By September 25, 2010

Archos 3cam Vision review

Archos 3cam Vision review As with many others Archos is a name I am very familiar with in the world of MP3/4 players however these days it seems manufacturers really must go above and beyond the norm. In order to stand out from the ever-dominant fruit based market.



What’s in the box?

  • ARCHOS 3cam vision Player
  • USB Cable Mini B / A (for charging and file transfer)
  • earphones
  • user guide

Check out Matt’s Archos 3cam unboxing video too for a look at the box and UI.


Archos 3cam Vision specification:

  • Internal Storage: Available in 8 GB – Store up to 4,000 songs or 20 hours of video
  • Screen: 3″ color TFT screen – 400 x 240 pixels
  • Music Playback: MP3, WMA (non-protected), WAV, OGG, FLAC, APE
  • Photo Playback: JPEG, BMP, GIF
  • Video Playback: MPEG, WMV (non protected files), FLV, AVI, RMVB
  • Extras: Reads text files (.TXT) & lyrics files (.LRC)
  • Video camera: Records MPEG-4 (.asf format) in VGA (@15 fps) or QVGA (@ 30 fps) resolutions
  • FM Radio: 87.5 – 108 MHz
  • FM Transmitter: Low power FM transmitter 87 – 108 MHz
  • Recorder: Records voice from the built-in microphone or FM radio in WAV format
  • Other: Adjustable sound equalizer, multi-language interface, calculator, calendar
  • Battery: Up to 14 hours of music playback or 4 hours video playback
  • Dimensions: 3.82″x 2.05″ x 0.35″ – 97 mm x 52 mm x 9 mm
  • Weight: 2.26 oz – 64 g
  • Compatibility: Windows® or Mac® and Linux (with mass storage support)
  • Interface PC: USB 2.0 High Speed



The Archos certainly talks a good game seemingly carrying all the bells and whistles required to keep any media fan entertained for many an hour whether it be music, video or photos they desire the Archos 3cam vision promises to deliver.

Archos 3cam Vision review


The device is of extremely slim and sleek design and feels light in the hand. Not a hard key to be found the Archos as you may have guessed is a complete touch screen device with a single touch return button in the lower third of the device.



The front houses the mirrored touch screen providing adequate viewing space for all your favourite video and photos. As mentioned before the front of the 3cam vision also features the only active button on the device, the touch return button will happily guide you back to the previous menu with a simple tap.
The bottom of the Archos features the standby slider/lock as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack and connector input.





  • Battery Life
  • Audio & Visual Quality



  • Unresponsive touch screen
  • Poor Camera Quality



Mentioned at the beginning of this review the Archos has a lot to live up to in order to allow it to stand out from the crowd when in the name of media players there really does only seem to be one name that clouds all others but, will the Archos be able to give consumers something to think about before jumping on the

Apple Band Wagon and really offer an alternative to the iPod range?

First things first with any Media player one of the vital characteristics are quality whether this is video quality, picture quality or indeed all round sound quality.

The Archos has no internal speakers so headphones are a must however that said sound quality with said headphones came as a pleasant surprise. Not only are volume levels sufficient for drowning out even the nosiest of background noise however a Media player requires more than just great volume far more importantly is great sound quality and I was pleasantly surprised with the Archos as the sound really did impress me, given this devices price it was more than acceptable with great bass and rich sounds regardless of genre or style. An obvious disappointment is the lack of support for tracks purchased through iTunes which for many of us including myself really does hold the Archos back with a large majority of us purchasing our music from Apple’s online store.

The Archos is an MP4 player so it would seem wrong of not to touch upon the video playback capabilities the Archos presents. The 3 inch screen provides ample viewing space for all your viewing needs and once again a moment of surprise when I first viewed a video as the screen showed this bright clear image which was definitely not what I was expecting but another tick in the box for Archos in the fight against the fruit.

The touch screen was a point of particular interest to me, the screen is plenty large enough so as to not cause a problem with those with larger fingers however that said the touch screen was a disappointment, I found it to be unresponsive on occasion and often found myself tapping an item several times before it decided to respond and for a media player I found this be unacceptable and understandably frustrating. It became more apparent when using feature such as volume control, which became close to an impossible task and when this is happening when using basic features you know you are in trouble.

If at this stage you are still wondering just exactly why the Archos is called the 3cam vision allow me to explain, at the bottom of the back of the device sits a VGA camera capable of both stills and video recording, promising as it sounds the pleasant surprises seemed to ware off as I was greeted with dull lifeless looking images and videos with an almost sepia like quality to them which was doing nothing for the Archos when sat next to a new generation iPod Nano at the time. Although a nice idea it does seem like the camera can certainly be filled in the after thought category and just did not meet par when compared to the quality of other features of the Archos.



So you have the device in your hands what can the Archos offer in terms of storage? A healthy 8GB of internal memory offers a healthy amount for all your photos, music and videos. How long will you be able to enjoy these features? Battery life is touted at a staggering 14 hours of music playback which give or take an hour or so is certainly well up there in terms of performance compared to other similar devices.




So overall the Archos 3cam vision is a cheap enough solution to your entertainment needs. The sound quality is great video quality of a similar high standard so why do I find myself with doubts? The touch screen for me was a real let down and in many ways inhibited the enjoyment of the great features such as the quality of the entertainment. With the VGA camera added to the mix I am left underwhelmed with the Archos. The 3cam vision is not a bad device but it is impossible to review an item like this without comparing it to other products on the market. For those looking for an alternative to the main stream the Archos is great but is it capable of grabbing a large share of that market? Not just yet. A great effort from Archos with a few creases to iron out and once done I can really see a future Archos device taking on the giants elsewhere, so watch this space.


Review by: Nick


About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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