Thursday, 21 June 2012

Asus PadFone

So I managed to get myself a padfone. Finally. I've only been waiting for it since last year....when it was announced...

So how is it? Well, the basic phone comes with a pair of earpieces, the charger + USB cable for the phone. The charger is identical to the TF101 prime which means I now have 2 of those things. Which is good I guess because for some reason, they don't seem to play nice with other adaptors and can't seem to pick a charge off them. Or at least not from my USB slot universal adaptor.

The software is basically near-vanilla ICS, which I like. Frankly I was tempted to get the Samsung Galaxy S III or the HTC One X but frankly, I hate Touchwiz UI and I've heard strange things about the One X. 

Anyone who's used ANY Transformer product by Asus in the last 2 years should instantly be familiar with the UI of the Padfone. And even if they haven't, it's Android. It's fairly similar.

So what's so nice about the Padfone? Well, I'd have to say this. The battery life so far has been outstanding. Supposedly the phone alone has a 1520mAh battery only but so far I've been able to have it last an entire day; which means more than 12 hours, without any charging needed and while GPS + WIFI + AutoSync + Bluetooth has been on all the while. To me, that's amazing. And a lot better than my old Xperia Arc whose battery life was basically...kinda iffy...and kept restarting on me... This battery life was even without docking it into the padstation. 

Dog with padfone
However, there is one thing that I feel my old phone did better. And that is take photos.  Not to say the Padfone is horrible at taking photos. Just that it's a bit below the standard when compared to a lot of other phones on the market right now, like the One X or the S3.

However, it isn't quite fair to compare the Padfone to other products on the market without talking about what really makes it stand out. The Padstation.

I was quite happy to open the box and find that they included a sleeve for the tablet form in it. I wish they had started doing that when I bought their original TF101.

Right, so we all know the tablet form CAN NOT be used without the phone. For those of you who didn't know it, you know it now. That's not to say the tablet itself is useless. It can charge the phone since it has its own external battery. However, this also means it needs to be charged as well. You could just plug the phone in and charge both of them that way. 

Also, the tablet does have its own discrete speakers so the volume on the tablet is a lot louder than what you would get from the phone. 

HOWEVER, and this is something I haven't seen anyone else mention yet. Not even Asus and I think they really should be bringing this up as a selling point. The tablet and the phone have totally separate launchers. They both run off the same ASUS UI but they're totally separate as in what you customise in 1 launcher won't affect the other. 

This is my tablet launch screen. Notice it's different from my phones launcher. The icons are different, as well as the wallpaper. What does this mean? It means that now I can customise the phone launcher to my hearts galore without having to worry about accidentally showing clients something they shouldn't be seeing when I switch to the tablet form factor to show them our product catalog. 

Yes, I bought the padfone for business use partly. I've been using a tablet to display product catalogs to clients and its saved me a lot of weight that I didn't have to carry anymore. Plus the tablets IPS screen makes sure that colors are vibrant from most angles. 

Also, some cool things that they added was the charge level indicator for the padfone/station/dock. This was something we all wished we had back when the tf101 came out, so we could tell when to charge our dock. 

As an added bonus to original tf101 users, the tf101 dock will work with the padfone station. It's a bit of a tight fit but you can dock it and it will work. Most of the time. When I tried it at first, it gave me an error but when I inserted it the 2nd time, it worked without a hitch.