ASUS Fonepad Review – The Orange Box

The Orange Box Screen

Welcome to The Orange Box, where I review gadgets and provide opinions to engaging gadget-related topics.

This is for the layman adventurer, and as such the use of advanced technical terms and acronyms are minimal. But, of course, for those who wants to dive deep into technical details or cross-examine the facts, I have shortlisted reliable resources below, with The Orange Box serving as an excellent introduction piece.

Check out The Orange Box often and find the right gadgets to power your next adventure.


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ASUS Fonepad ASUS Logo

Introduction

The ASUS Fonepad is pretty much the Google Nexus 7 (made by ASUS) with phone capabilities. ASUS seems to be experimenting with the objective of finding the perfect sweet spot for the all-in-one device that we increasingly demand. With the Google Nexus 7 finding success with its low pricing and Google’s backing, I find out if the sweet spot is the ASUS Fonepad.

Specification

ASUS FonePad Specs List

Hardware Design

ASUS Fonepad Diagonal

Front/Screen

Sporting a 7 inch IPS LCD display, the ASUS Fonepad has the same display as the Google Nexus 7 (2012), with a pixel density of 216ppi. Compared to other tablets of the same screen size, this is well above average, though it is not past the 300ppi threshold, thus you will notice the pixels. But just to put it in perspective, the iPad Mini only has a pixel density of 162ppi.

With 800×1280 pixels, the ASUS Fonepad display’s pixel density is ~216. For a 7inch tablet, that is more than decent when compared to other tablets of the same screen size.

Something I noticed though was that the screen tends to get smudged with your fingerprints and sweat much more easily than other devices. I found myself having to constantly wipe the screen clean, and yet I never truly felt the smooth “clean” feel after using it for a while.

ASUS Fonepad Card Slots (1)

Back

The back of the ASUS Fonepad is metallic, though it certainly does not have the premium feel that of the ASUS PadFone Infinity. Nonetheless, it is definitely better than cheap plastic, with the Fonepad providing confidence that it can take a few drops. The contours of the device are rounded, thus holding the device with one hand is quite comfortable.

At the top, it is a weirdly placed removable panel. Removing it (which is awkward at times) will expose the Micro SIM and Micro SD card slot (up to 32GB).

Usability

ASUS Fonepad Intel Logo

Performance

The phrase “you get what you pay for” certainly rings truth in this review. While most mobile devices have opted for the popular and worthy ARM processors, ASUS had decided to fit in an Intel Atom processor. Such a processor coupled with the Android system (which in its nature is inefficient and requires a great load of power to run smoothly) simply results in a distasteful user experience that is of lag and crashes.

Compared to the Google Nexus 7, which uses a powerful 1.2GHz Quad Core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, let’s just say ASUS’s marketing of the Fonepad as your go-to budget tablet is accurate, with budget being the keyword.

Phone Capabilities

Tablets with phone capabilities have always been a Samsung staple, with each of its tablets having the ability to call and sms. Other tablets (defined as 7 inches and larger) do not have such capabilities, at least until the ASUS Fonepad arrives. That puts it in a niche with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, and if you are to compare the specifications between the two, the ASUS Fonepad is more than well equipped to take on the fight.

Click for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 specifications to compare with the table above.

Battery Life

With a battery capacity 4,270mAh, the ASUS Fonepad promises great battery life. The Intel chipset may not have much processing power, but it sure is power efficient, with at least 2-3 days of average use in between charges. With few devices performing exceptionally well in this aspect, this is definitely a big plus and must be on your “pros” list when considering this device.

ASUS Fonepad Camera (1)

Camera

With the camera’s megapixel at 3.15mp, there really isn’t much to say about it. As you can see from the sample pictures below, it may be decent to share to your friends, but don’t pinch to zoom. (And add abit of filters on instagram to add “flavour”) Like I said to my father, at least it is better than not being able to take pictures at all, though that is the only compliment I could give in this regard.

Click to enlarge:

*All images shot in default settings

ASUS Padfone Back Speaker

Speaker

The speakers on the ASUS Fonepad is more than adequate to serve your needs. Located at the bottom left side at the back of the device, the speaker is nothing special, but definitely usable.

ASUS Fonepad Apps

Software

Like all other android devices out there, ASUS comes with its own recipe of android, though I must say user experience is very similar to stock android, which is a great thing to many users. Head on over the official ASUS Fonepad site to check out all the proprietary applications available.

ASUS Fonepad Length Side (2)

Wrapping It Up

The ASUS Fonepad is a device of mixed receptions. There are some pros and cons, and both are at its extremes. I love the battery, the display, and the overall convenience of using a portable tablet with calling capabilities. However, it’s lack of processing power and terrible camera leaves much to be desired.

Billed  as the go-to budget tablet with phone capabilities, it is in a niche with few competitors, and with that said, it will raise to the competition. However, the word budget has more weight than go-to, thus do take that in mind when making your purchase.

It seems that while there are truly great hardware in the 7 inch tablet market, no one has yet been able to add phone capabilities to them without significant sacrifices.

Other Reviews

This section exists to acknowledge that fact that no matter how good a review is, it is definitely wise to seek other reviews and make your own judgement before making a purchase. Here are some other quality reviews of the  ASUS Fonepad:

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About Ong Kah Jing

Just a guy wanting to talk about the wonders and facts like a vending machine that gives you a coca cola every time you hug it

2 comments

  1. Pingback: Asus Fonepad 7 voice-calling tablet launched at Rs. 17,499 | My Gadgets

  2. Pingback: How to Choose the Size of Your Smartphone or Tablet – The Orange Box | OKJ Discoveries

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