Pros Great looking video. Great concept. Fast browser.
Cons Freezes often. Wireless and Bluethooth barely work and cause more freezes when they do. No tethering for many phones.
Summary I purchased this product and have sent it in for repairs. I will send it back for a refund because people report a repair does not help. The firmware does not make the device work properly. It freezes all the time. The wireless fails to connect often and will not stay connected. The bluetooth when used with a headset causes the audio of videos to be out of sync. The bluetooth does not connect all the time and does not stay connected. People are reporting these problems in many forums. The worst part of this device is that it will freeze up often. I can not get through an hour of videos or music before it freezes and requires a reboot. The company continues to sell the device despite the fact that they have not gotten them to work yet. I would caution everyone not to purchase this device because it has major issues. Not everything on it works as described and many built in Android programs do not work.
Pros Nice size screen. Something different, unique. Tons of options. Music, Video, web, pictures, etc.
Cons Texting or using the onscreen keyboard not as easy as u would think. Web difficult to navigate as you often hit unwanted web links on web pages while simply trying to scroll up or down. Home button doesn't work in landscape mode.
Summary I was excited about this media device at first but after hours of toying with the device I quickly became aware that it really doesn't do anything different from what I use my cell phone for. When using the web on the Archos it becomes very challenging as u often hit unwanted web links simply trying to scroll up or down a page. The home button doesnt seen to work in landscape mode so I found myself flipping the device, then pressing 'home' to get it to work. Wifi works excellent but in most Wifi spots I will have my notebook anyway, like hotels, or at home, etc.. I was looking to use the "cell phone to tethered" feature and I could not get it to work. After I paired my blackberry to my Archro via Bluetooth it said that it was "paired, but not connected". I would expect that if it's paried then it would be connected. This ordeal really killed my want for this device as I was looking to use it for times when I was more on-the-go and on-the-fly and didn't feel like pulling out my laptop. If u have a good quality phone like the Storm, Droid, or Iphone then I don't see the need for the Archos. The full web browser is an advantage but it's a chore to use IMO. I just don't think this device is worth the price tag.
Pros None at all
Cons All hype - no value or performance
Summary After owning and throwing away an Archos 605 Wi-FI with all of the "supposed" software and firmware updates, I finally took a sledge hammer to the $300-plus device that was all promises and no delivery...
Excuses upon excuses from the company on what the problems were, and nothing but freezes and reboots. After getting nowhere with their "Tech Support" ( that's a laugh ! ), I finally gained some much needed pleasure from the device by smashing it with a sledgehammer, and throwing it in the dumpster.
Yes, a bit drastic, perhaps, but well worth the money when it came to destroying it after so much bulls#$% from a company that has fooled a LOT of trusting customers. I finally got an iPod Touch and iPhone, and haven't looked back.
Buyers Beware - stay FAR away from Archos !!
Pros Great screen, looks nice, built-in stand, browser rewraps text when zooming (better than touch), great photo zooming by holding finger on picture (easier than multi-touch), Bluetooth works as expected, can set browser to id as desktop.
Cons Not all Android apps available., May change when upgraded to Andoid 2.0 since 2.0 should natively support 800 x 480. No full Flash support although it is promised for Android in 2010.
Summary I have always enjoyed Archos video devices, and the newest device maintains the great video experience both from screen size / resolution, and codec support perspectives. I have streamed videos from my NAS devices to the Archos devices since the 605 WiFI, and the new device streams fine even from older NAS devices without UPnP support.
The new browser is the best mobile browser I have used bar none. I prefer the zooming on the Archos browser to multi-touch. When you swipe the screen lightly, the zoom controls appears on the bottom so you can see the impact of the zoom when pressing the + or - icons without your fingers blocking your view as they do with multi-touch. I find the Archos zooming to be easier, and less awkward than multi-touch with the added benefit of not blocking the screen. Even more important, when you zoom a webpage, the text reflows so you can read pages without having to horizontal scrolling each line. I prefer mobile pages on screens <7", and the text reflows on single column pages ensures you can read the pages with a larger text size without the dreaded horizontal scrolling. One of my biggest disappointments with the iPod touch is the lack of reflow when you use multi-touch zoom which results in having to horizontal scroll each line to read some single column pages at a comfortable text size. IMO, the Archos browser with its constant text reflows when zooming results in the best mobile browser experience. Although the default is to id as a mobile browser, a browser setting allows you to change this to id as a desktop. The review indicated problems watching CNET TV due to limited Flash support. Hopefully, that will be corrected when Andoid releases full Flash 10 support. In the interim, the videos on iphone.cnet.com play fine.
Concerning photo zooming, I prefer the methods for zooming photos on the Archos to multi-touch. If you hold your finger at the point you want to zoom the picture, the picture zooms until you release the finger. A lot easier, and less awkward than multi-touch for me. In addition, a finger friendly slider appears at the bottom of the screen to allow finer control without the zooming control blocking your view.
I have not tried the GPS as this feature is not needed since I have stand alone GPS in car.
I have only tried the micro-SDHC card from my phone (16GB), and it was discovered immediately, with no trouble viewing pictures, and videos from the card.
I do wish the Archos 5 IMT had a replaceable battery, this trend toward no user replaceable batteries is a bad trend for me. I know the Archos devices have an optional external battery attachment, but it is not as powerful, or convenient as an actual replaceable internal battery.
The review indicated how convenient the built-in stand is on the Archos device. For me, this is an essential feature for watching videos. With other devices, I am constantly searching for a place to lean the device against while I watch videos. I appreciate the built-in stand every day I use the device.
As you can tell by the tone of my review, I am a big fan of Archos devices, and have been since the AV500. The bigger screen makes for an excellent mobile video platform, and the Android addition promises many new exciting features in the future particulary with Android 2.0 supporting multiple resolutions without recompiling code.
Pros Fastest and Biggest Android experience in the world on ARM Cortex A8 at 800mhz loads website faster than anything else, as fast as Intel Atom. Video support best in the world with start of 720p MKV high profile H264 support. Up to 500GB, 8GB for $200
Cons We would like full Google Marketplace support, it should come in Archos firmware updates to support Android 1.6 and 2.0 coming in the next few of months. Built-in 3G would make it perfect to replace a mobile phone.
Summary Donald Bell, as usual, rates this as an Apple fanboy. How come his review of the similar priced iPod Touch does not list non-existing GPS, Flash, 800x480 4.8" screen and the video codecs support as bad points?
Archos improved or even fixed GPS, MKV 720p in the latest firmware: http://update.archos.com/7/archos5/changes_firmware_archos5.html Donald Bell should remove GPS from "the bad" of his review and change the rating to rate it better the the similar priced iPod Touch.
Sure Archos needs the full Android marketplace, but you cannot blame it on Archos when Google is still releasing Android 1.6 and 2.0 updates in the next days and weeks that are the first versions of Android to support the kind of medium density 800x480 4.8" touchscreen that Archos is using. I would rate this product 4.5/5 for currently lacking Android Marketplace and Google apps. But as I expect the full Android apps support to come within weeks on the Archos so my rating stays 5/5 cause I don't think Cnet allows me to update my review. If you absolutely need full Marketplace and Google apps, wait for the firmware updates and follow http://forum.archosfans.com to see when users report which apps that work already today or later (because hundreds do work fine today, and most .apk files for Android applications that you can find on the Internet will install by simply finding them through Google and clicking on them).
Follow the discussions on my forum to see if Archos will support the full bitrates of MKV 720p movies above 3500kbit/s. I haven't tested todays new firmware update that claims to improve MKV H264 support through:
"Video: H264 SD High Profile did not play
Video: allow smoother H264 HD playback in some cases
Video: seeking in MKV file sometimes caused audio or video freeze"
Until this firmware at least, 720p MKV support up to 3500kbit/s means 720p MKV TV series would playback fine (if Archos fix the audio synch issue on those HD MKV files) Since there is no other device in the world to support 720p MKV on Android or any other OS, I found MKV support to be a really nice surprise so even if full high bitrate 720p movies would not be supported even with the best optimized firmware update Archos can come with, I still don't think it should lower my rating. Since Archos provides the absolute best video playback, storage and streaming experience in the world no matter what. For example, Archos supports to stream Youtube HD at 1280x720 and 2mbit/s of those files, outputted to your HDTV through HDMI, which makes it the absolute best Youtube player in the world.
I haven't been able to test 3G bluetooth tethering, but with SIPdroid and other VOIP applications on Android, I do believe this could replace mobile phones to provide you with the most affordable free mobile phone system since the Archos 5IT at 8GB starts at $249 MSRP and street prices may go below the $200 and many countries have SIM cards for HSDPA to use for 3G tethering using any cheap $50 mobile phone for $20 per month pre-paid without the need to sign any contracts. Imagine runing Google Voice, Skype and SIP telephony on that setup, I think it could be pure awesomeness (although I haven't been able to test it yet).
Archos could release a version with built-in 3G (which I would love even more), though I probably wouldn't rate that 6/5 cause with built-in 3G comes other constraints, like a probably more expensive purchase price of the product if unlocked ($100 extra? $200 extra?), or a compulsary 2-year subscription plan with a carrier in many markets such as in USA, France and some other countries where it's the 3G carriers that make the law.
There are some good reasons for the iPod Touch to be selling faster than the iPhone at the moment. Price, and not having to subscribe for $1500 over a 2-year contract with a carrier. Archos 5 Internet Tablet positions Archos perfectly against the much inferior iPod Touch.