The Padfone had always been an interesting concept and when the first model was on its way to market, it was very close to being dubbed "vaporware", it took a long time for the phone to materialize and when it did – it wasn't all that great. Of course, the company had to wait for a new version of Android – Ice Cream Sandwich – to come along before they could have Android Phone and Tablet living in harmony. But, that hasn't stopped ASUS from pushing forward with the concept and they're back with the Padfone 2. The new product was unveiled earlier this year and has been on sale since October 16th in Taiwan. If you're wondering just what makes the Padfone 2 special over its older brother then take a look at these specs below:
- 4.7" HD 1280—720 IPS+ Display at 550 nits bright thanks to Sharp's IGZO tech
- 1.5 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 – up from dual-core in the first model
- 2GB of RAM
- 16, 32 or 64GB of Storage with 50GB of ASUS Web Storage
- 13 MP rear-facing camera with f/2.4 lens – capable of 1080p video at 30fps and 720p at 60fps and a 1.2MP front-facing camera
- NFC onboard
- The camera is also able to take 100 shots at full resolution continuously!
And as for the tablet part of things:
- 10.1" IPS Display at 1280—800
- The battery is down from 6600 mAh to 5000 mAh to shave weight
- The tablet now weighs just 514g down from 724g previously. Add the phone – at 135g – and the overall weight is just 649g which is lighter than any version of the new iPad!
So, the whole package seems like some pretty sweet hardware, right? While it might be just that, it seems ASUS don't think the product can do too well in the current market and, Benson Lin – a Vice President at ASUSTek, has expected sales to reach just 150,000 units in 6 months. That's not a lot when you think of how much other phones sell in the same period, after all, Samsung's Galaxy S III surpassed the 30 Million mark in just 5 months. I'm sure that it's not down to the actual product, the Padfone itself runs a relatively stock build of Android and goes toe-to-toe with the best phones on the market but, are people ready to have their phone rule absolutely everything?
The tablet side of the Padfone 2 is really just a window into your phone and sure, it makes for a much better user experience but when all is said and done, you're still using your phone and for a lot of people that makes the smartphone an even more valuable item to lose or to damage. Of course, a lot of things are all up in the cloud but having a real, physical tablet to fall back on would be nice for a lot of people I'm sure. And at the price of the Padfone 2 – around $830 for the phone and tablet dock with 16GB of storage – it might be cheaper to get a phone and a tablet.
I wonder when the Padfone 2 is actually going to come to the states and if it will indeed take off there – is it just too niche a product?