Asus PadFone X review: Like no other

GSMArena team, 21 July 2014.
Pages: 12345678910»

Tags: Asus, Android

Introduction

The Asus PadFone X for AT&T is the Taiwanese manufacturer's first offering from the family of hybrid devices to officially hit the US market. Announced during this year's CES in Las Vegas, the device consists of a high-end Android handset and a tablet docking station with 9" IPS display and stereo speakers.

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Asus PadFone X official photos

At a quick glance, the Asus PadFone X could well be the dream device for an Android power user. Thanks to the combination of Snapdragon 800 SoC, 13MP camera with 4K recording, and 5" 1080p Super IPS+ display, the handset can rub shoulders with most high-end offerings out there.

The bundled docking station on the other hand, will surely appeal to the budget-minded, as no competitor offers such functionality for the price. To top things off, the optional full keyboard cover will transform the device into a capable compact notebook.

Key features

  • 5" Super IPS+ display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Asus Zen UI out of the box
  • 2.3GHz quad-core CPU; Adreno 330 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC; 2GB RAM
  • 13MP PixelMaster camera with 4K video recording and LED flash; 2MP front-facing unit; 1MP front-facing unit on the tablet tock
  • 16GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot
  • Bundled tablet dock with 9" 1920 x 1200 pixels IPS display; stereo speakers
  • 2,330 mAh built-in battery; 4,990 mAh unit on the dock
  • PMA wireless charging support
  • Optional full keyboard dock with touchpad

Main disadvantages

  • Not the best looking handset around
  • Rather late to hit the market (six months after the product announcement)
  • No IR blaster
  • Tablet has huge bezels
  • Heavy in tablet mode

By the looks of it, as far as available features go, the Asus PadFone X is anything but lacking. The device packs a powerful chipset, a top-notch display, and capable camera, topped by an Android KitKat build with useful additions from Asus.

The bundled tablet dock is what truly separates the Asus PadFone X apart from its competitors. Available out of the box at no additional cost, the docking station is certain to make the PadFone X a mighty attractive option for those who cannot shell out additional cash for a tablet.

However, as is the case with many devices that try to offer multiple talents, the Asus PadFone X is not exactly perfect in all departments. The handset is hardly one of the best looking in its segment to begin with. The tablet dock has also seen some engineering compromises as it's bulky in size and has wide screen bezels.

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Asus PadFone X live photos

As always, we will kick our review off with an unboxing of the Asus PadFone X, followed by a design and build quality inspection.

Editorial: You may notice that this review is shorter than usual and doesn't include some of our proprietary tests. The reason is it has been prepared and written away from our test labs. Still, we think we've captured the essence of the device in the same precise, informative and detailed way that's become our trademark. Enjoy the good read!
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