No sooner had we posted our Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 unboxing video than its main rival, the Asus Fonepad arrived in our offices, vying for the same treatement as its arch nemesis. This £179.99 tablet has full phone functionality, complete with an Intel processor and Asus Nexus 7 styling. While we never envisaged putting a 7-incher to our ears before, we can’t deny the Fonepad is a complelling device given its incredible price, and its ability to replace both phone and tablet.
The Fonepad is clearly a sibling of the Nexus 7 in terms of look and feel. 7-inches of WXGA screen, IPS display tech and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. The tab’s physical buttons are located along the left side with the 3.5mm jack and microUSB port both situated at the base.
The two-tone backing is two-tone for a reason. The darker plastic portion in the upper part is removeable, making room for a microSD card and a microSIM, proving affirmitively that, indeed, this is a phone.
As far as box contents of the Asus Fonepad go, it’s all very standard stuff: microUSB cable, wall charger, bits of paper and the Fonepad itself. The box looks like what we’re used to seeing from Asus, with classical black styling, and not too much in the way of fuss.
Asus has fussed with the insides of the Fonepad though. As an initial whizz through revealed, it seems the tablet makers are veering further away from stock Android with every new product. The Fonepad packs four on screen buttons for example, not three, with the additional button toggling a floating widgets menu.
It isn’t just the UI that’s had the once over though, new apps include the utterly brilliant Asus Splendid, giving users the ability to tweak colour saturation and temperature to suit their preference. Could Asus be pushing the envelope on the UI front where other manufacturers are stagnating, and on a £179.99 device no less? It certainly looks to be a possibility.
Check back for our full review coming in the next week to see exactly what we think, and in the meantime, enjoy our Asus Fonepad unboxing video below: