Archos, which released tablet computers powered by early versions of Google's Android mobile operating system, has been silent for several years.
The company is no longer silent though, with the release of the GranitePhone, a new entry to the small but growing niche market of security-focused smartphones.
Archos has forged a partnership with SIKUR for the device, which will be competing against similar offerings such as the Blackphone and the Turing Phone. SIKUR is a company that focuses on encrypted communications applications geared towards businesses, and its expertise was put towards the development of the GranitePhone.
The GranitePhone, which took seven months to be released following its announcement in the Mobile World Congress held earlier in the year, can now be purchased for $849.
The selling price of the device, however, could be seen as too high for most customers. The GranitePhone only has specifications that are already found in the existing Archos 50 Diamond, with a 5-inch, full HD 1080p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset and 2GB of RAM. The internal storage capacity of the device is 16GB, battery capacity is at 2,700 mAh, and cameras are at 16MP for the rear-facing one and 8MP for the front-facing one.
The difference between the GranitePhone and the Archos 50 Diamond is the operating system, which changed from Android 4.4.4 KitKat to SIKUR's own Granite OS. Within the operating system, Archos promises multiple levels of protection, with basically all the parts of the device having a form of encryption.
However, as Android Police pointed out, despite security being the major selling point of the GranitePhone, the promotional material for the device is severely lacking in detail. The device promises no backdoors and several layers of protection, but does not explain how it will be providing such security to its users.
In addition, the specifications of the smartphone are reminiscent of mid-range Android devices, with smartphones featuring such specifications usually being sold for half of the device's selling price.
For customers that think that the GranitePhone is worth purchasing, then orders can now be placed through the smartphone's dedicated website.