French smartphone, media player and tablet manufacturer, ARCHOS, have announced the arrival of two new smartphones, the ARCHOS 50 Cobalt and the ARCHOS 55 Cobalt Plus as follow up devices to the ARCHOS 50 Diamond that was revealed back in January 2015. Both the 50 Cobalt and 55 Cobalt Plus are based around a MediaTek System-on-Chip, the MT6735P, which uses a quad core cluster of ARM Cortex-A53 application processors clocked at a maximum speed of 1.0 GHz. This quad core application processor is paired up with the ARM Mali-T720 GPU and 1 GB of RAM for the 50 Cobalt, or 2 GB of RAM for the 55 Cobalt Plus. This particular chipset has seen service in a number of other Chinese devices such as the Oukitel K4000, K6000 smartphones. When used with a stock, or near stock, version of Android the chipset performs much better than might otherwise be expected. The Cobalt 50 has a 5.0-inch, 720p resolution IPS display panel and the Cobalt 55 Plus comes with a 5.5-inch IPS panel of the same resolution. Another difference between the two devices is the onboard storage, where the 50 Cobalt has 8 GB of storage and the 55 Cobalt Plus has 16 GB of storage. Each device uses a 2MP front facing camera for selfies and video calling, but there's a difference between the smaller 50 Cobalt and larger 55 Cobalt Plus for the rear camera. Here, the 50 Cobalt uses an 8MP sensor and the 55 Cobalt Plus benefits from a 13MP rear sensor.
In terms of networking, both devices are dual MicroSIM devices, although one SIM slot may instead be used for a MicroSD card that can take a 64 GB card. Each device offers UK and European LTE band support at the 800 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz and 2,600 MHz at up to Category 4 speeds, plus 900 MHz / 2,100 MHz DC-HSPA support at up to 42 Mbps download speeds. Customers also benefit from 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity plus Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Ready short range radio. One of ARCHOS' hallmarks is using a very stock-like user interface, which in the case of the two new smartphones means customers benefit from Android 5.1 Lollipop. This should keep the devices smooth and responsive in operation.
ARCHOS are releasing the devices in either cobalt blue or slate grey color, priced at £99 for the 50 Cobalt and £149 for the 55 Cobalt Plus. These new smartphones are being demonstrated this week at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, but we do not yet have a release date for when the devices will be available in stores and on the ARCHOS website.