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* * * * *

Asus announces the Padfone 2


Asus have announced the PadFone 2, a comprehensive upgrade to the original PadFone device which at it's core offered the ability to dock a phone into a 'PadFone station' tablet, thereby avoiding the pitfalls of component - and most importantly - data duplication between multiple devices.

The original PadFone featured a Dual Core Qualcomm S4 CPU with 1GB RAM and a lovely 4.3" qHD Super AMOLED screen. The successor boosts these specs while sticking to the same formula - it has a Quad Core Qualcomm S4 CPU, 2GB RAM and a 4.7" Super IPS+ 720P screen protected by Corning Fit Glass. The camera is bumped to a borderline ridiculous 13-megapixel item with a 100 shot burst mode which can also take six shots per second while simultaneously recording 1080p HD video at 30fps, or 720p HD video at 60fps. Low-light performance is enhanced by the f/2.4 aperture and a dedicated image signal processor a-la-HTC ImageSense.

Unlike it's predecessor, the PadFone 2 will be available with LTE connectivity and also includes NFC support.

The biggest downside of the original device was probably it's size and weight and in this regard, Asus have gone to town. The PadFone 2 phone and station comes in at only 649g, which Asus claim is lighter than most tablets on the market. The dock mechanism has been redesigned to remove the 'flap' (which never felt that great) which both improves the docking experience and reduces thickness. The decrease in size of the overall unit isn't at the expense of battery life. The 2140mAh battery in the phone provides up to 16 hours 3G talk-time and 13 hours Wi-Fi web browsing, while the station's 5000mAh battery gives up to 36 hours 3G talk-time.

So the phone itself has truly leading edge specs, the station is far more desirable and the battery life should still be epic. One of the greatest benefits of the PadFone has always been the ability to use the Station and when finished, undock a fully charged phone and that will still be the case. The original device also included the option to add in a Transformer-style keyboard for an even bigger battery, unfortunately that's not possible with version 2... users will only have the option of a Bluetooth keyboard.

The PadFone 2 will be launched before the end of December in Europe (Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden) and Asia (Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and U.A.E). Availability in other countries (including the UK) will be announced at a later date.

You can learn more about the PadFone 2 at the Asus homepage and Engadget have some excellent side-by-side photos with the original.

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About the author

PaulOBrien's Photo
Paul O'Brien founded MoDaCo in 2002 as a site focused on Windows Smartphones and has grown it since then by concentrating on providing a friendly community for both experienced and beginner mobile enthusiasts.

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5 Comments

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everett_psycho
Oct 16 2012 03:15 PM
Looks amazing but reading around I've found a few more details. Engadget are saying the Europe pricing is €799 for the 32gb and €899 for the 64gb, not too bad if you need both phone and tablet though

http://m.engadget.co...ty-europe-asia/

Its also due here in the UK in 'early 2013'

http://m.techradar.c...-the-uk-1104762
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I really like the look of this.

My only wish would have been that they kept the screen to 4.3", or maximum 4.5" if the bezel was tiny. I have admittedly small hands, but I can't handle these 4.65-4.8" phones easily which unfortunately is ruling out all the flagship devices.

With the whole mantra of a Padfone, I don't think it would have been sacrificing anything to keep the screen size down on the phone, with the selling point of being able to expand it to a 10" screen so easily.

Easily my dream phone would be a Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB RAM, qHD IPS+ 4.0-4.3" screen, high quality 8MP camera with a good 2MP front facing, 4G, NFC and 2000+mAh battery with minimum 8GB onboard and microSD slot.

I doubt I'm the only one, and it's disappointing that all the alternatives like the One S (no microSD) or even the new SIII Mini (massive disappointment) all fall short in a critical area.
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I agree with r1ch1e about the screen size. If the tablet is big then the phone should be small.

And why is it launching with ICS?
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Colossae3.23
Oct 17 2012 10:04 AM
@Paul

looking forward to your upcoming review. When you asked for questions a few weeks ago, I asked about how sturdy the connection was. After reading Trusted Reviews hands-on today. It looks well thought out, and strong.

So, I can ask another question ;-) Will you be able to back up the Station/Phone (mainly docs, photos, music) to an external hard drive, through USB 2 or even 3?

Thanks

regarding the last post here. The article I read said they spent so much time making the integration between the phone and station/tablet, that they didn't have time to add 4.1. But Asus, is well known for updating the android os promptly. (at least in comparison to other companies)
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I have gotten used to the larger screen size and I personally welcome screen sizes between 4.65-4.8

I am most impressed with the CPU, Asus are claiming Arm Cortex A15 on board, that along with the usually impressive updates to their devices mean this may be one to look out for, but personally just interested in the phone
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