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Asus Padfone Infinity Review

Honored Advisor

Design

 

By the first look, the new Asus Padfone infinity has impressed me with its design and build quality.  Armored with sleek aerospace-grade aluminium and brush metal finishing, it gives the device a luxurious and classy look. The unibody brushed-aluminium together with anti-fingerprint coating corning gorilla glass screen have proofed to be very effective in maintaining a fingerprint free interface. 

 

Padfone Back View

 

Padfone Front View

 

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The phone speaker is now relocated to the right side of the phone just above the power button. This change is an improved design which is more user-friendly as compared to most phones in the market (including my previous phone). Most phones house the speaker at the back of the phone casing which tends to block the speaker when you leave the phone on the table for charging or watching videos.  

Similar to the predecessor Padfone 2, the volume control is ideally located at the right edge of the phone beneath the power button, allowing my thumb to access the volume control with ease.  Such a design allows users to control the phone single handedly.

 

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I feel that Asus Padfone Infinity has the superior design and solid build quality that stands out amongst its competitors.

 

 

Performance  

 

Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7GHz with Adreno 320 GPU, you can play all the games you can find in Play Store smoothly without any lapses.  I have tried playing EA NFS Most wanted, Asphalt 7 and Real Football 2013. Apps launching are fast and no lapse while playing.  While the 4G LTE ensures a fast browsing and video streaming, the 5” Full HD 1920x1080 Super IPS display provides a clearer and shaper display.

The powerful 13MP f2.0 camera with 5 element lens allows you to capture high quality images even in a low-light indoor environment.  Shutter speed is fast and images quality is comparable to a digital camera.  At 8 fps (100 Sequential), every moment of the time is captured.  Padfone is also able to perform high quality video recording at MPEG4 up to 1080p @ 30fps, 720@60fps. Simultaneously, the phone is able to capture still images. A very useful and efficient feature to record video and capture still images at the same time.

The 2400 mAh Li-Polymer (non-removable) has standby time of 410hours and talk time of 19 hours. However in today’s modern and technology-based society, the phone is also for LTE network browsing, messaging, video streaming and gaming.  With such usage, the battery could only last about 9 hours.

 

Sample pictures took from Asus Infinity

 

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Taken Indoor with average light

 

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Taken under bright sunlight with maximum zoom.

 

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Taken under bright sunlight with maximum zoom.

 

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Taken at the sunset with Zoom

 

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Taken at the sunset with Zoom

 

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Night scene mode

 

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Night scene mode

 

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Taken indoor with low light 

 

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Taken indoor with low light 

 

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In Panorama mode.

 

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Taken at 8fps ensure every moments are captured.

 

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Normal daylight.

 

 

The Pad Station

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The unique innovative feature that the Padfone has over all other competitors is the Pad Station docking that transforms the 5” phone to a 10.1 tablet.  With the introduction of the dynamic view, most commonly used apps like Asus Studio, browser, Polaris Office, email, etc. are able to dynamically switch to a larger screen once Padfone is docked to the Pad Station without the need to restart these apps. 

 

Similar to Padfone Infinity, the Pad Station is built with unibody aluminum metal with 10.1” Full HD 1920x1200, Super IPS powered 19 Whr/5000 mAh Li-Polymer Battery.  The docking mechanism is well designed. It firmly secures the phone when attached. Even with hard swings, the phone will not detach and yet on the other hand, allows you to detach the phone smoothly without much strength.

 

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With this two-in-one device, it provides the solution to complex data sync between phone and tablet, which quite often, users are unsure of whether the former or latter contains the latest copy of a particular file.  Although cloud storage also provides solution to this problem, all Telco providers are now capping the data bundle to 2GB. Thus, using 3G and LTE to access your cloud may not be a long term solution especially if you are dealing with large files.  As the Padfone Infinity is the brain of the Pad Station, no additional Multi-Sim card is required for the Pad Station to access 3G or LTE network and hence, is cost saving.

Another plus point is that the Pad Station can act as a power bank when you are on the move.  By docking it, the Pad Station can power up and charge the Padfone if its battery drains up. 

 

Conclusion 

 

In terms of phone performances, Padfone Infinity is comparable to other competitors but Padfone has an edge over the design and built of the phone.  The camera’s performance is excellent. And of course with the Pad Station, it has made the phone unique and different from the others in the market. Users can enjoy the convenience of watching videos, viewing photos and reading data on a larger screen with the Pad Station. Users no longer have to switch on another device such as tablet or laptop to perform such activities. Imaging this-Upon reaching home, just dock the Padfone to the Pad Station and enjoy your favourite movie instantly on a larger screen. It is also useful for users in marketing or sales when they have to do their presentation to their clients. They no longer need to operate two different devices (phone and tablet). Users only need to access data from their phone and present the information via the Pad Station with Padfone docked to it. Data storage and management can be that easy and hassle-free!

 

Areas for Improvement for Next Padfone

 

Independent battery/charging indicator for the pad station

I notice that there is no battery/charging indicator for the pad station.  When charging the pad station, there is no charging indicator to indicate status of the charging. The battery/charging indicator for the pad station could only be seen when the Padfone is docked to the pad station. Thus, it would be very useful if the pad station has its own battery/charging indicator so that when the Padfone is not docked to the pad station, you can still check the battery/charging level of the pad station. 

 

Support for more video format e.g. .rvmb

The Asus Studio Video Player lacks of support to play certain video format e.g. the very common .rvmb.  As .rvmb is a very common format used in movies downloading, the files need to be converted to mpeg in order to play in the Asus Studio Video Player . If not, a third party app is required to play these files.

 

Improvement for Padfone battery life

Despite having the stated standby hours and talk time hours of the phone on one charge, I still feel that the battery life of the phone needs to be improved.  Nowadays, the use of game apps, social apps, email apps and even video streaming is part of daily life.  Therefore, with such intensive use of phone, the battery of the phone could easily drain out in 8 hours after one full charge.  Battery life is usually one of the main considerations for buyers.

     

Pad station to have a few size variants e.g. 10.1” and (7”or 8”)

With the growing demand of smaller size tablet in the market, it shows that a large number of users feel that 10” tablet is not so handy especially when on the move.  If the users do not like the large size of the tablet, the Pad Station would be a useless feature to them.  Therefore, if there is another size variant, e.g. 7” or 8”, it will capture the users’ attention to take another look of what the Pad Station can offer.

 

Extending dynamic view feature to more apps

Dynamic View is really a wonderful feature the Padfone and Pad Station have offered, but only if common built-in apps are compatible.  Hope that this feature is able to extend to more apps.

 

External SD Card

Having the external SD card is controversial. Most people prefer built-in memory as it is more stable and faster. However, for photograph-taking avid like me, it is good to have the expansion for SD Card to allow for more memory.            

                            

Keyboard dock for Pad Station

Equipping the Pad Station with an optional keyboard dock will ideally make the Padfone an all-in-one (Phone + Tablet + Notebook) smartphone.  This allows word processing, emailing and web browsing in full screen without the on screen keyboard. 

 

Include a pen stylus for Pad Station

With a pen stylus, users are able to perform more precise sketch drawing and note taking. It is very useful for people in the designing industry.

 

 

 

 

3 Comments
Esteemed Commentator

Thanks for a comprehensive review. How about the general heating issues. The earlier version used to heat up a lot during charging and video play

Honored Advisor

Yes VIKZZ, maybe after 7-10mins of video play you can start to feel the heat(at the back of the phone) generating and increasing till about 20 mins the heat tempreture will come to a constant.  Same when I use the camera for long period.  But I do encountered similar heating with my previous phones (HTC and Samsung) but have forgotten how long I use before it start heating up.  Well, I have never tried the earlier version so I am not sure whether is there any improvement for heating issues in this version.

Honored Advisor

Asus, worth it?

 

I am not sure about Gen 3 since I use Gen 1 and tested my friend's Gen 2. I can say Gen 1 and 2 are failures. Even my friend give up after sending for repair twice in less than 2 months after he sign up for the phone. Gen 1 heating problem is the worst before they release a patch, the rubber even melts due to the heat and I cannot even hold the phone as it is too hot. Speaker soft etc etc problem also makes me use the Gen 1 as a expensive but low spec tablet. Even the jelly bean upgrade for gen 1 also have many bugs killing many Gen 1 users. Some features of the keyboard for Gen 1 was not disable after jelly bean is install. My Gen 1 10.1 screen crack before I know it, send for repair was charge $480(Under warrenty) which I refuse, as buying a new set causes $300+.

 

Since the padfone was not the only problem I recieved, I decided giving up on asus android device are the best choice I left. I bought a transformer pad TF300TG, tablet and keyboard spoil cannot be charge etc etc error and request a refund the very next day. Asus product have quantity but no quality. Only Nexus 7 monitior by google quality are still ok/