Asus Padfone 2 hands-on: A different transformer

GSMArena team, 16 October 2012.
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Camera

We snapped a few camera samples with the Asus Padfone 2 and while the lighting conditions weren't perfect and we didn't have time to get things just right (there were many people waiting their turn to test the Padfone 2), the 13MP shots are still interesting.

We also tried out the burst shot mode and it is indeed impressively fast. You press and hold the virtual shutter key and the phone will keep snapping photos until you release it. After, you can pick which shots you want to keep or just hit save all and review them later.

Asus Padfone 2 Event
Asus Padfone 2 camera samples

Synthetic benchmarks

The Asus Padfone 2 packs one of the most powerful ARM chipset available at the moment. With four Krait CPU cores clocked at 1.5GHz, 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 320, there's little that can stand in its way. The OS version is a bit of a letdown - Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich - but Asus is working on an update. We expect to see a jump in performance after the update (especially from the web browser) and as usual, keep in mind that the Padfone 2 we tested might not run the final version of the software.

Even so, the Asus Padfone 2 aced the Benchmark Pi and Linpack tests, beating the LG Optimus G, which uses the same chipset and runs 4.1 Jelly Bean already.

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • Asus Padfone 2
    269
  • LG Optimus G
    285
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    305
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    330
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    350
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    359
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    362

Linpack

Higher is better

  • Asus Padfone 2
    653
  • LG Optimus G
    608
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    214.3
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    189.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    175.5
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    160.9
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    141.5

The Padfone 2 scored pretty well in AnTuTu, especially considering that the benchmark isn't very kind to the S4 Pro chipset for some reason (it puts the Optimus G at the bottom).

AnTuTu

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    13562
  • Asus Padfone 2
    13262
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    12288
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    11820
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    11735
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    11633
  • LG Optimus G
    11206

We also managed to squeeze in a JavaScript test, because Asus made a point to brag about it. And we're not impressed - even though Jelly Bean will speed things up, the result should have been better. But the other S4 Pro phone doesn't do too hot here, so maybe it's a matter of time to optimize the JavaScript engine for this chipset.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Apple iPhone 5
    915
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    972
  • Motorola RAZR i XT890
    1059
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1192
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1312
  • LG Optimus G
    1353
  • Asus Padfone 2
    1437
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1446
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    1468

First impressions

Asus is trying hard to break away from the traditional designs. The Padfone in particular is a sort of wild idea, but most people have probably thought about it. When you see a tablet teardown, usually you see smartphone components (same chipsets, same wireless radios and so on), attached to a big screen and battery. So, do you really need to pay for the same things twice if you want both a phone and a tablet?

The Asus Padfone 2 solves just that problem - you buy the common components once, then just pay extra for the bigger screen and battery. And the processing power of a smartphone is well enough to power a tablet.

Asus has already announced the pricing of the Padfone 2 and it might seem steep at first. But when you think about it, the Padfone 2 has the specs of a next-gen Android flagship and the specs of a high-end tablet all at the same time.

And the execution by Asus is excellent - the screen is great, the chipset is well ahead of current quad-cores (let down by the software, which isn't on the level yet) and the build quality left us with a positive impression. So, in the long run you actually save some cash - but more importantly, unless you absolutely need to use your phone and your tablet at the same time, you get a chance to join in on the future.

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