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::>Smartphones > 2014 > 05 > ASUS Padfone E

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19-05-2014


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ASUS Padfone E smartphone review

The marker of desktop PSc continues to lose its customers, because modern tablets and smartphones become more relevant rather than the PCs. For some users the smartphone capacity is not enough and they use tablet, this allows more comfortable to seek information in the Internet, watch HD-movies, work with documents and much more.

ASUS Padfone E

The well-known and prescient Company ASUS in 2012 started the production of smartphones, which are equipped with a dock station for turning it into a tablet. Series of smartphones called ASUS Padfone allowd to get two devices in one (smartphone and tablet) with the same excellent capabilities. The range of these devices continues to evolve, so in this review we will introduce you to another representative of the series "Transformers" - smartphone ASUS Padfone E.

The specs:

Producer

ASUS 

Model

Padfone E

Smartphone 

Type, form-factor

Smartphone, nomoblock

Connection

2G (GSM)

850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz

3G (UMTS)

850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz

4G (LTE)

Broadband data transfer

GPRS (32-48 KB/s), EDGE (236 KB/s)

Q-ty of

SIM-cards

2

SIM-card type

Micro-SIM

CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226: four cores (ARMv7), frequency up to 1400 MHz

Graphics adapter

Qualcomm Adreno 305: four cores, support of OpenGL ES 3.0, DirectX, OpenCL, 

Display

4,7", 1280 x 720 P (312 ppi), Super IPS, sensor, multi-touch up to 10 touches, protective Corning Gorilla Glass, antiglare and oleophobic coating  

RAM

1 GB LPDDR2

Memory

16GB

Support of memory cards

microSD (capacity up to 64 GB)

Sockets

1 x micro-USB

1 x audio mini-jack 3,5 mm

Multimedia

Speaker

Stereo

Microphone

Stereo

FM-radio

+

Additionally 

AudioWizard

Camera

Main

13 MP, aperture f/2.4, digital image stabilization, auto focus, LED flash, record of 1080p video

 

Frontal

1,2 MP, aperture f/2.4

Communication

Wi-Fi

802.11b/g/n

Bluetooth

V4.0

NFC

IrLED

Miracast

+

Navigation

GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS

Sensors

Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, illumination sensor, electronic compass

Battery

lithium-pol cell, non-removable: 1820 mАh, 7 Wh, 3,8 V

Dimension

139,6 x 69,7 x 9,08 mm

Weight

126 g

Color

White/Black

Dock station 

Producer

ASUS 

Model

Padfone E Station

Display

10,1", 1280 x 800 P (149 ppi), Super IPS, touch, multi-touch up to 10 touches, protective Corning Gorilla Glass, antiglare and oleophobic coating 

Sockets

1 x micro-USB

Speaker

Stereo

Camera

Main

Is used rear smartphone camera in mode:

5.5 MP, record of 720p video

Frontal

1 MP

Sensors

Illumination sensor

Battery

lithium-pol cell, non-removable: 5000 mАh, 19 Wh

Dimension

181,5 x 263,6 x 17,44 mm

Weight

526 g

Color

White/Black

 

Charging device

Input: 100~240V AC at 50/60 Hz

Output: 5 V DC, 1 А

OS

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

Warranty

12 month

Producer website

ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

Packaging content and accessories

ASUS Padfone E

Set of smartphone and dock station (tablet) comes in two small packages, which are made of thick white cardboard. On the front faces of the brightly decorated boxes you can find devices image allowing to get acquainted with their design. On the side faces are the image of case as well as the model name.

ASUS Padfone E

The back side of the packages contains several barcodes, icons, as well as other information about the product in several languages. In general, packaging informative is not enough to obtain a basic understanding of the characteristics of the units. However, on the back side of the box there is a smartphone QR-code. Using it you can get more detailed information about the kit on the official producer page.

 

ASUS Padfone E

The basic packaging of ASUS Padfone E black version includes dock station of similar color, while our test sample has docking station with a white back side. This situation often occurs in the case of a press samples review of new products. It does not affect the testing process, but we recommend to pay attention to it, to avoid confusion with the purchase.

ASUS Padfone E set of delivery didn’t any documentation. The remaining elements were present in corpore, namely: the compact power supply unit with removable adapter cable USB ↔ micro-USB of standard 2.0, headset with (vacuum) headphones and three pairs of silicone tips.
Smartphone: design, elements layout

ASUS Padfone E

Smartphone ASUS Padfone E and dock station Padfone E Station at first glance may seem ordinary representatives of their classes. But it is necessary to get acquainted with the new product better and it becomes clear that these “gadgets” are a perfect complement to each other.

ASUS Padfone E ASUS Padfone E

The first impressions of the phone are only positive. Despite the fact that the screen size is 4.7 inch, the device is lightweight (only 126 grams) and compact. The case despite the relatively small thickness (total 8 mm) is characterized by good rigidity: at moderate pressure or torsion attempts characteristic sounds was appeared. Build quality is very good which confirms the complete absence of backlash and gaps as well as other structural defects. In terms of design the model doesn’t have something incredible, and the main features of the appearance of the device are good weight and size parameters and pleasant tactile sensation.

ASUS Padfone E

ASUS Padfone E ASUS Padfone E

The front side is almost completely covered by protective glass Corning Gorilla Glass c oleophobic and anti-reflective coating. Along the contour of the case there is a glossy edging which becomes wider at the bottom. It should be noted that gloss, in addition to improving tactile perception, is characterized by good resistance to scratches. Top part of front side includes: front camera eye; notch of voice dynamics covered by perforated chrome metal insert; lighting and proximity sensors. At the bottom of the manufacturer logo traditionally are three touch-sensitive buttons: [Back,] [Home], [Menu]. Hold the [Home] button raises a circle Google Now, pressing the [MENU] button activates the menu of last run applications. The buttons have a white backlight. Its brightness is adjusted by the appropriate operating system menu. 

ASUS Padfone E

The back side of the smartphone is a relatively thick plastic with tactilely pleasant and practical soft-touch coating (fingerprints are very easy to remove). Plastic is very durable and is a hybrid of polycarbonate and ABS-plastic. Additionally on the rear part of case there are: the company logo, the name of the smartphone model and EMEI and serial number.

ASUS Padfone E

The case consists of two parts: a base (back cover) and the main part of telephone which is placed in the cap. Remove the cover or get the main part of the phone is not easy. To do this through a special notch hook skeleton smartphone, then spend the contour cover fingernail to remove it from the latch, and then remove the main part of the smartphone.

ASUS Padfone E

After removing the cover, you get the access to the two micro SIM-card connectors, microSD memory card slot and battery. Good fixation of the cover together with removable battery gives the impression of solidity and reliability of the whole structure.

ASUS Padfone E

ASUS Padfone E

The left side of the smartphone ASUS Padfone E doesn’t contains controls, but in the lower part it has a special above mentioned cavity. On the right side there is a volume control (a convenient location for both left and right hands) and micro-USB connector for charging and connecting to a PC.

ASUS Padfone E

ASUS Padfone E

On the top there are: audio jack (mini-jack 3,5 mm), the power /lock button and an additional microphone. The top button is placed exactly in the center part which is somewhat unusual (often it is closer to the edge) but to some extent, such an arrangement is more versatile. Placing of additional microphone on the top edge in our opinion is more than justified as the situation of its overlap is minimized. Note that the outer part of the button is a part of the back cover (the base). Buttons are characterized by a “flat” travel. Below there is the main microphone and a proprietary connector for the smartphone to the docking station.

Dock station: design and elements layout

ASUS Padfone E

ASUS Padfone E

In the basic configuration as we have already mentioned the smartphone is equipped with a similar black dock. Of course “tablet” does not work without a smartphone which in this case acts as the main unit. Only after installing the dock station became “alive” and all subsequent interactions occur within its display and controls. The tablet was made of the same plastic as the smartphone so there is no need to describe its properties. We note only that the build quality of case is at a good level and there are no complaints. According to modern standards dock station is a little heavy (525 grams). In addition, it is increased by another 126 grams after smartphone installation.

ASUS Padfone E

ASUS Padfone E

After smartphone installation the dock station becomes a full tablet. The front side of the device is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass with anti-glare and oleophobic coatings. The screen has a glossy frame, the width of which is enough to hold the device without touch to capacitive display. Above the screen there are: eye front camera, light sensor and the logo of the manufacturer.

ASUS Padfone E

The back side of the dock station ASUS Padfone E Station is a white plastic which is similar to the tactile soft-touch coating. Plastic slightly collects fingerprints but they are quickly removed. In the center there is a slot for smartphone (the main feature of the device). It is framed by a black glossy plastic with logos “ASUS” and “Padfone Station”. Also here is the multimedia speaker which is covered by a large perforated mesh. Location of the speaker is rather comfortable. Dock station case is not apart.

ASUS Padfone E ASUS Padfone E

ASUS Padfone E

Setting of the smartphone into appropriate slot comes with minimal time and efforts. The only thing you need to do is to insert the ASUS Padfone E into slot and press down lightly. It is worth to mention that the plastic of back side promotes good sliding along a slot, which also eliminates the negative effects on its display. In addition, additional fixation is provided by spring latches that hold the smartphone. Final moment of “joining” with the dock station feels good.

ASUS Padfone E ASUS Padfone E

After the joining of devices into a single unit smartphone keeps correctly and firmly, but in case of very sharp movements it can fall out. During normal use we didn’t have such situation. Disconnecting of the ASUS Padfone E model from dock station comes with the same ease as its installation.

ASUS Padfone E

ASUS Padfone E

Design features of dock station ASUS Padfone E Station affected the thickness of the case which is 17.5 mm (the widest part) that slightly higher than ordinary tablets. On the left side of the device there is the volume rocker and on the right  microUSB port.

ASUS Padfone E

ASUS Padfone E

On the top side of the device there is the power/lock button, and the charge indicator of built in battery (orange - charging, green - charged). Lower side of the body is exempt from controls.
Display

ASUS Padfone E

ASUS Padfone E smartphone is equipped with a good display diagonal of 4.7" which is based on Super IPS-matrix. Image resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels with a pixel density 312 ppi. These parameters are enough for quality and clear information display, as well as for smooth playback. Viewing angles are excellent. Also, we did not notice the standard “disease” of IPS-panel - change the “picture” in the direction of purple hues when viewed from an acute angle.

ASUS Padfone E

The backlight brightness is uniform and sufficiently high: the information on the display remains readable even in bright sunny day and direct lights. Such performance is achieved through the use of anti-glare and oleophobic coatings that perfectly cope with its task. In terms of color rendering and contrast the smartphone screen is also on a good level.

ASUS Padfone E

Touch panel is perfect. It has a remarkable sensitivity (there is not the support of operation in gloves) and handles up to 10 simultaneous touches. Finger slides on the safety glass; oleophobic coating is excellent; fingerprints are easily cleaned.

ASUS Padfone E

Display of the dock with diagonal of 10.1" is based on Super IPS-matrix; however, it is inferior to the screen of the pone in terms of overall perception. Viewing angles are wide enough, but the common lack of IPS-panel is still present. Thus when looking at an acute angle image becomes purple. Contrast is not very high, so the black color is displayed in dark gray. Reserve brightness is sufficient for most users, but in case of direct sunlight the information is not perfectly read.

ASUS Padfone E

Resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels at 10 inches diagonal determines the density of pixels which is equal to 149 ppi. According the modern standards, this value is small, as a result the individual pixels are sufficiently visible, and fonts don’t have enough smoothing.

ASUS Padfone E

Screen of the tablet perceives up to 10 simultaneous touches. The finger perfectly slides on the protective glass, but used oleophobic coating is characterized as medium, as fingerprints are not cleaned very easily. In general, displays of both devices have no significant drawbacks. Smartphone screen exceeds the same in the tablet.

Sound

ASUS Padfone E

Smartphone ASUS Padfone E has one installed multimedia speaker which is located on the rear of the case. It is covered with a perforated mesh. Slightly protruding module of main camera performs the role of a support which does not allow the speaker contact closely with the surface. Therefore, in combination with a good supply of the volume the situation with missed calls should not arise. Multimedia playback is performed quite efficiently, with noticeable low and high frequency. But in case of high frequency the sound is characterized as “flat”.

ASUS Padfone E

In tablet mode the sound reproduction occurs through one speaker on the back side of the dock station. It stands by a higher maximum volume and noticeably better sound. Here we have the strong (according standards of mobile devices) low frequency and detailed middle and high frequencies. It is a pity that such a speaker is only one so we should not expect stereo. Viewing the video at maximum volume does not distort the sound.  By the way, do not forget about a mini-jack 3,5 mm on the top of the smartphone. It is available independently the use mode of the device.

ASUS Padfone E

Also there is a possibility of software correcting audio output through a program AudioWizard. The application can significantly change the sound, both for better and for worse side (depending on the audio material). 6 presets are available to the user including full mute. The most optimal parameter in our opinion is the “Music”. This option does not lead to an overestimation of the low frequencies.

Camera

ASUS Padfone E ASUS Padfone E

Smartphone ASUS Padfone E is equipped with module of main camera with a resolution of 13 megapixels. It has a pretty fast autofocus, optics with f/2.4 aperture and has available bright LED flash. Photos are saved with a maximum ratio of 4160 x 3120 pixels and the time of saving take up to 2-3 seconds depending on the shooting conditions. The quality of the photographic material is good either in terms of details and sharpness or and color position. The main camera has a fairly wide viewing angle. For example, if take photo of a flat brickwork, the picture will have visible “barrel”.
Quality of Full HD-video differs by detailed image and natural color rendering, but there is no stabilization, and a significant effect “Rolling shutter” appears at horizontal camera shift.

Let’s note that when using the camera the smartphone case is heated up n the area near to flash (flash was not used).

To provide a video calling the phone has a front facing camera. Its resolution is 1.2 megapixels.

ASUS Padfone E ASUS Padfone E

Dock station doesn’t have own primary camera module, therefore in tablet mode for taking photos and videos the back camera your smartphone is used. However, the above-mentioned characteristics of the module have the following form: 5.5 megapixels, video recording in 720p format (1280 x 720 pixels). Therefore for shooting it is better to use smartphone. Front camera of dock station has a resolution of 1 megapixel which also makes the phone more preferable for video calling.

Brand camera application is run quickly. It has a pleasant and functional appearance, and also offers a rich set of features. The shell is quite convenient realized: there are separate buttons for photo and video (no need to switch between modes). Shooting modes in HDR, panoramic, create GIF-images and intellectual removals are supported. The latter mode allows you to shoot with automatic removal of moving objects in the background. Also there is the ability to save photo during video recording which is very convenient. Smartphone can perform high-speed shooting of 100 frames in «Turbo» mode with 13 MP for 14 seconds or 3 MP for 8 seconds.

Below you can see the examples of received photos and videos taken with the main camera of smartphone ASUS Padfone E.

Examples of photography 

Examples of video filming 

 

ASUS Padfone E day video filming

Example of day video filming from smartphone ASUS Padfone E (1080p), rate 30 fps

 

 

Example of night video filming from smartphone ASUS Padfone E (1080p), rate 20 fps

 

 

Interface

 

ASUS Padfone E ASUS Padfone E

The device is running an operating system Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with installed on top proprietary shell ASUS Launcher. OS has a slightly modified appearance, preinstalled applications, as well as some advanced features aimed to ensure smartphone efficiency in pair with a dock station. In general, the appearance of the shell is pleasant enough: application icons (basic and preset) are shown in the same style that gives the impression of OS interface integrity.

 

ASUS Padfone E ASUS Padfone E

Notification panel is slightly modified (in comparison with “clean” Android version) and has no the quick settings panel. Here you can adjust the screen brightness, wireless networks, various power-saving modes and media playback and also connect to an external screen via Miracast. The icons on the panel can be changed depending on preferences.

 

There are many preinstalled applications. All of them have appropriate and have useful functionality. For example, the application “Splendid” allows you to calibrate the display image by changing the saturation value, and with the help of the program “App Lock” you can set a password to run any application. Another interesting application is the “Power Saving Mode”. Using it the user can optimize supply parameters. In addition, there is a virtually complete set of Google applications.

 

ASUS Padfone E ASUS Padfone E

ASUS Padfone E ASUS Padfone E

ASUS Padfone E ASUS Padfone E

The “Telephone” was not modifies: only modified icons that perfectly match the overall style of the shell ASUS Launcher.

 

In addition to the standard options the device settings are expanded due to the use of a dock station, as well as the ability of phone work with two SIM-cards. The menu item "Options of double SIM-card" and widget “Padfone Assistant” allow intuitive and quickly optimize the joint functioning of the devices.

 

After installing the smartphone to appropriate slot of dock and transition in tablet mode it is possible to launch multi screen widgets or "simple" pre-installed applications. Enabling the display and switch of the smartphone OS in a tablet shell happens automatically within few seconds. Also, the correct and fast switching occurs when running the game application.

Hardware platform and performance

Smartphone ASUS Padfone E is based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, four cores of which are running at a frequency of 1400 MHz. Graphics processing performs graphic core Qualcomm Adreno 305, which is characterized by support of technology OpenGL ES 3.0, DirectX, OpenCL. The device is equipped with 16 GB of internal and 1 GB of LPDDR2-memory. Also there is a support of microSD memory cards up to 64 GB. These features provide quick work of the operating system Android (in both modes of use), any programs, as well as many demanding gaming applications.

The test results will help you get a more objective assessment of power hardware platform. In addition, we separately note a good performance in game Dead Trigger 2 at high graphics settings, as well as Real Racing 3 (with low parameters).
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