After images of the Asus PadFone 2 were leaked on Twitter, the company has finally announced the release of the PadFone 2 during separate events in Italy and Taiwan. During the official unveiling, it was confirmed that the hybrid gadget will roll out in the market as a standalone device and will also come with the PadFone station. This upgrade of the hybrid device will still have an Android smartphone that slots into a docking station for that full-fledged tablet functionality.
Asus has introduced some new features to boost the specs of the PadFone 2 on both software and design departments. It moves forward and packs quite a punch with a quad-core processor under the hood and this is matched by a 2GB RAM. The smartphone boasts of a 4.7-inch display with a 720p screen resolution that is protected by Corning Fit Glass. This now makes the Asus smartphone at par with the specs of some of the leading Android smartphones in the market today including the LG Optimus G. The original PadFone has a smaller 4.3-inch display. Users of this new generation gadget can increase the size of the screen if it is used together with the docking station, and this will give them a 10.1-inch display with 1280 x 800p screen resolution. And unlike its predecessor, the PadFone 2 can be fitted inside the docking station sans the securing door panel.
Another notable improvement of this second generation Asus PadFone is in the weight department. More than 200 grams have been chopped off its weight and this second generation smartphone-tablet hybrid now tips the scale at 649 grams. The PadFone 2 retains the same seamless shift from the phone to the tablet user interface as demonstrated by Jonney Shih, Asus Chairman, during the Milan event.
The PadFone 2 will roll out operating on Android 4.0, which, according to some tech buffs, is a bit of a damper, although the company has assured of a future upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. The hybrid gadget sports a 13MP camera on the rear side and this is equipped with an f/24 sensor and delivers 1080p shots at 30fps. The camera is matched by a 1.2MP front-facing camera. The hybrid device will come out of the box with 4G LTE and NFC capabilities and 2 years of 50GB WebStorage. It is important to note that the second generation PadFone comes with a slimmed-down 5,000 mAh battery as trade-off to the major cutback in the weight department.
The Asus PadFone 2 will debut in several markets in Europe and Asia before the end of the year and these include Sweden, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Denmark, Bulgaria, UAE, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, India and Hong Kong. The second generation Asus phone-and-tablet combo will be priced at $1,040 or €799 for the 32GB variant and $1,170 or €899 for the 64GB variant.