Asus FonePad review

Tom Morgan
25 Apr 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

It’ll suit few people as a smartphone, but the FonePad excels as a 3G tablet



7 in 1,280x800 display, 340g, 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420, 1.00GB RAM, 16GB disk, Android 4.1


Disappointingly, the FonePad runs Android version 4.1.2, rather than the latest 4.2 release found on the Nexus 7. On the plus side, Asus is usually one of the first manufacturers to update its devices to the latest version once Google releases its Android source code, so hopefully an update will be available soon.

Asus has tweaked the default Android user-interface slightly instead of using a completely custom skin. The main customisation is a fourth onscreen soft key, which sits to the side of the Back, Home and Previous apps buttons. It opens a panel containing 12 “mini-apps” that launch over the top of regular ones, letting you open a browser, to-do list or calendar when watching YouTube video or answering email.

There are also a few pre-installed apps, a mix of useful and not-so-useful, including the MS Paint-like MyPainter, MyBitCast, which is used for taking notes, and the Audio Wizard equalizer, which can boost various frequency bands using one of five presets, including Music, Movie, Game, Speech and Recording.

Asus FonePad

Of course, both the Phone and Messaging apps are here too, as the FonePad will let you send texts and make calls. However, you’ll look a bit silly using it on the train, as it’s so huge. Only larger hands will be able to grip it comfortably in one hand. Also, there’s no proximity sensor, so the display stays on when you lift it to your head. It works best with a Bluetooth headset, although you don’t get one in the box.

Considering the company’s track record, it should come as no surprise that the FonePad is a fantastic budget tablet. It has the same dimensions and display as the Nexus 7, but also the added advantages of better battery life, SIM and MicroSD card slots.

You’re unlikely to use it as a replacement for your smartphone, as the lack of a rear camera and its size make it a little impractical, but if you’re looking for a budget tablet today, your decision just got a lot tougher. Ultimately, if you want 3G and expandable storage, pick the FonePad, but if you prefer to be on the cutting edge, the Nexus 7 will be first in line for the latest versions of Android.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Atom Z2420
Processor clock speed1.2GHz
Memory slots1
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory1GB
SoundIntel HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchscreen


Viewable size7 in
Native resolution1,280x800
Graphics ProcessorPowerVR SGX540
Graphics/video portsnone
Graphics Memory1,024MB


Total storage capacity16GB
Optical drive typenone

Ports and Expansion

Wired network portsnone
Wireless networking support802.11n, 3G
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsMicro SD
Other ports3.5mm audio output


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemAndroid 4.1
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includednone
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB