Archos 32 Android media player
Pint-sized PMP with potential
Review Archos is calling the 32 an Android tablet, but I have trouble convincing myself that anything with a 3.2in screen is really a tablet so it makes far more sense to review it as a touchscreen media player.
Archos may call the 32 a tablet, but it's really a PMP
Slim, sleek and light as a good PMP should be, the 32 is a well made and handsome gadget and though made entirely of plastic the silver-grey case feels reassuringly solid.
Unlike the front of the Archos 43, which is almost all screen, here the four standard Android buttons and a pair of touch-sensitive volume controls sit below the 240 x 400 LCD so there is a lot more in the way of bezel.
Happily, physical volume controls can be found next to the power button on the lower left-hand side but they could do with being further apart to prevent you accidentally switching the 32 off when groping for the volume.
Another small irritant is the absence of a backlight for the main controls, which makes use in the dark a bit of a lottery.
Oddly, the 0.3Mp cam is at the bottom of the device
At the bottom of the player, you will find a 3.5mm audio jack and micro USB port. Wireless connections are taken care of with 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.
Next page: Touchscreen treat
Re: San Fran?
I have the Orange San Francisco and it is incredibly easy to unlock, flash and root which is good as the Orange branded default ROM is quite lethargic.... I'm currently running Android 2.2 but there are also stable 2.3 ROMS out there that I might upgrade to at some point.
For the price I'd say that the SF going to be incredibly hard to beat unless you *really* want a dedicated music/video player. The main advantage of the Archos seems to be the CPU which is considerably faster than the 600MHz one in the SF (although this can be over-clocked to some degree and seems perfectly fast enough to me anyway). Another downside could be the battery life which isn't brilliant especially when using a WiFi connection, although if I was just playing music I'd turn any data connections off.
I think you can get the SF for around £95 from Orange now (+10% extra discount for NHS workers and other selected groups) so it's pretty good value although the screen is now TFT-LCD rather than the original AMOLED (although it's still capacitive rather than resistive of course) and provides 480x800 resolution which is twice that of the Archos as is the memory (512mb Vs, 256mb). It can also take 32gb Micro SD cards so considerable room for expansion if you have a reasonably large music collection...
I personally think the Archos is pretty good value but doesn't really come close to the SF as a general purpose device (perhaps because it's not) especially when you consider the screen resolution and expandability. There's also a pretty well established development community for the SF which is always a good thing. Not sure if the Archos has GPS either... I'm guessing it doesn't.
Of course, you can also make phone calls on the SF which can be rather useful if you only want to carry one device around with you :) I spend £10 a month on giffgaff goody-bags which is roughly a quarter of what many of my friends are paying for their 18-month iPhone/HTC Desire contracts....
Yep, I love my San Fransisco :)
how does it compare to the equally well priced Orange San Francisco on PAYG as per your earlier review of cheap Android phones?
Capacitive screen, easily rooted/upgraded (apparently), free phone for the same price
great idea but something critical will be wrong with it, such as battery life or needs rebooting daily. Good luck getting a firmware fix for it. Oh and consider any previous incarnation EOL now so no more fixes for those either.
I love the principle behind archos stuff but by god their support is shite.
I thought my brain had stopped functioning but, no, Google informs me that in the UK that is actually a thing.
What? No SDHC slot?
What use is a media player without a card slot for my media?