Archos 3 Vision review Archos 3 Vision review

We love
Great file support, killer looks, excellent sound quality and gorgeous screen
We hate
Touchscreen could be better, no SD slot, volume controls awkward
A great iPod nano alternative with the features to match
Launch Price
4 Pages

Archos 3 Vision

Make no bones about it: the Archos 3 Vision is a killer alternative to the powers of the spanking new iPod nano, with a spec sheet that’ll sate tech heads, music buffs and mobile video junkies alike. And at just a penny shy of £90, it offers killer value too. Read our full Archos 3 Vision review now and get the complete picture.

Ok, the Archos 3 Vision isn’t without its niggles here and there. The touchscreen is sticky, volume control is a pain and you won’t find an SD slot as you do on the likes of the Archos 2.

But in all, these are gripes which we’re more than happy to live with. The Archos 2 was a rather shonky attempt to slap down Apple’s best–selling MP3 player. The Archos 3 Vision is an excellent effort which will sate please with an unquenchable thirst for media on the move. That’s thanks to cracking file support, including FLAC, MP3 and WMA. Ok, there’s no AAC, but MP3s are where it’s at in this DRM–free world. Sound quality was peachy, especially with FLAC, although as with all dinky MP3 players, we advise binning the bundled buds and splashing out on something a tad tastier instead.

The good times keep on rolling too. The 400×240, 3-inch screen is crisp and clear and when we watched the same episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm on the Archos 3 Vision and the iPod nano, Larry David’s balding pate was far shinier and sharp on the Archos.

Read our Apple iPod nano 5g review now

The lightweight body, at just 63g, is actually very sturdy and the inclusion of an FM radio kept us happy when our 80s megamixes didn’t. Plus the Archos 3 Vision looks the part too. That’s important if you want to brag about your neat new gadget down the pub, make no mistake.

Those little niggles though, do mean this isn’t quite a 5 star stonker. The volume can only be adjusted by tapping the screen and the lack of expandable space is a shame. However, 8GB is ample for quick journeys and all but the most hardcore of music and movie fans.

At just £89.99, you’ll struggle to find a better MP3 player than the Archos 3 Vision. Ok, little issues can cause annoyance, but for features like this, at this price, it really is a winner.

  • Charbax

    Yes, consider that the most important thing about it is the price. The ipod touch 8GB costs £149, and consider that Archos’s £89 is only a manufacturers suggested retail price. Places like will quickly cut 20% more on that so selling it as low as £70, thus it’s for sure half the price of the ipod touch.

  • Ben Sillis

    Absolutely. It’s a bargain if you can look past the ugly UI (and it is hideous, if perfectly practical) and genuinely fantastic for video.

  • Del

    This player could have been so good – unfortunately, after 2 weeks of ownership, I’ve just sent mine back for a refund! The reason for this was that the battery life failed to extend beyond 1.5 hours – I realise that this could well be a one-off fault with my player (although more likely to be due to the screen jumping into life when touched, even with the lock on), but, truth be told, I was pretty relieved that it gave me a legitimate excuse to get my money back. The other problems just became too irritating, and overshadowed what is a beautiful piece of hardware. The problems I found are as follows: As mentioned, the locking device does not disable the touch-screen, so when in one’s pocket it will continually activate unnecessarily, thus draining the battery. There is no facility to make your own playlists. As with most mp3 players (with the possible exception of Sony), the supplied earphones are nothing short of atrocious; empty baked bean tins would produce a better sound… The player doesn’t recognise audio smart-tags, opting instead to play tracks in alphabetical order. Album tracks therefore have to be renamed to add track numbers to the title – a pretty onerous task if you have a large mp3 collection! Selecting “Artist” in the menu will show all of the tracks by that artist, not the album those tracks are from. The only way to play an album as the artist intended is to search for your choice from the “Album” menu, a very laborious process if you have a lot of albums loaded onto the device – particularly if you have more than one album entitled “Greatest Hits”!! Which brings me to the method of navigating the device; Archos have developed a software version of Apple’s thumb-wheel, which appears on the lower right hand corner of the touch-screen. Unfortunately, this is truly horrific to use and results in a massive amount of errors. I really cannot articulate just how pants this system is!! I’m sure that most these problems could eventually be cured with a firmware update. I did email Archos and asked if this would be the case, but, having received no reply, I was just so relieved to get shot of it. Shame really, it could have been brilliant.

    • Ben Sillis

      @Del – 1.5 hours is certainly irregular, so I hope you get the refund or replacement you’re looking for. But yes, Archos’s software suffers from some very foolish UI points. I have to say though, its handling of video goes a long way towards amending some of them, it’s quite excellent at that. Here’s to the next one running Android eh?

  • trow

    It’s cheap and that’s shows. The touch screen sometimes fails to respond. The headphones are really low quality – mine have fallen apart within a month. Save your money and try something else.

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