Ex­pand­able Stor­age and Bet­ter Per­for­mance

ASUS PadFone In­fin­ity

HWM (Singapore) - - Performance -

ASUS im­pressed us with the 5-inch ver­sion of its ec­cen­tric phone-in-tablet PadFone In­fin­ity de­vice when it launched ear­lier this year. Less than six months later, the Tai­wanese com­pany has re­leased a new and im­proved ver­sion with an up­dated Qual­comm Snap­dragon 800 pro­ces­sor, im­proved cam­era soft­ware, and ex­pand­able mem­ory via a mi­croSD card slot. How­ever, the 64GB in­ter­nal stor­age con­fig­u­ra­tion has been re­moved, and a new 16GB op­tion is now avail­able.

De­sign-wise, not much has changed with the new PadFone In­fin­ity. The rear edges of the alu­minum uni­body frame now sport ‘di­a­mond-cut’ cham­fered edges, which make the phone look a bit more pol­ished, al­though, with so many newer mod­els hit­ting the mar­ket since the PadFone In­fin­ity was re­leased six months ago, it’s look­ing a bit dated now - the screen bezel in par­tic­u­lar looks rather fat, which is par­tic­u­larly no­tice­able on the new Plat­inum White color. The PadFone In­fin­ity Sta­tion, which turns the de­vice into a tablet, re­mains un­changed from the pre­vi­ous ver­sion.

Like the pre­vi­ous model, the new PadFone In­fin­ity sports a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 Su­per IPS dis­play. The dis­play is bright, with good clar­ity and vivid col­ors. A use­ful Out­door Mode lets you bump the bright­ness up to 400 nits, main­tain­ing vis­i­bil­ity, even un­der bright sun­light.

The new model is run­ning An­droid 4.2.2 Jelly­bean, which in­cludes a few tweaks from ASUS. Com­pared to the old PadFone In­fin­ity, icons and menus look cleaner and sim­pli­fied, and a few apps like the cal­en­dar and gallery have been given a fresh new look too.

While the cam­era hard­ware hasn’t changed, ASUS has im­proved the PadFone In­fin­ity’s cam­era soft­ware, which now in­cludes nine dif­fer­ent cam­era modes. The most in­ter­est­ing of th­ese is Hi-Light Mode, which uses ASUS’ Pix­elMaster tech­nol­ogy to com­bine pix­els from a 13MP im­age into a 3MP im­age (sim­i­lar to Nokia’s PureView tech­nol­ogy), and should re­sult in less noise and more over­all de­tail. A new ‘turbo’ burst set­ting that shoots up to 100 con­tin­u­ous frames at 12FPS is also in­cluded.

Un­der the hood, the PadFone In­fin­ity pro­ces­sor has been up­graded to the lat­est Qual­comm Snap­dragon 800 pro­ces­sor, which puts it on par with other 5-inch flag­ship smart­phones like Sony’s Xperia Z1 and LG’s G2. In our bench­mark tests, it per­formed well, scor­ing far bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous model, and on par with the Xperia Z1 and G2. Bat­tery life was slightly worse than the older PadFone In­fin­ity, last­ing about six and a half hours on our bat­tery loop­ing tests, due to the higher power con­sump­tion of the Snap­dragon 800 pro­ces­sor. In gen­eral us­age how­ever, it still man­aged to last an en­tire work­day, with about 15 per cent left by mid­night.

All things con­sid­ered, the new PadFone In­fin­ity adds a few nice up­grades to an al­ready de­cent de­vice, but over­all, doesn’t of­fer enough over the cur­rent model for ex­ist­ing PadFone In­fin­ity users to up­grade. The ad­di­tion of a mi­croSD card slot is wel­come, but the de­sign is look­ing a bit dated now, and the di­a­mond cut-cham­fered edges don’t make a big enough dif­fer­ence com­pared to the orig­i­nal.

HWM

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