24 hours ago, I received the complete review package from ASUS consisting of the Padfone (A66), the Padfone Station and the Keyboard Dock.
It’s finally in my hands after almost a year of wait. So obviously I can’t wait any longer to share with you my first impressions within a day.
It Is Responsive. It Is Fast.
Padfone is the third Android smartphone I’ve tried that runs on Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) OS, after Galaxy Nexus and HTC One X. It feels responsive, the homescreen swipes around fast, switching between apps is fast.
I am surprised that despite running on Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz, the Quadrant benchmark score of 5076 surpasses the HTC One X 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and blazes past Galaxy Tab 7.7 running on dual-core 1.4GHz. I know the Quadrant tests may not be a true indicator of performance, but still, it’s a good feeling to see such high score coming from a modest Padfone.
I do notice sometimes the Padfone got “stuck”, probably due to some background tasks. For instance, it took a long while loading the call history when I assessed. But when I tried again later, it feels normal.
Padfone + Station = Transformer Pad
Once I dock the Padfone to the Tablet Station, it took less than 5 seconds to start up the Tablet. The Tablet homescreen displays an entirely different set of icons and widgets from the Padfone. I do not feel any unusual lag under Tablet mode. It just behaves like any normal tablet, in fact, you might be mistaken as a normal Asus Transformer Pad.
Once the Padfone is removed from the Station, the Padfone instantly resumes to phone mode. However, if your app is on display, there is a high chance that it will be force-closed because it does not support dynamic display switch. Just go back to homescreen before ejecting the Padfone and it will be fine.
And There’s the Keyboard Dock
Dock the Padfone Station to the Keyboard Dock and you get a complete laptop solution just like the Transformer. For insights on the Transformer + Dock setup, refer to my Asus Transformer review.
Camera Is Not Up To Expectations
The camera is probably the most disappointing feature of the product. While the quality of the 8mp f/2.2 camera is slightly above average, the camera suffers slow focus, slight shutter lag, and inconsistent auto white balance. The front camera is out of focus and there is no AF option. The ICS camera effects list are absent.
Another 13 Days More
I will be holding on to the review units for 2 weeks. Join my facebook page at http://facebook.com/musicphotolife , add me at my twitter feed at http://twitter.com/musicdiary . Leave comments below and I’ll try to answer if I can.
My complete Asus Padfone review is available here.