Asus Padfone Infinity – the ultimate smartphone-tablet combo

by , Deputy Technology Editor MWC 25/02/2013
Asus Padfone Infinity

Asus Padfone Infinity – what is it?

It’s not just one thing. On one side it’s a smartphone, a 5-inch one with a full HD screen; on the other it’s a 10.1-inch tablet that the phone docks into. The idea is that, instead of buying two separate products, you buy one . Is it genius, or just a little mad?

Note: Since recording this video we received a confirmed UK price of £799 – a little more palatable.

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The following is not a review, but our first impressions of the product based on a short time using it. Pricing and availability is tentative and subject to change.

Asus Padfone Infinity - what are the three things I need to know?

  1. You only need one SIM-card
    This is the whole point. In effect you’re getting a smartphone and a 3G-enabled tablet in one. And, because the phone docks into the tablet, you only need one monthly contract. Moreover, as all the data is stored on the phone’s 64GB internal memory, it makes keeping your files and apps together easier.
  2. The tablet station charges the phone
    The 10-inch tablet section has its own battery that, when the phone is docked, charges the phone. It’s like having a battery pack in your bag all the time. Asus says the phone will last 6.5hours of web browsing on its own, but topping it up with charges extends this to 19.5 hours.
  3. It’s got every feature imaginable…
    It sounds a bit boring, but there’s nothing these two don’t have. A quad-core processor from Qualcomm (Snapdragon 600) is at the absolutely bleeding edge, and there’s a 13Mp camera with an 8-shots-per-second burst mode that’ll last for 100 shots. The phone has a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution screen, making it among the sharpest phones you’ll see. It is, in other words, everything you’d expect from the likes of Samsung or Apple in terms of features.

Which? expert view — awesome but expensive

Where to start? The Padfone Infinity is a tech geek’s dream. Both the phone and tablet look great. Lashings of brushed aluminium give them a refined, premium feel that’ll be the envy of your friends. They’re beautifully crafted. It’s a ‘no limits’ kind of tech gadget.

There are some nice software touches, too. Asus’ SuperNote 3.1 writing app lets you write by hand and have it converted into text on the fly, and a neat cloud storage system combines all your cloud accounts (Google Drive, Dropbox, SkyDrive etc.) into one app with one log-in. It’s running the latest version of Android, too, with a tasteful custom skin from Asus.

If you’re sensing a ‘but’ here then you win a prize. Combined, the Padfone costs £799 – a fair old chunk of change. That’s pretty expensive, though not quite as much as I originally expected given it’ll retail for 999 Euros on the mainland, equivalent to £870, albeit for the 64GB version. You could buy a Google Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet for £558, however, a saving of £241. Neither are quite bleeding edge as the Padfone, but the Nexus 10 has a super-sharp ‘retina’ level screen compared to the normal HD one on the Padfone’s tablet section.

I’m keener now I’ve heard the lower UK price, but it’ll still test your wallet’s resolve.

Andy Vandervell, deputy technology editor

MWC 2013 FAQ

What is MWC 2013?

MWC is short for Mobile World Congress – it’s the main annual mobile tech trade show, where the likes of Samsung, LG, Sony, Nokia and many more come to launch their new smartphones and tablets.

Why does Which? attend?

It gives us an insight into what’s coming in the year ahead, so we can ensure we’re testing the right products in the right way. We also use the time to speak to technology companies to ensure they’re listening to consumer needs.

One comment

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mrrog

Bang on review, this is the future form factor, but as the reviewer says they have not got the pricing right compared to two broadly equivalent separate devices. In my opinion they have also erred in giving the phone too large a screen, surely the beauty of docking with a tablet screen is that you can have a more conveniently sized screen, circa 3.5 inches, clearly better for sports related activity not to mention summer shorts.

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