The ‘phablet’ market has delivered a few interesting devices, notably the Galaxy Note series. But, by and large, they’re not popular mainstream devices. They’re niche.
The ASUS Padfone series is built with the capability to power a tablet module, along with the phone itself. A twist on the various hybrid models that have been appearing lately, ASUS is attempting to win over some consumers who’d rather be a little less for more.
But does it work?
Hardware and features
The Padfone features a quad-core 1.7 GHz processor, running the Android Jelly Bean software. The gadget comes with 2GB of RAM, and 32GB or 64GB of storage.
The screen is five-inches wide, and features a 1080×1920 display, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.
The device also features two cameras, the first being a 13 megapixel lens with an LED flash, along with a forward-facing 2MP lens capable of filming at 1080p.
What’s the consensus?
Over at Engadget, the publication noted the phone’s design, which uses an aluminium alloy build and varies from older models. There is also a gentle curve along the back of the device, although produces some “relatively sharp edges”.
“The two previous PadFones, on the other hand, had well-rounded corners that fit our hands better. It would have also helped if the screen bezels were less than 4mm thick, thus keeping the phone narrower.”
However, the publication also noted these were trade-offs for a brushed metal pattern which looks much nicer.
As for the tablet ‘station’, in which the phone can sit in order to work as a larger tablet, the device comes with a micro-USB port, loudspeaker and microphone. Engadget noted it had no problem holding the phone in place with the dock.
As for the software, TechRadar noted there was “absolutely no lag” from the quad-core processor.
Over at WhatHiFi, the publication noted there was enough juice in the Infinity Station to charge the phone twice, before needing a recharge itself, which is a plus for those ready and willing to use the station device.
Back at Engadget, the publication dipped into the Android software itself, noting that it mostly remains a stock Android product with very little customisation. However, there have been some changes, for example how the home button is used, and the ability to change home screen scenarios.
The best feature, however, is the Dynamic Display, which allows the current app to be kept open when switching between the phone and the tablet.
“The good news is that not only did ASUS keep the switch time below two seconds, but the list of compatible apps out of the box has grown tremendously, including many of the 23 ASUS apps,” it said.
Performance-wise, Engadget noted the device was speedy and on par with the HTC One.
Who’s it for?
The Padfone Infinity is certainly a handsome device, and it has the performance specs to be worth a purchase.
But the question remains, whether you want to use a combination phone and tablet rather than buy one of each. If you’re after a hybrid, this is definitely worth a look.