

It's unsurprising that the Archos 35 Carbon has a less impressive specification sheet. It offers a 1GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, dual VGA cameras, 4GB of storage and a 3.5in screen. It also comes with dual-SIM card slots.

With a 5.3in device in the range, Poirier added: "Furthermore, smartphones and tablets are interrelated markets that have quickly crossed over with the arrival of 'phablets' - half-phone, half-tablet devices. It makes sense that this should be our next phase of products as it’s a natural fit for our brand and long term growth plans."

We'll be looking to bring you reviews of the Archos smartphones as soon as possible, so look out for them.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

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