Asus launched the PadFone 2 yesterday in Milan, Italy. Building upon the PadFone combination of an Android smartphone and dockable tablet for mobile flexibility, the new device consists of a quad-core, LTE-equipped smartphone with higher specifications, and a redesigned tablet.

Asus Chairman Jonney Shih who launched the PadFone 2 at a press conference in Milan said, “Our relentless drive to innovate through our ‘Design Thinking’ philosophy has empowered us to create PadFone 2. It’s beautiful, it’s fast and, best of all, it’s intuitive”.

PadFone 2 unveiled

PadFone 2 unveiled

The PadFone 2 is a 4.7-inch Android smartphone with specifications that docks with the PadFone 2 Station to become 10.1-inch tablet. Apps are optimized to support both tablet and phone modes, offering an instant transition between smartphone and tablet screen sizes.

ASUS claims that its ‘Design Thinking’ philosophy has helped in reducing the PadFone 2 Station’s thickness and weight. The device now weighs 649g with the combined weight of both PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station making it lighter than most tablets on the market. The dock mechanism has been redesigned to require a one step to use. PadFone 2 has also been designed to increase its screen size to 4.7-inches, while reducing its thickness and weight to just 9mm at its thickest point and weighing 135g respectively.

Here is a quick look at the highlighted features of the ASUS PadFone 2:

  • 4.7-inch 720p Super IPS+ panel with up to 550nits brightness
  • LTE, 3G, GPRS, NFC, Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with USB 2.0 Host
  • 13MP f/2.4 BSI sensor with full HD video recording at 30fps, 1.2MP front camera
  • 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions
  • MHL for AV out

ASUS claims that the PadFone 2’s 2140mAh battery provides up to 16 hours 3G talk-time and 13 hours Wi-Fi web browsing, while PadFone 2 Station’s 5000mAh battery gives up to 36 hours of 3G talk-time. PadFone 2 Station’s internal battery also has enough capacity to recharge the docked PadFone 2 three times over. However, this claim cannot be verified until we put it through our stringent battery test.

Running on Android ICS out of the box

Running on Android ICS out of the box

The handset comes equipped with a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. The display uses scratch-resistant Corning Fit Glass and offers a wide viewing angle and 550 nits brightness for stunning outdoor visibility.

The camera found here features a burst mode that can capture up to 100 shots at six shots per second, while also capable of  recording 1080p HD video at 30fps, or 720p HD video at 60fps. Both PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station feature above average sound quality because of the ASUS SonicMaster technology and audio tuning by Waves.

The PadFone 2 comes with 50GB of ASUS WebStorage free for two years. Data syncing between devices is easy as the PadFone 2 storage is used by PadFone 2 Station when the two are connected, while NFC allows users to share webpages, contacts and user recommendations from the Google Play Store with others. Shared mobile data connectivity between smartphone and tablet also means just one data plan is needed for both devices.

PadFone 2 also features a new version of the SuperNote app that instantly converts handwritten notes made in multiple languages into editable text. Its Instant Translation tool also translates words, phrases or sentence in an email, web page or app at a touch, without the need for a third-party translation tool.

PadFone 2 will be launched before the end of December in Europe in countries which include Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden and Asia in countries such as Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and U.A.E. Availability in other countries will be announced at a later date. As of now, no official word is available on the pricing of the PadFone 2 in India.

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