Asus Padfone 2 review: a unique phone-tablet device for playing heavy games

Written by B Johnson December 17, 2013
Asus Padfone 2 Specs
We all know how awesome iPad as a tablet.

(Asus Padfone 2 Specs)

We also know how iPad has the best design and material compared to other tablets around the market to date.

However, when it comes to tablets with unique design, then i don’t think iPad will be named first in the conversation because there are some other tablets that deserve this title more than iPad.

Asus Padfone 2 is one of them.

Actually, yesterday, i also have one Android tablet that i considered as a unique-designed tablet.

And that was Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10, a tablet running Android 4.2 with the equipments like a quad-core Mediatek CPU, 1GB of RAM, PowerVR SGX 544 GPU, 1280x800 pixels on 10-inch display, 9000mAh battery and many more.

Asus Padfone 2 benchmarks and gaming performance

However, in my personal review of that Lenovo’s tablet, i’ve shown my disappointments about that tablet, despite having some pretty impressive specs on it.

But in this article, i’m not going to spill my rants of that tablet anymore because this time, i want to give the spotlight to one of Asus’ great tablets, Asus Padfone 2.

Okay then, if you’re interested to know more about this tablet and listen to my personal review of this device, without further ado, here you go, my review of Asus Padfone 2.

But before you go straight to my review, let me give you first the brief introduction of this tablet.


The name Asus Padfone is definitely something that is not familiar to hear for many electronic consumers in general or even tablet shoppers out there.

Well, that’s because this tablet actually didn’t gain much success around the market compared to other Asus tablets, like Google Nexus 7, Asus Transformer line or even Asus MemoPad family.

That’s not surprising though because with this tablet, Asus wanted to try something new and created something that is unique and original for the tablet consumer market.

So in my opinion, i think Asus Padfone is just an experiment tablet in order to give Asus some information about how well it go and is received by the market.

So with that being said, then despite having a mediocre success compared to other Asus tablets, this manufacturer surprisingly is still interested to bring the sequel of Asus Padfone to the market and has high hopes that it could be the successor of this series.

At the glance, especially at the spec sheet, Asus Padfone 2 without a doubt brings some improvements and enhancements here and there on both software and hardware.

However, one thing that Asus wants to highlight from Asus Padfone 2 is definitely its unique design.

Asus Padfone 2 is still a hybrid device that consists a smartphone and a tablet station, just like the predecessor.

The smartphone is the main device here, but the tablet station is also important for the smartphone because not only does it turn the smartphone into a tablet in obviously bigger screen, but also gives some extra battery life to the smartphone when they join forces.

The good thing is, Asus Padfone 2 now looks much even better and more elegant than the predecessor.

Still inheriting the same concept design just like the predecessor, the noticeable difference from this device is that, now the port for the smartphone has been moved by Asus to the top area (in landscape mode), thus giving much easier mechanism for the users.


Asus Padfone 2 - Full tablet specifications

If there is one thing that i really adore from Asus Padfone 2, then it’s definitely its unique design.

From the front side, the tablet station may look like some other regular normal tablets out there.

However, if you look at the back side, you can see how this device is just mind blowing in many ways.

Similar just like first-gen Asus Padfone, the sequel still has the same kind of concept design from both smartphone and the tablet station.

The smartphone still has similar looking design, while the tablet station of Asus Padfone 2 also has the same port for the smartphone.

However, despite being positioned just like the predecessor, now the smartphone port on the tablet station has been moved to the top area on the back (in landscape mode).

Not to mention, the port now also doesn’t have the cover to protect the internal area of the port.

I think this new port actually looks perfect when positioned on the top side because this gives users much easier way to insert the smartphone to the tablet station without having to open the cover of the port.

This definitely looks different than the predecessor, where users must firstly need to open the small back cover on the back of tablet station in order to insert the smartphone to the dock.

The smartphone itself, Asus Padfone 2, now looks much even cooler than Asus Padfone.

Around the side of the phone, you will see some metal-alike trimming, which kind of reminds me with the fake metal trimming on the latest Samsung GALAXY devices, say, Samsung GALAXY S4 or Note 3.

So as a result, now Asus Padfone 2 looks more elegant and premium than predecessor.

The back side of the phone is also something that i really like from this smartphone.

It has the rubberized finish that circles around the camera sensor to the whole back cover. This also one of my favorite things of the design of Asus Padfone 2.

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  • Released in December 2012
  • 4G LTE
  • Micro-SIM
  • GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 - 48 kbps
  • EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11
  • 4.7 inch Super IPS+ LCD capacitive touchscreen, 720 x 1280 pixels, (~312 ppi pixel density)
  • Optional Padfone Station with 10.1 inches IPS display, 1280 x 800 pixels @ 514 g, 5000 mAh battery.
  • Weight 135 g
  • Quad-core Qualcomm MDM215m/APQ8064 1.5 GHz Krait CPU
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 13 MP rear-facing with LED flash
  • No microSD card slot
  • 16/32/64 GB Internal
  • FM radio
  • GPS
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC
  • USB
  • Android OS, v4.0 ICS, upgradable to v4.1.1 Jelly Bean
  • ASUS WebStorage (50 GB storage)
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 2140 mAh battery
Being the successor of the first-gen Asus Padfone, it doesn’t mean that the sequel of this device will be better on the whole aspect.

Interestingly, even though there are many improvements here and there on the hardware, there are also some sectors that Asus sacrifices from this device, compared to the predecessor.

First of all, the latest-gen Asus Padfone 2 now gains more weight than the previous model, with the sequel gaining 6g from the old 129g of the predecessor (so it means, Asus Padfone 2 now weighs around 135g).

The sequel also surprisingly is packing a much smaller 5500mAh power battery than the 6600mAh battery on the predecessor.

Sadly, microSD card slot also can’t be found on Asus Padfone 2, while the predecessor has it.

Similar thing also happens to the radio that has been equipped on the first model, which sadly now can’t be found on Asus Padfone 2.

Some other things like camera, display, processor, GPU, RAM and smartphone battery are getting bumped up to:
  1. 13MP rear-facing camera from the old 8MP camera,
  2. 4.7-inch 1280x720 pixel display from a 4.3-inch 540x960 pixel display,
  3. a more powerful Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor from a dual-core Snapdragon processor,
  4. Adreno 320 GPU from Adreno 225 GPU,
  5. 2GB of RAM from 1GB of RAM
  6. and 2140mAh power battery from 1520mAh battery.

With all of these new goodies, then Asus Padfone 2 can be considered as a much better and more powerful version than the predecessor, which is the main selling point of this device.

Not to mention, now the latest-gen Asus Padfone 2 already supports LTE connectivity, which can’t be found on the previous model.


The screen of Asus Padfone 2 is definitely something worth knowing from this latest model.

Thanks to the 720p display (720x1280 pixel resolution) found on this successor, now everything that you throw on the screen will no doubt look much even sharper and clearer than the predecessor.

Asus Padfone 2 now uses a Super IPS+ LCD capacitive screen, which is an upgrade from the AMOLED screen of the predecessor.

So as the results, now the colors that are displayed on the screen look more realistic and not saturated just like on the Asus Padfone 1.

So the experience of playing games, watching movies, reading magazines or browsing the web are just so much even better on Asus Padfone 2 than on the Asus Padfone 1 because videos will look sharper, games will look clearer and text or images now can be read easily without zooming in, either when reading books or browsing the web.

User Interface

Asus with its homemade tablets and smartphones are known to have its own version of Android OS.

So the user interface of Asus Padfone 2 will look different than the UI of stock Android OS on device like Google Nexus 7, which is made and manufactured by Asus but designed and branded by Google under Nexus flag.

So on the UI of Asus Padfone 2, you’ll have more complete features than the one on Google Nexus 7.

But overall, despite having Asus’ own Android version, the UI of Asus Padfone 2 still pretty much looks similar like the stock Android of Google branded devices, only with more useful features and Asus’ custom widgets, skins and wallpapers.

It’s also worth mentioning that, since Asus Padfone 2 is not Google-branded device, then don’t expect to see much faster and regular software updates for this device.

So if you decide to get this device, then you must be satisfied with the upgrade to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, at least for now.

However, given that Asus Padfone 2 is packing some great high-end specs on it, like Adreno 320 GPU, Snapdragon quad-core S4 Pro CPU and 2GB of RAM, then i believe this device has all what it takes to get the latest edition of Android OS in the near future.

So it’s just a matter of time before you finally see Android 4.4. KitKat arrive for this device.

So be patient for that.

Besides, as far as i know, it’s been known that Android 4.4 KitKat is said to be available for many devices from high-end to low-end, even the ones with 512MB of RAM.

So with that being said, then the 2GB of RAM, Adreno 320 GPU and a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU on Asus Padfone 2 are more than capable to get even the latest Android updates in the next 1 year, if not 2 years.


When it comes to performance, it’s good to hear that Asus Padfone 2 is packing some specs that can still be considered as beast around the market to date.

The 2GB of RAM, Adreno 320 GPU and a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor of Asus Padfone 2 kind of remind me with the same exact specs found on LG Nexus 4, which also a beast smartphone, not to mention, the latest-gen Google Nexus 7 (2013), which also is a beast tablet on the market to date.

Soooo.. with that being said, then the performance of Asus Padfone 2 will no doubt be extremely fast and smooth.

Playing games also gets the best advantages from the hardware on this device, thanks to the graphic power of Adreno 320 inside this device.

So games will run and look great, plus have more detailed graphics and stunning visual effects.

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One of the best things that can be found easily on Asus Padfone 2 is definitely its super beast hardware specs.

With the specs like a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 320, then Asus Padfone 2 is more than capable to run any graphics intense games that you see on the market to date.

So games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Dead Trigger 2, GTA San Andreas, GT Racing 2: The real car experience or Modern Combat 4 will work perfectly and run in buttery smooth performance, even in full graphics setting.

So this is great to know first that Asus Padfone 2 is a great gaming device.

I also believe that with that type of specs found on this device, then Asus Padfone 2 will still be capable to run any high-performance games that will be released even in the next 2 years.

This is actually the same thing that i will say on devices like Google Nexus 7 (2013), Tegra Note 7, Kindle Fire HDX or LG G Pad 8.3, given that these devices are packing some monster specs inside, just like this Asus Padfone 2.


Besides great gaming performance, great design and great display, Asus Padfone 2 also has one other great thing. And that is its camera.

The 13MP rear-facing camera found on Asus Padfone 2 is definitely a huge departure from the 8MP camera on the predecessor.

So it’s good to know that Asus really takes this sector seriously and put some great high quality camera on the latest model.

Talking about the quality, no doubt that the camera on Asus Padfone 2 not only will get the job done, but it’s also able to take some decent shots that are worth showing off.

To make a comparison, i've already seen the photo quality taken with the low-end $150 tablet Asus MemoPad 7HD (which just got released a couple of months ago).

It may only come with 5MP rear-facing camera, but the photo and video quality of this tablet is surprisingly great.

And that's amazing because Asus MemoPad is a low-end-priced tablet that costs only $150.

So having known that, then it's really clear that the 13MP camera on Asus Padfone 2 will be more than capable to deliver so much even better shots or videos than the-already-great 5MP camera on Asus MemoPad 7 HD.

The other great thing about the camera of Asus Padfone 2 is that, this camera is equipped on the smartphone, not on the tablet station.

So having known that, then you don’t ever need to hold that huge tablet station everytime you need to take photos or record videos.

Just plug off the smartphone from the station and you’re good to go.

Battery Life

So we all know that Asus Padfone 2 is great in many aspects, from gaming performance, display, design and camera.

So what’s next? Well, it turns out to be its battery life.

Yes, indeed, the battery life of Asus Padfone 2 could also be the main selling of this device.

Being a hybrid-device, then there are some extra powers that the tablet station of this device can provide to Asus Padfone 2 smartphone.

So this is kind of similar like one of Lenovo Yoga tablets (which i don’t remember its name, sorry..) that can provide more extra battery life when that tablet alone is attached to the keyboard dock.

The smartphone of Asus Padfone 2 alone is packing 2140mAh power battery, while the tablet station alone provides a 5500mAh power battery.

Having known that, then these 2 devices combined is packing around 7640mAh battery.

And this is considered as huge for a tablet (although not as huge as the 9000mAh battery on Samsung Google Nexus 10 or Lenovo 11 Yoga tablets).

So in overall mixed usage, like for playing games, watching movies, reading books, browsing the web, listening to music or checking email, this device could probably last around 1 solid day or even more than 1 day.

However, when used for heavy usage like playing some adventure games for many many hours in the row, or watching movies or TV series in marathon, then you can only expect to see this tablet last around maybe 7 to 9 hours.

But this length of battery life can only be reached if you use the smartphone and tablet station combined.

So if you only bring your smartphone on the go, then it probably could last around 5 hours for the heavy marathon usage and more than 10 hours in mixed task usage.

User Opinions

I think compared to Lenovo 11 Yoga, which i said earlier in the review as one of the most unique tablets on the market, Asus Padfone 2 is soooo much even better in many ways.

First of all, the design of Asus Padfone 2 is just brilliant.

The display is also one of the best things to be found on this Asus’ unique device, it may have the same 720p quality display just like Lenovo 11 Yoga tablet, but still, when used as a smartphone, then the screen of Asus Padfone 2 will look much sharper and more crisp then when used with a tablet station.

The hardware specs of Asus Padfone 2 will also beat the specs of Lenovo Yoga 11 tablet out of the water, including the performance and gaming capability.

Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM and a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro on Asus Padfone 2 are just way more powerful than the PowerVR SGX 544 GPU, 1GB of RAM and a quad-core Mediatek processor.

As a matter of fact, the difference of performance on both devices is just noticeable to see in the real implementation, with Asus Padfone 2 kicking out Lenovo Yoga 11 tablet by miles.

Overall, the hardware of Asus Padfone 2 are just far more powerful than the hardware of Lenovo Yoga 11, even though the 9000mAh power battery of Lenovo’s tablet is bigger than the battery inside Asus Padfone 2.


So to sum this up, if you happen to own some hard-earned big cash in your pocket, which you intend to use to buy a single tablet, then Asus Padfone 2 is no doubt one great choice of tablet.
  • It has a unique revolutionary hybrid design,
  • it has really powerful hardware specs,
  • it has great quality display,
  • it has great 13MP camera,
  • it runs perfectly and smoothly,
  • its gaming performance is just superb,
  • and the most importantly, it has strong battery life, making sure that you enjoy using this device for such long hours of usage.
However, if you want other alternatives that are also great as Asus Padfone 2, you can pick up either LG G Pad 8.3, Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1, Sony Xperia Z tablet or iPad Air.

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