If you thought the glossy plastic used on Samsung’s devices was bad, wait until you see the Asus Fonepad Note 6 in action.
Well, it’s a mess. We appreciate that Asus is trying to aim for a lower price point with this particular device, but the reflections coming off the phone are ridiculous. It didn’t have to be this way, either. The faux leather back on the old Nexus 7 – or even the soft touch material used on the 2013 model – proved that the company could use decent materials and simultaneously keep costs down.
Worse still, it’s a bulky handset, measuring 10.3mm thick and weighing 210 grams. That’s a shame given that Samsung and Sony both much thinner and lighter alternatives. It’s not about the width or height so much as it’s about the depth: at 6-inches, a thicker device is simply harder to grip.
The stylus isn’t particularly helpful either. It’s easy to see why Asus decided to spring for one given the success of Samsung’s own Note lineup, but it just doesn’t feel as good, nor is it as tightly integrated into the OS.
At least the specs are good for what’s intended to be an upper mid-range device. Inside is a dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 processor clocked at 2Ghz, along with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and an 8-megapixel camera. The 6-inch IPS display has a 1080p resolution, and the handset is capable of HSPA+ speeds up to 42Mbit/s. There are also dual stereo speakers on the front of the device – not unlike the HTC One and One Mini – that produce much better sound compared to typical smartphones.
Walking away from the Fonepad Note 6, we’d say that it’s not a bad device, just a misguided one. The cheap materials left us disappointed, and the stylus seems like a bad attempt to chase Samsung. We’ll reserve final judgement for when we receive a retail unit, but we feel that Asus has – surprisingly – dropped the ball.