Asus Padfone S Review: The Real Flagship Powered by Snapdragon 801 Chipset

Posted by B. Johnson
January 20, 2015 | 0 comments
Asus Padfone S Review: The Real Flagship Powered by Snapdragon 801 ChipsetHi guys, welcome back!

Earlier, i just showed you one interesting tablet from Asus called Asus Padfone X – which actually just launched a few months ago.

That tablet kind of reminds me with the previous-gen Asus Padfone Infinity 2 that also shares the same exact internals like Snapdragon 800 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 13MP rear-facing camera and even the same screen specs.

Anyway, after showing you that model, right now i want to keep the engine going by giving you another similar tablet from Asus. This tablet is Asus Padfone S.

This one actually also launched at the same time and announcement of Asus Padfone X, but this model is the real flagship model of the next-gen series.

Asus Padfone S benchmarks and gaming performance

Compared to Asus Padfone X – this tablet is actually not a huge departure from its sibling as it shares the similar type of specs like the same 5-inch smartphone, 9-inch Padfone Station, 13MP camera, 2GB of RAM, Adreno 330 GPU and some other more.

However, there is one upgrade that Asus makes on Asus Padfone S.

And that is its processor, which is probably more powerful than the one found inside Asus Padfone Xl but not significantly.

Well, if you’re interested to find out more about this tablet, including my personal impressions and thoughts about its gaming performance, then here you go, my personal review of Asus Padfone S.

Introduction

Basically, Asus Padfone S is still on the same page with all of its siblings. It’s still a smartphone – a normal regular 5-inch Android smartphone.

But thanks to Asus’ brilliant idea and design concept for this tablet series, Asus Padfone S can be docked into a tablet device called Padfone Station (similar just like inserting a removable battery inside the smartphone, which has a much larger 9-inch display.

And that’s not it because after being docked into Padfone Station, you can also attach this tablet into the keyboard dock, which comes packed with the device (or sold separately? i don’t know).

Asus Padfone S Review 2So besides as a normal Android smartphone, you’ll be able also to turn this smartphone into a tablet by using Padfone Station and then turn it again into a productivity device by using the keyboard dock.

However, what makes Asus Padfone S stand out compared to its siblings is definitely its specs.

If Asus Padfone X ships with Snapdragon 800 processor, then Asus Padfone S now is packing a more powerful Snapdragon 801 processor.

But interestingly, this processor is actually the only one upgrade that Asus does on this model, while the remaining specs of Asus Padfone S are basically just identical with its sibling.

But the questions remain, with one improvement made by Asus on its processor, does Asus Padfone S have what it takes to be a better gaming tablet than Asus Padfone X?

Does this tablet deserve to be an iPad Air 2 killer?

Is it worth it to buy Asus Padfone S, compared to the Asus Padfone X?

Well, we’re about to find out more about the answers of these questions at the end of this review. So be sure to stick around guys!

Design

Compared to its new-born sibling - Asus Padfone X -, this device actually doesn’t look any different. As a matter of fact, the Padfone Station of Asus Padfone S really looks identical with the Padfone Station of Asus Padfone X.

However, as the real flagship from this company, Asus Padfone S of course should have its own identity especially compared to its sibling. And that’s what exactly happens here.

Even though both Asus Padfone S and Asus Padfone X look really identical (on both the smartphones and the Padfone Stations), there is one thing that makes them look different on to another.

Asus Padfone S has much shinier metal trim all over its bezels, as opposed to the much darker gray metal trim on Asus Padfone X.

It’s probably because Asus wants to declare that Asus Padfone S is the real flagship here, although the overall specs of these 2 tablets are on the same level.

Anyway, besides that metal trim, Asus Padfone S also has different wallpaper than Asus Padfone X.

It’s probably not something significant, but i think this aspect should also be considered as one of the things that makes them look different one to another.

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  • 4G LTE (SIM Micro-SIM)
  • Released July 2014
  • 5.0 inch Super IPS+ LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1080 x 1920 pixels, (~441 ppi)
  • Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 Qualcomm MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801 Chipset
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Android OS 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 13 MP rear-facing camera with LED flash
  • 2 MP front-facing camera, 1080p@30fps (video recording)
  • microSD memory card slot for up to 64 GB
  • 16 GB Internal storage
  • GPRS
  • NFC
  • microUSB v2.0
  • TBC Radio
  • GPS
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • * Padfone Station with 9 inches IPS display, 1920 x 1200 pixels, 4990 mAh battery, front camera
  • Non-removable Li-Po 2300 mAh battery
  • Stand-by: Up to 528 hours (3G)
  • Talk time: Up to 22 hours (3G)
Asus Padfone S ReviewAs the real and latest flagship in this series, it’s really obvious that Asus Padfone S should have the best and highest-grade specs especially compared to its sibling and predecessors.

And that’s exactly the thing that you’re gonna get it here.

Asus Padfone S is now powered by a more powerful Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, as opposed to the Snapdragon 800 processor found inside Asus Padfone S and its predecessors Asus Padfone Infinity.

When it comes to performance, their difference on this sector is probably not really noticeably significant.

They are still equally great and powerful even when handling the most graphically demanding games on the market today.

However, given that Asus Padfone S is now powered by the latest and greatest Snapdragon 801 processor, its overall performance is definitely much faster and smoother, plus more efficient when it comes to battery life.

The rest of the specs on Asus Padfone S are actually not huge departure from the predecessors.

As a matter of fact, this tablet shares almost identical hardware specs just like its sibling - Asus Padfone X.

It has the same 5-inch display on the smartphone (1920x1080 pixels), the same 9-inch Padfone Station (1920x1200 pixels), the same 13MP rear-facing camera with LED flash, 2MP front-facing camera, the same 2300mAh battery (smartphone) and 4990mAh battery (Padfone Station) and pretty much everything about these 2 devices is really similar.

It’s even powered by the same Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM, although their processors are different (Snapdragon 801 on Asus Padfone S, while Snapdragon 800 is on the Asus Padfone X).

So basically, the only thing that is different from both of these devices is only their processors, and of course the design as well.

But i think, both devices are just equally great in many ways. So it’s probably not really worth it to upgrade to Asus Padfone S if you already own the Asus Padfone X.

Screen

Similar just like Asus Padfone X, this tablet also shares the same exact 5-inch display sporting the 1920x1080 pixel resolution on the smartphone.

It goes the same with the Padfone Station of Asus Padfone S. It also adopts the same 9-inch display with 1920x1200 pixel resolution. And they both even use the same Super IPS+ LCD display on them.

So when it comes to quality and sharpness, both Asus Padfone S and Asus Padfone X are equally in those terms.

With this type of display, basically everything that you throw on the screen will look insanely sharp and crisp even in far distance (without pinch-to-zoom gesture).

So it will look great and sharp for reading books, watching HD movies, browsing the web, editing documents and even playing games.

And the great thing is, this tablet is powered by Snapdragon 801 processor, which is more than happier to execute all of the pixels of this device with no lag and issue whatsoever.

User Interface

Asus Padfone S comes with Asus’ homemade UI that brings a lot of design changes and looks from the basic stock Android UI.

So it looks really different compared to the stock Android UI.

The great thing is, even with that fully-customized Android UI with lots of new features, Asus Padfone S is still blazing fast and smooth because its overall performance is now taken care by the latest Snapdragon 801 processor, which is more powerful but efficient when it comes to battery life.

So you should have no worry at all about its performance because this tablet will still perform well and smooth even when doing some heavy intense tasks at the same time, thanks to a huge 2GB of RAM that comes on board with Asus Padfone S.

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Basically, this tablet should have no issue with lag or stutter especially when doing some daily tasks like watching HD movies, reading books/magazines, browsing the web, editing documents or even playing games.

Even with that full HD display on both smartphone and Padfone Station, its Snapdragon 801 processor is more than adequate to execute them all in buttery smooth performance and without squeezing a lot of power from its battery.

It goes the same when playing games with this device.

Any games that you see today on Google Play Store – even the most graphics intense titles like Modern Combat 5, Asphalt 8: Airborne or GTA San Andreas – can all be played perfectly and smoothly on Asus Padfone S with no lag whatsoever, even in full highest graphics setting.

One of the things that makes the gaming experience on this tablet better is definitely its design concept. Asus Padfone S consists in 2 different devices – the 5-inch smartphone and the 9-inch Padfone Station -, which you can attach/detach whenever you want.

So if you’re in the mood of playing games with the small screen, you can just play the games straight away on the 5-inch smartphone of Asus Padfone S.

On the other hand, if you feel that playing games on 5-inch smartphone is not satisfying enough, you can just dock this smartphone into the Padfone Station and play your favorite games on a much larger screen real estate.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Asus Padfone S, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Battery Life

Just like Asus Padfone X, this tablet is also powered by the same 2300mAh battery on the smartphone and 4990mAh battery on Padfone Station.

The most impressive thing is, according to the GSMarena, with that battery capacities, Asus Padfone S is believed could survive in 528 hours for stand by mode and 22 hours for talk time (multimedia), which is higher than the battery life of its sibling - Asus Padfone X.

I believe this has something to do with the Snapdragon 801 processor inside this Asus Padfone S that’s capable to perform much faster than the Snapdragon 800 on Asus Padfone X, but more efficient in battery life.

But of course, that battery life can be varied if you’re using the smartphone and Padfone Station randomly.

I mean, if you’re going to use the smartphone only without Padfone Station in one solid day, its battery life is probably not gonna last that long especially when doing some heavy intense tasks intensively or without resting the screen at all.

So it's recommended to always dock the smartphone into the Padfone Station if you want to achieve an all-day-long battery on this device.

My Personal Opinions

So in conclusion, i thing it’s pretty easy to recommend this device to you, especially if you have huge budget (the most importantly) and you’re looking specifically for a unique smartphone that can be docked into a tablet device.

Asus Padfone S is definitely a perfect choice for you.

But of course, as a unique and probably ground breaking device, Asus Padfone S is gonna cost you a lot of cash if you’re indeed planning to buy it near time soon, even more expensive than iPad Air.

But that’s not shocking given that Asus Padfone S is not only unique in design and offers more benefits than just a smartphone, but it’s also equipped with some beefy specs on it, like:
  • Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor,
  • 2GB of RAM,
  • Adreno 330 GPU,
  • 13MP rear-camera,
  • 1080p display
  • and many other great things.
And this is just not something you can get from other tablets on the market right now, even the iPad Air or iPhone 6.

Asus Padfone S is pretty much great for a lot of things, like watching movies, reading books/magazines, browsing the web, editing documents, listening to music, checking out photos, taking great pictures/videos and even playing games.

Asus Padfone S is just a solid well-rounded device that offers a lot of benefits than just a normal regular smartphone or a regular tablet.

Its design concept and hybrid capability really show us how Asus Padfone S can be an ideal tablet for many consumers in general.

Anyway, to end this review, i’ll try to answer some of the questions i’ve previously asked above:
  1. Does Asus Padfone S have what it takes to be a better gaming tablet than Asus Padfone X? Yes - Asus Padfone S has all the power to be a better gaming tablet than its sibling. Not only is this device more powerful in handling games, but it’s also more efficient in battery life – as shown in battery life comparison between these 2 devices.
  2. Does this tablet deserve to be an iPad Air 2 killer? Yes – Asus Padfone S has every reason to blow iPad Air 2 out of the water. Not only is Asus Padfone S really great as a smartphone or tablet, but it offers something that cannot be found on Apple’s tablet. And that is its hybrid capability.
  3. Is it worth it to buy Asus Padfone S, compared to the Asus Padfone X? No – Despite having a more powerful but more efficient Snapdragon 801 processor, i think it’s not really worth it to upgrade to Asus Padfone S if you already own Asus Padfone X. And that’s because both devices are really identical in spec sheet, with the exception of their processors of course.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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