Inside the Archos 35 Smart Home Phone is a 1GHz TI OMAP 3630 chip with 256MB of RAM running Android 2.2. File storage is a generous 8GB. Interrogate the system and you will see that there is actually only 6.6GB of file and 270MB of system storage but that’s still not a bad specification for a home phone. Extra file storage is available courtesy of a MicroSD card slot.
Dect and Skype choices, also the Go dialler alternative in action
The only legit source for the 35 Smartie apps is Archos’ owns AppsLib, which is now apparently 30,000 titles strong and include Angry Birds and Skype. However, AppsLib also contains an app called ArcTools which will instal the Android Market app and other Google apps at the touch of a button.
The odd screen size means a lot of apps simply don’t appear in the Market but all the ones I side-loaded including Facebook, Twitter and Dropbox worked perfectly.
Performs well as a PMP too
Happily, once I’d installed the Market app and signed into my Google account, all my Gmail contacts synchronised. Make a call from a contact entry and so long as you have Skype open you will be given a choice of dialling over DECT or VOIP.
How does it all work? Rather well. The handset connected immediately to the supplied base station as well as to my own cheap-as-chips Tesco branded unit. Call quality was good too, over both my Virgin land line and through Skype. And in keeping with Archos' 28/32/43 devices, the Home Phone makes a fine little media player too.
Next page: Cradle snatcher
- capacitive screen
- Vanilla Gingerbread (with it's built in VOIP)
- native Market support (not through ArcTools please..)
and I'll take it.
Lack of BT
Lack of Bluetooth seems a missed opportunity as the Dect incumbents tend to charge through the nose for it.
I presume its due to BT usally being provided by the radio chip, and dect chips with BT are few and far between.
OK, so, why have a phone that uses DECT to make voice calls to PSTN, and has WiFi? Why doesn't somebody just make a simple plug-in that goes from PSTN to WiFi - e.g. Asterisk-in-a-box? Then I could use my normal smartphone, or my tablets, or my desktop, or my laptop, or ...
I could understand if this phone somehow ran data over DECT, so that you might have more range than WiFi, but it doesn't.
I just don't see the use case here.
If more TVs, set-top boxes, streamers and players support remote control by WiFi, not to mention music playback to your main soundsystem over the same or bluetooth, this Archos makes sense. A landline handset + TV remote is a more natural pairing than mobile phone + TV remote. One less uncomfortable object on the sofa!
In a limited way, Bang and Olufsen did this- their dect handset would have Beocentre audio controls, and IIRC would tune down the tv volume if you took a call.
Obviously having DECT on mobile handsets could be handy, too.
I'm struggling to see the point of this device.
Most people under a certain age - probably as much as 30+ - don't have or want a landline.
Then there's the 40 somethings considering giving up the landline, or having already done so, opting for VOIP instead.
At the cost of £140 most people in the market price bracket would have a smart phone (if they wanted one) already.
That leaves my Mother. She may like one.
Ultimately, this device is just an expensive home phone that is complete overkill for pretty much anyone who would actually need one.
Then again, it's probably more useful than an android touch screen built into my fridge...