The Archos 40 Cesium is a super affordable Windows Phone that can be purchased for as little as 90 Euros. It’s a 4-inch device that runs the Microsoft Windows Phone operating system on a Qualcomm chipset, competing head to head with other low priced Windows devices such as the Nokia Lumia 530. Mobile Geeks show you what you are getting for your money, plus our first impressions of the device.
The Archos 40 Cesium is one of a new breed of Windows Phones that don’t come from Nokia or Microsoft themselves, but rather in this case from a lesser known Asian manufacturer that serves several International brands. In the US this same model is marketed as the BLU WinJR. The 40 Cesium sports a display that measures 4 inches across the diagonal, so it’s actually quite a small device compared to many we have handled this year. The panel is in fact a TN panel with a screen resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. Inside, we find as with all Windows Phone handsets that the processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 (MSM8212), a quad-core system-on-chip that is clocked at 1.2GHz and features Adreno graphics. This is coupled with 512MB of RAM with 4GB of onboard storage that can be boosted thankfully by a microSD card. The rear camera is a 5MP with auto-focus and LED Flash, while on the front we find a 0.3MP (VGA) shooter. In terms of connectivity there is b/g/n/ WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 plus GPS, while inside you are getting Dual SIM support, a feature we always welcome.
Don’t forget to watch our buddy Roland shows us the full retail package and the device itself in the video below:
If we make a direct comparison with the Nokia Lumia 530 there are immediate differences that stand out in favor of the Archos. The Lumia does not support Dual SIMs, its camera has no Flash or auto-focus and it also has a smaller 1,430mAh battery compared the 1,950mAh we find on the Archos 40 Cesium. Straight away we are finding plenty of positive in favor of the Archos which is has to justify being around 10 Euros more expensive than the Lumia 530. Also, I think when comparing displays, Archos is actually a good deal brighter, with decent viewing angles. Plus there is no backlight leakage around the edge, an issue we noted on the 530. The colors are sharp although the black levels could be a little darker, but overall the display is looking good for this price segment.
The quality of the device itself is solid enough, the back covers are removable with a selection of three (blue, yellow and black) included in the retail package. They are polycarbonate plastic and can be slipped on and off easily enough revealing access to the battery, dual SIM slots, microSD card slot and a small speaker on the lower right corner.
The Archos is slightly longer than the Lumia 520 but manages to be around one millimeter thinner and also a few grams lighter. It also features physical capacitive navigation buttons that are backlit, as opposed to on-screen only buttons as we saw with the 530. Other aspects are pretty standard with the power button located on the upper right side edge with the volume rocker on the left edge. The Archos also features a light sensor on the front for automatic brightness adjustment – again a feature missing on the Lumia 530.
On balance you would have to argue that the Archos 30 Cesium is offering a higher grade of hardware compared to the Nokia Lumia 530. The processors and memory configurations are identical but in almost all other respects the Archos is giving you more. That’s not to say that the Nokia Lumia 530 is a bad deal, I just think that overall it makes more sense to pay the extra 10 Euros and get a bigger battery, better camera and a better display – arguably the most important aspect of any smartphone.