Is the ASUS Fonepad a 7” tablet with cell phone functions or a cell phone with a 7” screen? Let’s try to answer this question in this review.
The ASUS Fonepad has a 7” IPS 1280 x 800 touchscreen, Intel Atom Z2420 processor, 1 GiB RAM, and 16 GiB storage (it can also be found with 8 GiB or 32 GiB storage). It has a 3 MPixel main camera and a 1.2 MPixel front camera. The operating system is the Android 4.1.
Figure 1 shows the small box of the ASUS Fonepad.
Inside the box, we found the Fonepad, a wall charger, USB cable, and user manual.
Figure 3 reveals the ASUS Fonepad. There are no physical buttons, just the speakerphone at the top, and the front camera at its side.
[nextpage title=”Overall Look”]
The ASUS Fonepad we tested uses a single-core, 1.2 GHz Intel Atom Z2420 (it can also be found with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2460 CPU), which is an x86 processor based on Intel’s Saltwell microarchitecture, with 512 kiB L2 cache, and a 400 MHz PowerVR SGX 540 graphics processor (GPU). This CPU has only one core, but it has the HyperThreading technology, which simulates two logical cores.
The 7” screen has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.
Figure 4 shows the back side of the device, with its big metallic cover (not removable by the user). Here, you can also see the 3.0 Mpixel camera with no flash.
Figure 5 unveils the bottom of the Fonepad, where the earphone connector and mini-USB connector are located.
At the left side of the tablet, there are three buttons: the sleep/wake button and the volume settings.
There isn’t any connector or button at the top and right sides of the device.
[nextpage title=”Inside the Fonepad”]
Removing the cap at the top of the Fonepad, you have access to the Micro SIM slot, and to a slot that supports MicroSD memory cards up to 32 GiB. Figure 9 shows the device with the cap removed. These are the only internal parts accessible by the user.
In order to see how it looks inside, we removed the back panel of the Fonepad. At the bottom in Figure 10, you can see the motherboard, and the big battery is at the center.
The battery is a Lithium-Polymer model with nominal voltage of 3.7 V and 4270 mAh of capacity, as shown in Figure 11.
[nextpage title=”Using the Fonepad”]
Using the Fonepad as a tablet is a very pleasant experience. The touchscreen responds quickly and precisely. The screen brings crispy and vivid images, and the 1280 x 800 resolution is excellent for the size of the screen.
The Android 4.1 (“Jelly Bean”) operating system is easy to use and intuitive. Figure 12 shows the initial screen when you turn the Fonepad on for the first time.
There are seven main screens where you can arrange the icons the way you like. Pressing the icon with the circle with six dots, you enter the list of applications, shown in Figures 13 and 14. The Fonepad comes with several applications installed, some Android default ones and some exclusive from ASUS.
You can install new applications using the Google Play Store, which has thousands of applications and games available.
We tried to use the Fonepad as a cell phone. It works well, but it was very uncomfortable to hold, and we had no courage to use it to talk in public, since holding a seven-inch tablet at your ear should look ridiculous. It was probably a good idea to use it with an earphone, but unexplainably, ASUS did not include this accessory with the Fonepad.
The battery lasted around two days under moderate use, with some calls and a couple of hours of web browsing per day. According to ASUS, the battery lasts nine hours on demanding tasks such as watching HD videos. In standby, the battery lasts for more than one week, which is excellent.
The quality of the photos taken with the main 3.0 MPixel camera is average. The device cannot replace a real digital camera in your trips and school presentations, if you want to have good photos.
We ran the Android version of 3DMark from FutureMark, and it achieved a score of 2,195 points in the IceStorm benchmark.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the ASUS Fonepad include:
- Dimensions: 4.7 x 7.7 x 0.41 inches (120.1 x 196.4 x 10.4 mm)
- Weight: 12 ounces (340 grams)
- Display: Seven-inch, 1280 x 800, IPS LED touchscreen
- Operating System: Android 4.1 (“Jelly Bean”)
- Main Processor (CPU): Intel Atom Z2420, 1.2 GHz, single core, Hyper-Threading
- Graphics Processor (GPU): PowerVR SGX 540, 400 MHz, embedded in the CPU
- RAM: 1 GiB
- Storage: 16 GiB
- Memory Card Slot: Yes, MicroSD, up to 32 GiB
- GPS: Yes
- FM Radio: No
- Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass, ambient light
- SIM slots: One Micro SIM
- Networks: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100, EDGE/GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSPA+ 5.76 Mbps/21 Mbps
- Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
- Bluetooth: Version 3.0
- Rear camera: 3 megapixels
- Front camera: 1.2 megapixels
- Flash: No
- Video capture rate: 1280 x 720, 30 fps
- Continuous talk time: Up to 32 and a half hours
- Standby time: Up to 750 hours
- Battery: 3.7 V, 4270 mAh Li Ion
- More information: https://www.asus.com/
- Average prince in the U.S.*: USD 317.00
* Researched at Amazon.com on the day we published this review.
The ASUS Fonepad is excellent as a compact tablet PC. It is easy to use, fast, intuitive, and the screen is bright, crisp, with vivid colors. It is light and easy to carry in a small purse or a big jacket pocket.
However, if you buy a Fonepad to be your main mobile phone, you will probably be disappointed. It is too big to be a cell phone, and you will probably look ridiculous with such a big device at the side of your head. We did not understand why ASUS did not include a good earphone with the device.
If you really carry a tablet and a cell phone every place you go, and want to carry only one device, the Fonepad can be a good option, however. But do not forget to buy a good earphone with a microphone.
The ASUS Fonepad is excellent if you see it as a compact tablet with the plus of cell phone capabilities. You can use it as a backup phone, and also enjoy the 3G network.
- Easy, fast and smooth to use
- Bright and crisp screen
- Solid and tough
- Many apps available
- Frontal camera for video callings
- Memory card slot
- Good battery life
- Includes cell phone functionality
- No 4G support
- Too big and clumsy to be used as your cell phone
- Should come with an earphone