Review : Asus Fonepad

My friend bought the Asus Fonepad two days ago and I asked him if I could do a review on it and I’ve been using it for two days and so far, the device is up to satisfaction (surprise!). So, without further delay, let’s jump right in on what’s good and what’s not on the new Asus Fonepad which was launched earlier this month in Malaysia. It’s RRP is RM849, but was on sale from RM 750 if you know where to look.

Hardware

The Fonepad feels great in hand with its nicely curved edges which is quite similar to the Nexus 7’s body. This time though, they slapped in a metal back making it feel rugged and nice to hold. As slim as you can hold it in landscape on one hand , it is not light enough to hold it single-handedly for a long period of time like a regular phone since the dimension extends that the center of gravity is further from your wrist (in physics, torque is what’s happening). In portrait more however, it is light and comfortable. The dimension just fit into your palm without having to worry that it might slip out of your hand.

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The metal back has a matte finish which makes it less vulnerable to scratches for those who do not like to put on a protector case. The space between the screen and your palm (bezel) is wide enough to prevent you from accidentally input touch using your palm.

Internals

The device has two microphones which are used to cancel noise while calling. The earphones jack and the mini USB port is located at the bottom of the device which I personally love! Power/sleep button is located at the left top side along with a single volume rocker below it. SD card and Micro SIM card slot is located at the top of the device, nicely concealed with a removable panel that maybe only you know where it’s located. The panel doubles as an antenna similar to the HTC Legend.

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In-depth

The device uses an Intel Atom processor[Z2420 1.2 GHz Single-core] with PowerVR SGX540 GPU and we’ve already talked about what this processor can and will do.
It is equipped 3 MegaPixel rear camera with 1.2 MegaPixel front camera. The justification of using a 3 MegaPixel camera is mainly because of the price. Who needs an Ultrapixel camera if you’re going to add filters to it when you upload it to Instagram?

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Even with a single core processor, this thing runs blazing fast. Asus and Intel has done perfectly in optimizing a processor’s performance to the max while conserving energy with it’s generous 4270mAh battery which can last for the whole day. Hey, it’s normal that you should charge a tablet or a modern phone every night. This fonepad will not die on you during the day.

The experience was butter smooth and lightning fast with it’s Android 4.1 JellyBean OS. As you can see here, it performs far better than the dual core, Tegra 2.

Everything was superb but it has only one hiccup; the stock browser. It was a bit choppy but hey, there are plenty of browsers out there that gives smoother performance such as Dolphin or Chrome. Overall experience, it’s butter smooth. I never have to wait for a reaction. When I tap, it reacts instantly.

The 216 PPI 1280×800 7 inch IPS display is crisp and bright. It has an outdoor mode which boost the brightness making it easy to use under the sunlight.

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Software

The device is running on Android 4.1.2 [JellyBean] out of the box. Now, let’s go inside the device and see what Asus has more to impress us.

There are a couple of  Asus apps pre installed:

Call block list : Obviously, this app keeps a list of blocked numbers and contacts. It allows you to block certain number from contacting you again.

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Splendid : I was impressed with this one. Asus actually gives you the power to adjust and calibrate the screen’s colour and brightness. I guess this one is deeply intergrated into the stock ROM so there might be no chance of making it work on another ROM other than the stock, unless developers make their own version ground-up. If you are seeing kind of yellowish tint, you could just open up this app and adjust to your eye’s desire.

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AudioWizard : With it’s Sonic Master and MaxxAudio 3, Asus has given us the convenience of adjusting the sound to suit our needs by selecting a specific audio mode such as gaming or movie mode on the fly. The audio on this device is loud and clear. I think it’s one of the best in the market.

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Asus Story : This is kind of a digital scrapbook maker. You can easilly load up a couple of pictures and videos and it’ll arrange into a single, beautiful scrapbook that is nice to browse through.

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Super Note Lite : The handwriting is smooth and precise. I think I can do better with a stylus. Very useful if you are taking a quick note without wanting to tap on those keyboards.

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Asus Studio : Your photo browsing experience never be the same with this new kind of photo manager by Asus which beautifully align and re size so it’s easy to browse through.

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Power Saver : This one is integrated into the settings which allows you to select certain strategies to conserve battery or to squeeze everything out for that extra muscle. It is smart that it will adjust according to what you are doing such as reading emails, watching videos and browsing websites.

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Specs Summary

  • Intel Atom Z2420 Processor with PowerVR SGX540 GPU
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (Update to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean confirmed)
  • 7 inch LED 1280×800 IPS display (~170 ppi)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB internal memory (expandable up to 32GB with microSD)
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera, 3MP autofocus rear-facing camera, 720p video recording capable
  • has GPS, Glonass, G-sensor, E-compass, proximity and ambient light sensor
  • dimensions of 196.4×120.1×10.4mm
  • 340 grams
  • Support up to HSPA+ (No LTE)

Is it worth it?

100% YES! With the price tag of around RM 750, this Fonepad is a beast for it’s price. It is super smooth, high quality and fun to use. Go to your nearest Asus distributor and try it out for yourself. It’s just amazing and cheap!

Final thoughts?

  • Pros :
  1. Low price
  2. Great performance
  3. Great form factor
  4. Nice screen
  • Cons :
  1. Camera quality
  2. Bad stock browser optimization
Electrical engineering student.
Manages computer network and servers.

Our System Admin’s PGP public key:
https://goo.gl/YEilGy

PGP Fingerprint: 49CE ACD0 2A3D 57B4 A5C4 0683 1854 4618 37AE C928

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Amin Husni

Electrical engineering student. Manages computer network and servers. Our System Admin’s PGP public key: https://goo.gl/YEilGy PGP Fingerprint: 49CE ACD0 2A3D 57B4 A5C4 0683 1854 4618 37AE C928