With a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor clocked at 1.5GHz running the show, the Asus Padfone 2 is quick. Couple this with 2GB RAM and an Adreno 320 graphics chip and you have almost exactly the same specs as Sony’s impressive flagship phone, the Xperia Z.
The Asus Padfone 2 performs well when compared to the Galaxy S3 and Nexus 4. It scores around 20 per cent better than these phones when we put it through our benchmark tests. In practice this means that it doesn’t even break a sweat playing even the most demanding of games. Real Racing 3, for example, looks stunning and performs well while multitasking, and 720p video is no problem at all.
It’s easy to ignore call quality on phones these days. Making calls is almost seen as a secondary function, but it is still important. We found that the Padfone 2 performed perfectly well when both making and receiving calls.
Whack the volume up on the ear speaker and you’ll be able to hear what the person on the other end of the line is saying even in a noisy environment. The microphone is also solid and manages to provide clear sound both on calls and while recording audio.
• Antutu 3.3 – CPU 8563 – RAM 3469 – GPU 8607 – I/0 897 – Total: 21536
• Sunspider – 1925ms
It’s almost as if Asus decided to remove every piece of connectivity possible from both phone and station. Aside from docking the phone to the station the only other physical connections are a microUSB on the phone and a matching microUSB on the Station. All other connectivity comes in wireless form - NFC, Bluetooth, GPS, 4G and, of course, Wi-Fi.
There’s no HDMI out, which won’t matter to most, but surprisingly the Padfone 2 also lacks a microSD card slot. Many phones these days are leaving this feature out but it seems a very odd choice for a device trying to be a phone and tablet at the same time.
If you have a discrete tablet and phone you have two sets of storage, one on the phone and one on the tablet. Asus does provide every buyer with 50GB of online storage for free but this hardly makes up for the omission. On the plus side the Padfone 2 does come in a 64GB version which should be plenty for many users, but at £600 the extra storage comes at a premium. The 16GB version can be bought for £470 and the 32GB costs around £500.
One of the benefits of being a hybrid device is that you end up with a 3G/4G ready 10.1-inch tablet. If you absolutely need a tablet with a 3G connection then Padfone 2 is actually quite cost effective in the long terms as you don’t require two 3G contracts. This is only useful, though, if you intend to take your tablet outside the house.