How to talk on a 7-inch smartphone, Asus Fonepad presentation explains [video]

by: Chris SmithFebruary 25, 2013


Asus on Tuesday at MWC 2013 in Barcelona, Spain, announced two new devices – well three, depending how you count them – the Asus Padfone Infinity smartphone/tablet combo and the 7-inch Nexus 7-like Asus Fonepad… smartphone/tablet combo.

We’re going to focus on the latter right now, a 7-inch device that can essentially act as your everyday handset, no matter how crazy that sounds. Yes, the Fonepad has voice call support via 3G. But yes, talking to a 7-inch phone, the regular way, can be awkward.

Considering that the device will be priced very competitively, you’d think that Asus would at least try to offer a comfortable (read: not crazy) solution of using it like a smartphone in the official Asus Fonepad presentation videos, such as buying an equally affordable headset.


But no, Asus doesn’t do that. The company has the guts / nerve to actually show us Fonepad users talking on the device like you’d do with a regular phone, raising it up to your ear and so on. On video. Even HTC has its own Mini headset solution for an even smaller smartphone, the 5-inch Droid DNA / Butterfly.

Yes, at least the first video shows us much more than that, as Asus explains the design principles behind the Fonepad, but we keep focusing on all the people raising the 7-inch tablet to their ears. Hopefully nobody will drop it when using it like that – but that’s why the Fonepad features a back metal case doesn’t it? To prevent unwanted accidents resulting from talking on it?


We’re not mad at Asus actually, but very amused – that’s not to say that talking on 5.x or 6.x phones gets is any easier, but a 7-inch device shouldn’t be used like a phone.

From the looks of it, Fonepad is definitely a great tablet, and, as long as you pair it with a headset, it can be a great phone also. But please, pretty please with sugar on top, don’t use it like Asus suggests you should. Even Jonney Shih doesn’t seem to be able to keep a straight face when presenting the Fonepad concept.

On a different Galaxy Note (pun intended,) you can also use phone features, but the device is even bigger. Hopefully Samsung will also teach Galaxy Note 8 buyers how to talk on 8-inch phones.

Back to Asus though, what the company doesn’t show us in this video is how we’d pack the Fonepad in our pockets, you know, after using its phone features, because that’s where phones usually go. Maybe the dude in the suit would care to explain…

Let’s hear it from future Fonepad buyers though: would you talk on a 7-inch phone?

  • The selling point for me is whether it will fit in my pocket. The 7-inch smartphone looks nice, but there’s no way I’m getting into my jeans. That’s a deal breaker for me.

  • Aaron Weyhrich

    What do I want as a device? I want a Nexus 7 in my pocket. Why don’t I have a nexus 7 as my phone right now? It has no rear facing camera. What would be the only reason that I would not pick up this device? The very poor camera. If they are trying to streamline devices, why wouldn’t they include streamlining a great camera into this package? So close but not quite.

  • Bao Nguyen

    I cannot wait until the flexible phone from Samsung. The Samsung Galaxy Q is going to have a foldable screen to be a phone or tablet when you need it.

  • QuanahHarjo

    We all know that every jerk with one would set it to speakerphone and just shout at it a foot from their face, like they do with smaller smartphones now :P

    I’ve used my Galaxy Tab 7+ as a phone in a pinch over WiFi, and I actually liked it. Did I look silly? No clue, but I wear a size 8 hat, so maybe it’s more in scale…

    • John Longson

      You have a good point, but jerks will be jerks regardless. This would work fine with a bluetooth, or wired, headset. No shouting required.

  • sourlimes21

    my nexus 7 fits in my pocket just fine. I don’t know why it doesn’t fit unless you’re wearing skinny jeans.

    • QuanahHarjo

      It varies greatly depending on the brand of pants and how the openings are sewn and how deep the pockets are. I have pants that fit my tablet like a glove, and others that shove it into uncomfortable places when I sit down, or just don’t allow it to fit because of one dimension or another.

  • Camera is an absolute fail .. I love the ability to call from a tablet. However, I do not see people using a 7 in tab becoming a trend.

    • Derrick Brown

      No one saw the Note becoming a trend either. All I heard was, that’s ridiculous. A 5″ phone?? Then I got the Tab 7.7 It’s the best form factor for a phone/tab. Then, I bought the Note 10.1, and the rest is history. No more small phones for me.

      • I agree that the 7-8″ is the be form factor for a tab. I do disagree that nobody saw the GN being a trend though. It was about a 60/40 split against the size. Then when people got it in there hands realized its not that bad.

        Sammy also marketed and is marketing the hell out of the GN. Asus doesnt do that well. At least not stateside. Its a culture/mindset change. If you cant market it good enough it wont catch on.

  • Nos

    Agreed, with QuanaHarjo, 2 years with the Samsung Galaxy Tab (GT-P1000), 1 Phone/Tablet, don’t stick it to your head just use a Bluetooth ear piece (Nokia) perfect. Only problem is the “Man Bag” comments when in a leather flip case… Doh!

  • Derrick Brown

    I already do, with my Galaxy Tab 7.7, but without any updates coming, I’m stuck on ParanoidAndroid 2.54 Jellybean 4.1.2

  • Seemon Rahman

    For a year I use my Samsung Tab 7.7 phone on speaker phone mode. It is very much convinient.

  • rvichar

    htc had a good idea with their mini phone that connects to the main phone but lugging around a 7″ tablet as a phone as a daily driver…Mmmm Computer Says No…. its good if you can have a cloned SIM and use it when convenient..

  • Ivan Budiutama

    OMG, while I love big screen, this is too much

  • whatsbeefy

    I like new ideas and all but seven inch for a phone, is just too fucking stupid IMHO

  • Kassim

    It would make an excellent wind-break on a stormy day…

  • lollicup04

    Didn’t some of the galaxy tab models allow you to place your sim in it to use as a phone? This isn’t exactly a new concept

  • fadilkarim

    I agree with what Asus’ CEO said. Before, the peimary function of a phone was to be a calling device first. However, now the primary function has shifted. Most people use their phones WAY more for entertainment rather than calling so the whole concept of small smartphones is old but too many people cant accept it. The only problem with this is how is it supposed tob fit in my pants? I have a note 2 and im not sure I can fit anything over 6 inches in my pockets.

  • asd

    I think Asus actually makes a good point about an all in one device, but i think he ideal screen size for this kind of device would be 5-6 inch bezeless screens