View Full Version : Review: Archos 605 WiFi

Cookies N' Milk
12-11-2007, 12:12 AM
To begin I will be reviewing the Archos 605 WiFi 160GB portable media player (http://www.archos.com/products/gen_5/archos_605wifi/index.html?country=global&lang=en) and DVR Docking Station (http://www.archos.com/products/video_recording/dvrStation_g5.html?country=global&lang=en).

The Archos 605 WiFi 160GB
In the Box
Included in the box is the 605 WiFi, USB cable, earbuds, and User Manual. When you first open the box the unit will have about 10minutes of battery life so you will have to plug it into your computer and let it charge before using it. This is where the first problem is, charging. I used the docking station to charge my unit and it took all night to charge for the first time. I have heard of it taking over 24hours to charge (from a dead battery) using the USB cable. All I can say to that is wow. After you plug it in it will begin charging. When charging is completed a green light will flash on the top of the unit.


It Looks Big!
It really isn't once you get it in your hands. It is comfortable to hold and use. It is a tad on the heavy side, but you will get use to it very quickly. The screen is a very nice size, 4.3", and it is touchable :D.

605 WiFi next to my cell phone.

Turning it on
When you first start the 605 WiFi it brings up a boot page with the Archos logo. After a few seconds it switches to the GUI. There are eight Main icons, and several smaller ones. The eight main ones are Video, Music, Photo, Files, Content Portal, Web, Recorder, and Widgets. Along the right hand side there is Menu, Settings, WiFi, Information, and USB connection. At first I was kind of lost when using the GUI since it is my PMP and I am not use to it. I will admit, I had to read the manual to figure some things out.

605 WiFi GUI

The screen is nice and bright making the icons very easy to see. You get the choice of using the touchscreen, or the buttons along the right hand side of the 605 WiFi to navigate the GUI.

Video and Audio Playback
At first i was worried about the video quality. After loading a few ripped DVDs on to it and trying it out I was no longer worried. The picture quality is really good. None of my movies and pictures are distorted in anyway. The audio playback is very good as well. My music maintained its quality on the 605 WiFi except when using the onboard speaker at its highest setting. Not sure if I will ever use the onboard speaker so hopefully it won't be a problem.

Playing Music

This thing has a few options when it comes to sound which include an EQ, Bass Boost and the choice between Analog or SPDIF for output.

File Manager
Being a PMP and having many things on it at once it has to have a way for keeping the files nice and neat. Everything that is downloaded on to the device is kept in order automatically. MP3 and music files get their own folder, while movies and photos get theirs. You don't even have to move the files to each folder. It does it for you during the sync with your computer.


WiFi Access
Ahhh Now this is what I like! MP3/Video player, photo viewer, and now internet access all on one little device that fits in your hand. The 605 WiFi comes with WiFi access by default, but I have some bad news. You are required to buy the plugin to enable internet access. It is a real downer. The good news, the plugin does not cost too much, $30. I gave in to not being able to show off and go online using the 605 WiFi so I bought the plugin that night. I thought it would be a basic text based browser with one or two images showing up like my phone. Boy was I wrong. It uses the Opera web browser and can do almost anything. Watch movies on YouTube, post on TBCS, download files, and go to almost every website. It can not view sites that use Flash 7 or higher (such as speedtest.net). I am unsure if it is able to upload files. Let me test that right now... It does not appear to be able to upload files. I tried it on ImageShack without any luck. Shame, that would have been a huge plus.

Omg... Internet access!

Browser speed is not extremely fast, but what can you expect from such a small thing.


One thing I really like about the WiFi access is that I can get files right off of my shared folders on my computer. I no longer have to plug in my device to add files to it.

Can you say onscreen keyboard?

The 605 WiFi comes in four sizes. 4GB SD, 30GB, 80GB, and 160GB. The price range: $200-400US for the 605 WiFi. And if you want the plugins it will cost $30 for the internet access, plus $20 each for Video Podcast and MPEG-2 file format support. Now that may seem like it is way too much, and it is but if you compare it to something like the 16GB iPod Touch, it is cheap if you go by dollar per GB.

Ok so it can Play Music, Videos, Pictures and go Online. What Else?
It can become a camcorder. No joke. You can buy a USB based attachment, which happens to be a helmet cam. And for $150 I think it would be a steal.

Alright, now on top of a camcorder it can... are you ready for it? Record live TV. You need to buy the DVR Docking Station for it to do this but, it is well worth it.

DVR Docking Station
I have to say, this is a must even if you don't think you would record TV with it. Why? Simple, reduces charge time, and you will be recording TV with it, trust me.

What the DVR Docking Station Has and Does
The DVR Docking Station comes with the docking station, remote control, batteries, 2 s-video cables, 2 left/right audio cables, power cord and user manuals. To put it mildly, this thing is freaking sweet. It uses a USB A to B cable to connect to your computer, but it also allows you to connect your 605 WiFi directly to your phone or camera using a USB a port. On the back it has 2 red, 2 white and 2 yellow RCA jacks (Input/Output), 2 s-video ports (Input/Output), RGB (Output), SPDIF, Serial, Subwoofer, and the DC in. This allows you to connect your cable box to the DVR station, and then from the DVR station to your TV. You can watch and record the TV at the same time.


On the Archos website you can download the TV guide for your cable company, and then upload it to your 605 WiFi. This allows you to program it to start recording any program automatically. You don't even have to be there to press record. As long as it is on and plugged in, it will do it for you. It is like TiVo for handhelds :devious:.

I have even been able to hook up the s-video to my computer and record myself playing games.

You can even use use the included remote in the web browser as a mouse. It has an 8way d-pad with left and right click mouse buttons on it.

Looking good.

With all the features the station is bound to cost a tad. The Archos store has it listed for $100. I was lucky enough to get mine for free :rolleyes:.

Things you may Need
A decent pair of headphones. The included ones are crap and hurt the ears.
An USB A to B cable. The docking station does not include one.

Final Thoughts
I love this little unit. I tried my friend iPod Touch a while back and the Archos 605 WiFi puts it to shame. There are a few things I wish it had, like the plugins being FREE, doubt that will happen. The picture and audio quality are really good, and the touchscreen is a plus. It is a tad heavy but with with the ability to be able to watch RvB anywhere now, I think I can live with it ;). The TV recording is one of the coolest things I have seen. I was able to record the UFC Finale the other night which is really neat.

Plays music, videos, and photos.
Wifi Access
Touch Screen
Looks great
Can record live TV
Lots of great addons like the DVR station and helmet cam

Bigger than most PMPs/MP3s
Takes forever to charge
Having to buy the plugins (This one really bothers me)
Built in speaker is not great
Doesn't pick up chicks like an iPod does

Archos 605 WiFi 160GB
Archos DVR Docking Station

Worth it?
Worth every penny, and then some.

12-11-2007, 03:42 AM
Ya i pretty much want to own this. **** the ipod. i was going to get the like 160gb. i dun really care for the touch. but hey... this. seems like i'd have more fun with it.

12-18-2007, 09:15 PM
terrific review!

01-07-2008, 08:38 PM
I have the 604WIFI.
...pretty good product but don't expect to add any third party apps. Archos locked the public out of any good source code and there isn't as much of a hacker following as there is for the iphone or touch.

Cookies N' Milk
01-30-2008, 12:11 AM
Came back to give a quick update to this review. 3rd Party apps are in!

I have the 604WIFI.
...pretty good product but don't expect to add any third party apps. Archos locked the public out of any good source code and there isn't as much of a hacker following as there is for the iphone or touch.

The 604s and 605s have been hacked. 3rd party applications and operating systems are slowly making their way on to the Archos. So for those of you who were wanting more apps on it, I bet within a year you will see a ton. Here is a video tutorial I made on how to install one of the "hacks" on the Archos.

Just thought I would let you guys know ;) Anyone who has an Archos will be jumping for joy over it being hacked.

01-30-2008, 04:12 AM
Is it hard-drive or Flash based? Hard drive, I'd assume.

Anywho, the trusty Zen is wobbling around on it's metaphorical cane and it's 1.5 months until ye olde birthday so I'm looking at getting a new mp3 player.

Cookies N' Milk
01-30-2008, 05:58 AM
Is it hard-drive or Flash based? Hard drive, I'd assume.

Anywho, the trusty Zen is wobbling around on it's metaphorical cane and it's 1.5 months until ye olde birthday so I'm looking at getting a new mp3 player.

Only the 4GB version is flash based. All the other 605s are hard drive.

01-30-2008, 06:38 PM
I check every once in a while to see if anyone has hacked the 604wifi and I haven't seen anything.

Thanks a lot.
My archos has just been sitting around because I got bored of it and don't really need it very often. All the hacked stuff will definitely make it more exciting though. Get some more use out of a very expensive gadget hopefully.

EDIT: I just checked. I guess all of this just showed up recently since I found it without any hassle. I will be installing it pretty soon. It seems as though the install file and procedure is the same for any of the different archos PMPs that you can install it on. The 604wifi isn't officially confirmed to work though. Crossing my fingers...

01-30-2008, 08:41 PM
I just tried to install it.
It didn't work but I'm not terribly surprised because after looking around a bit more it's more difficult to get it running on the 604 than the new '05's.
Qtopia and the following Apps to come do look promising though.
And if the install process would have worked, it was very straight forward. Normally for stuff like this (especially the first few weeks) you have to jump through hoops of fire to get it working.
I will probably just sit back and wait for further developments as I'm not in a huge hurry to get Qtopia working.

Thanks for the heads up, again.

Cookies N' Milk
01-31-2008, 02:10 AM
If you want you can add me on msn or xfire and maybe I could give you a few pointers on getting it to work. I got it two work on two 604s and three 605s that belong to my friends. Anyways, right now I am _trying_ very hard to get a GB/A emulator ported. Dunno if it is possible but hopefully I will be able to figure something out. Only real port that is out right now is tree explorer. I just downloaded the file for it and if I can get it to install properly I will be putting a tutorial video up on how to do that as well ;D

EDIT: Just went to the Qtopia site to see if there was anything that could help you get it working on the 604 and I saw something rather neat, My Video is linked on the openpma site ;D. Ok back to the site to see if I can find anything that will help you get it working :P

01-31-2008, 12:04 PM
I don't have MSN or XFIRE. sorry.
Thanks for the help though.

The only two things that I can think of that could make a difference. The first is which version of firmware I have. I don't know the exact numbers off the top of my head but I do know its the second to newest one. The reason I didn't upgrade was because with the new firmware you can downgrade and it was a very minor update. I don't know if that would make a difference or not. And the second thing is when you set up the wireless file server does it matter what the workgroup name and computer name is. I have it set at the default now but don't know if I should change it to something else.

As far as finding specific help on forums or openpma.org for the 604 I looked around for a while and couldn't find anything of great help.

Thanks for the help.