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Archos 50 Saphir Smartphone Review

Andreas Osthoff, Stefanie Voigt, 03/13/2017

Hard shell – slow core? The 50 Saphir from the French manufacturer Archos is a robust smartphone for harsh environments. The smartphone is not the most powerful of its kind, but it provides a lot of stamina in return.

For the original German review, see here.

The 50 Saphir from the French manufacturer Archos is an outdoor smartphone. The device with the bulky chassis is certified according to IP68 standards and the display is covered by Gorilla Glass 4, but the rest of the specifications are in line with an inexpensive mainstream smartphone: 5-inch HD display, quad-core SoC, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. The two highlights are the dual SIM support as well as the powerful battery, which enables long runtimes.

The Archos 50 Saphir is priced at around 230 Euros (~$245), so the test model faces some strong competitors. However, currently there are not many outdoor smartphones. One example would be the Panasonic ToughPad FZ-N1 that we reviewed last year, but it is designed for professional users in the industry sector with a retail price of around 2000 Euros (~$2129). Samsung has also announced the new outdoor smartphone Galaxy Xcover 4 for 260 Euros (~$277), which will be launched in about 4 weeks’ time.

We have selected comparison devices with a similar price tag for this review. These include the Honor 5C, the Huawei P8 Lite 2017, the Asus ZenFone 3 Max, the Alcatel Shine Lite, and the still very popular Samsung Galaxy J5 .

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Archos 50 Saphir (50 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
, DDR3
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 294 PPI, capacitive, 5 touch points, IPS, Gorilla Glas 4, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 10 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio, Card Reader: microSD up to 128 GB, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: G-Sensor, proximity, USB-OTG, WiFi-Direct, SAR head: 0.551 W/kg, SAR body: 0.804 W/kg
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.0, 2G (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), 3G (900/2100 MHz), 4G (800/1800/2100/2600 MHz, up to 50 Mbps), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 14 x 146 x 76 ( = 0.55 x 5.75 x 2.99 in)
Battery
5000 mAh Lithium-Ion, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 37 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 27 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 740 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 550 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix (Auto focus, LED flash)
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Mono, Keyboard: virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, Power adapter, service brochures, SIM tool, Google Apps, Archos Video, Archos Files, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
222 g ( = 7.83 oz / 0.49 pounds), Power Supply: 76 g ( = 2.68 oz / 0.17 pounds)
Price
229 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

We were rather surprised by the very bulky and aggressive chassis design when we saw the smartphone for the first time. This is basically looking like a regular smartphone with a special outdoor case attached. Archos offers the 50 Saphir in black only, and there are sharp edges everywhere; the design does not include any curves.

Both the build quality and the stability of the outdoor specialist are very good. Pressure is no problem at all and we could not provoke any creaking sounds. The whole device leaves a very durable impression and we do not have any doubts that it will survive some drops. At least if it does not land on the screen, because it is "only" protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 4 and therefore does not differ from many other smartphones. The Archos 50 Saphir is also certified according to IP68 against dust and water (fresh water, up to 1 meter/~3 ft for up to 30 minutes). There are special rubberized covers for the ports, but they are somewhat tricky. They cannot be opened very far, so it is not easy to attach the USB cable at the bottom, for example. It is also possible to use the Archos 50 in warm or cold environments: Archos advertises an operating temperature of between -20 °C (~-4 °F) all the way up to +55 °C (~131 °F). The battery is integrated and not accessible from the outside.

The Archos 50 Saphir has obviously a hard time in our size comparison, which is not surprising. The footprint is still okay, but at 14 millimeters (~0.55 in); it is almost twice as thick as the comparison devices. The weight of 222 grams (~7.8 oz) is noticeable as well. This is no problem in the backpack on your outdoor trip, but the outdoor smartphone is not very convenient in your pocket.

Size Comparison

146 mm / 5.75 inch 76 mm / 2.99 inch 14 mm / 0.551 inch 222 g0.4894 lbs149.5 mm / 5.89 inch 73.7 mm / 2.9 inch 8.55 mm / 0.3366 inch 148 g0.3263 lbs147.1 mm / 5.79 inch 73.8 mm / 2.91 inch 8.3 mm / 0.3268 inch 156 g0.3439 lbs147.2 mm / 5.8 inch 72.9 mm / 2.87 inch 7.6 mm / 0.2992 inch 147 g0.3241 lbs145.8 mm / 5.74 inch 72.3 mm / 2.85 inch 8.1 mm / 0.3189 inch 159 g0.3505 lbs141.5 mm / 5.57 inch 71.2 mm / 2.8 inch 7.45 mm / 0.2933 inch 156 g0.3439 lbs

Connectivity

The hardware equipment of the test device is somewhere between an entry-level and mainstream model. The quad-core SoC from Qualcomm is no performance wizard, but is sufficient for everyday tasks. The memory equipment is also okay with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage (10 GB available), especially since the storage can be expanded via microSD card (up to 128 GB). At the bottom of the smartphone is a micro USB 2.0 port with OTG support. It is therefore easy to attach external devices such as USB flash drives.

We check the performance of the card reader with our reference card from Toshiba (Exceria Pro M401), but up to 28 MB/s read and only 18 MB/s write are well below the advertised performance of the card (up to 95 and 80 MB/s, respectively). The card can be formatted either as portable or internal storage. The Archos 50 Saphir also supports two SIM cards (both Nano SIM slots with LTE support). It is a hybrid slot, so you can either use two SIM cards or one SIM-card and a microSD card.

You also get an FM radio, which works in combination with headphones. Connections with other devices can be established via Bluetooth 4.0 or Wi-Fi Direct.

Software

Archos ships the 50 Saphir with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The French manufacturer waives any modifications, and we did not get a message about the installation of third-party apps during the initial setup, which was sometimes the case with previous models. There is no bloat ware either.

The overall handling of the OS is smooth. An update to Android version 7.0 Nougat has not been announced so far.

Home screen
Home screen
Preloaded apps 1/2
Preloaded apps 1/2
Preloaded apps 2/2
Preloaded apps 2/2
System information
System information

Communication and GPS

Turbo Download
Turbo Download

The Wi-Fi module supports the IEEE 802.11 standards b/g/n in 2.4 GHz networks. 5 GHz networks and the fast ac standard, however, cannot be used. This is also the case for the competition though, and the measured transfer rates of ~50 Mbps are inconspicuous during our standardized WLAN test with the router Linksys EA8500. We did not notice any stability or performance problems with the connection during our review period. The Archos 50 Saphir also supports a feature called "Turbo Download", where the mobile Internet connection is combined with the Wi-Fi connection for larger downloads (more than 20 MB).

Both Nano SIM slots support LTE connections, and we did not experience any issues in the metropolitan T-Mobile network. The number of frequencies is limited, however, so the smartphone is not perfect for globetrotters (see specifications at the top for the full list). The maximum transfer rate is 150 Mbps downstream and 50 Mbps upstream, respectively (LTE Cat.4).

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei P8 lite 2017
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 16 GB eMMC Flash
54.5 MBit/s ∼100% +19%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 32 GB eMMC Flash
47.4 MBit/s ∼87% +3%
Alcatel Shine Lite
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
46.5 MBit/s ∼85% +1%
Archos 50 Saphir
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash
45.9 MBit/s ∼84%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei P8 lite 2017
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 16 GB eMMC Flash
53.9 MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Archos 50 Saphir
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash
51.3 MBit/s ∼95%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 32 GB eMMC Flash
49.7 MBit/s ∼92% -3%
Alcatel Shine Lite
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
42.3 MBit/s ∼78% -18%
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test outdoors

The smartphone locates its position via GPS only, and we did not get a signal indoors. Outdoors, however, the app GPS Test determined a very good accuracy of just 2 meters (~6.5 ft). We also checked the performance of the outdoor smartphone on a bicycle ride. The comparison with the professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500 shows a total deviation of around 400 meters (~0.25 mi) on the 12 km (~7.5 mi) long track, and we can see "shortcuts" at some points of the track. This will be sufficient for everyday navigation purposes, but we would have expected a better performance from an outdoor specialist like the Archos 50 Saphir.

Archos 50 Saphir: Overview
Archos 50 Saphir: Overview
Archos 50 Saphir: Crossing
Archos 50 Saphir: Crossing
Archos 50 Saphir: Turning point
Archos 50 Saphir: Turning point
Garmin Edge 500: Overview
Garmin Edge 500: Overview
Garmin Edge 500: Crossing
Garmin Edge 500: Crossing
Garmin Edge 500: Turning Point
Garmin Edge 500: Turning Point

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality

The phone app is the usual Google standard and does not offer any special features. We did not have any problems when we used the Archos 50 Saphir for calls, but you can notice some background static in general. The speaker is sufficiently loud and the microphone is not too quiet either. The provided headset does its job, but it is not very sophisticated. The earpieces quickly hurt in our ears, and the microphone is not the loudest. You might want to get a better headset when you frequently use it for calls.

Cameras

Picture of the front camera
Picture of the front camera

The camera at the front takes pictures at up to 5 MP (2560x1920 pixels, fix focus) and videos in Full HD (1920x1080 pixels). Our sample picture on the right was taken in good lighting conditions, but the details are still pretty blurry and the colors are not particularly vivid. Low-light situations will add visible picture noise.

Archos has installed a 13 MP sensor (4864x2736 pixels) with auto focus and LED flash at the back. The maximum video resolution is 1920x1080 pixels (Full HD, 30 fps). Some colors are too saturated (see color comparison below), but the sharpness is okay in a controlled test environment. However, our sample shots suffer from blurry details compared to the rivals, and the pictures are also a bit darker in general (especially scene 2). The result is also slightly darker in low-light scenarios (scene 3), but you can still see everything. You should avoid fast camera movements when you record videos.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Accessories and Warranty

The scope of delivery is limited to the usual accessories: Service leaflets, modular power adapter, USB cable, SIM tool and headset. Archos does not offer any dedicated accessories for the 50 Saphir.

The standard warranty period is 24 months. Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices and Handling

The capacitive touchscreen recognizes up to 5 inputs simultaneously, which is sufficient in practice. The precision does not cause any criticism and inputs in the peripheral areas are also well-executed. Archos uses the standard Google keyboard. It is easy to use and supports all common features such as swipe gestures as well as auto-correct.

The Android buttons are implemented as virtual controls. We did not like the physical buttons on the right side of the chassis: Both the volume rocker as well as the power button are small and almost require an inconvenient amount of force. You will get used to that after a while, but it is not possible to use them with gloves. There is no special glove-mode for the touchscreen either.

Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

Archos has equipped the 50 Saphir with a 5-inch IPS display. The resolution is 1280x720 pixels and the resulting pixel density of 294 PPI ensures crisp images, but some rivals in this price range are already equipped with Full HD panels. 

The outdoor smartphone leaves a good impression in our initial benchmarks. We determine a good average luminance of almost 530 nits, with both the activated brightness sensor as well as the manual control. The black value, however, is pretty high at 0.57 cd/m², and dark contents have a visible gray-hue. The contrast ratio is still good at 940:1, and we did not detect PWM flickering.

533
cd/m²
539
cd/m²
505
cd/m²
539
cd/m²
545
cd/m²
490
cd/m²
541
cd/m²
561
cd/m²
493
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 561 cd/m² Average: 527.3 cd/m² Minimum: 21.79 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 543 cd/m²
Contrast: 940:1 (Black: 0.58 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 12.5 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 15.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 1.87
Archos 50 Saphir
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Honor 5C
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Huawei P8 lite 2017
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
IPS, 1280x720, 5.2
Alcatel Shine Lite
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
AMOLED, 1280x720, 5.2
Screen
22%
35%
24%
14%
22%
Brightness middle
545
515
-6%
575
6%
507
-7%
425
-22%
289
-47%
Brightness
527
498
-6%
559
6%
474
-10%
406
-23%
291
-45%
Brightness Distribution
87
93
7%
91
5%
85
-2%
90
3%
96
10%
Black Level *
0.58
0.49
16%
0.39
33%
0.53
9%
0.45
22%
Contrast
940
1051
12%
1474
57%
957
2%
944
0%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
12.5
6.2
50%
5.2
58%
4.7
62%
7.6
39%
4.7
62%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
24.4
11.4
53%
10.3
58%
7.2
70%
15.6
36%
7.3
70%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
15.4
7.4
52%
7.2
53%
4.8
69%
6.6
57%
3
81%
Gamma
1.87 118%
2.28 96%
2.4 92%
2.25 98%
2.44 90%
2.03 108%
CCT
12705 51%
8664 75%
7224 90%
6441 101%
7853 83%
6291 103%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)
CalMAN Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)
CalMAN Colorspace (target color space: sRGB)
CalMAN Colorspace (target color space: sRGB)
CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)

The screen suffers from a visible blue cast and the DeltaE-2000 deviations of the grayscale and the colors compared to the sRGB reference are also quite high. The color temperature is too cool and the gamma value is also too low.

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9266 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
28 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 60 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
80 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 28 ms rise
↘ 52 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 99 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39.6 ms).

The outdoor performance of the Archos 50 Saphir is good thanks to the high luminance. Obviously, you should avoid direct light sources, but this is the case for almost every smartphone with a glossy screen. The viewing angles of the IPS screen are very wide, and we can notice only a slight contrast drop from extreme angles.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

MediaTek's MT6737T-SoC is an entry-level solution. The four cores (Cortex-A53, 64-bit) are slightly lower clocked compared to the reference design (1.44 vs. 1.5 GHz) and supported by 2 GB of memory. Graphics are handled by the integrated Mali-T720 MP2 GPU. The handling is smooth in general, but you will quickly notice stutters when you stress the smartphone with multitasking, for example. The benchmark scores are also average within our comparison group.

Archos does not install its own browser and uses Google Chrome (here in version 55) instead. The performance is once again average. Subjectively, there are no problems except for some stutters on complex websites.

The biggest weakness in this section is the performance of the 16 GB internal eMMC storage, which is at the bottom of the ranking in all AndroBench tests. The write performance in particular is slow.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score
Huawei P8 lite 2017
56798 Points ∼19% +47%
Honor 5C
53143 Points ∼18% +37%
Archos 50 Saphir
38747 Points ∼13%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
30365 Points ∼10% -22%
Alcatel Shine Lite
28724 Points ∼10% -26%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
27232 Points ∼9% -30%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Huawei P8 lite 2017
3240 Points ∼11% +84%
Archos 50 Saphir
1761 Points ∼6%
Alcatel Shine Lite
1481 Points ∼5% -16%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
1362 Points ∼5% -23%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Huawei P8 lite 2017
780 Points ∼13% +23%
Archos 50 Saphir
634 Points ∼11%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
569 Points ∼9% -10%
Alcatel Shine Lite
525 Points ∼9% -17%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics
Huawei P8 lite 2017
1532 Points ∼34% +56%
Honor 5C
1418 Points ∼31% +44%
Archos 50 Saphir
985 Points ∼22%
Alcatel Shine Lite
795 Points ∼18% -19%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
699 Points ∼15% -29%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics
Huawei P8 lite 2017
321 Points ∼4% +126%
Honor 5C
317 Points ∼4% +123%
Archos 50 Saphir
142 Points ∼2%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
83 Points ∼1% -42%
Alcatel Shine Lite
81 Points ∼1% -43%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1)
Huawei P8 lite 2017
389 Points ∼6% +122%
Honor 5C
383 Points ∼6% +119%
Archos 50 Saphir
175 Points ∼3%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
103 Points ∼2% -41%
Alcatel Shine Lite
101 Points ∼2% -42%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics
Huawei P8 lite 2017
1547 Points ∼34% +59%
Honor 5C
1418 Points ∼31% +46%
Archos 50 Saphir
973 Points ∼21%
Alcatel Shine Lite
781 Points ∼17% -20%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
741 Points ∼16% -24%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
709 Points ∼16% -27%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics
Huawei P8 lite 2017
516 Points ∼5% +135%
Honor 5C
480 Points ∼4% +118%
Archos 50 Saphir
220 Points ∼2%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
128 Points ∼1% -42%
Alcatel Shine Lite
126 Points ∼1% -43%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
42 Points ∼0% -81%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0
Huawei P8 lite 2017
606 Points ∼7% +128%
Honor 5C
563 Points ∼7% +112%
Archos 50 Saphir
266 Points ∼3%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
157 Points ∼2% -41%
Alcatel Shine Lite
155 Points ∼2% -42%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
53 Points ∼1% -80%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics
Huawei P8 lite 2017
13590 Points ∼16% +19%
Honor 5C
13588 Points ∼16% +19%
Archos 50 Saphir
11393 Points ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
9022 Points ∼10% -21%
Alcatel Shine Lite
8547 Points ∼10% -25%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
7298 Points ∼8% -36%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score
Honor 5C
11319 Points ∼2% +84%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
11147 Points ∼2% +82%
Archos 50 Saphir
6138 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
3838 Points ∼1% -37%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
3369 Points ∼1% -45%
Alcatel Shine Lite
3116 Points ∼1% -49%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score
Honor 5C
11755 Points ∼5% +72%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
11611 Points ∼5% +70%
Archos 50 Saphir
6839 Points ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
4400 Points ∼2% -36%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
3827 Points ∼2% -44%
Alcatel Shine Lite
3628 Points ∼2% -47%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Honor 5C
19 fps ∼0% +73%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
18 fps ∼0% +64%
Archos 50 Saphir
11 fps ∼0%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
5.9 fps ∼0% -46%
Alcatel Shine Lite
5.9 fps ∼0% -46%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
5.2 fps ∼0% -53%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
Honor 5C
20 fps ∼1% +5%
Archos 50 Saphir
19 fps ∼1%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
19 fps ∼1% 0%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
10 fps ∼0% -47%
Alcatel Shine Lite
9.8 fps ∼0% -48%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
9.7 fps ∼0% -49%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL
Honor 5C
7.9 fps ∼1% +98%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
7.9 fps ∼1% +98%
Archos 50 Saphir
4 fps ∼1%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
2.2 fps ∼0% -45%
Alcatel Shine Lite
2.1 fps ∼0% -47%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
1.8 fps ∼0% -55%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL
Archos 50 Saphir
8.6 fps ∼2%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
8.5 fps ∼2% -1%
Honor 5C
8.4 fps ∼2% -2%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
4.7 fps ∼1% -45%
Alcatel Shine Lite
4 fps ∼1% -53%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
3.8 fps ∼1% -56%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen
Huawei P8 lite 2017
4.6 fps ∼0% +77%
Honor 5C
4.5 fps ∼0% +73%
Archos 50 Saphir
2.6 fps ∼0%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
1.4 fps ∼0% -46%
Alcatel Shine Lite
1.4 fps ∼0% -46%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
fps ∼0% -100%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen
Archos 50 Saphir
6.1 fps ∼0%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
5 fps ∼0% -18%
Honor 5C
4.9 fps ∼0% -20%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
3.4 fps ∼0% -44%
Alcatel Shine Lite
2.9 fps ∼0% -52%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
fps ∼0% -100%
PCMark for Android - Work 2.0 performance score
Archos 50 Saphir
3352 Points ∼28%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
2913 Points ∼24% -13%
BaseMark OS II
Web
Honor 5C
707 Points ∼8% +14%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
703 Points ∼7% +14%
Archos 50 Saphir
619 Points ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
551 Points ∼6% -11%
Alcatel Shine Lite
10 Points ∼0% -98%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
10 Points ∼0% -98%
Graphics
Huawei P8 lite 2017
826 Points ∼3% +116%
Honor 5C
814 Points ∼3% +113%
Archos 50 Saphir
383 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
312 Points ∼1% -19%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
210 Points ∼1% -45%
Alcatel Shine Lite
206 Points ∼1% -46%
Memory
Huawei P8 lite 2017
1658 Points ∼22% +312%
Honor 5C
1504 Points ∼20% +274%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
780 Points ∼10% +94%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
643 Points ∼9% +60%
Alcatel Shine Lite
479 Points ∼6% +19%
Archos 50 Saphir
402 Points ∼5%
System
Huawei P8 lite 2017
2694 Points ∼16% +110%
Honor 5C
2600 Points ∼16% +102%
Archos 50 Saphir
1284 Points ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
1060 Points ∼6% -17%
Alcatel Shine Lite
1057 Points ∼6% -18%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
1041 Points ∼6% -19%
Overall
Honor 5C
1225 Points ∼14% +107%
Archos 50 Saphir
591 Points ∼7%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
588 Points ∼7% -1%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
585 Points ∼7% -1%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
435 Points ∼5% -26%
Alcatel Shine Lite
178 Points ∼2% -70%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Alcatel Shine Lite
15622 ms * ∼26% -48%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
14983 ms * ∼25% -42%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
13046 ms * ∼22% -24%
Archos 50 Saphir
10544 ms * ∼18%
Honor 5C
9111.2 ms * ∼15% +14%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
8768.2 ms * ∼15% +17%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Huawei P8 lite 2017
4630 Points ∼9% +33%
Honor 5C
4188 Points ∼8% +20%
Archos 50 Saphir
3483 Points ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
2730 Points ∼5% -22%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
2534 Points ∼5% -27%
Alcatel Shine Lite
2430 Points ∼5% -30%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Huawei P8 lite 2017
29.499 Points ∼8% +34%
Honor 5C
27.934 Points ∼8% +27%
Archos 50 Saphir
22 Points ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
16.8 Points ∼5% -24%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
16.471 Points ∼5% -25%
Alcatel Shine Lite
15.6 Points ∼4% -29%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB
Honor 5C
15.7 MB/s ∼6% +228%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
11.6 MB/s ∼5% +142%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
9.1 MB/s ∼4% +90%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
8 MB/s ∼3% +67%
Alcatel Shine Lite
7.7 MB/s ∼3% +61%
Archos 50 Saphir
4.79 MB/s ∼2%
Random Read 4KB
Honor 5C
61.7 MB/s ∼31% +326%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
38.7 MB/s ∼20% +167%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
21 MB/s ∼11% +45%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
20.9 MB/s ∼11% +44%
Alcatel Shine Lite
19 MB/s ∼10% +31%
Archos 50 Saphir
14.48 MB/s ∼7%
Sequential Write 256KB
Honor 5C
75.5 MB/s ∼13% +518%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
72 MB/s ∼12% +490%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
65.15 MB/s ∼11% +434%
Alcatel Shine Lite
42.8 MB/s ∼7% +251%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
42 MB/s ∼7% +244%
Archos 50 Saphir
12.21 MB/s ∼2%
Sequential Read 256KB
Honor 5C
263 MB/s ∼17% +87%
Alcatel Shine Lite
192.6 MB/s ∼13% +37%
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
174.2 MB/s ∼12% +24%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
165.8 MB/s ∼11% +18%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
147 MB/s ∼10% +4%
Archos 50 Saphir
140.87 MB/s ∼9%

Legend

 
Archos 50 Saphir Mediatek MT6737T, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 5C HiSilicon Kirin 650, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P8 lite 2017 HiSilicon Kirin 655, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Alcatel Shine Lite Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 16 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

The gaming performance benefits from the low HD resolution and even challenging games like “Asphalt 8: Airborne” run pretty smoothly at medium details. The controls via touchscreen and sensors worked well, but you can easily cover the speaker at the rear when you play in landscape mode.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Modern Combat 5
Modern Combat 5

Emissions

Temperature

GFXBench Battery Test – Manhattan 3.1
GFXBench Battery Test – Manhattan 3.1

The surface temperatures are quite high when you consider the comparatively low performance and the bulky chassis. The lower half of the smartphone warms up to 34 °C (~93 °F) while idling and we can measure ~39 °C (~102 °F) at the front under load – the rear is cooler on average, and the upper half in particular warms up (almost 40 °C/~104 °F)). At least, the SoC can maintain its performance with sustained workloads. The GFXBench Battery Test (Manhattan 3.1) shows a small performance drop, but there are no limitations in general.

Max. Load
 38.4 °C
101 F
38.9 °C
102 F
38.7 °C
102 F
 
 38.7 °C
102 F
38.3 °C
101 F
38.8 °C
102 F
 
 36.6 °C
98 F
37.9 °C
100 F
37.4 °C
99 F
 
Maximum: 38.9 °C = 102 F
Average: 38.2 °C = 101 F
34.2 °C
94 F
35 °C
95 F
39.8 °C
104 F
34.3 °C
94 F
34.9 °C
95 F
38.9 °C
102 F
32.8 °C
91 F
35.3 °C
96 F
37.5 °C
100 F
Maximum: 39.8 °C = 104 F
Average: 35.9 °C = 97 F
Power Supply (max.)  33.6 °C = 92 F | Room Temperature 21.4 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 38.2 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 38.9 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39.8 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 32.2 °C / 90 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Temperature development top
Temperature development top
Temperature development bottom
Temperature development bottom

Speakers

The speaker is located at the rear, and the sound is rather muffled even on solid surfaces. You get the best result when you hold the smartphone in the hand (for videos, for example) or put in on the display for music playback. The single speaker is not too bad and is also loud at up to 90 dB(A). The sound is rather thin due to the missing bass, but even music sounds decent at moderate volume levels. The Archos 50 Saphir is definitely usable for some background music or YouTube videos.

You should use headphones (not the provided headset) or external speakers for better quality. The Bluetooth connection with our external speaker (Denon Envaya Mini) was stable and there were no dropouts during the playback.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.6392525.436.43125.332.24032.932.45033.630.36331.632.78028.437.41002739.212520.845.31602252.120021.359.825020.861.831521.267.140019.47250019.575.663017.776.880017.975.2100017.879.6125017.381.4160017.481.7200016.781250017.278.1315018.273.1400017.970.9500017.675.2630017.775.9800017.874.71000017.971.91250018.171.61600018.258.6SPL3089.8N1.382.3median 17.9median 73.1Delta1.37.232.537.232.432.532.733.631.332.723.531.231.723.530.833.52630.841.139.139.441.132.933.436.232.928.930.728.628.926.425.825.426.427.324.821.327.328.325.823.328.332.62422.532.638.624.722.438.646.432.421.346.454.537.518.454.55942.917.55959.549.517.559.562.750.117.262.766.952.516.866.971.155.517.371.175.358.217.475.379.162.916.679.180.463.817.380.479.162.217.679.177.660.117.677.675.357.417.775.374.657.417.474.674.356.517.774.372.354.517.972.364.145.818.164.146.227.918.146.287.971.229.887.964.123.81.364.1median 64.1median 50.1median 17.7median 64.114.612.21.614.6hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseArchos 50 SaphirHonor 5C
Archos 50 Saphir audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (89.77 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.1% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (14.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 0% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 13% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 83% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Honor 5C audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 30.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.1% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 12.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (2.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (32.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 90% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 6% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 93% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 5% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkboxes select/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Our test model is efficient at up to 2 watts while idling. The maximum consumption of little more than 6.5 watts is higher than many rivals, but the results are still okay.

The 15-watt power adapter (76 grams/~2.7 oz) looks a bit oversized at first, but is a result of the enormous battery capacity. It still takes 2:45 hours to fully charge the 5000 mAh battery (50% after 1:10h).

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.65 / 1.9 / 2.05 Watt
Load midlight 6.14 / 6.54 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Archos 50 Saphir
5000 mAh
Honor 5C
3000 mAh
Huawei P8 lite 2017
3000 mAh
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
4100 mAh
Alcatel Shine Lite
2460 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
3100 mAh
Power Consumption
3%
-30%
-4%
24%
34%
Idle Minimum *
0.65
0.89
-37%
1.44
-122%
0.74
-14%
0.6
8%
0.61
6%
Idle Average *
1.9
2.07
-9%
2.47
-30%
2.04
-7%
1.49
22%
1.41
26%
Idle Maximum *
2.05
2.15
-5%
2.58
-26%
2.22
-8%
1.66
19%
1.51
26%
Load Average *
6.14
3.46
44%
4.55
26%
5.57
9%
3.75
39%
2.56
58%
Load Maximum *
6.54
5.18
21%
6.3
4%
6.59
-1%
4.57
30%
3.1
53%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The 5000 mAh battery of the Archos 50 Saphir is by far the biggest capacity in this comparison group. Even the Asus ZenFone 3 Max has a ~20% smaller battery. The stamina of the test model is therefore very good. Our Wi-Fi test at an adjusted luminance of 150 nits determines more than 16 hours – most rivals last 10 to 11 hours. The outdoor trip can therefore be a bit longer.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Chrome 55)
16h 13min
Archos 50 Saphir
5000 mAh
Honor 5C
3000 mAh
Huawei P8 lite 2017
3000 mAh
Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
4100 mAh
Alcatel Shine Lite
2460 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
3100 mAh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
973
584
-40%
604
-38%
814
-16%
645
-34%
643
-34%

Pros

+ very sturdy case
+ IP68 certification
+ very long runtime
+ decent speaker
+ bright IPS display
+ dual-SIM and microSD (hybrid slot)

Cons

- high weight and very thick construction
- GPS could be more accurate
- stiff physical buttons
- poor front camera

Verdict

In review: Archos 50 Saphir. Test model courtesy of Archos Germany.
In review: Archos 50 Saphir. Test model courtesy of Archos Germany.

The outdoor smartphone 50 Saphir from the French manufacturer Archos targets a special user group. This impression is supported by the bulky and aggressive chassis, which is sturdy and should survive some drops, but it is hardly suitable for the pocket. It is also "only" certified according to IP68 and is equipped with Gorilla Glass 4 – other smartphones do not need such a bulky chassis for this.

The smartphone did not reveal any serious drawbacks during our test, but apart from the extremely long runtime and the dual SIM support, it does not offer any highlights. The performance is sufficient, and the speaker works well, but we would have expected better GPS performance for an outdoor device.

The outdoor smartphone Archos 50 Saphir is not a bad choice when you need a durable device. This is also a result of the lack of competition, but this might change soon (Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4).

Currently, there is not much to choose from when you want a robust smartphone for an affordable price. The bulky chassis and the high weight might be an issue in practice when you only need the outdoor capabilities from time to time. If you can wait a bit, you should have a look at the Galaxy Xcover 4 from Samsung. It will be available in a few weeks and offers similar features in a much slimmer case.

Archos 50 Saphir - 03/06/2017 v6(old)
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
85%
Keyboard
64 / 75 → 85%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
32 / 60 → 54%
Weight
88%
Battery
100%
Display
79%
Games Performance
11 / 63 → 17%
Application Performance
30 / 70 → 43%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
66 / 91 → 73%
Camera
61%
Average
69%
79%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archos 50 Saphir Smartphone Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2017-03-13 (Update: 2019-04-13)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.