"Best PMP for video, best mobile browser"4.5 starson by jimtravis
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.