Archos 45 Helium test: when 4G is worth less than 100 euros

The Archos 45 Helium is the “Mini” version of the Archos 50 Helium that we tested a few months ago. We don't necessarily expect big changes, and it could even be a bit less efficient, as is often the case with devices in a more modest version. However, it is now marketed at less than 100 euros, which makes it an interesting mobile, especially since at this price, it has a 4G chip. But is the quality there? Answer in this test, which will also allow us to review the impressions that his elder had left us.

Archos 45 Helium

Archos 45 Helium technical sheet

The 45 Helium arrives with the same face as its big brother, but not exactly with the same gear. Among the differences, we find a 4,5 inch screen, a definition of 480 854 pixels x instead of 720 x 1280 pixels, a back-end device that upgrades to 5 Megapixel instead of 8, one 4 GB internal storage instead of 8 GB, and finally a 1850 mAh battery instead of 2000 mAh. For the rest, they are practically twins. As a result, the 45 Helium is cheaper and sells at 99 euros.

ModelArchos 45 Helium
Android version4.3
Screen size4,5 inches
Definition480 854 pixels x
Pixel density218 dpi
Screen technologyIPS
SoCSnapdragon 400
Processor (CPU)Quad-core
4 Cortex-A7 (1,2 GHz)
Graphics Chip (GPU)Adreno 305
Random access memory (RAM)Go 1
Internal memory (ROM)4 Go (2,35 available)
Micro-SDYes, 64 GB (fat 32)
Camera (back)5 megapixels (BSI)
Camera (front)VGA
Video recording720p
Wi-Fi802.11 Wi-Fi b / g / n
NetworksLTE 800-1800-2100-2600
WCDMA/3G 850 / 900 / 2100 MHz
GSM/GPRS/ EDGE 900/1800/1900 MHz
SIMs.1 x Micro-SIM
CapteursAccelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
(entries exits)
Micro USB 2.0
GeolocationGPS, A-GPS, Glonass
Water resistanceNo
Battery1850 mAh
Dimensions135 x 67 x 9,75 mm
Weight140 grams
Suggested price99 euros


Sobriety and robustness

Design question, let's keep it simple. It is neither more nor less than a smaller Archos 50 Helium. The latter had dimensions of 145 x 72 x 9 mm while for this one, it is 135 x 67 x 9,75 mm. So we cut a centimeter in height, five millimeters in width, and we gain almost a millimeter in thickness.

Front facing

9,75 mm d'épaisseur

The Archos bar at the bottom

For the appearance, as explained with the 50 Helium, "Archos stands out from its designs of yesteryear by repealing shiny plastic in favor of something more matte, thinner, and more refined". The finishes are clean, and the matte black shell is quite attractive.

The space between the slab and the glass

Solid buttons

The 5 megapixel back-mounted sensor

I carried out our bend test - devised by me and which consists of twisting the cellphone to see if it behaves like the iPhone 6 Plus - and the result: the cellphone does not crack. The feeling of robustness that gives the terminal is therefore proven a little.

Ports Jack et micro-USB


Removable battery

The only downside: the size of the screen compared to the size of the device. The 45 has rather wide screen borders (even very: 5 mm), and top and bottom borders that are much too large.. As a result, the screen should not occupy more than 65% of the front panel. That's a shame. There are no other particular faults to note, not like on the Mobiwire Cygnus and Pegasus where the build quality was sometimes doubtful.

A screen below standards

The screen of the Archos 45 Helium is not one of the flagships of the mobile industry. If some faults already seen during the test of its predecessor, the 50 Helium, did not jump out at us, it is much more difficult to miss this time. First, because manufacturers have released a whole slew of low-cost terminals equipped with at least equivalent screens - bad timing therefore - and because the "good surprise" effect of the revival of Archos has diminished a little. .

Angle of vision

At the time, I did not hesitate to use the term "good quality" to designate the screen of the 50 Helium. This time, we raise a few shortcomings. For example, the glass - plastic - and the slab are quite far apart. We can guess that there is a millimeter between these two, and whatever we think about it, this plays both on the display quality but also on the user experience.

Angle of vision

Seen like this, this gap may seem quite trivial. However, it causes an annoying flaw: light leaks are visible all around the screen if it is tilted slightly. And in addition, the overall design of the phone reveals light bands (extremely thin but noticeable) on the left, right, and top edges of the screen. With the phone in front of you, you can't even guess them, but slightly tilted, their presence is noticed.

Angle of vision

This space between the slab and the screen leaves us a little the same impression as some mid-range smartphones signed HTC, except that here it is an entry level. My clemency is only the greater.

Otherwise, we will blame 45 Helium medium brightnessMore the color rendering is quite good. The colors are faithful, and only the black suffers from the light leaks observed on the panel.


Relevant software additions

Having tested the 50 Helium, running Jelly Bean, my first instinct was to go to the "about the phone" section and check if an update to KitKat - in doubt is not it - was available for this terminal. It's no. The 45 Helium is still in 4.3 but hope is still allowed since the sales of this smartphone seem to be correct.

Interface Archos

It's a version close to Android Stock that stays here, with some tweaks made by Archos. As always, the manufacturer has integrated its flagship applications, which are also very well done, on the interface. This is for example the case of Archos Video ou Archos Music. You will understand, the first is a library of films, while the second is a music library. These applications are very easy to use and very functional with playback of the main video and sound formats. They are unanimous - well almost - among the Android community.

Music, News Republic and Video Player

We also find there OfficeSuite for Android (free version), the very good content aggregator (informative) News Republic, and some games of limited interest like Wonder zoo ou Little big city. Note the presence of a receiver FM radio and a dedicated application: a real plus.

No KitKat in sight

The interface is quite fluid for Jelly Bean, but also responsive on condition that you close the open applications regularly (note, access to Multitasking is by double clicking on the Home button), otherwise the processor may have a little too much work.


Correct performance

Precisely, this processor is * drum roll * the Snapdragon 400 (MSM 8926) in its version clocked at 1,2 GHz. Archos had chosen this processor, at the time of the development of the mobile, because of the support of 4G. We know very well this CPU whose reputation is well established. It is powerful, cut for the entry and the mid-range, certainly accessible at a reasonable price since the manufacturers swear by it apart from MediaTek, and it offers a good quality / price ratio. Obviously, we will not make it achieve anthology scores, even with perfect software optimization, but it is a guarantee of quality.

Benchmark/MobileArchos 45 Helium
AnTuTu18499 point
3DMark4778 point
Vellamo (Multicore)960 point
Vellamo (Metal)658 point

The above benchmarks attest to this: the processor is comfortable with most games, and only the most greedy (Real Racing, Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger ...) will make it suffer a little over time. We even get better scores than the 50 Helium on AnTuTu, certainly thanks to the lower resolution of the screen.


Audio: what to troubleshoot

The sound grille, located at the back, actually hides a speaker placed to the far left of the device. While the sound is relatively loud - similar to that of an LG G3 in decibels - it is not of such good quality. However, the G3 is already not a leader in the matter, largely surpassed by HTC to name but one.

The loudspeaker, hidden under the shell

Listening to the same song on both smartphones, we realize that the 45 Helium lacks a lot of bass. The sound is strident and the "noisy" instruments quickly resemble a series of onomatopoeias. The highs also tend to saturate. Finally, we quibble, but the sound remains audible.


Network: 4G at a low price


What about the sound of calls? We are not dealing with the quality of a high end, and the sound tends to be a bit nasal. However, there is no problem with cuts or interference.

We will have had the chance to capture 4G intermittently. The fault does not lie with this 45 Helium, but rather with the 4G network of Spain. Remember that this mobile has an LTE chip to receive the Category 4 4G, which grants a downlink speed of up to 150 Mbps. Don't panic: the frequency bands used are 800 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 MHz. They should make it possible to benefit from the 4G of all Spanish operators.


As for the 50 Helium, our mobile quickly locates the satellites. On the other hand, when it comes to fixing them, it is another matter. On GPS Data, the results seem good, but we had to repeat it three times to succeed in fixing a satellite. In the end, we get 14 satellites fixed out of 27. A score that seems unusually high to us since our GPS tests are generally always carried out at the same place, where about fifteen satellites are visible.

GPS Data

Why so much light?

When I tested the 50 Helium, I was a little disappointed with the quality of the photographs. Some had grain, the brightness was high, and it spoiled the colors photos. Here, it is the same case, only worse. Brightness is very high and you have to learn to take stock in the right place so that the cliché is sufficiently clean.

The sky was cloudy, but not at this point

Large overexposure, while the interior light was weak

The contrast is quite good, but still overexposed

Macro is tough, and guess: overexposure

We also lose 3 megapixels compared to 50 Helium, which reduces the size of the pictures. We can always partially solve the problem of brightness thanks to a few camera settings, or by choosing a third-party application, but the mobile as it is supplied "turnkey" to the customer, is not properly configured.


Autonomy: should do better

To conclude this test, we have as always carried out an endurance test of the terminal battery. On a YouTube video, with maximum brightness, the 45 Helium displays a 23% loss of autonomy. It's not the best, but there is obviously worse. This is pretty much what we expected since the battery is 1850mAh. However, the weak display should have made it possible to go below the 20% mark.


In real use, we do not really realize this low battery. The smartphone holds up well for a day of use, despite playing a bit, surfing the internet and making a few calls. Short, nothing serious to report and no particular distress at this level.

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