Hands on: Archos Diamond review

Is it the Diamond in the rough?

What is a hands on review?
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Image credit: TechRadar

Early Verdict

Other than one potential issue, the Archos Diamond is a great affordable smartphone.

For

  • Good camera
  • Pretty display

Against

  • A little unwieldy to hold
  • Screen recording a little too easy

Shows like MWC are great because all the smaller phone manufacturers, like Archos, get a platform to show off their newest models – the Archos Diamond is one of these devices.

It's an affordable smartphone from the French electronics company, but it's thin and sleek like a high-end device. With a dual-lens camera setup and some novel features, it's an intriguing device – we got hands-on with it to see how it runs.

Archos Diamond price and release date

You can expect the Archos Diamond to launch in Europe (including the UK) in May or June. It won't reach the US however; Archos is only releasing the Diamond on European shores.

The device will cost €299 (around £250 / $340 / AU$470)  -  If the Diamond launched at this price in those territories, it would be one of the more affordable smart phones available.

Archos Diamond display and design

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Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar
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Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

With a 6.39-inch AMOLED display, the Archos Diamond has a good-looking display that shows colors and brightness with great clarity. 

Since the device has a pop-up front camera the display is unbroken, and it has a fingerprint sensor in the centre of the screen.

It is let down a little by the size of the device, which felt too wide in the hand, but it wasn't big enough to feel actually uncomfortable. 

The plastic rear of the device is a strong purple, and it certainly had a distinct look compared to many other smartphones. The phone also comes with a headphone jack and USB-C – all the basics many smartphones users are still hankering after.

Archos Diamond camera and battery

Pictures taken with the Archos Diamond's 16MP and 5MP dual-lens rear cameras had vibrant colors, and we were pretty impressed with the picture quality in the few shots we took. 

Shutter speed was great – pictures were taken instantly, and multiple shots could be taken in a row without delay, and the results were pleasingly sharp.

The Archos Diamond's 8MP selfie-cam was a pop-out camera – it did take a little while to pop out when summoned, but photographs from it were pretty good looking too. 

They didn't seem nearly as good as pictures from the rear camera, but that's to be expected from weaker front-facing snappers.

With a 3,500mAh battery we'd expect the device to last about a day. What's interesting is that, unlike most phones at a similar price tag, there's no fast charging or charge saving features, so you'll have to enjoy the battery while it lasts.

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

Archos Diamond features

One of the most intriguing features on the device was the Super Screen Shot mode, which lets you easily capture what's on screen – whether that be video, image, or only a specific part of the screen. 

It's accessible through the scroll-down options bar, so can be quickly started or stopped.

In theory it's a great feature, letting you record moments on video calls or mobile tutorials easily. However on a video call there's no way for the other party to know you're recording, and with the feature so easy to activate it could easily be abused.

Of course there are many apps that could achieve the same thing, but the difference with this mode is that it comes with the phone, and has a shortcut easily accessible from the swipe-down menu, so anyone can access it with ease - so it would be good if there was a way to notify another party if you're recording the call.

The device comes with 4GB RAM and 128GB internal memory – that's an impressive amount of onboard storage space for an affordable device, and an octa-core chipset for extra oomph - coming from a Mediatek Helio P70.

Early verdict

The Archos Diamond seems like it'll be an affordable device with some decent performance when it launches in the UK, with an impressive camera and great memory.

However its Super Screen Shot mode does have some worrying implications if used for malicious reasons. 

Perhaps Archos will update the device's operating system prior to release in order to mitigate these issues, but for the moment it's something to seriously consider about the device.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2019 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.  

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.