The Moto G really set a standard for budget devices. Traditionally, anything costing less than $300 off-contract was poorly built, had slow or old hardware and terribly glitchy software. Generally, anything that was “budget” in the Android world wasn’t worth buying, because the device would become unusable far too fast. But the Moto G offers pretty good mid-range hardware for only $180.
Now, manufacturers have to catch up to Motorola and its incredibly cheap device. Archos has announced two devices from its Helium line before CES, showing it just might have what it takes to compete with Motorola. Unfortunately, the Moto G forgoes LTE for a low price. Where the Moto G falters, the Archos devices succeed: the $200 45 Helium and the $250 50 Helium both feature LTE.
Both devices feature Android 4.3 Jelly Bean that’s upgradable to 4.4.2 KitKat, a 1.4GHz quad core Snapdragon 400, 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot for storage expansion and Bluetooth 3.0 (no Bluetooth 4.0). The 45 Helium features a 4.5-inch 854×480 UPS display, 4GB of storage, a 5MP camera, a 1,700 mAh battery and a low $199.99 price tag. The 50 Helium provides a significant upgrade to a 5-inch 720p display, 8GB of memory, an 8MP camera, a 2,000 mAh battery and a $249.99 price tag.
On paper, these devices are quite impressive for the price. Getting LTE, something the Moto G doesn’t offer, is a big selling point. However, we’ll have to see how these devices perform in the real world. It’s great to see competition ramping up for super budget devices!