Asus Padfone 2 review: Plug and play

GSMArena team, 21 February 2013.

Tags: Asus, Android

You are in good hands with Google Maps

The Asus Padfone 2 comes with a GPS receiver, which took about a minute and a half to get satellite lock upon a cold start. You can enable the A-GPS to get near instantaneous locks. Alternatively, network positioning will do if you only need a rough idea of your location.

Google Maps is a standard part of the Android package and we've covered it many times before. It offers voice-guided navigation in certain countries and falls back to a list of instructions elsewhere.

3D buildings are shown for some of the bigger cities and you can use two-finger camera tilt and rotate to get a better view of the area.

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Google Maps

Google Maps uses vector maps, which are very data efficient. The latest version has an easy to use interface for caching maps - you just choose "Make available offline" from the menu and pan/zoom around until the desired area is in view (there's an indicator showing how much storage the cache of that area will take). You can later view cached areas and delete ones you no longer need.

Note that there's a limit to the size of the area you can cache - you can't just make all of Europe available offline, not even a whole country. We managed to fit New York and parts of the surroundings before Maps told us the area is too big. Another things is, there's no address search in the cached maps and you can only cache map data in supported regions of the world.

You can plan routes, search for nearby POI and go into the always cool Street View. The app will reroute you if you get off course, even without a data connection.

Google Play

The Asus Padfone 2 runs Jelly Bean, so it has no problems accessing all of the latest apps. The Store is organized in a few scrollable tabs - categories, featured, top paid, top free, top grossing, top new paid, top new free and trending. The in-app section is untouched though and it's very informative - a description, latest changes, number of downloads and comments with rating. There are usually several screenshots of the app in action, and oftentimes a demo video as well.

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The Google Play Store

There are all kinds of apps in the Google Play Store and the most important ones are covered (file managers, navigation apps, document readers etc.), so if you wish you could do something more with your phone, odds are it's in the app store.

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