Archos 43 Hands-On Overview, Videos, Gallery

Posted on 06 September 2010, Last updated on 10 June 2018 by

I’m nicknaming the Archos 43 the ‘pocket rocket’. Its a great little device that probably shouldn’t be part of the Carrypad product list because its focus is media playback. Sure, it runs Android but thinking of the Archos 43 as an Android device would be the wrong thing to do because it conjures up images of contracts, email, calendars and 3G data. The Archos 43 is a $199 PIMP. That’s a Portable Internet and Media Player!

Check out the fun 3D gaming test we did.

Archos 43 (16) Archos 43 Archos 43 (1) Archos 43 (11) Archos 43 (14)
Full gallery here.

Full specifications, videos, links etc. are shown in our product database.

Android brings a comfortable ui and, if you’re able, access to some ‘sideloaded’ applications such as ebook readers and entertainment programs, it grows well to cover some new ground. If you’re thinking of getting an Archos 43 because you want Android though it’s probably the wrong choice.

What I like about the Archos 43 is that it is priced so that you can ‘gift’ it to yourself easily and that we’ll see a great community spring up around it.

The screen, although resistive, is one of the lightest (touch) I’ve ever used and could be mistaken for a capacitive screen quite easily. The colour and brightness didn’t appear to be as good as the Archos 5 Internet Tablet but it’s not bad either. It’s glossy though. Audio quality from the single speaker is surprisingly good and on par with the Archos 5.

I tested the Archos 43 with Android 2.1 which, due to the lack of Cortex optimizations and the lack of JIT compiler, makes the UI less than smooth (the same applies to the 70 and 101) but having experienced the difference between 2.1 and 2.2 on a Cortex core I expect this problem to go away with the promised upgrade. Timescales for the upgrade range from ‘at launch’ to ‘soon after launch.’ Web page load speeds were reasonable on the tested device but again, this will speed up quite a bit with the 2.2 upgrade. There’s some great potential there with the Ti OMAP 3 processing platform running at 1Ghz.

It’s missing the PVR capability and dock/remote as found on the Archos 5, multi-touch and the complete Google application suite but it includes USB host (we assume for mass storage and perhaps keyboard and mouse) and an HDMI-out port via an adaptor cable (not supplied in retail packaging.) It also promises ‘720p’ video via 2MP cam. This would need a lot of testing to determine what sort of quality and features are available so I’m not commenting on that here.

All in all it’s a great PIMP and a should make an impressive demo when connected to a huge HD screen!

Will I buy? No. It’s too close in functionality to the smartphones I’m using and I’m still a little bruised from the early Archos 5 experience I had. The Archos 70 might be the better gift for someone who already has an Android smartphone.

Update: I’m not sure if it features the tethering feature that was useful on the Archos 5.

Full specifications are shown in our product database.

There are two videos below. The first gives you an overview of the device and the second shows a little detail on the audio player.

19 Comments For This Post

  1. PJE says:

    Hi Chippy, any information about the amount of RAM these Archos devices have? With my Droid the 256MB of RAM is a limitation when multi-tasking. It would be nice if the Archos devices, especially the 70 and 101 had 512MB…

    …although without the phone stack a substantial amount of memory should be freed up making 256MB more workable.

  2. Mike says:

    Why do you say it’s strictly a PMP? It has e-mail and web browsing doesn’t it?

  3. Gizmo says:

    Read the entire post or at least the first paragraph. He calls it a PIMP, Portable Internet and Media Player. There’s an “I” there.

    So pretty much don’t think of it as an Android smart phone since you won’t be able to do same things as you would a standard Android smart phone. It’s more of an Android media player.

  4. chippy says:

    Thx gizmo

  5. Alex says:

    I’ve been looking for a media player to replace my A5IT. I won’t be getting another Archos product that’s for sure. What a bad experience that was/is. Apps crashing and random reboots. Their Appslib store still doesn’t work well. Apps from the Android Market or any other 3rd party store are a hit or miss. Some mostly work and the rest just don’t. The ones that do are buggy (ie. texts behind other UI elements, press and hold functions of certain Android buttons don’t work, spitting out some error message and closing, etc.). From what I’ve read, this seems to be normal for all 7 generations of Archos products. I’m guessing the same thing for the 8th generation.

  6. Kenny says:

    How long is the IFA conference? Any chances of more media centric tablets in the sub 5 inch screen area? I was hoping for Tegra 2 devices in this size range. All I see are these large tablets and people keep saying how they’re good for sofa surfing. I’m not sure how often people do that but I hardly do. If I do, I use my ultraportable. Much easier to place on my lap or stomach while on the sofa.

    To me, these large tablets are too cumbersome to hold and use at the same time. At least it was like that when I used a friend’s iPad. I had to resort to putting it on a table which is also awkward and not ergonomic at all.

  7. chippy says:

    Ireally doubt we’ll see those dual-core A9 CPUs (Tegra2 for example) in devices this small for a while. Both price and battery life could be an issue unless the OS is really really well designed for dual-core operations. That could happen with Android 3.x which means 2011. For the time being though, the 1Ghz single core Cortex A8/ ARM V7 CPUs are working really well.

  8. Tegra2 says:

    LG is releasing a Tegra 2 smartphone by the end of the year.

  9. Charbax says:

    It’s a normal mini HDMI output, most portable devices come with that, mini HDMI to normal HDMI cables or adaptors can easily be bought in any store if you don’t have it already.

    In theory, with the appropriate VOIP softwares, espefially the day full real worldwide use Google Voice and Skype apps are available on Android (which they should any day), SIP aps, the Archos 43 with a sub-$100 unlocked Mifi by Huawei or tetred to any bluetooth phone with data, it can be used as a low cost access to an Android experience similar to the Droid X and HTC EVO. The difference is you pay $199 + $100 for Mifi + $20/month for prepaid 3G data out of contract instead of $500+ for an unlocked Droid X or HTC EVO or more than $2000 for those on 2-year contracts.

  10. chippy says:

    Thanks for clarification on the cable Charbax and yes, sideloading of Android VOIP apps could be interesting – turning into a home phone perhaps. Tethering/MiFi solutions are not exactly for all-day use tho.

  11. Charbax says:

    Sure first Gen Huawei Mifi does sub-5 hours of constant Mifi hotzpot tdthering, but I seen their second generation one is more power efficient with a 30% larger battery. I’d like a clever Mifi that monitors for incoming voip or im packets through waking from standby over 3G, and from that ping the Archos to ring or beep, it also being in a more than 20-hour connected standby mode. A connected standby mode has screen off, and most of SoC off, with only wifi or bt on connected standby.

    For this to work perfectly, I think, is only a software issue. And it could help if Huawei or other Mifi producer uncreased battery capacity to 3000mAh or so instead of current 1500mAh and future 2000mAh.

    The 3G Mifi could even provide localisation festure to Android to replace the slow non Assisted GPS of non-3G devices.

  12. Charbax says:

    Sure 4.8″ is nice size for pocketable device, but consider the 4.3″ is a 37% more compact and 30% lighter device for 20% cheaper with double the capacity. Archos 43 comes with 16GB for $199, that positions it as much better value than the $229 new ipod touch or $249 Philips GoGear Connact or $249 Samsung YP-MB2 type of devices.

  13. Mondy says:

    Archos 43 looks to be a good device competing head on with jus announced Apple Ipod touch. on paper, what I like about the 43 compared to Ipod touch is that 43 will have Flash (full web video), no Itunes (to me it’s a pain), microSD expandable slot, larger screen size, etc. Tough Ipod Touch does have a a better resolution and front facing camera.

    Does anybody know if the Archos 43 have a removeable battery? That seems to be big problem with Archos 5, I am not going to pay $200 and use the device for only one to two years and throw the device because I cannot replace the battery. Any suggestion? Also, the price of $199, is that for 8GB or 16GB device?

  14. Kei says:

    Does this support Flash player 10? If yes, I want to have it just for web browsing. Should be nicer than 3.5 inch iPhone!

  15. Gregg Eshelman says:

    It looks like a great replacement for a Palm LifeDrive. Smaller in every dimension but length, lighter weight, larger and higher resolution screen plus gobs more RAM.

    I was looking into getting a SmartQ V5 but the Archos 43 is looking much better.

    Or perhaps I’ll wait for a 5″ Android PIMP with the newly developed multi-touch resistive technology. I just don’t care for capacitive touchscreens.

  16. name says:

    Looks like I will have to skip buying any of the archos devices. Seems like the batteries are not replaceable. Also carefully read this FAQ from archos.
    “If the battery is completely drained, charge it by connecting it to the USB port of your computer (ARCHOS 28, 32, 43) or the charger/adapter (ARCHOS 70,101), but do not attempt to start the unit with the power on/off button. When the unit gets enough power it will start by itself (this could take a few hours). Even when started, do not use it until it is fully charged.”

    This is the catcher: “When the unit gets enough power it will start by itself”. This means that the device does need enough battery power to operate. So when the archos battery is completely dead and useless so is the archos. The USB port does not have enough power to run the device on its own. You better be backing your data before this thing goes dead. Shame on archos for not having a replaceable battery. I would pay more to have this feature. Whats worse, when the battery is dead the whole device is dead.

  17. Kenneth Cochrane says:

    Who is the distributor for the ARCHOS 43 in the panama city Florida area? What is the price I heard it was $199 then I heard it was $249 either way I am hunting to get one. I called bestbuy corporate office they will not be getting it please help!

  18. tempo dulu says:

    the HDMI out makes it a nice product if you travel a lot and stay in hotels.

  19. Jim says:

    Thanks for the great information. I want to buy Archos 43 too. Is the battery life good for normal usage? I just read a short review from this site saying that around 3.5 hours constant video playback.

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