ASUS Padfone 2 review
With more delay than might be expected (its successor has already been presented, we are talking about the ASUS Padfone Infinity), the Spanish window displays the ASUS Padfone 2, a worthy second evolution of ASUS 'approach to the smartphone market.
As ASUS is already a master of equipment that we can convert into others (there you have your transformer tablets), your commitment to the smartphone market is not the same that any other manufacturer offers us. In your case, the ASUS Padfone 2 we already know that it makes less sense without its accessory to turn it into a tablet. A two for one that we have already thoroughly tested in Xataka.
Next, the analysis of the ASUS Padfone 2 in Xataka.
Design and finish
If we tell you about the original ASUS Padfone when we analyzed it in Xataka that it was too heavy for us when we used it in tablet mode (about a kilogram of weight), we have to congratulate ASUS for the improvement it has made in this regard with its Padfone 2. They are now less than 10 mm thick and weigh less than 140 grams.
Both the smartphone and the screen to turn it into a tablet are now lighter, more manageable and with a better overall finish.
The smartphone follows the sober, no-nonsense design of the previous generation. We just have to talk about a peculiarity, which is the wedge finish that it presents with the aim of facilitating its introduction on the tablet-screen, which it achieves in plenty of way. That peculiarity is hardly appreciated in hand, so you will not notice much difference compared to your current monotonous smartphone.
The wedge ending is the least curious
The front of the ASUS Padfone 2 is completely covered by Corning glass, with a screen that narrows the edges a lot, so that the 4.7 inches of diagonal are well proportioned in the hand. The edge is metallic, while the back is made of good quality plastic (but it still gives a lower-end phone feel than it actually is) and with the characteristic design of the latest ASUS equipment, where circles Concentric around the camera add a touch of personality, grip and leave all traces of fingerprints out.
Good grip and footprints outside
Regarding the physical connections, at the top we find the headphone jack, the slot for the microSIM card that must be opened with a pointed object, and that's it. The left side is virgin while on the right we find the power button at the top and just below, the volume control. Both buttons are comfortable to wear and well finished.
Already in the lower part of the frame is the microUSB port, a microphone and also the connection points of the smartphone with the screen with which it becomes a fully functional tablet.
The Android buttons remain hidden from view until we turn on the terminal. They are tactile and located just above the small ASUS logo. On that front we find a main speaker and the video conferencing camera at the top, in addition to the corresponding sensors.
In the back, the leading role is for the main camera, an LED flash and another speaker, in addition to the name of the terminal with a metallic finish on the plastic of the housing, which, despite what it may seem, can be removed. It is not straightforward or straightforward, but can be done if necessary.
If we go to talk about the base, the weight barely exceeds 500 grams, so both teams together leave us a tablet with less than 650 grams. Considering that we are talking about a model with 10.1 inches of screen, it is not bad.
The design with very smooth lines makes the handling of this equipment very pleasant and in hand it is really very light, although the quality sensation of the finish does not convince us. At least it is different from the Padfone.
Introduced at the end of last year, the ASUS Padfone 2 cannot boast of hosting a very media pixel density (312 dpi). Its 4.7 inches have to comply with the 1280x720 pixels characteristic of last year. So when compared to the screens of the new HTC One or Xperia Z this year, one is able to appreciate the difference in detail between them.
But if we focus on the Padfone 2 screen directly, there is good news. And is that ASUS has used SuperIPS + technology for the display panel, which translates into spectacular brightness (there is an outdoor mode that launches the brightness up to 550 nits), a very real and warm color reproduction and High contrast, although with viewing angles that have to improve, especially in terms of brightness.
As for the tablet screen, it is 10.1 inches, with also contained resolution (1280x800 pixels) and IPS technology. It comes of course with Corning Gorilla protection.
Performance and autonomy
The heart of the ASUS Padfone 2 (also in tablet mode, since the accessory is only a screen and extra battery) is a Qualcomm 8064 processor with quad-core 1.5 Ghz accompanied by 2 GB of RAM and an internal memory of 32 GB in the model that we have tested (with options of 16 and 64 GB as well) that we cannot expand because there is no slot for microSD cards. ASUS entrusts everything to that space and online storage solutions, including its own.
The terminal is an LTE device with WiFi n, NFC and bluetooth 4.0, in addition to noise reduction technology that works quite well.
At the performance level, in our test it has behaved in an excellent way, moving Android smoothly, perfectly managing what we demanded in the multimedia, games or screen response. At the level of figures, in Quadrant it has reached 7,932 points, with a mark that is close to 15,000 (14,977) in Antutu.
As for the battery, this ASUS Padfone 2 integrates a 2140 mAh that allows you to reach a day and a half of use if we do not abuse the screen. In continuous video playback mode, we have always exceeded seven and a quarter hours of autonomy.
When we have the ASUS in tablet mode, the extra 5,000 mAh battery gives the Padfone 2 a behavior similar to that of other computers with similar screen sizes.
For charging, we can bring the tablet or phone back to life separately, as well as together. In that case, the phone faces first and then the tablet battery does. In total there are about four and a half hours of charge for the entire team.
Camera and multimedia
Facing the camera test of an ASUS team is always a rewarding task. From the first versions of its Transformers tablets, ASUS has shown that despite the greater or lesser utility that can be given to a main camera of a tablet, with them the quality was assured.
With the camera of your ASUS Padfone 2, from Sony and with 13 million pixels, the same thing happens. In controlled light environments, the result is very good, realistic and detailed, and although it improves its behavior in low light, it is still its pending issue, especially now that we have equipment such as the Lumia 920 or the HTC One that have set the bar very well. tall.
See complete gallery »Padfone 2 photo samples (11 photos)
To highlight the burst mode at 6 fps that allows continuous shooting of up to 100 photos and then choose the best images to save.
The version with which we have tested the ASUS Padfone 2 is Android 4.0.4. The promise was to have 4.1 but for now in Spain this is what is available.
The customization that ASUS does on Android 4.0 in the ASUS Padfone 2 is attractive, adds more than subtraction and for example separates in the main menu the applications that are exclusive to tablet mode. Other interesting additions are the selection of the best WiFi network from among those saved automatically, a widget and different applications such as ASUS Studio.
See complete gallery »ASUS Padfone 2 screenshots (8 photos)
This tablet mode automatically jumps when you anchor the Padfone 2 in the Padfone Station, which by the way is not compatible between generations. And instantly we get a fully functional tablet.
Special mention must be given to the energy management proposed by ASUS, where the user has important control over how it is used. For example we can determine if we want to deactivate the Padfone Station so that its battery is in charge of recharging that of the phone.
Uniting phone and tablet: Xataka's opinion
Having a single "brain" but the possibility of acting with two different personalities is very tempting. The Padfone 2 puts it into practice in a better way than its predecessor, in which a compartment gave us the feeling of something old compared to the good idea of the set.
With the new Padfone 2 this has been solved. Now the connection between the smartphone and the accessory-tablet is direct, safe and effective. We also gained in equipment thinness, all while maintaining a very good screen quality especially in terms of brightness and a camera that more than meets the level of the most outstanding models of this 2013.
The Padfone Station 2 brings a bigger screen and extra battery, leaving all the processing, internal memory and of course the operating system to the smartphone. And we like the combination, although we fear that for now it does not enjoy much popularity in the market and the user opts for a single larger screen and having the tablet completely separate. And if there is a renovation too close to the launch of each generation ...
The phone has been loaned for testing by ASUS. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises