MWC 2013: Asus launches Padfone Infinity
25 Feb 2013
The phone-that-transforms-into-a-tablet gets improved specs and a new design
Asus’ Padfone 2 might only just be coming to the UK, but Asus launched the new Padfone Infinity today at MWC 2013, which packs some impressive specs as well as an all-new design.
It’s a good-looking smartphone, rocking a sleek aerospace-grade aluminium alloy unibody frame, with a silver brushed metal finish. The curved edges help make for a comfortable grip. It’s a step up from the Padfone 2’s plasticky black rear, which gave it a serious business look.
The 5-inch display boasts a Full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution, giving a 441ppi density – that’s well above the Apple iPhone 5’s Retina display and most other rivals, and should make the most of HD movies. The anti-fingerprint glass should help keep it scuff-free, even if you’ve got greasy mitts. If that isn’t good enough for you, plug the phone into the Padfone Station with its 10.1-inch screen, which takes over from the mobile’s display when the two are connected.
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor working at 1.7GHz powers the Padfone Infinity, so this mobile should breeze through the latest games and all of your apps and media. That’s ably backed up by 2GB of RAM, while 64GB of built-in storage (added to 50GB of Asus web storage) gives you enough space to carry dozens of full-length movies or thousands of high-res photos.
A 13MP camera on the Padfone Infinity has an f2.0 aperture lens for bright shots even in dimly lit areas, and shoots 1080p HD video. One of the best features is its incredible burst mode, which can take up to 100 shots at eight frames per second – a great way to get the perfect shot when shooting an action scene. You get a 2MP front-facing camera too, also packing a f2.0 aperture. You can make the phone take a photo by shouting ‘cheese’ - if you have no shame - using Asus’ ‘Echo’ service.
Echo is a voice-operated service, similar to Apple’s Siri. You can use it to answer or reject calls, for instance when you’re driving, or open apps by speaking their names. Other features are bundled such as Asus Story, which allows you to create a photo album from your pics as well as maps, and Instant Translator which does what it says on the tin.
You also get access to Asus' Open Cloud Computing (AOCC), which allows you to share and backup your media quickly and effortlessly. For instance, Aolink allows you to share your media with other devices, and Aostream synchronises all of your devices, so your important files are synched on your phone, tablet and any other gizmos you have. There’s also Aocloud, which allows you to turn a home computer into a personal private cloud, so you can upload photos and anything else straight to your PC for storage and sharing. Online First Aid is another helpful one, offering diagnostic tools and backup options to keep your kit working and files safe.
Asus has also focused on sound quality, putting side speakers on the phone with strong bass and audio clarity. You have built-in NFC on the rear of the phone. An estimated 19hr of 3G talk time or 9hrs of video playback suggests the Padfone Infinity will have impressive battery life. The Station once again has a built-in battery and can apparently extend the Padfone Infinity’s life up to three times, so you’ll only need to charge the two a couple of times a week. Great news if you’re always hitting the road.
The Asus Padfone Infinity should hit stores in April and combined with the Padfone Station it will set you back €999. That’s a big chunk of change, so we’re hoping the Padfone Infinity delivers on its promises.
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Editor: Chris Barraclough