Asus Fonepad review: Phone absorbs in Tablet

Asus Fonepad review: Phone absorbs in Tablet

In Depth

Asus Fonepad is a tablet but it can also be as a smartphone. The company however claims that the Fonepad can just be as a secondary device but as today’s smartphones market having a large number of massive smartphones, the Fonepad can also sit in such category. As we have stated in the beginning, why the Fonepad if the need of a smartphone still persist, we are working to find it out.

Asus Fonepad review

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad features a 7-inch IPS display with 800 x 1280 pixels resolution, this compresses 216ppi pixel density. The pixel density and resolution of the display is lower considering the screen-size, however, there is no issue with naked eye. We have tested the Fonepad under sunlight and its sunlight legibility is fair even with a low resolution. With full-brightness, users can view the screen in outdoors but still the glossiness of the display glass reflects bright sunlight. Considering the Fonepad price, the display is fair enough and the company is claiming of 180 degree visibility angles which we feel to be as true in our reviewing session as well.

The Fonepad has multitouch support with capacitive touch sensor. We have found that there is a 10-point multitouch capacitive touch supported sensor which is fair considering the screen size.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad with 10-point multitouch

After the display, moving towards the multimedia capabilities of the Fonepad. We know that a large number of consumers today purchase tablets to fulfill their multimedia needs. This means a tablet must have a support of better hardware with sufficient audio output as well as better software with a wider audio-video formats support. The Fonepad has decent hardware and software support. There is a stereophonic loudspeaker on the rear which produces fair sound. Asus has provided AudioWizard app with some audio modes as Speech mode, Movie mode, Audio mode, Gaming mode and more. These modes are having preset equalization of audio which makes the tablet a decent device for regular multimedia usage. We have tested some audio-video formats on the Fonepad. The tablet supports a number of formats including WMA, MPEG4 and H.264 with full-HD resolution. Users can also watch videos on YouTube through pre-installed YouTube app. There is no lag in playing video contents on the Fonepad.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad with preset sound modes and YouTube app

Asus Fonepad runs on Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system out of the box and there is an option to update too. During our review session, we have received an update with some bug fixes so we believe that the tablet will also receive some future firmware updates as well.

Asus Fonepad updates

Asus Fonepad with firmware update support

Coming towards the interface, the Fonepad has stock Android interface but Asus has made a number of tweaks within the interface. Starting with the status bar, there are a number of toggles for connectivity switching and for toggling some pre-installed features. The Fonepad notification pane also has an option to adjust brightness and users can also switch between the auto brightness and normal brightness mode right from the notification pane. Homescreen has a number of icons as Phone dialer, Contacts, Messaging, Web Browser, Camera and Google Play Store. An app drawer button is also situated in the middle of these icons which also brings up Google Now with a swipe gesture. For controlling, there are four keys available in the bottom as back, home, recent apps and floating apps key. Users can also take screenshots by holding recent apps key at the bottom.

Asus Fonepad interface

Asus Fonepad interface

The app drawer has a number of apps which are available pre-installed. Stock Android experience can be observed easily from app drawer. There is no option to create folders, identical to other stock UI. Users can set widgets on the homescreen by swiping to the Widgets tab in the app drawer.

Asus Fonepad app drawer

Asus Fonepad app drawer

As the name suggests and the company claims, Asus Fonepad supports calling capability using any cellular network. Asus has provided a phone dialer at the homescreen which allows to dial phone numbers. We have tested the phone capabilities of the Fonepad for several days on some networks in India. There is no issue of call drop as a cellular antenna is available on the top-rear and signal reception is fair. There are some handful of options available during calls. Users can switch on the loud speaker and also add a call for call conference.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad with network calling support

Asus has also provided some other options which will make the Fonepad as a phone. There is a Contact book and Messaging app pre-installed. Asus has provided its own keyboard for input and there is a unique dictionary as Instant Dictionary which allows to search new words while typing. A toggle is available within the notification pane to enable or disable the dictionary.

Asus Fonepad keyboard

Asus Fonepad keyboard and instant dictionary feature

The Fonepad comes with a number of apps pre-installed. Users can lock their apps with the pre-installed App Locker. There is Amazon Kindle for reading ebooks and Asus has provided Asus Story app to create new stories with clicked pictures, it is quite identical to Samsung’s Story Album which is currently available in the latest Galaxy lineup. BuddyBuzz is available for getting into some social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Weibo and Renren. Similar to S Note on the Galaxy phablets and tablets, the Fonepad has a paint app as MyPainter.

Asus Fonepad apps

Asus Fonepad with several pre-installed apps

To control display setting according to user preferences, there is an app as Asus Spendid. Asus has provided cloud storage as WebStorage to store contents over the cloud. For downloading new apps, Google Play Store also comes out of the box.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad with pre-installed Asus Spendid and Asus WebStorage

Now moving towards the battery support, the Fonepad has 4270mAh non-removable battery. The Fonepad has quite impressive battery support. On the part of software support, there is a Power Saving option to save the juice and hardware-wise, there is issue of low battery for almost 5 days with full charge, against decent usage. The battery uncommonly takes a huge amount of 5-6 hours but of course the fair backup cover-up the charging time.

Asus Fonepad battery support

Asus Fonepad battery support with Power Saving app

Asus Fonepad comes in two processor variants, our unit has Intel Atom Z2420 processor with 1.2GHz clock-speed and in some regions, Asus is offering an Intel Atom Z2460 processor with 1.6GHz clock-speed. There is 1GB of RAM and 8GB internal storage along with microSD card support for expansion. We found that due to some pre-installed apps, the internal storage remain at nearly 4.5GB and most of the times, only 480MB (approx.) of RAM left free.

Asus Fonepad storage

Asus Fonepad internal storage and RAM support

The Fonepad has PowerVR SGX540 GPU, it is slightly older as now SGX544 version also available in the market. With such GPU, the Fonepad does not have any lag in playing games. We have played several games on the Fonepad and comes to the point that users can purchase the Fonepad for playing some decent games as well, however, there is no room for heavy graphics games. Due to lesser RAM, some games take a bit time in loading but then there is no lag. We tested Temple Run, Flick Golf, Highway Rider and Subway Surfers on the Fonepad.

Asus Fonepad gaming

Asus Fonepad runs Temple Run, Subway Surfers and other games smoothly

However, there is not any noticeable lag available in the Fonepad with heavy tasks but still some of the users need benchmark results. We have tested Asus Fonepad on several benchmarks and results are impressive enough, considering the price tag. On the Quadrant benchmark, the Fonepad overall scores 2986. Due to the older GPU, the graphic performance lags in the scores, however, the figure is nice. On RealPi, the tablet taken 0.28 seconds elapsed time for calculating, this means Intel Atom processor works well in the Fonpad. On Vellamo, Asus Fonepad overall scores 453 which is more than Galaxy Note. On NenaMark 2.4, the Fonepad scores 38.8 FPS which is more than the previous generation Galaxy Tab and some other former high-end smartphones.

Asus Fonepad benchmark results

Asus Fonepad benchmark results

In terms of connectivity, the Fonepad has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS and a microUSB port. On the cellular part, there is HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz and GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz frequency bands which easily connects the Fonepad with any cellular network. We have tested OTG support on the Fonepad, the tablet works nicely with any USB device. Users can even use a wireless keyboard or mouse on the Fonepad using a USB transmitter. The Fonepad can read any media drive or flash drive using OTG support. We have tested the Wi-Fi coverage of the Fonepad and there is no issue of disconnection found in the tablet. For Internet browsing, the tablet has stock Android Browser and Google Chrome pre-installed. With the absence of Adobe Flash support in Android Jelly Bean, both the browsers are not supporting any flash contents on the Fonepad. On the other side, the browsers support JavaScript, HTML 5, PHP and some other platforms easily without any lag. The scrolling in both the browsers is fast enough and pinch gestures are available for zooming in and out.

Asus Fonepad is overall a nice combination of a tablet and a smartphone. Users can use the Fonepad as a tablet and of course we found that it can also be use as a smartphone if the user is comfortable with a 7-inch display. The premium finishing and impressive features attracts any user and an affordable price tag works as a cherry on a cake. Now turn to the next page to know some features, pros, cons and our conclusion on Asus Fonepad.

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Categories: Tablet PCs