Asus FonePad vs PadFone
Asus PadFone is an idea that has been around for quite some time. It was introduced over and over again in the Consumer Electronic Shows for the last couple of years but didn’t kick start in the markets. It might be because of the steep price point the PadFones are offered. In any case, Asus has a challenge in morphing the PadFone idea in to a marketable product that will have a tangible amount of sales. Asus also introduced FonePad concept, which is relatively new. At the MWC 2013, we saw two similar devices; Asus FonePad and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. These two devices were essentially huge smartphones or rather tablets that emulate the characteristics of a smartphone with the ability to call. Since these two devices have disparate origins, we’ll discuss about their conceptual differences before going in to individual reviews.
Asus FonePad is essentially bringing the smartphone facilities to a tablet. At 7.0 inches, FonePad is definitely a tablet, but it is a tablet that lets you make calls. As you may have known, we have come to identify these devices as Phablets, but Asus FonePad goes a step further introducing a 7 inch phablet, whereas the usual phablet was 5.5 to 6 inches. In fact, we are at a loss whether to call this a tablet or a phablet. In any case, the idea is good because most of the people detest taking multiple devices with them everywhere and this can essentially be a point of convergence. In fact, if you carry a bag or wear an overcoat, these smartphone tablet hybrids will fit in nicely in your pocket. Hence they are especially attractive to women who usually carry a handbag with plenty of space to put a 7 inch tablet in.
Asus PadFone is essentially a super awesome smartphone that comes with a docking station. This docking station is basically a huge display panel and when you dock your smartphone in to it, your smartphone transforms in to a tablet. So if I’m to put it simply, Asus PadFone is a powerful smartphone and a dummy display panel combo. The dock also has sufficient battery and additional ports along with a front facing camera. This is also a great idea from Asus, but with the steep price point it is offered, we have a doubt about the demand fluctuations. As such, we decided to look at these two devices and compare them along with each other to find out their respective user cases.
Asus FonePad and Asus PadFone are often mistaken as the same device. The difference is that the FonePad being a tablet that emulates a smartphone while the PadFone being a smartphone emulating a tablet through an external HD display panel. We’ll be talking about the FonePad and how much attention Asus has given it. As you may have known, FonePad is powered by Intel Atom Z2420 processor that is clocked at 1.2GHz. The GPU is PowerVR SGX 540 while it also has 1GB RAM. Android OS v4.1 Jelly Bean governs the underlying hardware and offers fluid functionality. We are curious so as to what made Asus use an Intel Atom single core processor instead of the Snapdragon or Tegra 3 variants. It also presents us the chance to benchmark it against the performance of those aforementioned chipsets.
Asus FonePad has 7.0 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display panel featuring a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels at a pixel density of 216ppi. While this doesn’t feature the high end pixel density, the display panel doesn’t seem to pixelate at all either. One can see a striking resemblance to the Google Nexus 7 when looking at the Asus FonePad and rightfully it is the case. Given Asus manufactured the Google Nexus 7, they certainly have made it more or less like Google’s maiden tablet. But Asus has decided to use a smooth metal back in FonePad which gives it a sense of elegance compared to the plasticky feeling in Nexus 7. As pointed out in the introduction, Asus FonePad offers the GSM connectivity emulating the functions of a typical smartphone. It also comes with 3G HSDPA connectivity along with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n for continuous connectivity. You can also create a Wi-Fi hotspot using FonePad and share your internet connectivity with friends. It comes with 8GB or 16GB internal storage with the ability to expand using microSD card up to 32GB. It also comes with a front facing camera of 1.2MP for video conferencing and Asus may include a 3.15MP back camera for certain markets. It’ll come in Titanium Gray and Champagne Gold colors. Asus also promises a talk time of 9 hours with the 4270mAh battery they have included in FonePad.
Asus PadFone Infinity is the newest addition to Asus PadFone family, hence we will talk about that here. PadFone is essentially a smartphone that comes with a great external display that enables the smartphone to emulate the capabilities of a tablet. So, if you get Asus PadFone, you’ll get an awesome smartphone and a great tablet in one run. PadFone Infinity is powered by 1.7GHz Krait Quad Core processor on top of Qualcomm APQ 8064T Snapdragon 600 chipset with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It runs on Android OS v4.2 Jelly Bean which is the newest version available. This smartphone undoubtedly is a beast looking at its specs; it would do all you need in a brisk without any second thoughts on performance issues. As pointed out by Asus, PadFone Infinity comes with the newest chipset introduced by Qualcomm which is known as Snapdragon 600. The internal storage will have two options of 32GB or 64GB without an option to expand using microSD card.
Asus PadFone Infinity has 5.0 inches Super IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at a pixel density of 441 ppi. It also has Corning Gorilla Glass reinforcement for scratch resistance and offers multi touch up to 10 fingers. The specialty of the PadFone as pointed out is the ability to use it with a display dock. This display dock (or tablet dock) has 10.1 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels with a 1MP front facing camera for video conferencing when the smartphone is docked. Docking stations weighs 530g which is somewhat on the hefty side on the spectrum when added the 141g weight of the smartphone when docked. It has 5000mAh battery and can either charge the smartphone three times or extend the battery life of the smartphone for 19 hours. It does sound like a really lucrative deal.
Asus has included the 4G LTE connectivity for PadFone Infinity along with 3G HSDPA connectivity. It also has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n for continuous connectivity, and you can also set up a Wi-Fi hotspot to share your internet connectivity. The smartphone has 13MP rear camera with autofocus and LED flash and can capture 1080p HD videos at 30 frames per second. It also has 2MP front facing camera for video conferencing, as well. Asus PadFone Infinity has a glamorous look associated with it with the Titanium Gray brushed metal back plate. It certainly looks premium in your hand, which would give you a sense of pride. However, Asus PadFone Infinity is also a smartphone that is going to dig a deep hole in your pocket; it is priced at $1200.
A Brief Comparison Between Asus PadFone Infinity and Asus FonePad
• Asus PadFone Infinity is powered by 1.7GHz Krait Quad Core processor on top of Qualcomm APQ 8064T Snapdragon 600 chipset with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM while Asus FonePad is powered by 1.2GHz single core processor on top of Intel Atom Z2420 chipset with PowerVR SGX 540 GPU and 1GB of RAM.
• Asus PadFone Infinity runs on Android OS v4.2 Jelly Bean while Asus FonePad runs on Android OS v4.1 Jelly Bean.
• Asus PadFone Infinity has 5.0 inches Super IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at a pixel density of 441ppi along with a PadFone docking station that features a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels while Asus FonePad has 7.0 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels at a pixel density of 216 ppi.
• Asus PadFone Infinity has 13MP rear facing camera with autofocus and LED flash that can capture 1080p HD videos @ 30 fps while Asus FonePad has 1.2MP front facing camera for video conferencing.
• Asus PadFone Infinity (143.5 x 72.8 mm / 8.9 mm / 141g) is smaller, thinner, and lighter than Asus FonePad (196.4 x 120.1 mm / 10.4 mm / 340g).
• Asus PadFone Infinity has 2400mAh battery while Asus FonePad has 4270mAh battery.
These two mobile devices are in different ranges and offers different facilities. We decided to compare them because both these devices aim at a convergence point where the smartphone and the tablet are merged in to one device. Asus PadFone Infinity takes a different approach by introducing a super smart smartphone and a dock that emulates a tablet while Asus FonePad offers a super bulky smartphone tablet combination. Asus PadFone Infinity is offered at a premium pricing range that is above all the known tablet or smartphone prices which is going to create a serious void in your wallet at $1200. However, Asus FonePad is offered at an affordable price point of around $250 which offers great value for money. So, our frank presumption is that while Asus PadFone Infinity is by far the best among these two, the market for it won’t be crowded at the steep price point it is offered as opposed to the crowded market that may be created centering the cheap Asus FonePad.