- Specs are average at best
- No LTE support
- No flash
- No front-facing camera in tablet configuration
- Mediocre battery life
ASUS’ PadFone series has always turned heads. With the hybrid phone and tablet design, it is certainly one of the more unique devices currently on the market. The latest model reduces the size of the device, as well as cost and performance. Reviews for the device are, on the whole, positive. Let’s break it down and look at some of the highs and lows of this new device.
With the phone portion of the device sporting a 4.3-inch display, both the construction of the device and comfortable grip receive plenty of praise from multiple reviewers. Lynn La of CNET mentions, “It sports a sheen, soft-touch coating that lends a premium feel to them. During my brief time with it, the smartphone did indeed feel small, and I could easily navigate it with one hand.” Tom Morgan of Expert Reviews says the phone is, “Well-suited to anyone that prefers a more compact smartphone.”
The 7-inch tablet dock gets similar reviews as well. Expert Reviews says, “It's thicker than a stand-alone tablet, but not significantly so.” While a few reviews mentioned the thickness, all agree that it is well-balanced and light enough for comfortable extended use and portability.
Both displays are fairly average in terms of resolution. However, this does not appear to impact clarity or functionality in any way. CNET points out that, “You can use the display with gloves on, as well as a regular pen (as supposed to a stylus) to navigate through the screen.” Stewart Hastons of Mobile Geeks sums up many reviews of the device when he states, “The 7-inch LCD screen on the PadFone mini is not a bad screen by any accounts.”
It appears that in many ways, ASUS decided to opt for increased options over cutting-edge specifications. However, reviewers are quick to point out that the device is plenty responsive and more than capable of multitasking and performing most tasks. John V of PhoneArena states, “performance felt buttery smooth, even on the tablet's big screen.”
The hybrid design appears to be well-researched and work well. Mobile Geeks notes, “The place where it really shines is in terms of its flexibility. The transition from Phone to Tablet is very smooth and (almost) seamless. I’d say the actual transition is remarkably fast, taking literally two to three seconds to switch from phone to tablet – tablet to phone but other 3rd Party apps don’t fare as well.”
Unfortunately, there are a few potential shortcomings. Mobile Geeks point out that “heavier users would need a bit of help from a battery pack.” Also, while the phone supports dual SIM cards, support for LTE bands is lacking.
Overall, if you are looking for a hybrid mobile device, PhoneArena sums up the bulk of reviews best when they state that the Asus PadFone Mini “looks to be offering more value than its price would suggest.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
Asus released the PadFone Mini on March 20, 2014.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Asus PadFone Mini user manual here.
Asus backs up the PadFone Mini with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your PadFone Mini has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Asus support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Asus's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.