Archos Quechua Phone is rugged enough for deserts and mountains

by: Shawn IngramDecember 2, 2013

Quecha PhoneArchos, maker of myriad inexpensive Android tablets and smartphones, has partnered with outdoor gear company Quechua to produce a new rugged Android smartphone that’s rugged enough to handle the great outdoors.

The new Archos phone, dubbed the Quechua Phone, is a 5-inch Android rugged smartphone that meets IP54 certification. The certifications says the phone is capable of withstanding drops, and is resistant to water, snow, dust, and sand. It’s even resistant to extreme heat and extreme cold, making it great for those long treks across the desert and into the mountains.

As with most rugged phones, however, the Quechua Phone doesn’t have the greatest specs. The phone runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean uses a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, 1GB of RAM, and just 4GB of internal storage space that users can expand via a microSD card. There’s also a rear-facing 5MP camera, and a 3500 mAh battery that promises 22 hours of talk time. There is no mention of the resolution of the 5-inch screen of the phone.

The Quechua Phone will come out in unspecified select markets soon, and will cost €230 (about $310) off contract. It’s not clear if the Quecha Phone will make it’s way to the U.S., or it’s strictly meant for emerging markets. Even if the phone does make it to the U.S., it likely won’t come to any carriers. It will likely only come as an unlocked phone with no contract attached.

With its low price, the Quechua Phone will compete with phones like the Nexus 5 which costs about $40 more. The specs, however, put it in closer competition to devices like the Motorola Moto G, which costs just $179, runs a newer version of Android, and has more storage space. Both the Quechua Phone and the Moto G lack 4G LTE radios to keep costs low.

It might be a better idea to buy a Moto G or other inexpensive phone and put it into a rugged case that offers the same protection as the Quechua Phone.

Those who are willing to spend more than twice the cost of the Quechua Phone, or who don’t mind signing up for long-term contracts, can also look into the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and the Sony Xperia Z1. Both phones have similar rugged qualities, and are much higher-end devices. Of course, better specs also come with higher price tags.

What do you think? Buy the Quechua, or find a phone with better specs and a rugged case?

  • Good ole’ Archos. They should put a hard drive in here like they love to do! My first two mp3 players were Archos.

    • dNj

      I used to love my Archos players. The TV dock was awesome for local streaming. I miss reading Charbox’s messages on the forum. That guy would defend Archos like none other.

      • Tuấn Ankh

        former owner of the Archos Internet Media Player 5 here. It was amazing! And the 250gb hard drive in it was insanely awesome!!!

        • I had to send mine back it was so buggy, I loved having so much storage though.

  • Felipe Castillo

    It’s Quechua and not Quecha, hopefully you guys can correct the mistake

  • Nathan Buffington

    Great phone for people that rock climb or something like that. of course I won’t be getting one, but it is respectable

    • King Dong

      I definitely need one for the long arduous trek to the pub and on occasion Asda

  • abazigal

    Well, for that price, I won’t mind getting one just to bring out for such activities.

  • Salaried tips

    Would love to see a phone that can survive being dropped at terminal velocity on concrete matter what side/face it landed on.