Asus Padfone review: a dual hybrid phone-tablet device with decent specs

Written by B Johnson December 17, 2013
Asus Padfone Specs: Is it a Great Gaming Tablet?
Just a moment ago, i’ve already give you my personal review of Asus Padfone 2, which overall has one of the best specs on the market to date and are on par with devices like Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX, LG Nexus 4 or LG G Pad 8.3.

(Asus Padfone Specs)

So i think it would be cruel if i don’t make the review of its predecessor, right?

Of course, it’s so obvious that as a successor, Asus Padfone 2 brings some improvements and enhancements on both software and especially hardware specs than the predecessor.

It’s also no surprise that Asus Padfone 2 will be so much even better in many ways compared to the original Asus Padfone.

However, that doesn’t mean that the first-gen of Asus Padfone will suck as a device.

Asus Padfone 1 is still a pretty neat device though despite having much lower specs and quality than Asus Padfone 2.

So if you’re interested to know more about Asus Padfone, without further ado, here check out my personal review of this smartphone-slash-tablet.

But before you go straight to the review, let me give you first the brief introduction of Asus Padfone just to give you some heads up about this device.


Ever since Asus released this hybrid device to the smartphone market (or tablet market too maybe?), Asus Padfone became the first device that adopted the concept design of a smartphone that could also be used as a tablet when attached together.

To be honest (but please correct me if i’m wrong), i actually never saw such a revolutionary design like Asus Padfone around the market, even until now.

I know there are some hybrid tablets that can be used as: a tablet and a laptop, a tablet and desktop computer, or a tablet + a desktop tablet and a laptop.

But none of them have the same design like Asus Padfone, where its smartphone can be altered into a tablet by attaching them together.

So having known that, then Asus Padfone definitely must be considered as a revolutionary device around the market to date.

However, despite having a revolutionary design, it doesn’t mean that the original Asus Padfone stacks up against the other rivals like iPad 4th-gen, Sony Xperia Tablet S, Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 or other 10-inch tablets out there in 2012, the same year when Asus Padfone made its first debut.

It goes the same with the smartphone device of Asus Padfone, compared to other devices like Google Nexus 4, Samsung GALAXY Note 2, Samsung GALAXY S3 or LG Optimus G, then Asus Padfone stands no chance to compete with them.

However, that is not the goal that Asus wanted to achieve through Asus Padfone.

They knew that Asus Padfone was not intended to compete with other high-end devices on the market, let alone to steal their sales.

I know, Asus Padfone still has some pretty good specs here and there, like a 1280x800 pixel display (tablet station), 8MP camera or a dual-core Snapdragon processor.

However, when compared to smartphones like Google Nexus 4 or Samsung GALAXY S3, then these 2 devices will just blow Asus Padfone out of the water.

So why did Asus really dare to release such a unique device like this on the market?

Well, i think Asus did this because they just wanted to see how well this device was received by the market.

They knew that even with a unique design, Asus Padfone wouldn’t sell well just like iPhone or Samsung GALAXY devices out there on the market.

They knew that if they wanted to make a device that would sell great, their partnership with Google over Nexus 7 was actually working really great with over 500.000 units of Asus Nexus 7 shipped every month.

Or they could just build their usual devices like Asus Transformer tablets or cheaper Asus MemoPad series and then released them to the market.

Without a doubt they would sell great given that Asus has been known as a great tablet and laptop manufacturer.

So those are just some of the reasons why i think Asus Padfone was not meant to be a consumers’ device, even though Asus Padfone is indeed sold for consumers.

But what exactly makes Asus Padfone special compared to other tablets out there?

Well, if you want to know more about that, here you go, my personal review of this device.


Asus Padfone - Full tablet specifications: Is it a Great Gaming Tablet?

At a glance, we all know that the strongest point of Asus Padfone is definitely its ability to be used as both smartphone and tablet.

As a matter of fact, this is also the main selling point of this device.

There’s nothing like this on the market, even until today.

Its ability to be used for both smartphone and tablet is just brilliant and maybe something that never crossed the minds of many tech companies out there, especially the ones that make tablets and smartphones.

The idea of Asus Padfone is simple. The main device of Asus Padfone is its 4.3-inch smartphone.

However, the best thing about this device is that, if users are not satisfied staring at the 4.3-inch screen with the resolution of 540x960 pixels, they can just simply inject this Asus Padfone smartphone into the dedicated port/dock of the device called “Padfone station” (just like porting a battery inside the smartphone or tablet), which automatically will turn that small 4.3-inch smartphone into a huge 10.1-inch tablet with the higher resolution of 720p or 1280x800 pixels.

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  • Mini-SIM
  • Optional Padfone Station with 10.1 inches display, 1280 x 800 pixels, 6600 mAh battery.
  • 4.3 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 540 x 960 pixels (~256 ppi pixel density)
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera with LED flash
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • Android OS, v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), upgradeable to 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Dual-core Qualcomm MSM8260A Snapdragon 1.5 GHz Krait CPU
  • Adreno 225 GPU
  • microSD for up to 32 GB
  • 16/32/64 GB Internal storage
  • 1 GB RAM
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.1
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • No Radio
  • GPS
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • 1520 mAh battery
Compared to the Asus Padfone 2, then no doubt the first-gen Asus Padfone will suffer in many ways, especially in hardware specs.

However, despite being the first generation of Asus Padfone series, this device actually comes with the specs that can still be considered as pretty good, if not great, and can be rivaled with the likes of Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX, Sony Xperia Arc/Neo or even the iPhone 4.

Asus Padfone comes with a 4.3-inch 540x960 pixel screen with the pixel density of -256 ppi, but when attached to the tablet station, this device will turn into a 10-inch display tablet with higher resolution of 1280x800 pixels or 720p.

In terms of hardware specs, this device is powered by a dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 225, which are considered as mid-end specs.

On the camera sector, there is an 8MP camera on the back, making it on par with other mid-end even high-end devices on the market back then in 2012.

So overall, the specs that Asus Padfone comes with can be considered as great, of course back in 2012. However, for today’s standards, the specs Asus Padfone should now be considered as mid-end even low-end specs.


In 2012, the year when Asus Padfone arrived, vast majority of high-end ones smartphones back then already adopted around 4.5-inch screen with 720p display.

Having known that, then the 4.3-inch 540x960 pixel display on Asus Padfone made it a mid-end device, which was lower than high-end rivals like Samsung GALAXY Note 2 or Samsung GALAXY S3.

However, having a 4.3-inch screen with the resolution of 540x960 on a smartphone is still pretty good though, especially for a mid-end device released in 2012.

Asus Padfone comes with a super AMOLED display, just like the one found on Samsung GALAXY S3.

This is also one that differentiates this Asus Padfone with the sequel Asus Padfone 2. So in terms of display quality, then the Super IPS + LCD on Asus Padfone 2 no doubt holds the crown with a better quality display than the predecessor.

As you may know (or not), having a Super AMOLED display, then it means the device will deliver over-saturated colors on the screen. So the colors will look more over-blown than the screen on Asus Padfone 2.

On the other hand, the Super IPS + LCD on Asus Padfone 2 can deliver more realistic colors on the screen than the predecessor.

But it doesn't mean that the Super AMOLED screen on Asus Padfone 1 is bad. It' still good though, but not as realistic as Super IPS + LCD on Asus Padfone 2.

User Interface

Just like any Asus homemade Android devices out there on the market, the UI of Asus Padfone is still pretty much the same with Asus’s own custom skins, wallpapers, widgets and bloatware or pre-loaded apps.

However, the user interface of Asus Padfone is not a huge departure from the stock Android OS, just like Samsung TouchWiz, HTC Sense UI or Sony Xperia UI.

So even though Asus Padfone comes with some Asus’s custom skins, wallpapers or widgets, the overall look is still pretty much closer to the stock Android UI, only with richer features of course.

So with that being said, then the UI of Asus Padfone will not inundate the 1GB memory on this device, thus giving users a stable and smooth performance.


Asus Padfone comes with a dual-core Snapdragon CPU, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 225.

Compared to today’s standards, then this type of specs will get beaten up mercilessly by the likes of LG Optimus G2, Samsung GALAXY S4 or even last year’s LG Nexus 4.

And this makes Asus Padfone become a low-end smartphone for the market to date.

However, for a smartphone that was released back in 2012, then Asus Padfone would fall to the category of mid-end smartphone.

Its dual-core Snapdragon processor is still considered as good for a mid-end phone, its 1GB of RAM is also enough to run some heavy tasks, and its Adreno 225 is also able to run some heavy games like PES 2012 or Asphalt 5 or even Asphalt 6 smoothly.

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When it comes to today’s standards, then the gaming performance of Asus Padfone will not make you satisfied especially if you’re a hardcore smartphone/tablet gamer who loves to play high-performance games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA Vice City or Dead Trigger 2.

This device will definitely struggle really bad even in low graphic setting, let alone medium quality graphics setting that already deploy some heavy graphics and visual effects.

So if you intend to use this device as a gaming device, then you’ll be left disappointed because with the specs like a dual-core Snapdragon CPU, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 225, you’ll only be able to play some older games released around a year or 2 years ago.

And if some newer games do run on this device, they will not run in smooth performance and in full graphics.

Therefore, if you want to buy Asus Padfone because you like its unique design, i recommend you to pick up the latest-model instead, Asus Padfone 2.

Asus Padfone 2 comes with a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 320 CPU.

And with these specs, no doubt you’ll be able to run any newer graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Dead Trigger 2, GTA Vice City or San Andreas, Modern Combat 4 or FIFA 2014, in buttery smooth performance.

And the best thing is that, these games will run perfectly in full graphics. Trust me on that one!

Well, the reason why i’m so sure that Asus Padfone 2 will be able to run those heavy games perfectly is because the specs of Asus Padfone 2 are actually on par with today’s high-end devices, like Google Nexus 7 (2013), Sony Xperia Z tablet or LG G Pad 8.3.

And these 3 devices are currently the devices that i’m recommending as 3 powerful gaming tablets on this website.

So if you’re a tablet gamer, then Asus Padfone 2 no doubt will be a great gaming tablet for you.


Asus Padfone comes with an 8MP camera on the back. To be honest with you, i never really saw the quality of photos taken or videos recorded with Asus Padfone.

So i can’t give you any information about that. However, given that this device is packing an 8MP camera, then i believe it’s still able to deliver some good quality photos to you.

Besides, i already saw the quality of photos and videos taken with other Asus’ tablet, Asus MemoPad 7 HD, which is a low-end tablet priced at just $150.

And the photo quality of this low-end tablet surprisingly great, despite having a 5MP camera.

So with that being said, then i believe the 8MP camera of Asus Padfone can still deliver some satisfying photos to you, even better than the 5MP on Asus MemoPad 7 HD.

Battery Life

Battery life is definitely one of the strongest points of Asus Padfone.

The smartphone may only have the mediocre 1520mAh power battery. However, when injected to the tablet station, the battery life of this device will be increased to more than 8120mAh battery.

And this is huge for sure, serving you up for around 1 solid day in mixed usage for several tasks like playing games, browsing the web, watching movies, reading books, listening to music or just checking emails.

However, if you intend to use Asus Padfone for playing some adventure game in many many hours in the row or watching movies/tv shows in marathon, then you can only expect this device to last around 7 to probably 10 hours of usage.

But this is considered as great for a smart device.

User Opinions

Overall, 2 things that i really like from Asus Padfone are definitely its unique design and battery life.

The 4.3-inch 540x960 pixel display of the smartphone may not be satisfying for power user like you, however, when combined with the tablet station, its screen will increase into a 10.1-inch screen with higher resolution of 1280x800 pixels (720p).

And this is considered as good, even for today’s standards of mid-end tablets.

Unfortunately, when it comes to hardware specs, then there is nothing to write home about.

Its dual-core Snapdragon CPU, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 225 GPU are just way behind today’s devices like Google Nexus 7 (2013), Kindle Fire HDX, LG G Pad 8.3 or Tegra Note 7.

The good news is, you can always steer your target to its younger brother (or sister?), Asus Padfone 2. This sequel is no doubt more, way more powerful than the first-gen Asus Padfone by miles.

I’m serious!! Asus Padfone 2 is packing a 4.7-inch 720p display (when used as a smartphone, and the same 10.1-inch 1280x800 pixel display when used as a tablet), Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro and many other great things.

So it’s just really easy to recommend this model instead of its predecessor.

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