The Asus PadFone 2 is an Android™ smartphone that weights just 135g and measures 9mm at its thickest point. Its 4.7”, 1280 x 720 HD Super IPS+ display uses scratch-resistant Corning® Fit Glass and a 2140mAh battery provides up to 16 hours 3G talk-time and 13 hours Wi-Fi web browsing. The PadFone 2 is powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM and has a storage capacity of up to 64GB. The specifications are great and put it on similar grounds as the upcoming Optimus G and the current Samsung S3 LTE or HTC One X+. The unique feature of the Padfone 2 is that you can dock it with the PadFone 2 Station to become a lightweight, but fully featured, 10.1” tablet. At just 649g, the combined weight of both PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station is lighter (just slightly) than the new iPad at 662g.
Asus has been making great tablets. It started with the Transformer Prime and then later on, they built the excellent Google Nexus 7. With that experience, the PadFone 2 station would likely continue the great Asus tablet legacy. The PadFone 2 is expected to be launched next week in Taiwan. Like its predecessor, the PadFone 2 can be purchased either on its own or together with the PadFone Station. The former ranges from NT$17,990 to NT$21,901 (or about Singapore S$750 to S$916) unsubsidized for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flavors, while the slate bundle is simply an additional NT$6,000 (about S$250) for each price point — much cheaper than buying the PadFone Station separately for NT$8,990 (S$376). Compared to the original PadFone, the increase in screen size and decrease in the tablet weight are much welcomed. The PadFone 2 will ship with Android 4.0, which is a bit disappointing but a Jelly Bean upgrade is expected from Asus in the future. Lastly, the device features a 13MP rear camera with an f/2.4 BSI sensor from Sony, which supports 1080p at 30fps and there’s a front-facing 1.2MP camera too. The camera sounds great and we are looking forward to see some sample pictures.
The unique smartphone-tablet hybrid is an interesting proposition. As a phone, it can compare to the current Android leaders and as a tablet, the specifications (power, screen size/quality) and weight are also not too shabby. It could be useful for business users who are constantly on the go and can reduce the weight of their travels. The PadFone 2 station with the 5000mA basically provides a bigger screen and battery pack for the PadFone 2. If they had pair this with a keyboard, this would be a great successor to the Transformers line. We are hoping Singtel / Starhub / M1 can match the competitive pricing in Taiwan and if so, we feel that the Asus PadFone 2 would be a viable competitor to the rest of the Android Market.