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Asus PadFone 2 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £599
inc VAT

We wish the tablet's screen was brighter, but this is still an innovative and convenient alternative to carrying a smartphone and tablet


Android 4.1 (JellyBean), 4.7in 1,280×720 (phone), 1,280×800 (tablet) display


Slide the PadFone into the rear of the tablet and there’s an almost seamless transition to a full Android 4.1 tablet experience. The PadFone closes any apps that aren’t compatible with tablet mode automatically, and you’re left looking at a standard Android 4 tablet homescreen. We say an “almost seamless” transition, as sometimes the pop-up message telling us that apps had been closed refused to close itself for a minute or two, but this was rare.

Asus PadFone 2

The tablet feels just as quick as the phone, and works just as well as any good Android tablet. The tablet’s screen has impressive black levels which helps produce vibrant colours, but there were a couple of problems. The first is its resolution. 1,280×800 is a standard resolution from around a year ago and is by no means low, but when you’ve been spoilt by 1,920×1,080 screens and Apple’s 2,048×1,536 displays, the visible pixels and lack of pin-sharp text can be distracting.

Asus PadFone 2

The other problem is brightness. We tested the tablet indoors on a sunny day, and at its default automatic brightness setting the screen was far too dim. To get a brightness level we were happy with we had to turn on the high-brightness outdoors setting and set the tablet manually to maximum brightness. The screen was fine at this setting, but this knocked two hours off its battery life in our video playback test, cutting down to just over six hours.

Asus PadFone 2


We like the Asus PadFone 2. The phone on its own is a classy Android handset, and the combination of the phone and tablet is particularly good value on contract, especially when you consider you’re getting a very fast smartphone and a 3G tablet for the price of a high-end smartphone.

However, the tablet section is compromised, due to the screen’s relatively low resolution and low brightness, which pale next to those of the iPad and the latest Android tablets such as the Sony Xperia Tablet Z. There’s also the question of the new high-resolution Asus PadFone Infinity, which has a Full HD screen and should arrive in the UK this year. In the meantime, though, the PadFone 2 makes a fairly compelling alternative to carrying both a phone and a tablet.

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Main display size4.7in
Native resolution1,280×720 (phone), 1,280×800 (tablet)
CCD effective megapixels13-megapixel
Internal memory32768MB
Memory card supportnone
Memory card includedN/A
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100, 4G 800/1800/2600
Wireless data4G
Size138x69x9mm (phone), 181x263x10mm (tablet)


Operating systemAndroid 4.1 (JellyBean)
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord, Excel, PowerPoint
FM Radioyes
Accessoriesheadphones, data cable, charger, tablet dock
Talk time16 hours
Standby time14 days

Buying Information

SIM-free price£599
Price on contract0

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