There’s always got to be a Mini version. Following that tradition, ASUS recently unveiled the PadFone Mini, a smartphone with a 4.3 inch display that docks into a tablet dock with a 7 inch screen. This transformable form factor is something we’ve already seen on its more powerful PadFone siblings, but the ASUS PadFone Mini makes it much more affordable.
As a Smartphone
On the smartphone side of things, the 4.3 inch Super IPS screen has a resolution of 540 x 960 (qHD) and runs on a 1.4GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. It also comes with 1GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage. If the ability to expand storage via the micro SD slot isn’t enough for you, ASUS even throws in 5GB of ASUS WebStorage so you can save your files in the cloud.
Handling imaging responsibilities is an 8mp rear camera with LED flash and f/2.0 aperture while the front camera is a 2mp shooter ideal for facilitating video calls. It runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box, but the battery is a bit weak at 1,500mAh.
As a Tablet
The tablet dock allows you to use the PadFone as a tablet by simply sliding the phone in at the back. You get a 7 inch 800 x 1280 screen, which should be sharp and decent enough for the size, although it’s certainly not top of the line. The neat thing though is that it also comes with its own internal 2,200mAh battery, giving the PadFone a combined 3,700mAh worth of juice. What’s even neater is that you can charge the phone while it’s inside the dock off of the 2,200mAh battery.
One thing I’ve liked about ASUS’ Android offerings is that while they do include some of their own software, they’ve always been useful software for the most part. The ASUS PadFone Mini is no different, but most of the software tricks focus on the camera. Check them out on the video below.
While there’s nothing top of the line about the ASUS PadFone Mini, it does make this transformable form factor pretty affordable. I especially like that I wouldn’t have to worry about managing apps and files between a separate tablet and phone since the PadFone is really just a single Android device. The battery life could have been better though as neither 1,500mAh nor 3,700mAh sound all that much whether you’re just talking about the phone or tablet.
No news yet as to how much it will cost or when it will get to the Philippines. For now, pricing is speculated to be somewhere around $400. It will also see a limited release in Taiwan, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia.
ASUS PadFone Mini Specs
- Smartphone: 4.3″ qHD Super IPS display (540 x 960 resolution, 256ppi) / PadFone Station: 7″ HD Super IPS display (800 x 1280 resolution, 216ppi)
- 1.4GHz Snapdragon 400 processor
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB internal storage, expandable via micro SD
- 8mp autofocus rear-facing camera with LED flash
- 2mp front camera
- WiFi b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 1,500mAh battery + 2,200mAh from PadFone Station
- Price: estimated $400