It’s hard for smartphone and tablet manufacturers to get noticed in the sea of Android devices being rolled out or announced at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, but Asus has managed to grab a few headlines with an update to their rather unconventional Padfone hybrid and a new 7-inch tablet with full phone functionality.
The new Padfone Infinity joins the recently-released PadFone 2 with the highest end specs for the range. The smartphone component features a 5-inch 1920 x 1200 resolution screen (441 PPI), powered by a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and Adreno 320 graphics, along with 2 GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. There’s a 13-megapixel F/2.0 shooter on the back that can simultaneously handle 1080p video and up to 100 sequential photos at 8 fps, plus a 2-megapixel camera on the front.
In terms of connectivity you're looking at GSM, WCDMA, LTE and DC-HSPA+ along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, A-GPS and even GLONASS. The phone ships with Android 4.2 out of the box and features a sleek-looking unibody design made of aluminum alloy with a brushed metal finish.
As its predecessors, the Padfone Infinity docks into a bigger screen to create a tablet, which itself offers a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 and enough battery capacity to more than double the run-time of the phone. Other features include a 1MP front-facing camera, microUSB 2.0 port, an ambient light sensor, and an e-compass.
The whole package comes out this April in Europe for £799 / €999. There are no plans for a US release but that’s been the case with every other Padfone released until now.
Along with its new Padfone, Asus also introduced a new product that takes the opposite approach as a small tablet that can double as a phone thanks to its built-in 3G HSPA+ connectivity. Unimaginatively dubbed Fonepad, the 7-inch, 1280 x 800 resolution slate runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and is powered by an Intel Atom Z2420 single-core processor running at 1.2GHz along with PowerVR SGX540 graphics and 1GB of RAM.
There are two versions of the Asus Fonepad. In Europe, the tablet is expected to launch in April with 16GB of built-in storage and a 1.2MP front-facing camera for €219, while the Asia Pacific region should see a variant with only 8GB of built-in storage and a 3MP camera on the back hit store shelves in March for $250. Both units have microSD card slots and 5GB of lifetime Asus WebStorage.