by Robert Triggs, 6 days ago
The ASUS Fonepad was perhaps a bit of an odd product to begin with, a little too large to really be useful as a phone and not really cutting it as an amazing tablet either….
As excited as we were about the Asus Padfone concept when we first spotted it more than a year ago, we quickly realized it had very slim chances of getting released on a wide scale and gain much traction. Unfortunately, we were right on the money with our predictions, and the smartphone/tablet hybrid remains a sweet dream that still needs serious work (not to mention “leniency” from major carriers).
Fortunately (and quite surprisingly), Asus seems to still believe in the Padfone, and, according to a leaked benchmark, it is now pushing forward with a revamped version of the two-in-one gadget. We first heard about the Padfone 2 back in May, but pretty much no one thought the new hybrid was good to go after the production issues and limited release of the first-edition model.
According to the new leak, Asus is not just looking to go forward with the Padfone concept, but it also plans to considerably up the ante spec-wise. The Padfone 2 caught flexing its muscles in an AnTuTu benchmark has a quad-core 1512MHz processor and 2GB of RAM, which is a major progress over the first phone equipped with a dual-core 1.5GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM.
The Padfone had a Snapdragon S4 processor under its hood, so it’s very likely the new phone will come with the S4 Pro CPU we are sooo waiting for. On the flipside, the benchmark lists the new Padfone as running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, which would be a terrible disappointment for a gadget rumored to see the light of day sometime in 2013. It’s obvious though that this is only a pre-production unit, and that it will most likely have Jelly Bean on board by the time of its release.
As for the actual benchmark results, the Padfone 2 scored a total of 13,950, which, according to Ameblo.jp, might be an all-time record. There’s no other device around with a quad-core S4 Pro chip and 2GB of RAM though, so any comparison with existent gadgets would be a bit unfair.
We can compare however the Padfone 2 with the freshly unveiled Galaxy Note 2, which we saw not long ago scoring an inferior 13,500 in the exact same AnTuTu benchmark. The Galaxy Note 2 packs a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos CPU, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, so the Padfone 2’s results might actually be quite impressive after all. Of course, the Note 2 benchmarked was itself a pre-production unit, but it should have been a far more advanced version than the Padfone 2, considering the two gadget's ETAs.
Talking about ETAs, let's say that we still have no idea when might the Padfone 2 hit the market, although the initial predictions don't seem very trustworthy anymore. It's very hard to believe that Asus will wait until the second part of next year to make this official, and we're almost ready to bet we will be seeing a lot of the Padfone 2 at the CES or MWC 2013, in January and February.
What we want to hear from you is what do you expect from the Padfone 2 (aside from enjoying a wider release than its predecessor). Do a quad-core S4 Pro CPU and 2GB of RAM sound snappy enough for 2013 technology? Are you expecting the phone to come with a better display or a slimmer profile? How about the “Padfone Station”? Should that also be slimmer and lighter with a crisper screen? Is a battery bump also needed? Let us know down below.